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Even the oldest machines, if they've been cared for, still sew wonderfully.
The Featherweight came in a standard black model made in the U. Those made before World War II (and apparently a few after the war) had an attractive "Egyptian Scrollwork" pattern on the faceplate, while most of those made after the war had a simple, striated pattern of vertical stripes.
This lightweight machine that comes with its own handy case (resembling and roughly the size of an old-fashioned cosmetics case or record case) is also valued for its portability, by those who attend classes and conferences with fellow quilters around the world.
Finally, its sleekness, elegance, and mechanical simplicity appeals to the design sense of women and men who appreciate the beauty of color, line, and texture in their quilts. While many existing machines were well-loved and thus well-used, Featherweights are by no means rare.
For modern seamstresses, it's too basic, sewing only a straight stitch without even a reverse setting on early models.
Even during the years of its manufacture it was sometimes ignored by the sewing public, as looking too much like a toy, and being too expensive for depression-era and wartime pocketbooks.
The machine (model 221), adapted from an earlier portable, the Standard Sew Handy (which company was bought out by Singer) weighs about 11 pounds and has been found to be an ideal machine for quilters and other sewers to take to classes or "on location." Very quiet and sturdily made with all-metal parts (mostly aluminum), the Featherweight sews only straight stitches but it sews them very well.
He had a government contract model made during WW2. These were used, according to him, by our armed services.
He lost the case but said it was the same case as the commercial model without the leather covering.
They were further decorated with gold decals and the Singer name, but nowhere do they say "Featherweight" on them.
In Great Britain a white Featherweight was sold, which was made in Scotland.
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The machines would have come off the production line sometime between that date and the date of the next production series assignment.