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Show us your sewing machine!

 
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I saw a picture of a treadle sewing machine, and it made me sigh. My machine is still packed down, awaiting another house where there is room for it. I probably have a picture of it somewhere, it's a 1926 Singer that I traded some stuff for. The guy looked at what I had to get rid of, waved his hands at his shop, said "what do you want for these?" I said "The treadle sewing machine!" He looked stunned, to him it was useless. To me what I had what useless.

Show us your neat sewing machines, either what you have, or what you wish you had, treadle or electric, and tell us what you like about it!
 
Pearl Sutton
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I picked up this one at a thrift store a year or more ago, not Singer...  Had to get it. Need it like  hole in the head... But HAD to!!
My notes say:
Damascus Sewing machine, treadle powered. Just machine, no cabinet. About 1925, from Montgomery Wards :) i paid $20.00







 
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This is not my machine because mine is buried in storage.

My singer was given to me by my grandmother.  I am sure she and both of my aunt made a lot of clothes on it.  I have made clothes on it while spending the summers with them.

This may not be the most beautiful machine cabinet made by Singer though in my opinion, it is.  There is so much detail on it.



Source

It is the 1898 Singer Sewing Machine Treadle Model 27

This is my other Singer ZigZag Machine that I was given by my mother in law.  We both have made a lot of clothes on this one too.



Source
 
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This is my daily machine, an antique treadle, Singer 127



What I love about this machine is that I can repair every part of it.  I've disassembled, repaired, and reassembled several of these machines over the years.  Not that I've ever had to repair this one.  It's been well cared for and worked like a charm from the start.  But I do keep a parts machine in the basement if it ever decides to give me trouble.  

The only limitation is the kind of stitches, but that's an exchange I'm happy to make.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Anne Miller wrote:

This may not be the most beautiful machine cabinet made by Singer though in my opinion, it is.  There is so much detail on it.



Source



Anne: that's the same cabinet I have packed away neatly, with my Singer in it...  sigh.... thank you :) I looked to see if I had a picture of it, but didn't see one.
The front center section is a drawer too, and in one of the other drawers I keep an antique puzzle box attachments case full of assorted attachments. The boxes look like this:


And they open out like this:



And end up like this:



:D

 
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First is my Singer 66. Pretty typical "Red Eye" model. I think I finally got it working right.

Next is my favorite, the Minnessota Model H. In my opinion, it is much better than the famous 66. I think it's form and function is the epitome of beautiful simplicity. I like the leaf tensioner on top much better than the knob on the 66. The way the thread travels is much more logical to me, not flopping around in front like most machines. The bobbin winder is down on bottom, out of the way of the handwheel, unlike the 66. The stitch length adjuster is so much better thought out! Just slide it all the way down to start or finish a seam, give the wheel two or three flicks, slide it up where you want your stitch length, and drive it like you stole it! And to top it off, it's a vibrating shuttle...smooth as silk, rarely misses or jams (even if you accidentally run it backwards, which I would NEVER do), easier to clear if it does, doesn't collect lint, doesn't need oil. I don't see how a rotary hook was considered an improvement.
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Singer 66
Singer 66
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Minnessota H
Minnessota H
 
Anne Miller
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Pearl said "an antique puzzle box attachments case full of assorted attachments. "

Thanks for the memory, mine has that one too.  Plus I put some other antique that I had in the drawers, one is an antique silver blotter.  It has a handle and the bottom is rounded so you use a back and forth motion to blot the ink.

Maybe some others related to sewing like a thimble, etc.

When we had our homestead the machine was my bedside table.  And unfortunately, since we sold the homestead it has been in several different storage places.

Do you know how much yours is worth?  If not, I can tell you how much mine was appraised for.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Anne Miller wrote:Pearl said "an antique puzzle box attachments case full of assorted attachments. "

Thanks for the memory, mine has that one too.


Mine didn't come with that, I found it sepeartely, and it has more stuff in it now than it came with, asd I kkep adding to it.

Plus I put some other antique that I had in the drawers, one is an antique silver blotter.  It has a handle and the bottom is rounded so you use a back and forth motion to blot the ink. Maybe some others related to sewing like a thimble, etc.


Neat! I'd love to see a picture! I have asst old bits of things that I keep with my sewing stuff, I pick it up here and there. The loop handle screwdriver that came with the old machines, all kinds of odd attachments, hand sewing tools....

When we had our homestead the machine was my bedside table.  And unfortunately, since we sold the homestead it has been in several different storage places.


Yeah, I know where all the bits of mine are stored, but it's in sections...  

Do you know how much yours is worth?  If not, I can tell you how much mine was appraised for.


Never thought about it, would be curious, yes please tell me.  
I am more a buyer of them than a seller. I don't care to give them up, I want to accumulate more.
I definitely want more bases, the foot pump system can be used to run a lot of small machines like grinders, and it's one that works well with my body, where pedaling is harder on me.
 
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I had 5 singer models until this weekend.  3 of them I picked up at an auction for $25.00 each.  I sold them this weekend for $75.00 each.  I kept my 2 favorites.  I wanted all of them but my lady explained that I didn't need 5 of them :)  One I kept is the treadle version, the other, an early electric model.  I'll post some pictures if I remember.
 
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I grew up with a small singer electric, sewed 4-H projects at 10yrs old (1960) and many of my clothes on through high school (mom and my sister sewed also so it was a busy machine).  When we moved mom in with us I gave it away as I had my favorite from Aunt Luella, the Franklin shown in the photos below.  

In between, back when we lived without utilities in the seventies and eighties, I had two different treadles, one a lovely working singer with rough cabinet that I later sold but I did all my sewing on it back then, including what machine sewing I used on my weaving, and a really ragged New Home (not the one mentioned below) that I later modified to wind bobbins for my weaving business.

Now i use the Franklin exclusively and have for twenty years or more.  It was bought new for $49.93 back in the early fifties (I'm sure of the cost but not the date).  Aunt Luella used it a lot, sewed many of the doll clothes for different dolls belonging to my sister and I that I have stashed in a trunk.  I've used it for miles of stitching and played with the attachments a little.  I'm happy with a variable straight stitch for the most part and don't have a problem turning to back stitch.  Needles are easy to find and I've found just a few extra round bobbins at the thrift store here.  I clean and oil it once a year or so but otherwise it is maintenance free...same little motor and even belt and bobbin winder gizmo.

The other machine I've attached photos of is a New Home treadle that uses a boat shuttle....I got new needles and a belt from our last local sewing machine repair person before he died.  It works good and is from family but exactly who it belonged to is lost...back at least to my great grandmother.  I searched and just don't have any pictures of it with the box off of the machine head and I have too many things piled in that corner to want to attempt.

This room is our work room/guest room/ dry herbs room and yoga space....and the only room with air conditioning in the house....it is busy in the summer
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Anne Miller
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Pearl said Never thought about it, would be curious, yes please tell me.



I thought I was going to put my hand on that appraisal so it might be buried too.

What I remember is that it was $499.00.  I found the sewing machine in a book at the library that said the value was more than that.

Neat! I'd love to see a picture!



I'd love to see the sewing machine and all the contents of those drawers.

When our daughter sold her house she moved into our other house.  Our house was smaller than her house so she brought her stuff out here and buried my sewing machine under all her stuff. Along with my cookbooks, pictures, and who know what else.

 
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Here is part of the collection.
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pollinator
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This is one of my machines: singer fashion mate 360. I got that from yard sale for only $10, including the buttonholer. I use it for making buttonholes and quilting. But after I saw so many antique/vintage sewing machines are still producing beautiful works, I want to use this machine more to unleash its full potential.
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These are my sewing machines. Oddly enough, most, I've collected in the last year. In the order in which they came to me...
First up (#1) is my pos Brother (cheap Walmart model) machine that (following 2 other used machine 'pos'es) had me sure I'd never get along with a sewing machine. (It was a gift from a friend, 10yrs ago, and came with a beautiful set of tapestry cases, a boatload of specialized feet and accessories). Those 3 machines all were hell-bent on proving my utter ineptitude! But, 2 of the 3 had been gifted to me, the other bought at a yard sale. Who looks a gift horse in the mouth???

Next up, (#2) is my great aunt's 1953 model 15 convertible Singer. It's beautiful, and it's precious to me, but when Mom passed it along, last year, she warned me that it skipped pretty bad, and had ever since Aunt Dude had converted it to electric. ~le sigh,~ After my previous experiences, I decided to get some more positive experience under my belt, before attempting it!

Number 3 is my first ever brand new machine, and though it was still a (Christmas) gift, my hubby wanted me to pick it out. So, I took a month to research to decide. It had to be mechanical. No computerized nonsense, for me. It had to be able to handle everything from heavy canvas to silk, plus a sensible set of stitches I'd actually use! It's a Janome heavy duty one.  I. Love. This. Machine!! I no longer feel inept, merely novitiate.

Number 4, a 1913 Singer model 66 is the piece re resistance! I told John, years ago, that if I ever came across a decent treadle machine, in working order, I'd move Heaven and earth, to lay my hands on it. About the same time John told me to start shopping for the sewing machine I wanted, I stumbled across this one, on letgo. The gentleman wanted only $140 for it, and I'd saved that much up, from gift moneys, so we made the arrangements for the next time he'd be down here, at his lake house, where the machine was. Then, covid happened. He couldn't get down here, and the sudden lack of people still working in the state of IL child support division caused a major screw up in John's child support payments, and they locked his accounts. (Were still dealing with the fallout!) My gift money went to necessities. By April, when he contacted me again, I still didn't have it gathered, so told him to go ahead and relist it. I couldn't, in good conscience, hold him to our deal, not knowing when I might be able to hold up my end of it. But, told him I'd do all I could to get it together, again. At the end of June, he contacted me again, asking if I was still interested. If so, it was mine - no charge. I picked it up, the next day! Now, I just have to learn how to use them! Well... except for the Brother. That one is going away - but I'm keeping the cases!
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Rocket Scientist
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Wow Carla:  That ended up being quite the deal!  
I'm sure the old gentleman  figured you obviously really wanted it and it would be going to a good home!

You of course are way too young , (John might not be) but as I get older I see things I've cherished but don't really use anymore.
Some of those things have already been gifted to folks that I think will also cherish them!  
And also will pass them forward when they no longer have a use for it.
Funny how priority's change as we get older.
 
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I feel sorry ... I had an old Singer like that once (a tradle machine). We were stupid to sell it for some money (when we thought we needed money).

Now I have this Husqvarna. Bought second hand, and it is worth much more than I paid for it (in my opinion).

 
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My mom had a treddle Singer. She wasn't amazing but she made basic clothes and laid a strong skill foundation for my sisters. I had less than zero interest in sewing and refused to learn until my early twenties when I was gifted someone's crappy modem machine. I managed to get through making myself a blanket even with that thing's infuriating quirks. I continued to make something like that every year and learned something with each. One year, my parents gifted me with this. I love it! It can do way more than I can and its thread doesn't break constantly or slow me down in other ways.

I am not talented enough to use the machines you all do, both in sewing and mechanical ability.  And I'll never be amazing like my sister is. She makes clothes, costumes, toys, etc. I had to call her to walk me through hemming jeans. I don't exactly enjoy it either. But finishing a personalized blanket for a loved one who then uses it for years, is VERY satisfying. And I make serviceable things that don't have to be pretty. Like toilet cloths.
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Carla Burke
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Sonja, I mostly make things like drawstring bags, for my herbs; hemming the edges of fabrics to 'make' blankets; making rice/bean/cherry pit bags, for throwing, weights, heating or cooling first aid use; simple tote bags; simple 2pc stuffies (mostly for dogs, these days); adding a pocket or mending. I'm really hoping to get back to sewing clothes, this winter, but I'm barely a beginner, on that score. I abhor commercial patterns, with all their persnickety (to my way of thinking) steps, and I'm FAR more likely to just wing it, work from a simplified item I already own, or just upcycle something, lol. No, a traditional or even adept sewist, I most definitely am not! 😜😁😉 Maybe this winter, I'll try to improve my skills... maybe. Lol
 
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Will you all post some of your projects you’ve made?
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

Good idea!! New thread:
https://permies.com/t/146554/sewing/fiber-arts/Show-sewn
Show us what you have sewn!

 
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Wore out one of those old Singers.
Love my industrial machines, a Juki and an Adler, both double needle, double bobbin, the Adler is a walking foot. They'll handle anything I throw at them.
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Sewing on a Tipi with the Juki
Sewing on a Tipi with the Juki
 
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A little off topic. I have my mother's Nesco. The thing is, I stored it in the garage because I use my slow cookers instead. I think that I will pull it out where I can look at it now and then. Some old things just have such lovely nostalgic design. I once bought an older Elna sewing machine at a yard sale. It's green, solid steel, I probably will never try to use it. Instead it's on a shelf where I can just appreciate it. Maybe it reminds me of a Streamliner engine.
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Jordan Holland
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Went to the auction tonight and...now the 66 has a little brudder. This 99k followed me home for $27.50. Seems to be in really good shape. It's the latest model with the back-tacking stitch length adjuster. It brought a friend with it, a Janome Dressmaker S-6000, since it was only $6. It only had one cam in it, though (blind stitch, I think). And the piece de resistance: a like-new Singer Pinker with original box, clamp, and instructions for $40. They are apparently worth about $150 online.
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Singer 99k
Singer 99k
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Singer Pinker
Singer Pinker
 
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Ahaha, so from this thread I learned that one can have more than one machine!

I am using a nice Brother Anniversary and am quite happy with it. Before I had used a no-name brand from a German online warehouse that my parents had given to me when I was around 20, 21.
Before that I had the old treadle Pfaff of my grandaunt with its fold-in cabinet; she had used it over decades.

When I got the electric she decided to gift the Pfaff to the caretakers of the building she lived in who were returning to Greece.
Of course I had no idea back then: I should have kept the Pfaff as the new machine was crap compared to it (and in the end was messed up beyond repair).

Now very recently I stumbled across an online add for a Singer in its fold-in cabinet, in my town, and I have started looking.
Wow, there are gorgeous machines out there! Beautiful Singers in different states of conservation (some only the raw machine body, some with cabinets filled with accessories), models 30, 31, 60, 130 (not that I knew the difference), and also beautiful Pfaff treadle machines.
Price ranges from 25 to 180 USD, roughly. That is for those in a close radius around my home.

I would really like to go out and buy one. What is hindering me: Lack of space (houses are very small here compared to the US), lack of knowledge (although I have been given lots of tips in the meantime on things to keep in mind, e.g. model number, accessories) and also my stingyness.
But I will keep on looking - good to know that there is quite a range of offers out there!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Anita: A thought for sewing machine space: If you get one (#1) that folds down into it's cabinet, when you sew on the other (#2) you can put it on the top of the cabinet of #1. So they take up the same area as far as sewing.
 
Anita Martin
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Pearl, I love the idea but my current sewing machine is down in the basement. I have to carry it up every time, but at least it is out of sight.

With a cabinet treadle machine I would of course keep it in the open space plan of our ground floor which I try to keep uncluttered. I could place something on top, but not a sewing machine I guess.

Well, one day when the kids leave the house I will enough space to house more than one or two machines and I will become a crazy collector...
 
Anita Martin
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r ranson wrote:This is my daily machine, an antique treadle, Singer 127



What I love about this machine is that I can repair every part of it.  I've disassembled, repaired, and reassembled several of these machines over the years.  Not that I've ever had to repair this one.  It's been well cared for and worked like a charm from the start.  But I do keep a parts machine in the basement if it ever decides to give me trouble.  


Update on my machine quest:
I have now received the cabinet Köhler machine from my SIL. It looks quite like r ranson's here, so I can compare if something is missing - I think not.
We cleaned it and husband has managed to make it run (the belt is still missing).

I will have to watch some internet videos to see how to wind the spool etc.
I will add photos. The machine itself is pretty, the case is in need of restauration. I have already found a step-by-step instruction for almost exactly the same kind of case.
Looking forward to putting it to use!
 
Anita Martin
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In the meantime I have found a very good video about a machine that is very similar to mine (btw, the German name of this sort of machine is "Schwingschiffchennähmaschine", try pronouncing that!).

I have ordered a belt and a rubber ring for the spooling device.

I still have to find out which type of needles I need. There were no accessories so I shall see what I can buy online. I have noticed you even get the little spools in the local ads section.

Once the wooden cabinet is restored and probably some of the metalwork touched up it will be at least very decorative!
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Anita Martin
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The belt and rubber ring have arrived, it all worked out fine.
I still haven't ordered needles.

By the look of the machine, do you think those might be flat or round shank needles?

I will try with my regular flat shank first if I manage to get to the sewing things in the basement. We are currently renovating and everything is stuffed into one room...
Thanks!
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I saw a picture of a treadle sewing machine, and it made me sigh. My machine is still packed down, awaiting another house where there is room for it. I probably have a picture of it somewhere, it's a 1926 Singer that I traded some stuff for. The guy looked at what I had to get rid of, waved his hands at his shop, said "what do you want for these?" I said "The treadle sewing machine!" He looked stunned, to him it was useless. To me what I had what useless.

Show us your neat sewing machines, either what you have, or what you wish you had, treadle or electric, and tell us what you like about it!



I would love a treadle sewing machine!!! Some day!
 
Mari Henry
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I saw a picture of a treadle sewing machine, and it made me sigh. My machine is still packed down, awaiting another house where there is room for it. I probably have a picture of it somewhere, it's a 1926 Singer that I traded some stuff for. The guy looked at what I had to get rid of, waved his hands at his shop, said "what do you want for these?" I said "The treadle sewing machine!" He looked stunned, to him it was useless. To me what I had what useless.

Show us your neat sewing machines, either what you have, or what you wish you had, treadle or electric, and tell us what you like about it!



Hi there. I am showing 2 pics of 2 of my machines. The Nancy's Notions is one I use all the time. It is old but I got it for free and it works great. The other pic is of an antique Husquarvarna Viking I got of Craigslist. Maybe from the 50s or 60s?  I named her Ingrid. I am not sure how to use it yet, and I think she needs some fixing. When I get time, I am going to try and figure it out. It comes with some interesting attachments and a booklet. The book might be translated to English from Swedish because it is a bit hard to understand lol. I also have other Singer machines I got for free too.

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My big baby (24-ish years old) just came back from the shop!

It froze up this weekend, so I sent it with my favorite mechanic, who enjoys taking non-car things apart (like my KitchenAid) just for a change. Turns out that it just needed a good oiling and a bit of love.

I did some research. I thought this brand (Domestic) was a generic cheapie; I bought it when my kids were tiny and I needed cheap but functional -- it was the cheapest thing in the shop when I bought it, but I had a good feeling about it. Turns out Domestic is what used to be White, which is indeed something good and functional.
I use the heck out of this machine, have hauled it around the world, and while I'm looking at getting myself a serger just for fun (not sure where machine #2 is going to live.... cross that bridge when I come to it, right), I hope to have this one for a good long time still.
 
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What a fun thread. Here's mine. It's a White Family Rotary treadle sewing machine. I had some Christmas money and found it on Craigslist. When we went to see it the folks told me that they had received numerous responses to the ad. They picked me because my email was the nicest! The gal was happy that it was going to someone who would use it for sewing. I've cleaned it up and just need to put a new treadle belt on.
Leighs-sewing-machine1.JPG
the cabinet
the cabinet
Leighs-sewing-machine2.JPG
the machine
the machine
Leighs-sewing-machine3.JPG
what was in one drawer
what was in one drawer
Leighs-sewing-machine4.JPG
what was in the other
what was in the other
Leighs-sewing-machine5.JPG
all the attachments
all the attachments
Leighs-sewing-machine6.JPG
it even came with the original manual
it even came with the original manual
Leighs-sewing-machine7.JPG
and the original warranty!
and the original warranty!
 
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Howdy!

When I found this thread, I wasn't sure what to think of it.
Because I used to do so much heavy sewing, I had all of my machines in tip top shape and busy.  Now? Not so much. I'd love to get them all a spa day, but that's going to have to wait until I can either find a full service sewing machine tune-up shop, or learn to do it myself. I would prefer the latter, even if it means having to piddle about with one machine sorely in need of maintenance.
My poor babies!
I also have a knitting machine that my mother purchased new many many years ago. I've pulled it out a few times, and talked with others about what it needs (aside from a person interested in using it). It needs a thin strip of padding along one edge of the needles/hooks and to be lovingly polished and oiled, then made to Do The Thing until it feels better.

I would love to add a treadle machine. Just because they are amazing and I would be able to treadle my way to fitness and fashion. Somehow I don't think it would work like that, but dreams are cheap.
I'm no longer in the "sewing machine collection" use and overuse club, but do look forward to someday finding out how to use each of the machines again.
Thank you all for sharing. I might never have known I had that J C Penney whatsis that I found in the same spot where I was storing my sergers.
What a wacky day.
IMG_20210513_080956777.jpg
Mysterious J. C. Penny machine
Mysterious J. C. Penny machine
IMG_20210513_080929606.jpg
Serger (the second one)
Serger (the second one)
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Serger, the much loved first one
Serger, the much loved first one
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Singer from 1987. Great machine and still doing everything I ask of it.
Singer from 1987. Great machine and still doing everything I ask of it.
IMG_20210513_080707904.jpg
Necchi - great machine. Came all the attachments and was a wonderful addition to the family until a puppy chewed through the power cord.
Necchi - great machine. Came all the attachments and was a wonderful addition to the family until a puppy chewed through the power cord.
IMG_20210513_080350096.jpg
Janome with dual purposes - sews and does embroidery. It was purchased for a cornerstone of bespoke clothing to be sold online. The business didn't make it, but the machine still does everything I ask it to.
Janome with dual purposes - sews and does embroidery. It was purchased for a cornerstone of bespoke clothing to be sold online. The business didn't make it, but the machine still does everything I ask it to.
 
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Kristine Keeney wrote:
I also have a knitting machine that my mother purchased new many many years ago. I've pulled it out a few times, and talked with others about what it needs (aside from a person interested in using it). It needs a thin strip of padding along one edge of the needles/hooks and to be lovingly polished and oiled, then made to Do The Thing until it feels better. .



Warning, knitting machines are highly addictive 😀. I was given a flatbed machine in Sep 2019 and now have 3 in active use, one parts machine, and one operational but tucked away under a bed. As well as several plastic circular crank knitters. At least they are easier to store than treadle sewing machines! (I have 2 of those too, and a few electrics).
 
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I just have one machine.
Here's my old industrial tredle.
sewingmachine by vwfatmobile, on Flickr

It only goes in a straight line but it will go through 6 layer of seatbelts.
"Chunk, chunk chunk".
It'll go through more if I go one stitch at a time.
It has the knee lever for raising the presser foot.

I got it when I helped roof a business.
It was in much worse shape.
Found some of the round bobbins at the salvage yard.
I added some drawers from another treddle.
 
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Mari Henry wrote:

Hi there. I am showing 2 pics of 2 of my machines. The Nancy's Notions is one I use all the time. It is old but I got it for free and it works great. The other pic is of an antique Husquarvarna Viking I got of Craigslist. Maybe from the 50s or 60s?  I named her Ingrid. I am not sure how to use it yet, and I think she needs some fixing. When I get time, I am going to try and figure it out. It comes with some interesting attachments and a booklet. The book might be translated to English from Swedish because it is a bit hard to understand lol. I also have other Singer machines I got for free too.



Howdy!
Because I'm so fixed on making sure I can use (and fix mistakes) many years ago I started looking for user manuals for all of my strange (relatively speaking) equipment.
And I love your machines~ (Because I think the sewing machine revolutionized clothing and are going to help bring back slow fashion, and we can all better understand each other and ourselves by learning stuff) so I went and poked around a bit. I figure you were probably joking about the manual - diagrams and labels and "push this to do that" are always a mess.
It looks to me like you have a Husqvarna Viking Model 49 Special (https://vikingmanuals.com/Viking_Instruction_Manuals.htm) and those are amazing machines.
Thank you for sharing! Apparently, I can still be led off of the beaten path by pretty shiny things!.
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