Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Singer Treadle Project

Back in a previous post HERE I spoke of a beautiful 105 year old sewing machine I had purchased.
The "Treadle Project" has been slowly coming along, fitting it in between rainy weather & other things.
This is what we started with. This is the piece I bought. Such a sad end,

but containing this thing of beauty!

She dates at 1907. The photo doesn't do her justice, you can't see the colours in the decals.
 A lot of decals get stripped of colour by people cleaning them with chemicals, so all you're left with is silver. This one is still in lovely condition, albeit for a bit of rust, and she still runs freely.
From what I can find, the design is called Tiffany or Gingerbread and the machine is a 127 model.
She has some wear from use but that's expected, and I think I would rather own a machine that's been used lovingly to make all the family's clothes, instead of one that sat in the corner unused.

Dating at 1907, the table is different from the treadle I already have, which is 1930.
Here's my other one, the decal on this one is called Lotus.
The drawers on the 1907 are completely different, see below, and the front centre drawer is beautifully ornate and slides out. Mine and other treadles I've seen have the "secret" flip out drawer at the front.

I bought the machine the way it is, because I already had a spare treadle table I could use for parts, & hoped "gulp" the two could be put together. I bought the spare table years ago with no machine, when I was in the throes of machine collecting.
The timber top was in very poor condition, in fact the top would have to be striped back and refinished.
The drawers and sides were not bad though, so I bought it for I think, $30. However, & it's a big however, the wrought iron treadle base is not an ornate base like the one above, but a very ordinary budget version, which is surprising, as it came with 7 drawers. Usually such a plain base would have only one or two drawers each side.

So I've decided I will just have to hide the base, it's all about the machine this time anyway. It's going into my sewing room, so I'll be able to display a pile of folded quilts on the treadle bit. It's such a shame the machine won't be with it's original base, but at least this way it will be on display & admired.
Here's the bits from the $30 table, sorry I forgot to take a photo of the whole thing before we dismantled it
But see it's good, lot's of room for quilt display :-P.

So, seeing the table top I just bought, is in good condition, I can use that whole section.
Amazingly everything lines up on both tables, with all the screws in the same spots. The 2 drawers will be replaced with the 6 drawers above. The ornate middle drawer will stay & hopefully blend in ok. Then some restoring of the finish.
The 2 old drawers, will be revamped into a little set of drawers for my sewing table.
That's the plan so far- Jen.


  1. Ooooohhhhhhh so lovely, I'm a huge fan of antiques. I love what you are doing with it. Please keep us up to date with the progress

    1. Thanks Maria, it's all going well :-)

  2. I simply adore the old singers. They have such a style about them. Enjoy it!

    1. Thanks, the trouble is I'll have to clean up my sewing room once it's in there - sort of why I'm putting it in there, to make me keep the room tidy!


I love reading your comments, and I'm very happy to help you with any questions about my patterns. The comments are moderated only to stop spam mail coming through, so your comment will be published as soon as I get a chance to check them - thanks Jen.