I have written before, about how I love and adore vintage sewing machines. Totally impractical love of course. I don’t use them to sew, preferring the speed of my modern machine. But they have stories, love and memories …. all stored up in them. I have so little of my childhood, that is either love or memory …. its nice to borrow sometimes.
Last weekend, I scored another treadle. After the experience of the “Great Pretender” I had been shy of buying another treadle, but this one seemed so dull and grimy, and in need of a new home. I was all set to be strong about this, to look at the machine from a practical standpoint, assess the work needed to get it back to its best, and not be sentimental. I insisted on seeing the serial number, checking the online reference to make sure it was as old as claimed, before considering buying it.
Its a 15K, not rare, but built in 1919, so still quite old. She has come to me, through only a few hands. She was bought new post-war in England, probably by a young housewife looking to make money to support her household during the depression. At the end of the lady’s life, it was donated to the Womens Institute (1980’s) as part of her estate. From there, it came into Ruth’s life. Ruth used the machine, to make curtains, when she lived in England. When she came to Australia, she brought the sewing machine with her. It has sat idle, loved but not used, since then.
Ruth is downsizing, moving on to the next stage in her life, and wanted to pass the machine on. She was a bit optimistic with the asking price, but I wonder if that was her tactic; as a way of seeing only buyers who valued the machine. I even said no at first, considering how much work would need to go into her. Ruth kept discounting, until I said yes ….. LOL, I am such a soft touch.
This is after my first step in cleaning ….. just a simple rub down with machine oil. I am a bit daunted by this machine, by the work it will probably take to restore, and I am worried about my ability to do it well. When I feel like getting down on the floor, I will get a bucket of soapy water, and clean her legs.
She is still grimy, but much better than when I first got her.
I need to get some polish …. for the silver bits. Not sure about all the dials and knobs though. And she needs a new belt.
That is her for the moment ….. I am sure we will have her back to her best eventually.