Meet Adele! {my new “to me” sewing machine}

I am so happy to introduce you to my new (to me) baby 🙂  Isn’t she cute?!?  I bought this Singer Featherweight from a fellow guild member and couldn’t be more pleased with my purchase.  What I’ve learned about her so far is that she was manufactured in 1952, but not a lot more than that.


She runs great and in fact, I have already used her to piece together the scrappy binding that was used on my Happy Geese quilt.

Adele's first binding

In our house we tend to give names to items/possessions that have garnered our affection.  For example, my car is Betty, and I do love it…so when I brought this sweet thing home, I knew immediately that she needed a name and Adele seemed to fit perfectly.  I’m hoping to use this machine on sewing days where I meet with friends/family and won’t have to take my larger machine.  It will also be nice to have an extra “running” machine in the house for friends to come over and visit/sew together.

I am planning on reading up on all I need to know about the Singer Featherweight machines so that I can keep her happy and running well for years to come.  Anyone else out there have a Singer Featherweight with tips or stories to share?


18 thoughts on “Meet Adele! {my new “to me” sewing machine}

  1. Hi Michele,
    congrats on your new purchase!
    If you go on over to Quiltville, Bonnie Hunter has a tab dedicated to vintage machines…and she owns quite a few!
    I enjoy reading you blog very much!
    Will you come on over and have a peek at mine? I would love it if you would follow me!
    Jacqueline in Pitt Meadows
    Quilt, sew Happy!

  2. I have a 1961 minty white one and it does the prettiest stitch. They are easy to get parts for and have repaired. Many quilters use these for all their piecing because the stitch is so accurate and precise. I take mine to retreats, classes, and quilting get togethers. Make sure after you wind your bobbin to move he bobbin winder back up. Also be careful with the electrical and pedal cords as they can easily rub along the belt and become cut. You did not say anything about a case, but on the old black ones you sometimes need to wrap a belt around if the hinges are weak. My machine’s case has a plastic handle that is cracked, but your handle is probably leather. Congratulations they are wonderful machines!

  3. Congratulations!! My FW is Adele, too. Because she’s my favorite Singer…. 😉

    Wishing you many happy days of sewing with your Adele!!

  4. enjoy her! I just brought “Goldie” home a few weeks ago and shes been sewing up a storm.. the resources the others shared I found are the best..Goldie was named be cause of the gold decals and my fav grandma with the treadle in the basement that I always got yelled at for playing with it! See Goldie over here:

    • oh forgot.. Goldie is a 1950 with a 1951 Centennial badge. I’m being told since she was in the late 1950 production chances are she hung around the assembly mine until after the 1st of the year when they switched to the blue border centennial badging 🙂

  5. There are many many sites you can google (for Singer machines) and get information on Adele. comes to mind and the Vintage Sewing Machine group on Yahoo.

    I own several vintage Singer machines but haven’t snagged a Model 221 yet. Congratulations and enjoy Adele!

    Ps. Don’t know why my link wouldn’t hyperlink but visit if you get a chance.

  6. I have three featherweights! :-). They just seem to find me….. I have other vintage machines as well, such as a Kenmore 1040, which is a great little portable that is all metal like the FW. I use the portables for getting together with friends… much easier to travel with! Enjoy your new machine!! Oh! Someone mentioned the group on Facebook called Vintage Sewing Machines….I’m a member there. Great group with lots of knowledgable people!

  7. Looks like you have a really nice machine. The decals aren’t worn, so the machine apparently hasn’t been used very much. And you have a “tuxedo” plate, on the side, so that means your machine was built post WWII. I know a little about these machines because I wrote an article about them for “Love of Quilting” magazine. It was interesting research that prompted me to buy a FW for myself. I bid on it at an estate sale after seeing the sample swatch that the auction house had sewn with the machine. When I got the machine home, and tried to use it, it didn’t work. It turns out that during the sale, someone had stolen the bobbin case from it. The auction company split the cost with me of buying a replacement bobbin case. I haven’t used mine for a long time, but now I want to get it out! Have fun with yours.

  8. Congratulations! Nova Montgomery has Featherweight tips online. You will also want to go to Batteries and Bulbs and get an LED lightbulb. The light is so much better and it doesn’t get hot. Mine needed a bulb. The members of the Featherweight group liked the bulb so much they had me purchase several for them. I named my machines after my Grandmothers. Have fun with Adele!

  9. That is very cool! I have been researching featherweights and trying to decide whether to buy one fully refurbished or one that needs work. Someday I hope to have my own! So excited when I saw yours on your blog!

  10. Good morning! I hope you are loving your new featherweight! I have a 221 and a 222. It’s amazing that they work as well now as when they were made 65-85 years ago. I’m so glad Singer made them nearly indestructible. Here are 2 resources I’ve found to be invaluable: David McCallum, his book and DVD “The Featherweight 221 and I” teaches you how to do your own maintenance, fix cosmetic and mechanical problems. His website is I was replacing a motor on my 222, and he called me on the phone and talked me thru it! He actually just semi retired, but the website is still up, and the books are still available. I got the book/DVD set because I learn better by seeing something demonstrated. Many quilt shops also give a class to teach you hands-on. Second, Tony and Marilyn Wood put out a book “Fabulous Featherweights” and you can find it on ebay. They also sell FW machines they’ve cleaned and fixed. Happy sewing!!

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