How many of us have treadle sewing machines, and what is the story behind them?
I have the Singer I learned to sew on, which belonged to my foster grandmother, another which my Dad bought for me to get a replacement tension spring for the first one.
Recently I brought home the head of my Mum's first machine, which belonged to my great grandmother, and was portable! It was the first sewing machine in Booberowie, South Australia, and was moved from house to house by horse and cart when some one needed to do some sewing. Unfortuately, the timber parts disintegrated when it was stored under a wet bag for too long, but the stand is a table in Dad's lounge room.
My Mum taught me how to use her treadle Singer machine back in the early 1950's. I was quite happy messing around on that until I started making my own clothes, and Dad decided I needed to upgrade. He bought me another Singer machine - portable (as in it's own case) and electric, and I thought all my Christmases had come at once! That was in the early 1960's and I still have that machine. It only does straight stitch and zig zag, but that's all I want from a sewing machine, and it has never let me down.
My Dad and Mum bought me a portable electric when I left home late 1960s. Survived train, plane and car trips around Australia until after I was married. Sold it because we moved a lot, and it was heavy, actually a treadle type head with added motor. It is probably still working somewhere.