I recently came into possession of a 1929 Singer Model 66 Treadle Machine. It had belonged to my next door neighbor, Mrs. Dillinger, when I was young and, unknown to me, my aunt had bought it. My cousin kindly asked me if I wanted the machine when it was time to find it a new home.
Now, these machines are neither small nor light, but my considerate and thoughtful friend Carolyn drove me the hour and a half to pick it up, helped load it in her spacious orange Element, stopped for lunch at IKEA (I know, such a sacrifice!) and then delivered us back to my house.
A few days after its arrival, I took advantage of a long weekend with the garage free and took it apart and cleaned and oiled the sewing head. It worked beautifully! After lugging it upstairs in three pieces and reassembling, I started work on the cabinet. There was one especially bad spot on the top where someone had left a wet glass and the veneer was buckled and another couple similar spots where the finish was mostly gone.
After several passes with mild refinishing products it looks like this now.
I decided not to do more or strip it completely because it doesn’t need to look new. I use the machine and like the way it shows its age gracefully.
I’ve made a couple projects on it from start to finish now. It’s a different way to approach sewing – it makes you think about how to achieve what you want and there is definitely more hand sewing and finishing involved since the machine only sews one way: forward in a straight line!
It’s a nice addition to my sewing tools and at 83 years – the oldest!
What do you think about the old ways of doing things? Better or worse? Let me know or leave a comment – I’d love to know!
Old Business: For folks who get this in an email -I apologize for the missing images in that last post. I didn’t realize that the gallery wouldn’t translate to email – my mistake!