The second major difference between the Singer 221 Featherweight and the 222K Featherweight is the very impressive ability of the 222K to be able to lower and raise its feed dogs. The feed dog lowering and raising is done by means of a lever which moves up and down. This lever is to the left of the stitch length indictor plate and its lever.
When production of the 222K Featherweight began, the feed dog indicator plate was an unmarked chromed steel plate. This is an original Singer Featherweight part not an aftermarket part. (Good luck in finding aftermarket parts that are specific to 222K machines). This chromed steel indicator plate was put on all 222K Featherweights that had serial numbers that began with ' EJ', which were the earliest serial numbers for 222K machines, as well as most of the first production run of the 'EK' serial numbered machines.
In the 'EJ' and 'EK' serial number productions, between mid 1953 and early 1955, approximately 30,000 Featherweight 222K machines were produced with the chromed steel indicator plate.
In the early part of 1955, part way through the first 'EK' series production, the plain chromed steel indicator plate was changed to a steel indicator plate that was painted to match the aluminum stitch length indicator plate. The new feed dog indicator plate had 'SEW' marked at the top to indicate that the feed dogs were in the up position for regular sewing and 'DARN' at the bottom of the plate to indicate that the feed dogs were in the down position. In the down position the 222K had the ability to be used for freehand sewing. In order to be able to take advantage of this feature a darning foot (Simanco 171072) was included as part of the original set of 222K attachments.
Part 4 of this blog will look at even more changes that Singer made in developing the 222K Featherweight.