Treadle On

A star feature in my Random Things I Could Have Probably Done Without collection.

A lady at work had this Singer treadle machine. Did I even know what a treadle is that morning? Nope. But anyway, she said it was a sewing machine, and a cast iron base, and a table all in one. Cast iron appealed to me, probably because I have the 300 lbs of it in the kitchen, and it seemed unfair that other rooms have none.
I went to see it, and even though, in retrospect, I have walked past 80-140 of them in my thrift shop/antique mall strolls, I fell in love. It had minimal rust, medium dust, and maximum cuteness factor. (It is tiny). I could picture sewing outfits on it, then flipping it closed and having tea on top. I'd make the cast iron black and shiny. What a win. I looked up the serial number, and it was made in 1920. The needle moved. I was in love.

Later Jesse confessed he didn't think I'd get the thing working, but there is no talking to me when I see shiny things I like. Or dusty, dirty things, that I can picture nursing to shiny. So we loaded it up, and brought it upstairs, at the (imagined, but probably very real) dismay of neighbors who see a never ending string of "pieces" entering the dwelling, and very seldom (never) one leaving.
My reasoning was that :

1. My grandma was soon bringing curtains that would show up in a one giant piece of fabric to be sewn and I needed the sewing machine.

2. I've always wanted a sewing machine

3. Simple sewing machine with a googled, almost never fail mechanism was my best bet.

4. I could always Craigslist/Ebay it if it doesn't work/we have no space for it.

This last point is my most convincing argument when it comes to finding and insisting on dragging "pieces" home, and somehow, Jesse keeps falling for it. It's genius, really.

I have yet to clean the cast iron, or paint the "Singer" wording gold, or to completely revamp the wood top. (Jesse took pity and glued down the offensively sticking out veneer bits). I polished some shiny bits, and the wheel, took it apart as far as I felt I competently could.
(There was a really ugly - putting bobbin case back in episode that I'm not proud of, and that inspired me, in the future, to have a strict protocol of taking "before" picture in any projects that involve disassembly). Then I got impatient, and just wanted to sew. Which, it did! After threading, rethreading, cleaning out the bobbin case, and ruining a perfectly innocent queen size ratty old bed sheet of Jesse's. WIN!

On a technical side, it's a Red Eye Model 66, that has only a straight stitch forward (All I need, it turns out). It needed a new belt, which I found in a local sewing/vacuum shop, and a bobbin winding wheel. I haven't had great luck in finding this wheel, but Jesse uses a special DIY duct tape attachment on my drill, that allows me to wind a bobbin faster than my feet can treadle the treadle. The little side drawers came with heaps of bobbins, needles, thread, attachment feet (these look scary, if I ever try to make use of them, I'll post) and a whole bunch of packed bias tape. All straight from 1970's. (Does bias tape expire? Will it disintegrade on contact? We'll see)
I think we found a permanent spot for it in our living room, where, if I ever clean off heaps of fabric, thread, and pins off it and close it, it can very well be a functional little table.