Does anyone use a treadle sewing machine?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Sharona, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Sharona

    Sharona Active Member

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    This is what I learned to sew with when I was about 10. First my mother started me on hand stitching doll clothes when I was about 7, then later gave me a treadle machine which she brought down from the attic. It was the sturdiest and most fun machine to work with.

    I made a lot of doll cothes and early teen clothes on the treadle, later had an expensive computerized machine (Husqavarna), my own sewing business making clothes for an expensive boutique and doing alterations for a dry cleaning company and private sewing and alterations through my own home business.

    I'd like to go back to a treadle and wonder if there are any women out there who use one still and enjoy it.
     
  2. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

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    I really wish I could give you an answer.

    I haven't used a treadle machine in many years. My treadle machine can be used as electric or treadle. How I wish I could tell you if it is fun or not - but we just can't seem to get settle down in one place. It seems when I have time to do fun things, the 'things' are not with me.
     

  3. packratqueen

    packratqueen Active Member

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    I have over 20 in my collection that I play with. They are very sturdy
    and don't require much maintenance. I like to piece quilts on them.
    I also like handcranks.
    Mary
     
  4. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    I have my DM singer that can either go on my treadle base or the motor that I do not trust anymore. It is the best machine I own as far as being sturdy.
    I have a catelog that sells "new" treadle machines. If I did not have such a large collection of machines, I would probably get one.
     
  5. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I own and use a Minnesota "A"once in awhile.
    [​IMG]

    I do have 3 electric machines that I use most of the time.
    I'd own more treadle machines if space were not a problem. They are very sturdy and will last about 4 lifetimes. :)
    My "Minnie" has helped out in a jam when we lost power. It is a good machine for putting together quilt tops.

    veme
     
  6. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I also learned to sew on a treadle machine. I was only 5 and could not reach the peddle. I had to stand up and use one foot to peddle it. My mother would unthread the machine and give me paper to sew on. After I mastered the art of peddling and holding the paper straight then she taught me how to thread it. After I started to school she cut out a dress for me and I stitched it up and wore it to school. I was real popular when my class mates found out I made the dress.

    Later on my mother had a motor put on her machine. Then years later, after I had three kids my mother passed away and I got her machine. I had it stored because I didn't have room for it. It got ruined. About 4 years ago I found a machine identical to my mothers, I bought it and the first thing I did was take the motor off and convert it back to a treadle. I have sewen on it and love to use it. I also have an electric one that I use most time. But the motor on it is getting weak. I have a serger I love to use.
     
  7. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    I have a treadle machine but it's one of the really old models and doesn't do
    zig zag.
    I use zig zag so much...
    the lack of it limits my use for this machine.
     
  8. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

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    I would dearly love a treadle, but they are simply priced out of my range.

    Then someone posted this page about how to convert a Kenmore into a treadle.
    I happen to have an extra Kenmore that I have been debating about getting rid of, so
    rather than get rid of it, I am planning to experiment with it 'someday'.

    http://www.mushycat.com/wiki/index.php?n=Treadles.KenmoreConversion
    They even convert a serger into a treadle. DH paid over $1600 for my beloved serger,
    so I won't experiment with this one. But it is a neat idea.

    http://www.mushycat.com/wiki/index.php?n=Treadles.SergerConversion
     
  9. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I also learned on my grandmother's treadle. I still use it occasionally. Although it doesn't zig-zag, it has attachments that enable it to do sooooo much that my electric machine can't. For example, I can put one foot on it that will allow me to run three pieces of fabric through. One lays flat, the second ruffles against it, and the third binds the lot...all at one time! My modern machine can't do that! My grandmother had kept the book, all the attachments in their original box, everything!

    When my daughter was younger, I surprisd her by redoing her room in one night...new comforter, new bed ruffle, new curtains, new lampshade, and the doll house matched. I had the fabric ready, but couldn't work on it while she was around, as I wanted it to be a surprise. So, after she went to bed one night, my husband and I sat up alllll night sewing and attaching. He mostly cut, I sewed. Since she sleeps like a rock, we moved her to our bed while we set up hers, then put her back. When she woke up she thought she was in a faerie land of unicorns and purple! And I did it all on that treadle. Thank goodness for that ruffle attachment!

    And thank goodness for the wonder in a seven year old girl's eyes.
     
  10. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

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    Wow Meg! I can only imagine how magical that must have felt to your daughter. How wonderful.
     
  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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  12. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

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    Our thrift store did have one in. It was a brand I had never heard of, was in so-so condition and the store wanted $200.00! Ouch. Out of my price range esp since I didn't know the brand. If it was a Singer in good shape, I might have considered it. Treadles are hard to find around here.

    I did luck out at that same store before with my Singer Featherweight. Paid only $25 for it. THen someone at the store must have been informed that they were collectibles.

    Wish I could pick one up in your area.
    I've looked at ebay, but shipping really adds a lot to the cost.
     
  13. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    Around here, you can pick up a treadle machine for a song. Last I saw them, they were going for about $60 each. The machines may need a part or two, but most that I've seen are in good working order.

    Maybe if you scout around a bit, you could find one in your price range.

    I received mine for free from a neighbor up the block. Go figger. We need to replace the belt, but everything else is just fine.

    Pony!
     
  14. kentuckyhippie

    kentuckyhippie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've got my granny's old tredle singer that I learned to sew on 45 years ago and one just like it that has been converted to electric that my son picked up for $5 at an upholstery shop that was going out of business. I wouldn't trade either of them for the fanciest thing on the market today, they are both good old work horses LOL
     
  15. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I still use one, it's the only sewing machine I own.
    If I sew all day, I get a cramp in my left butt cheek and drag my leg.

    It's a dead give away to DH............"I see you've been sewing again.":D
     
  16. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I don't sew much anymore because my back and shoulders cramp. I have a nice Pfaff and my treadle is a New Home with all the attachments.
     
  17. COSunflower

    COSunflower Country Girl Supporter

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    I have one that belonged to my uncle's mother-in-law - early 1900's - not sure where it came from originally. I used to use it all the time when my kids were little to piece quilt tops. Haven't used it though in the last 20 years since I went back to work. I never did figure out how to fill the bobbin. It is bullet shaped. I just wound it up by hand as there was no book with the machine. Does anyone know how to wind one of those bullet shaped bobbins correctly???
     
  18. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    I learned how to sew on a Singer and always enjoyed sewing on it. I sewed baby clothes for my sons, and the little bib overalls etc. as they grew. All my maternity clothes etc. Then I had a little girl and got all enthralled by the new Singer zigzags with the little cams that would do so much decorative stuff and lost my mind. Got rid of the treadle and got the new zigzag and have been sorry ever since. I loved the ease of speed control and the things I could do with the treadle. I used up the Singer zigzag and now am on my second electric machine and still wish I had the treadle. I have my mom's old Kenmore and I think I might have to take a look at converting that one!!
     
  19. Sharona

    Sharona Active Member

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    Thank you for all the great responses!!

    Boy, I wish I had the treadle my mom brought down from the attic. My grandmother sold off all our attic contents and antiques after my grandfather died (she even sold the antique fireplace tools that were hidden behind the walls over our old fireplaces!)

    cosunflower, you might find the manual to your treadle online by googling collectibles sites, perhaps even ebay. When I tried to sell my older computerized Husqvarna I found that my attachments and manual to it were worth more than the machine itself!
     
  20. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    wood cover over it, I also got an upolstery Singer machine. Its about 1/2 again bigger than a standard Singer. It hasnt been used in near 50 yrs that I know about,Ive got a light typewriter cover that My Xs grandad made on it out of light leather like material