Friday, January 11, 2008

#1 Problem with the 221/222 Singer Featherweight


The Featherweight uses the common needle type which goes by several different designations; 15X1, 705, etc. These come in sizes from 8 (smallest) to 19 (largest). The “size” refers to the thickness of the needle, and not the length. All modern household machines, Featherweight included, use the same length needle.

The critical difference between the Featherweight and most other machines is that the NEEDLE IS INSERTED WITH THE FLAT SIDE OF THE NEEDLE TO THE OPERATORS LEFT. (Illustrated above) Unless the needle is inserted correctly the MACHINE WILL NOT SEW. Certainly you must also be sure your needle is not bent or blunted. Better to dispose of a questionable needle than take a chance

Although the Singer “color-coded” needles are suitable, I prefer the Schmetz brand for quality. Any others should be avoided.
This post seems really basic, but I have seen many hundreds of Featherweights which would not sew because the needle was inserted incorrectly.
For a wide selection of parts for vintage Singer, Pfaff, or Bernina machines see our website


Woodsong said...

The "sideways" needle thing is a "gotcha" that got me!

knackeredhackette said...

Yes, that curious flat-side-on-the-"wrong"-side confused me the first time I encountered it.

Oh, good, I've just bought some Schmetz needles, so am pleased I made the right choice.


judygoldblum said...

Can someone help me. My thread keeps coming out of the needle. the tension is very tight even when on zero. How do I adjust the tension.? Any help would be so appreciated up against a deadline/

miriam said...

I have 2 singer 500a machines. The foot control on one makes the machine go really slow. The foot control on the other works fine on that machine. The other machine goes slow no matter what foot control I use. Any tips?

mac said...

Thank goodness for your article. My dear mother, expert on this machine, died and I would have had a lot of problems figuring this out. You saved the day!

marcia said...

Thanks a bunch.
I couldn't figure out what was wrong.
I was all over the tension settings with no improvement. Turned the needle around as you illustrated and now my machine sews beautifully.

Joanne said...

I have another problem with my Featherweight 221K. Before I start to sew, I like to use the hand wheel to lower the needle to pick up a thread from the bobbin. Then pull it through, then start my sewing. Last sewing session, I was not able to do this because the thread wouldn't catch. And it sounds as if something is out of wack with the bobbin. Although I am able to sew, it isn't a smooth process. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

eks said...

I just bought a singer 221k from ebay. The machine won't sew for more than 3-4 inches.

I tried all I can by cleaning in bobbin mechanism, checking tension on thread and bobbin case but the problem still exist. After tightening the screw on the bobbin case I could stitch upto 4 inches without thread breaking.

When I opened the bobbin case base to clean up any caught threads I found that it has a crack around the centre stud.

Also, I have noticed very carefully that thread breaks because the bobbin case has slipped out of its place. Then when it is pressed back so that the stud centre is flush with the bobbin case face it sews for another 3-4 inches and thread breaks again. I think it is the crack in the bobbin case base which is pushing it out.

Please help. I like my machine but if repairs/parts are going to cost me more than than I bought it for I prefer to return it.

Please help

bunnyhop22 said...
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bunnyhop22 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bunnyhop22 said...

i have decided to sell my singer sewing machine 221 featherweight just been to check it out and soon as i plug it in it starts on it's own without pressing the foot pedal?.

sandra corey said...

Need some advice: Mom has a 1952 Singer feather weight 221-1. Took it in for a checkup and ever since cannot use it because it runs so slowly. Any ideas what might be wrong?

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