Thursday, September 8, 2016

Heirloom Sewing on a Singer Featherweight

When I was given my Featherweight sewing machine I was very interested in the detailed instruction book that came with it. The book is 55 pages of how to use the machine and the attachments. Of course it covers the basics like threading it and winding a bobbin and setting the needle in place, along with detailed instructions on setting the tension and lubricating, but it was the instructions for using the attachments that really caught my eye.

The machine has a hemmer foot and as well as details on how to make a narrow hem with this foot, there are instructions on hemming and sewing on lace in one operation.

Then there is the multiple slotted binder foot that allows you to attach  unfolded bias binding and pre-folded bias binding. Directions are given on making a piped edge and also piping and binding an edge in one operation!

The edge stitcher foot is shown sewing two pieces of lace together and also making a French seam and pin tucks!

The gathering food is shown making shirring but also making puffing strips. The directions also suggest using a coloured thread in the bobbin so that the shirring resembles 'smocking' when used on a collar or cuffs.

The really complicated looking ruffler attachment can be used to make gathers on a single piece of fabric or ruffle and stitch the piece to a garment in one operation. The ruffler can also be set to make pleats in even sizes.

Now I know that many of todays machines also have these feet and capabilities, but it was interesting to see that a simple straight stitch sewing machine that is over 70 years old could also do these heirloom sewing techniques. And the fact that it is heirloom techniques that are featured in the manual for the machine.


  1. I love my Featherweight and have Heirloom plans for it in the future!

  2. It is really amazing that this old machine can work these heirloom techniques. How many of them have you tried and how have they come out? I have a really fancy new machine and I still can't get the bias binder to work.