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Show me your vintage sewing machines and/or cabinets

Lowell, IN(Zone 5b)

Hey all. I occassionally see that some here have vintage sewing machines and/or cabinets. I will eventually be looking for a trendle (?) sewing machine cabinet to use as a table or conversation piece if ever we get our computer room cleaned out and tiled so that I may have an area to call just mine for quilting. So, make your machine and/or cabinet the star of the picture and share it here..........................

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(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Don't I wish!!!!! No oldies but goodies here I'm afraid. I still don't know what happened to my Mom's old Singer....

Henagar, AL(Zone 7b)

keep an eye on ebay, you may find a treasure there, I'm always looking there, because I have my moms old Universal and I would like to find a manual for it. That machine is quieter than my Janome and Riccar. Good luck.

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

I have a treadle, but no good pictures of it...will have to take some. I also have a feather weight, and again no pictures....

this is the only picture I have, that shows my treadle.....it looks pretty "beat up" but it will run!!! have not used it in forever though....DH got it for me at a yard sale...many , many years ago......it sits in my living room, and the "decorations" on it change with the seasons....at the moment there is a "valentine" dragon sitting on top of it.

not a gorgeous piece to look at, but I love it.!!

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Stu - here is my antique machine. It is the 1st thing ones sees when they walk in my front door. It does indeed run but needs new belts.
All the drawers have hidden locks on them.
My sister-in-law gave it to me as payment for some curtains I made for her.

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

I could probably fill up the whole board with pictures of my antique and vintage machines, but I'll limit myself to a few that I already have photographs for.

This is a Lady Kenmore model 89, made in 1959 by Gritzner-Kaiser in Germany. A look under the hood shows that perfect engineering that Germany is famous for, and the outside is beautifully, perfectly 1959. It looks like the dashboard of a car, with radio dials.

It has 21 built-in stitches and is a wonderful free-motion quilting machine.

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

This is my favorite free-motion machine - perfect stitch and lots more room under the arm than most modern domestic machines. I regularly quilt queen and king-size quilts on this machine.

It's from 1947 and it has the vertical bobbin and droppable feed dogs that are so helpful in free-motion quilting. Also a perfect straight stitch. I'm paper piecing a miniature flying geese quilt on it today.

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

This is my oldest machine, from 1894. It is now cleaned up and waxed and beautiful, though the cabinet still needs some heavy restorative work.

It sews like a dream and is fun to sew with, although at the moment, it's in the garage with the other "project" machines because I ran out of room in my house.

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

This is a 201 from 1951, another straight-stitcher and competent free-motion quilting machine, although the bobbin is horizontal.

I've had the motor rewired and all the electrical components replaced so it's safe to sew with, now. I spent a good many hours taking this machine apart and cleaning it and now it's beautiful and sews so quietly. :)

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

This is the machine that started my addiction to vintage machines, the Singer 401A. It is exactly like my grandmother's machine and cabinet and I have filled the drawers with period notions and tools like darning eggs and every imaginable accessory and attachment. I even found a pair of Wiss pinking shears in the same identical box as my grandmother had.

The round tin on the shelf above the machine is stamped with the Singer "S" and is just like one that she had to hold buttons. I wonder if it was given away with the purchase of a machine or something. On the wall in that corner, I've framed color ads for the 401.

It was made in 1956 or 1957, it has many built-in decorative and utility stitches, and while I do some darning type repairs on this machine, the horizontal bobbin configuration makes it less than an ideal machine for free-motion quilting. Lots of problems when I've tried to use it for this and the backs of the quilts are unattractive. I stick to using it for sewing tasks that it's well-suited to do. :)

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

This is an ad for the drawer that's like the one in my 66-1 treadle. I have found all the attachments for this back-clamping machine - I had to buy a LOT of eBay auctions to get the whole set and the little round needle case was the most elusive.

The drawer is carved and lined with fabric to custom fit all the pieces. It contains a quilting guide, stiletto, two screwdrivers, an underbraider, quilting foot, five bobbins, needle case, three rolled hem feet, a binder foot, a shirring plate, cloth guide, tuck-maker and gatherer.

The machine is very powerful and not at all elegant, but I really like it.

The decals on my 66 are pretty much destroyed and the wood part of the cabinet is falling apart. When the weather warms up, I'll take it outside and repair it and refinish it. I planned to strip the machine and paint it in an antique fire engine theme - red with gold leaf scrolls and flourishes.

This message was edited Jan 31, 2011 12:28 PM

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Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

This is my treadle machine cabinet. It's in my dinning room in the front window. The cats love using it to look out.

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(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Lucy is that a lobster trap on the right in that picture???

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

Yes it is! I use it to store boots in. We got it at one of those shops along the road a few yrs ago while visiting Mom. We went up to Maine. It even had the tag for the season on it. It has a round top.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Here is my old treadle by Singer. This one takes a shuttle bobbin. Although I don't sew a lot these days, it is my only machine and I love it for heavy fabrics like upholstery.

I bought this in the early 70s, paid $50. The cabinet/base were painted white. Now, I see the base is painted "dusty". LOL OH well....

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Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Odd but I found out years later that my grandmother (who was a millner) had a treadle just identical to this one.
FLStu ~ I hope you get your wish for a treadle. They are the most easy dependable machine to use and good exercise too.

This message was edited Jan 31, 2011 3:28 PM

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Lowell, IN(Zone 5b)

Podster........... That's a beautiful piece of furniture.

Quilter_gal........... can't wait to see more of your collection.

This message was edited Jan 31, 2011 3:04 PM

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

I found this in the attic today...... not very pretty, but I know it's older than me...LOL (excuse the kitchen mess, I got so excited after finding this, I forgot to 'clean it up' for the pic......

Quilter_gal, you have Dmail....

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

Jumper, what kind of machine is that? I would love to see it! :)

podster, I have a 27 that looks a lot like yours with the Sphinx decals, and I have another one with "gingerbread" or "Tiffany" decals. I am pea green with envy over your Eastlake style cabinet - so pretty!

Kizmo, I think you could have a lot of fun working on that machine.

Stu, once you buy a treadle, you're going to be hooked. They're so much fun to sew with - especially piecing quilts - oh my - to be able to sew one stitch at a time - lovely! :)

Lexington Park, MD

If sewing machines could talk. Just think of all the history .....and the generations that have used those machines.
Drooling here one day I to will have a treadle.

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

You can go here to see if you can find a sewing manual for your sewing machines or small sergers. http://www.sewingmanuals.com/

Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

Kathy what a find

I had a singer fom the early 50's gave it to a cleaning lady - she needed to make clothes for her children was my Moma's, then I had a Singer from the 70's with all the bells and whistles, monograming, etc. etc in cabinet and stool to sit on and store threads under the cushion. that one died and I just left it in the shop -- regrets, regret.

Some one here actually got the same machine in cleaning out a house and posted pictures same sewing table and all. I cried for not having it anymore .I do love my cheap Janome. Helene

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

Hello Helene, hope you are doing ok. My youngest son's best friend in high school had a gfather that repaired old machines. When he passed, his daughter brought in an auctioneer, who loaded the lot onto his truck before the auction, after he told her they weren't worth anything. She was still in mourning over her dad, so she took his word for it. At the auction, quite a few family members asked her about it, along with neighbors and were shocked that she let him have them. Some of them had given them to her dad to repair and use in his showroom for 'show and tell' to other customers. Since she had sold them to the auctioneer before asking anyone in the family, they were at a loss. Bad feelings all around, I would have paid for these machines. I saw some of them before they got loaded up, beautiful things....

Helene, our machines may be cheap, but if they make us happy, that's all that counts!

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Beautiful pictures of the old sewing machines, you are all so lucky to have them.
I am determent to have my DM’s old treadle sewing machine shipped to Canada…I just have to find the necessary funds…lol
Mom’s sewing machine is inside a cabinet (nothing fancy), lift the lid to the left, bring up the sewing machine and fold front and back of the cabinet to the left side and rest the top on the sides. You end up with a great big table right beside the machine.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I actually found an original Singer book for my treadle. The only difference is the book is for a round bobbin rather than the shuttle bobbin. Until recently, a local Singer store stocked the shuttle bobbins and belts. A friend that does leather work can order the leather belt material and you can cut off the amount needed. They are such dependable machines.

Kizmo ~ sad about them disposing of all those vintage machines. When I got mine, my DMIL said 'Why do you want one of them? I hauled mine to the dump!' Grrrr! I guess the next generation will probably haul mine to the dump.

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

podster, the machines weren't 'disposed of'.... the auctioneer and his son paid the lady a pittance, as he told her she wouldn't get anything out of them from the auction.... The machines and tables were all beautifully restored, and while they weren't worth $$$$$, I would bet money that the auctioneer found a place for them, - if you get my drift. He wasn't exactly the most requested auctioneer around the area at the time, and while he did justice on the remaining household stuff, IMO he made off with something that he could make a profit on elsewhere, otherwise, what was the reason for taking them before the auction anyway? It was a thorn-in-the-side of the rest of the family for quite awhile, not something they needed right after the death of their dad/grandpa.
I'm hoping to get my 'treasure' at least to run and restore it back to a treadle. If not, to make it look nice enough to display somewhere.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh.. I followed you on that but I guess I meant "disposing" in a different manner than it came across. Perhaps because I mentioned my MIL toting hers to the dump. Good luck on restoring your treasure!

You know, back in my MILs' days, they all wanted new and modern. I was told that treadle machines were gladly taken in trade for new Singer brand electric machines and then, Singer would scrap them to take them out of circulation. Seems they would never wear out so were competition for the new machines.

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

treadles are just so cool to me... but then again, I love machinery in general. During factory tours, they usually find me at the end of the group, talking to operators or standing and watching the operation. My dad used to work in a tomato factory when I was young. Sometimes we would go visit him for lunch on a Friday and he would take me to his station and let me stand there and watch all the bottles rattling by as they went thru the filling and capping stations.. so cool... (and smelly, all at the same time.. )
I think my fascination with the treadle came from my early years around Gma, but also the beauty of the workmanship and crafting of the wheels and treadle parts. Old stuff just seems like the workmanship came with more pride and design that today's stuff. I was watching a sewing clip the other day and found myself wondering "yeah, the new machines do really cool stuff, but they just look like a box and motor, compared with the old treadles" LOL wouldn't it be cool if they could make a machine that looked like the old ones, but did all the cool stuff of the new ones?????

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

If they miniaturize the parts like they did for TV I'm sure they could do it. BUT you would probably have a ton of attachments!!!!!

Lowell, IN(Zone 5b)

Kizmo...... it's funny that you should mention the factory machines. I can sit for HOURS watching the conveyor belts and the machines working. I'm even been mesmorized when I have gone to a Krispy Kreme and waatched the donuts being cooked and frosted, or a mexican restaurant that makes their own tortellia wraps out there for you to see. I especially like bottling plants and was bummed out when Busch Gardens here closed down the bottling plant that you could walk through within the park...... but then again, I have spent hours watching the penguins in their buildings at zoos.......

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

check out this link, I've been on this site for the past 2 hours...... the home page has a link to sewing machine history that actually has animation of how the stitching works....


Lowell, IN(Zone 5b)

I saw this Late 30's / Early 40's White 77 series machine and cabinet at Salvation Army nearly a month and a half ago. I was 'good' until I asked if they were going to mark it down at all after oogling it for several weeks. They marked it down and it was a 25% off day.... I bought it for $50. I would need rewiring and servicing if I were interested in using it. It has a knee bar that I believe may be it's peddle. In the drawers I found an original removable caddy made from oak, the original manual in excellent condition, a box of all it's attachment feet, etc, a bobbin case with the original bobbins and some neat vintage pins and an unused vintage chalk box with chalk. The rest of the memo books with notes, material, etc., I threw out as i was either afraid to keep it (the material and elastics) or couldn't decipher (knitting instructions, notes on patterns that she had written, but wouldn't mean anything unless you knew what she was referring to).

This message was edited May 17, 2011 4:59 AM

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Lowell, IN(Zone 5b)

And with a quilt on it for display

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(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

WooHoo!! Lucky you Stu. Persistence pays off.

San Diego, CA(Zone 10a)

I bought this Singer 99K and found that it had a broken camshaft bushing and warped handwheel. Was able to find the parts and restored it to perfect condition. The case and cord are in great shape. Am looking for the cabinet that fits the Singer 3/4 size machines but nearly impossible to find.

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

Those "art deco" desk cabinets were very popular in the 30's-60's and all the major sewing machine companies seem to have made one.

The difference with White was that they not only made their own cabinets, they maintained their own forests. I have one of their Mount Vernon cabinets from 1926 and it's absolutely gorgeous - they really made beautiful furniture, as well as fabulous machines.

Your White should be a very competent FMQ machine and the desk is lovely - they're not usually in such pretty condition. :)

Those 99's are so cute - I hope to find one around here one of these days, especially if it's in a cabinet. I have a 3/4 treadle cabinet with a 28 in it - you're right - they're as rare as hen's teeth in most places in the US, a little more plentiful in others.

Brooksville, FL

I know this topic has been going for awhile but I just got on board. Surprised me to find a quilt forum on a garden site but glad I did. I have my aun't old cabinet Singer...not a treadle. Have no idea what year it is but she taught me to sew little peasant blouses on it when I was about 9. I'm 68 now so who knows how long she had it before I came along! We have a lovely quilt shop here in Brooksville; the owner's husband repairs all sorts of machines (doesn't like working on Vikings though). I asked if he refurbished old Singers and she said yes, they are usually easy to get parts for. Guess I'll lug it up there one day and see how much it will cost.

(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

That would have put it at about 1952/53, right?

In 1953, Singer was still making models 127, 128, 15, 66, 99, 201 and I think the first slant needle, the 301 came out right about then.

These were really common machines and it is very easy not only to find parts for them, but for a hobbyist like you or me to take them apart and put them back together. :)

Lowell, IN(Zone 5b)


There is also a sewing machine repair booth in the back right hand side (looking in from, the entrance) of the Outlet mall (the old Walmart) on US Hwy 19 in Spring Hill right in back of Chili's/Codys. I bought my Juki through him last year. He works on all types of machines and his prices are very reasonable. He used to be part owner in A-Whites sewing, but sold out his share and opened his repair shop.

Longboat Key, FL(Zone 9b)

This is an "Ah Ha Moment". I have been seeing quite a few machines listed on Craigs List in Spring Hill as i have been checking for a teadle Machine.I'd love to own one.

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