Friday, January 13, 2012

Sewing machines

Old Singer treadle sewing machine head, found in the crawl space of an old mountain cabin. Bet it has stories to tell. It sits on the porch of my studio now. These old machines were so beautiful—the decorative painting and touches of gold acknowledge what treasures they were to the women who owned them.

I think I was about 10 when Mrs. Keating, the mother of my Mom's friend Lucille, gave me this treadle machine. She had seen the doll clothes I was hand sewing and thought I might like her old machine. It still works. I think it will always work. I made so many things on this machine. I entered my clothing creations, sewn on this machine in the Bannock County Fairs. I won ribbons. I once ran the needle right through my finger, including the fingernail. I won't even try to describe how much that hurt.

It is a beautiful thing. Thank you, Mrs. Keating.

Once I had mastered the treadle, my mother let me use her Montgomery Ward brand, electric machine. It was not nearly as reliable as the old treadle.

When I graduated from High School my parents bought me a brand new Singer sewing machine, which I completely wore out over many years of heavy use. I have owned other machines and still have several that I use. This is the one I work with most right now.

My collection of tiny sewing machines sit in a windowsill.


  1. I was about the same age when I received my Grandmother's machine. All of my aunts had used it when they were young. I still will stitch on it for fun. I learned so much from that machine. How to oil, maintain, and understand how machines work. I love the decorative touches on old machines. They were truly built to last many life times. Wishing you a relaxing weekend.

  2. I enjoyed the walk down memory lane with your sewing machines--very similar to my story. I still have several family Singers as decorations but use my Pfaff or Janome 6500. Wouldn't our mothers have loved the possibilities??!!
    Martha Ginn

  3. Those old machines are still treasures.

  4. I am thinking of buying the 6500, do you like it? Love reading your blog.

  5. my mother have one like this!

  6. Hi, nice post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for sharing.