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Monday, February 27, 2012

1928 Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

I bought a Singer Treadle machine last summer and it has been sitting in the corner waiting for some attention for a while.  Well, it kept wispering to me that it was lonely.  So I decided to make a life long friend of it.  So this calls for naming her.  Now that seems like a silly thing but most of my most beloved items have seemed to pick up a name along the way.  I have been thinking that the person who had the most impression upon me when it comes to sewing was my Mom.  She sewed all of our clothes when I was growing up as well as her own and my sisters.  She also made a few things for my brother but she pretty much steered clear of making my Dad's clothes because he wore mostly suits or at least dress pants and dress shirts and she felt he should have bought clothes for his type of work.

So I think my machine should be named Miss Betty after Mom. 

Now, Miss Betty was a bit sad when I bought her from someone who advertised her on Craigslist. She was really dirty and she obiviously had not been run for years.  Her belt was off, her bobbin winder wheel was dried up and cracked so I sent off for a new one.  While waiting I have scrubbing and polishing to do and then I will have to oil her.  I found a free download for a Singer manual for her model.  So I printed all 28 pages out and read it through.  Then I took a journey on You Tube to see if anyone showed how to clean and oil her.  Sure enough there was a two part video on cleaning a machine very similar even though it was a hancrank model instead of a treadle machine.  Very informative and it got me started along with the manual to start cleaning.

The whole day yesterday I spent scrubbing polishing and waxing the outside of Miss Betty.  She is starting to look a lot better.  She will be a pretty lady when she is finished except for a being a little bit worn around to Japaned decor on her.  My mother was a cigarrette smoker and Miss Betty was covered in a thick coat of nicotine and tar and dust.  So it was obvious she came from a smokers home.  So now she is a non-smoker and should stay a lot cleaner.  A bit of a dust and polish once in awhile should keep her clean. 
Now let me explain why I even have Miss Betty.  I believe that in the future we will have problems with our financial system which may mean a collapse of our economy.  We may not be able to afford electricity or it won't even be available due to what the current administration is doing to our energy costs.  So we bought a few Harbor Freight Solar kits and we will be installing them this coming summer.  Our kits won't add up to enough power to do much so I am cutting back on our electric usage and finding substitutes.  We have wind up lanterns and I have more than a 30 gal. tub of candles which I have collected from thrift stores over the past few years.  I also have six kerosene lamps which I don't like to use and will only do so for short periods of time due to the smell.  We have a boxwood style wood heating stove which you can also cook on top of and I have a solar oven for summertime.  My hubby is going to make me a couple of rocket stoves to cook on as well.  So we will not need the solar power for much other than charging batteries and the use of a radio or tv if they still operate.  We do have a handcrank radio as well to have as a backup. 

I realize that having 5 grandaughters 3 of which are still young that they will be needing clothes as they outgrow what they have.  I will also need to be able to mend all of our clothes and linens as well as maybe taking in mending or sewing to barter for items or services we will need in the future.
My husband can do many things like making compost tumblers, solar dehydrators, and rocket stoves for trade so I want to be able to help the family with something to barter as well.

If Iran gets its way we will be hit by an EMP event that they will be behind sometime in the next year.  I pray that they won't be able to accomplish it but it is far too likely that they will be capable of it soon.  They have been shooting off missiles from ships which tells me they have the capability of sending a nuclear warhead above our country from off the coast somewhere in the Atlantic and or Pacific and even off of the Gulf of Mexico.  So I just want to prepare just in case. 

Miss Betty is just part of those preparations.  After she gets clean and oiled and repaired I will be practicing threading, adjusting tensions, and learning how to treadle her to sew.  Thank God I already know how to sew so at least I am ahead on that front.  Mama made sure my sister and I knew how to sew and I have made some clothes for myself and my granddaughters over the years but I must admit not that much in the past few years.  I have been involved in prepping and canning and learning new recipes to use with storage so I have neglected keeping up with sewing.  The one thing I have done is to collect patterns for making clothes for all my granddaughters and my daughters in laws and also a lot of the notions that will be needed.  The thrift stores have been a great help in that arena.

I hope that I will be able to learn how to use Miss Betty as good as I can my electric machine.  I also would like to teach my daughter in law and my granddaughter how to sew some of their own clothes on Miss Betty as well. 

Think about how YOU will mend clothes or make clothes or linens  or what ever else you made need made out of fabric.  You too may decide to look for a non electric sewing machine for yourself. 
Thanks for letting me share my adventures with you. 

Remember; Every journey begins with the first step!   God helps those who help themselves!


  1. I just bought a machine 1928 treadle (Serial # AC352496) I cannot find a manual anywhere. Where did you get your manual? Thanks, Leetha

    They are free downloads. My machine more closely resembles the models Singer Models 27, 127. 28, 128 because of the shuttle bobbin but they have others if they look more like yours. Good luck, God Bless. Gram