Our 1915 Singer Red Eye Treadle...
Click on arrow in the bar above to watch the video © 2010 jim otterstrom
Peggy treadles away at our 95 year-old Singer Model 66 Red-Eye.
This reliable old machine was purchased something like 20 years ago from a local antique & junk shop for $75. It runs like a top, purrs like a kitten on steroids, and consistently sews a perfect stitch.
We also have a 1917 Singer Model 99 Hand Crank "portable", which also runs perfectly. The 93 year-old hand-cranker was found here at a Big Bear thrift store, where we gave $50 for it maybe 18 years ago. For my money these are two of the best purchases we've ever made, as these Singers seem nearly indestructible, and all you need to run them is a tiny bit of muscle power. I don't think technology gets much more elegant than this, I could wind bobbins all day just to watch the bobbin winder work!
Last summer we downsized our bed from a king size to a queen size (when we found a like-new second-hand mattress set for free) and, in this video, Peg is altering one of our old king size sheets to fit the new mattress.
Peg still has her fancy Viking electric machine but she's really enjoying working with the treadle right now, and getting some practice on it, because she wants to use it for her upcoming sewing project.
This post also seems the right place to share with you this post, at antiquequiltdating.com, about Anne Kusilek, a professional quilter and sewing machine collector who, since 1990, has done all of her sewing on human-powered machines. Did you check out Anne's custom sewing table with five machines mounted above five individual treadle bases? An inspiring post and a beautiful collection of machines too!