I bought mine off of eBay last summer, and had a fabulous transaction. Unfortunately, that seller doesn't have any up at the moment. (He's a retired attorney whose wife quilts; his hobby had been to acquire machines at estate sales and flea markets, peak and tweak 'em, and turn around on eBay.) I have about a thousand transactions, both buying and selling, and screened potential suppliers carefully; he didn't have a lot of feedback, but it was all positive, and my purchase would've been protected by PayPal. I also was patient, and investigated auctions and other websites for months. The end result was a gorgeous machine in its originally, nearly flawless case, lovingly cleaned and serviced, and packed with a bunch of notions... all for under $300 (including shipping.)
The deals are out there; just know what you want (I am anal, so a "pretty" and clean-looking machine was important to me), what you're willing to spend, and don't rush to buy too quickly.
"I'm an artist at living, and my work of art is my life." ~ Suzuki, Zen Master
I have a 1938 Featherweight that I bought from a sew and vac store about 9 years ago and absolutely love it. I take it to classes and use it in our motorhome when we travel. I bought the quarter inch foot and throatplate for it. I have only had it serviced once and it runs like a charm. I'd love to get another for my daughter, but the $600 price vs the $300 I paid has me stopped. I saw a number of people in Houston this year with very small Janome's who loved their machines for classes also.
I may not be a true featherwght afficionado...mine is a reproduction made by alpha sew. it looks totally original and sews like a dream...it accepts all feet and accessories of an authentic 221. and it was affordable.
also.you can get a home video of how to maintain your little beauty from English's sew n vac in paducah ky.
Hi I did get my featherweight from ebay a few years ago and have not been disappointed. I would caution you to know a little more about ebay than I did it was my first ever ebay bid and I won I was really concerned but if you know how to judge the seller go for it. I take it to classes and really enjoy using it There was a learning curve and they do like to have the basic maintenence (oil, cleaning etc.) on a regular basis The only expense I've incurred was a general servicing when I first got the machine ( it was such an impulse bid that I wanted to have a professional check it out.) I have been doing the maintenece since then.
I don't know anything about the other machine you asked about
I'm thinking about buying a vintage Featherweight to take to classes, retreats, vacation, etc. Any Featherweight owners out there? What should I look for? What should I avoid? Has anyone purchased one from an eBay auction?
Please share your Featherweight knowledge.
Also, does anyone own a Kenmore Mini Ultra (or maybe it's Ultra Mini?). I'd like to know more about this machine as well.