Wednesday, March 20, 2013

GGma's Treadle sewing machine

I finally got myself organized and took my Great Grandma's treadle sewing machine cabinet to the re- finishers.  I think it came out really well!  
And since I had the machine refurbished awhile back it is now 'Fully Operational'!

It took quite a bit of monkeying with the tension on the pulley thingy and a generous application of machine oil... 
but we got the old girl sewing again.  I think it's probably been at least 30 years or so.
I thought for her relaunch I'd start with something simple.

I'm hoping the serial number can tell me a little more about this wonderful old machine!
This was in fact the machine I learned to sew on when I was about 9.  And this machine did belong to my Great grandma Lonette Niles, my mother's, mother's, mother.  She came to live with my mothers family for the last 7 years of her life, in 1930.  Which is how my mom and then I, were lucky enough to end up with it.
Since my mom was an only child, she and Grandma 'Netty' became very close, they even shared a room.  My mother said that GGrandma never sat down that she did not have some kind of hand work in her hands.  She was the chief seamstress of the family.  Which was a very good thing since my mom's ma (tho' a talented lady in other ways) sewed not at all.  Funny how things skip a generation here and there!  So since GGrandma Netty taught my mom to sew and she taught me to sew I too can thank my GGrandma Netty for the good fortune of enjoying the craft / art of sewing!
                                                                       cheers, Claire W.


  1. What a joy to have your machine done. I want to have mine 'de-electrified'. I have a red-eye from 1905ish??? Oh darn, now I will have to re-check as the mind is failing me;-) I have been told this is the best machine for perfect straight sewing, that the stitches always look perfect. Enjoy.
    blessings, jill

  2. Oh my gosh, Claire, it's a Red Eye, isn't it? It's gorgeous, and to have it come to you through family makes it a super treasure. I recently bought a similar machine (altered from treadle to electric) at a thrift store (I posted it on my blog) but it is in horrible shape - dust and dirt - and the tension doesn't work. What a treasure for you! You can find the year it was made at

  3. What a beautiful story, Claire! That machine is beautiful. Do you have room for it? Because if you don't, I have a great room where it would look fabulous!!! Just sayin'.....

  4. I have a treadle machine that belonged to my great grandmother- I don't know how old it is - I also have a 1947 featherweight machine that I bought recently from an older friend. I just love the featherweight. It is along time since the treadle machine was used. Singer sure makes beautiful old machines- You can check the serial number on line and should be able to find out the age of the treadle machine. Yours is a real beauty..
    Regards, Anna

  5. That's absolutely gorgeous!!!! I would love having that in my home. You should link up at the Meet my Machine post...
    I happened to see your post in someone's sidebar and had to come by and take a peek.

  6. What a treasure, thanks for sharing!

  7. I enjoyed your pictures and story -- I, too, learned to sew on a treadle, taught by my grandmother. I am privileged to own the machine today! Makes me want to see if I can get it in up-and-running condition. I used to love sewing on it!

  8. That is so special Claire! And beautiful!!

  9. Such a beautiful machine, and the cabinet came out really good too. Wishing you many happy hours sewing with it.

  10. Beautiful machine! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story and photos!