It’s all Very Kerry Berry’s fault (I felt I should throw that in first and get it out of the way, you know, the fact that I’m clearly susceptible to advertising on Instagram…) Anyway, it all started at the weekend when Kerry was selling her lovely white Singer Featherweight on IG. She’d mentioned that the price she was asking was comparable to eBay, and I was surprised that it was lower than I’d have imagined, albeit that buying it was completely out of my budget right now. So I thought I’d check out eBay and see how much one might be when I did have a budget for one, and if they were easy to find or very rare, precious commodities.
I discovered two things: 1. The white ones are rare, but that’s okay, I like black and 2. The big news, I could use my Nectar points to buy things!
Apologies to all of you outside the UK who are wondering WTH a Nectar point is – basically Nectar started as a loyalty card for one of the major supermarket chains here, and then, unlike most of the other supermarket cards, it expanded to other businesses, so I can actually collect points not just in Sainsbury’s when I do my biweekly shop, but also, among other places, on eBay.
Now I will admit that I have quite a few loyalty cards in my wallet because, you know, free stuff! For a number of them I use the shop infrequently enough that I don’t tend to build up that many points, but occasionally I enjoy buying all my Neurofen heat pads and Ibuleve gel with my Boots points. Tesco doesn’t let you build up points, every so often it gathers them all up and sends you vouchers to be spent in store, and a mixture of paranoia that I’ll lose the things, and laziness in trying to work out how to convert them to something else of worth to me (a trip to Alton Towers or Legoland not being a lot of use), means I tend to just use them to take money off a shop there. Anyway, it’s my second supermarket, so I don’t shop there often (Sainsbury’s is just next to the office and I prefer what it stocks to my local Tesco a couple of miles down the road from the flat), so I don’t earn or use a lot of those vouchers. Sainsbury’s though, it lets you build them up. And up. And up. As an impoverished student, and even more impoverished recent graduate, I used to use the points to get a free shop once a year, usually around Christmas, but after that I didn’t really *need* a free shop, so I saved them just in case. It’s got to be a bit of a standing joke at the checkout as the cashier hands me my receipt, eyes bugging out of their head as they catch a glimpse of my points total which had built up to, until the weekend, around £250 worth.
So back to this new and heady discovery, suddenly I had free ‘money’ to spend that I couldn’t spend in that many other places, there was something I actually wanted and it was well within budget!
I found this little beauty by accident. Originally I’d searched for ‘Featherweight’ which I imagine is what most people look for initially, and this wasn’t in the search results as it had simply been described as a ‘Beautiful Vintage Singer 221k’. Instead, I’d been bidding on another machine that suddenly took off at the last minute. It wasn’t actually in pristine condition, and said it ‘required work’ so I wasn’t too sad when I lost it after the price went up to £220 from £150, but interestingly this was offered as an alternative, and had an end time not long after the first one. Its list price? Starting bids of £65. I got it for £92. Even after adding in the postage, I’ve still got looooots of Nectar points left ;o)
It has travelled all over the UK, but originally came from 10 miles down the road at Kilbowie in July 1952. It came with 3 extra feet that I forgot to pop into the first photo, but it also had 3 bobbins, a few needles, an almost pristine user manual, and a screwdriver that doesn’t actually belong to this machine but will still work if required. Its case is immaculate, and came with both keys, and it was packed for postage in a truly ingenious way (it was inside a polystyrene cooler case, inside 2 cardboard boxes) The only things that I can see that it needs from my initial investigations, is replacement cushions for the foot pedal (one has perished enough to fall off) and base, and for me to peel off that sticker on the front for the Kendal Sewing Machine Centre. I think I can spare the few pounds or Nectar points for replacement cushions!
I then remembered the singer feet I bought last year before Spring Market, originally thinking I’d use them with my bargain, hand cranked, 99k that I found. Coincidentally the feet work on both models, so I’m all set to do all sorts of things now (the 99k really needs a service before I can use it and I haven’t got round to that yet, although it makes a lovely model for photos!) Here’s the whole set of bits that I have:
And here’s the feet on their own. I’m trying to work out what all I have here, but as far as I can google, working along the top row from the left I have:
A ruffler foot (the scary looking thing top left), then 2 narrow hem feet (one came with the machine, one from the mystery box), an edge stitch foot, a multi-slotted binder foot, 2 regular binder feet (one came with the machine, one from the mystery box).
On the next row, I think the first thing is some kind of seam allowance guide, then there’s a darning foot, an adjustable hemmer, a tucker (which also looks like an instrument of torture), and a hinged zipper foot.
At the front is a gather foot and another couple of screwdrivers.
So how many of you are now eying up your Nectar points? ;o)