Monday, March 7, 2022

A Cover for Billie

I have needed to make one for my Featherweights since I got them. Yes, them. I wanted one for a number of years, and somehow when I finally seriously searched one out, I ended up buying four(!) vintage Singer machines, two of which are Featherweights. This one is a 1947, named Billie, 'born' in New Jersey, US, bought in Belle River, ON. The other is a 1951, Tillie, 'born' in Clydebank, Kilbowie, Scotland, bought in Tillsonburg the day before I got Billie. I take turns sewing with them: one will be out for a couple of months, the other sitting in her hard case, waiting for her turn. Yes, I should sell one, but I love them both. Anyhow. The Project Quilting 13.5 challenge was Rhythm and Repetition, and this cover is the result of that prompt.

I've had the vintage machines fabric for a few years, so it feels good to put the half yard to its intended use!

I had been draping a graffiti-quilting piece over the Featherweight, but it did not keep the dust out since the sides were open. This looks so much better!

I doodled around for a couple of days, thinking of making a baby quilt, and then I thought, no, my intention for PQ this year was to make things I need, and then it pinged into my brain that I need a cover for Billie. None of the doodles 'stuck', so I went into my computer files and found a free pattern I'd downloaded in oh, 2013 (!) for a sewing machine cover. I loved it!

It worked perfectly for the rhythm and repetition challenge: four quarter log cabins, using the vintage fabric on the front of the cover as well as for the lining, using several 'logs' to make the centre section, and then the straight line, rhythmic, repetitive quilting. Better yet, I could use some of the gorgeous fabric Stephanie of Benartex Designer Fabrics had sent to me!

I changed the pattern a bit. I trimmed down the last round of the logs as well as the first one to make the cover smaller. Featherweights are pretty tiny machines! They only weight 11 pounds, and they are a mere 10" tall! Petite, like their owner. 😉 I also quilted the cover pieces onto the Thermore batting, rather than also onto the lining. This way I could make the lining separately, insert it into the assembled cover, and bind the lower edge, making the cover completely reversible.

It was pieced on Billie, quilted and then assembled on my Bernina. I do need to sew more on all of my Singers. I think if I had them set up ready to go, I would play musical machines!

The back is similar to the front, just shuffled the logs of the cabin around and used a back view of a Singer machine.
Pieced and quilted with Aurifil threads; every one you see was used.

A happy little corner of my studio.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine Free Sewing Machine Cover
Size: 10.5" high x 13.5" long x 7" wide
Fabric: 'Evelyn's Etched Tulips' by Jackie Robinson and a blue Fossil Fern both by Benartex Designer Fabrics and the vintage machines fabric is (I think) Timeless Treasures
Lining: Timeless Treasures
Batting: Hobbs Thermore
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced with Aurifil cotton; quilted with Aurifil cotton 50 wt

Linking up


  1. Lovely cover! Every machine needs a cover and should be used.. I may have two singers that do not get any regular use. These older Singers stitch so well, not like some of the newer machines.

  2. Nice cover for your featherweight, and a perfect project for PQ. I'm sure Billie and Tillie are delighted to have such a nice cover look!

  3. Oh, I love this corner of your studio! Now... about those possums in the photo hanging on the wall...

  4. I have two Featherweights myself named MayBelle and Opal, along with other Singer handcranks-I love my old machines! I also have some fabric with vintage Singer machines, so it is time to make covers for mine. Thanks for your inspiration, always!

  5. I do love my Featheerweights. One sews better than the other but they both give me pleasure. I usually take one with me to our Wednesday donation sewing meetings. These new machines are just too heavy to cart around these days. That cover is darling and how nice to have that vintage sewing machine fabric. Job well done!!

  6. A pretty and practical dust solution. I love this corner of your room too.

  7. I love it and I do have a cover I made so should put it over my old Singer which is 1874 and I also have a treadle dated 1913. Neither work, as the oldest was found in an Antique yard on the dirt underneath some shelving, but we cleaned it up and it makes a nice prop. Thanks for sharing, take care & hugs.

  8. Well that is one nifty cover! Love the log cabins, the fabric and the "loose lining". Just perfect to keep the Featherweights happy and dust free!

  9. What a cool way to use that fabric! Featherweights intrigue me. I don't think I've seen one in real life. When Lori Holt displays her colorful models, I practically drool :-)

  10. Looks great! I recently became the owner of a Singer treadle machine from 1901. I named her Millie, and I spent most of last week learning to use her. I love that Billie and Tillie will now have a cover while they are waiting their turn for use!

  11. I love the cover - especially the sewing fabric. I nearly bought some upholstery fabric that was similar, I thought it would be sturdy for bags - didn't buy any and I could kick myself. Oh well, it isn't like I have a shortage of fabric. As for machines, no featherweights here, but my grandmother in the UK had one with a hand wheel, and my Mom and I often wonder what happened to it. But there isn't a shortage of machines here either, I have 5. Take care, Sandra and thanks for the post.

  12. Perfect! Such a practical and rewarding sew. I have been meaning to make covers for my machines for a while too...