Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings that you will enjoy and appreciate. Come and join in the fun with Susie, a Home Economist, and savor a little rest from your hectic day...and yes, it's a Degree she uses every day!

Friday, July 30, 2021

Featherweight Love 4

 Working on the Featherweight case is rewarding, especially one that's in good shape. BUT...you occasionally run into some "nasties". In this case it's brown mold......after I removed the wrinkled, torn Tolex of the case bottom I saw it.

So, down to the kitchen to clean it up: gloves, wet paper towels, the waste basket close by and bleach.

I carefully wiped the mold with wet paper towels and quickly dropped them in the waste basket. I repeated this a couple of times. Then I took damp paper towels again and added bleach and wiped down the bottom and insides of the case. Then I put the waste basket bag into our trash can outside. There is a musty odor in the case and machine, which can be "normal" for an old machine. The smell comes from where it has been stored and also the old oil pad in the bottom of the machine, which I've already disposed of. I'm hoping the bleach treatment reduces the odor, and I have some special case deodorizer from The Featherweight Shop on the way to also attack the smell.

Now the fun begins: I get to rub the Kiwi black shoe polish onto the outside of the case and make it look beautiful! It's fun: I used to polish my dad's shoes when I was a kid (besides mine) so it's nostalgic for me, soothing, too. I enjoy seeing a pair of shoes cleaned and shined, back to their original beauty. It's the same with the case.

Then I put some of the black shoe polish on the cleaned lift out tray, which was in really good shape. No gluing or repair work was needed. It buffed up to a nice shine.
That's enough 221 Featherweight work for today. Time too work on some other projects!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Featherweight Love 3

Today I could only do a little work on the 221 Featherweight: I cleaned and spray-painted the "nut" that holds the drip pan cover on the machine. I also ordered some black paint from The Featherweight Shop for touching up the paint that's gone from the bottom edges of the machine. Whoever owned this one really banged it up around the base (where the screwdriver is pointing) but it's fixable.


The Featherweight Shop must think I'm crazy for continuing to order items and instead of putting everything all in one order. Oh well....shipping is free using First Class mail.

So to keep moving ahead on the restoration, I'm working on the case. First I cleaned the whole case, inside and out, gently with damp paper towels. Easy!

Then according to the Featherweight Shop's video I cleaned all metal with Nevr Dull, a metal cleaner, the can behind the case. The shoe cloth sitting on the case is great for polishing.


You can see the difference on the back hinges from grubby


to bright and shiny. I used the blue gloves for this (ones left over from the beginning of the pandemic): great to use to protect my hands from the chemicals.

Then I brought out the wood glue and damp paper towels to glue down any of the loose Tolex (the black "fabric" covering the case inside and out). I used cheap paint brushes from the Dollar Store to apply the glue.

The bottom of this case was pretty wrinkly but now looks better. I'm only working on the outside of the case right now: inside will come later.

Then it was drawing time with large Sharpie permanent black markers to cover marks, etc. I used them (2 markers) over the entire surface, then used Kiwi Scuff Cover over the case outside and the handle. Luckily, the handle is in great shape and will not need to be replaced.

Next will be using Kiwi black shoe polish all over the outside and buffing to a nice shine...but that will be another day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Featherweight Love 2

 I kept thinking about this machine all night long. Couldn't wait to get my hands on it again today. 

First problem I noticed was the wheel was locked: I could only turn it a little bit. Obviously there was a jam somewhere. The Featherweight Shop to the rescue with their video "Is your Featherweight jammed?"

I had already discovered the jam but needed some instruction and encouragement from the video, along with the hemostat I already owned to pull out the offending threads. Wha-LA! It worked (or so I thought), so I cleaned up the pieces with rubbing alcohol (note: do NOT use rubbing alcohol on any of the painted surfaces!!) and cutips, then cleaned out some really old dust bunnies. So far all parts I've worked on are original Simanco parts: a good thing. The more original, the better.

But when I put the plate back in the machine and turned the wheel it still locked up. Hmmmm....  Back to the Featherweight Shop video only to learn that there still was a very small piece of thread somewhere inside of the bobbin case "guts". I could not get the gibbet unscrewed to take it apart to remove any offensive thread. So I ordered a special tool from he Featherweight Shop that can help me with this since forcing the little crew has bad consequences. So I went on to wipe out any dust bunnies and old grease from underneath the machine.

Any parts and screws I removed for cleaning were put into small plastic bags so I wouldn't lose anything.

One item that came with this was an old tube of Singer Motor Lubricant in its' original box...interesting ephemera for looks only at this point. I would never use this old lubricant on any machine now!


I also painted the oil drip pan with some flat black paint after using 240grit sandpaper on it. It looks much better.


Now I'm off to the store to retrieve a few things for the case restoration while I wait for the shipment of supplies.

Until next time:  Happy Stitching!!