A “New” Friend Joins the Party ~ Singer Featherweight 221

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I have a bit of a confession. A “new” friend came to live with me last week. Meet Betty Bee. She is a Singer Featherweight 221, born in 1950. Sharing her this week is sort of timely, as yesterday was the anniversary of Isaac Singer’s patent of the sewing machine.

A few weeks ago, during my weekend in Wisconsin, I spent some time eyeing Jeni and Holly’s featherweights. Such great machines, and wow, just amazing that something with that many moving parts 60, 70, even 80 years old can still work perfectly!

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided that a Singer Featherweight would be a perfect travel sewing machine…and even a “kitchen table” sewing machine. My house is tall and narrow, so my sewing studio is up on a third floor. I love the idea of having a permanent, lightweight machine that I can stitch on in the kitchen when the kids are home, and then store away on a book shelf when not in use. I know a lot of these machines are listed on eBay, so I started there. I was pretty overwhelmed and honestly, I am not an eBay person. Just tell me the price and end the games! :) But after looking over listings and finding one that appeared to be in good shape, I did some bidding and actually won! Meet Betty Bee – named by my 8 year old daughter.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Betty Bee had one owner before me, and previously lived very nearby in Wisconsin. In fact, so close that she took less than 24 hours to arrive at my house. The original owner’s name was on a piece of paper in the case (that also included the name of her former employer), so I Googled her and was able to print out a little history to store with the machine.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She is in great condition. As with any machine, learning to thread it and get started can be a process. (Yes, it took me some time to realize I had the needle in wrong!)

I joined a Singer Featherweight 221/222 group on Facebook, which has awesome information in the Files area related to the machine. I also followed some online videos to help me clean her, switch the bulb to an LED, and replace the felt drip pad. (I bought the bulb, felt and a couple other maintenance items at April 1930’s Featherweight Specialty Shop.) She came with the original manual so I used that to make sure she was oiled and lubed in all the right spots.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides apparently being addicted to sewing machines, I also have a weakness for Lululemon. I managed to get a bag there that fits Betty Bee and some supplies perfectly.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Here it is, next to the original case.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I am sure you will see more glimpses of Betty Bee popping up here and there. She came with a bunch of presser feet, some look more like torture devices. But I’m guessing I will mostly piece with her.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She will be much cared for and used in her new home, and my daughter has already claimed her for once I die. Ha! A long, long time from now. 😉

Seaside Patchwork

Seaside Patchwork Pillow

I love making pillows. Sometimes when I get new fabric in the mail I just start itching to cut into it immediately, but I don’t really need anymore giant projects in the works. That’s how I felt when a few of the prints from October Afternoon’s Seaside collection arrived last week.

Happy mail day! Seaside ... Purchased from Pink Castle Fabrics

I combined these 4 prints with other 12 other fabrics in my stash. Inspired by the colors in the collection, I added in more yellow, green, turquoise, red and navy. I feel like my stash doesn’t have a lot of “vintagey” prints, but some of the Denyse Schmidt for JoAnns prints really worked as well as some American Jane Punctuation prints I have been saving.

Seaside Patchwork Pillow

From each fabric, I cut 4 squares 2.5″ x 2.5″, resulting in 64 squares. The pillow is 8 squares across by 8 squares down, with a finished size of 16″ x 16″.

Seaside Patchwork Pillow

I decided to do something a bit out of the ordinary for my quilting. I used my walking foot, but selected one of the decorative stitches from my sewing machine.

Seaside Patchwork Pillow

I just love the vintage patchwork look of this pillow. The back is a Riley Blake fabric called Go Fly a Kite. I’ve had it for a little while, waiting on the right project. The binding is the top fabric from the Seaside fabric stack.

Seaside Patchwork Pillow

You can find Seaside fabric at the following shops:
Pink Castle Fabrics
Fresh-Squeezed Fabrics
Lark Cottons
Westwood Acres

Things will probably be a bit quiet the rest of the week on my blog as I enjoy some peaceful time with my family. :) Have a great week everyone!

Outtake! It was just a wee bit windy.

Easter Dress

Easter Dress

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this here…on my sewing blog, but last year I bought my daughter’s Easter dress at Costco. I can make a lot of excuses as to why I didn’t make one but really I was just lazy and the rack at Costco had some cute dresses for way cheap. But this year I decided I would make something and I knew that I wanted a Sis Boom pattern because they are really just the cutest.

Easter Dress

I decided to make the Marissa Dress which is a PDF pattern. This dress took only an afternoon to make and if you’ve made any clothing before, it is pretty easy. The directions were fabulous – I actually did the zipper with no trouble! (Sign of a good pattern to me.) Here is the bodice work in progress – I just love the random pleats and gathers.

Easter Dress Bodice

I am sure a few of you are wondering what the heck is this fabric. It looks like Flea Market Fancy, right? Well, it is similar. Here is a comparison.

Vintage fabric and FMF

I bought this fabric off eBay last October. It is a vintage, seersucker-y print. The floral bouquet design is an old design, so obviously Denyse Schmidt isn’t the only one who was inspired by it.

The Kids

The dress is a hit. My daughter wanted to sleep in it after I finished it. Each time I make clothing I wonder why I don’t do more fashion sewing. It is quick (well, quicker than a quilt) and there is a lot of satisfaction knowing I or someone in my family is wearing something I made. Who knows, maybe I will make myself a dress next!