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My immediate thought was that she developed a "bird's nest" jam of thread in the bobbin area because the needle thread jumped the "rails" (so to speak) and created one huge thread snarl under the fabric. When that happens the mess can be so bad that surgical intervention is required, sometimes causing fabric to be mutilated.
Or your friend has never oiled and lubricated the machine (and is ashamed to admit this negligence) and metal parts somewhere have have suddenly frozen up. But that would take decades of abuse for that to happen.
Or the needle worked loose, dropped down into bobbin area? But that's so easily remedied ...
Pardon me if I sound blunt but IMHO it is hard to "break" these old metal machines except through bad storage (where they get galloping rust) and through neglect.
I use my featherweight a lot. I am thinking there is a thread somewhere in the bobbin area. Take it apart clean and oil it.
Judy, I don't think so. She's an "older" (as in older than me) lady who has taken good care of her FW over many years, oiling and lubricating and keeping it clean. That's why I suggested a thread in the bobbin case, because if everything else is fine, that might cause it to lock up out suddenly.
Sue in IL
Sue, the Featherwwight Shop is very good about helping trouble shoot problems. There is also a FB page for featherweights, if she can get pictures and post them, or send to the Featherweight shop, they can probably help her.
They also have many tutorials that could help her.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SingerFWGroup/ This is the FB page, it is a closed group but if she has a FW, just join and there are many people who can help. But try the Featherweight shop, they can help.
Thank you! When I talked with her, I couldn't recall any specific site names, so just told her if she would look online, there were plenty of FW groups to get information from.
Well, something worked! When I called her back yesterday for a follow-up, she said her DH took the whole bobbin case apart and found a tiny snippet of thread. So they cleaned and oiled the area, and now the machine runs just as it always did. I love when things work out!
Sue in IL
Yaay, I love it when things work out. it is amazing what a tiny piece of thread can do when it gets stuck! I have had that happen before! And the FW Shop has great videos for cleaning and oiling and general how to's , I love being able to service the machine myself. Glad she got it working!
We should all remember that these old Singer beauties were sold by "traveling salesmen" in the days before sewing machine shops so they had to be reliable and they had to be "fixable" by "the little lady".
I also believe that the Singer company was the originator of the installment plan so that the housewife of yore could buy her machine on a monthly payment plan.
Some forum vintage machine historian care to back me up on that?
I also believe that the Singer company was the originator of the installment plan so that the housewife of yore could buy her machine on a monthly payment plan. Some forum vintage machine historian care to back me up on that?
yup....https://sewalot.com/end_of_empire_by_alex_askaroff_sewalot.htm - specifically the section 'How did it all start' talks about the hire purchase plan devised by the Singer Company...
I’ve always said the FW was a marvel of good engineering. It was designed to do one thing, do it well, and do it for a lifetime. They definitely met that goal.