At the Featherweight Retreat, I got to see ALL kinds of Featherweight machines, accessories, gadgets, doo-dads, modifications – you name it. It was also a wonderful educational experience for me. I learned what the avid collectors truly prize: the freearm Singer 222K, “Penguin” walking foot and Swiss-made Singer zig zag attachment. The Penguin foot is considered the holy grail by many FW collectors due to rarity, but don’t discount the cuteness factor either.
Last week, I received a text message from one of the retreat attendees asking if I was interested in a Penguin walking foot. Of course I replied, “Yes!”. The price was reasonable, considering what some had recently sold for. Honestly, had she been set up to accept an electronic payment, I’d probably be holding said Penguin foot in my hot little hands right now. I was definitely caught up in the moment. Being forced to press “pause” to figure out the payment logistics made me stop and listen to my inner voice that was shouting, “Not now.”
I love vintage machines and actually sew on mine. From a practical standpoint, a 222K would make more sense for me than a Penguin foot or zigzag attachment. The reality is that Penguin foot costs more than both of my Featherweights combined. I just couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on a presser foot – no matter how collectible it might be. Put a few more dollars with it and I could have a 222K – which would be very cool, and practical, for the way I sew.
That’s not to say that I haven’t bought some new accessories for my beloved Featherweights. I safely tuck away original cases and any accessories that I don’t use on a regular basis. Thanks to a lucky score at an antique mall, both FWs now sport a complete set of original feet and accessories. Juliette got a new roomier reproduction carry case while Crystal received a foot pedal adapter. Rather than dispose of Juliette’s old reproduction case, I decided to try my hand at refinishing it. It’s been stripped, sanded and is now in the process of being painted a vintage teal color. The case will be lined with fabric and new chrome hardware attached that looks very similar to the original green/white case. Stripping off the old vinyl/fabric covering was a nasty process and something in the fabric, glue or wood caused a major itchy rash to break out on my arms. Fortunately, I’m on the mend and looking less “reactive” with each passing day. I’ll post a picture of Crystal’s one-of-a-kind case when it’s finished. Psst: Cost of case rehab materials/hardware was about $22….but when you factor in the time…it would probably been have more cost effective to buy two new cases! 🙂