My Grandmother’s Treadle Singer

Probably the one item I love the most in my Dad’s house is this antique Singer treadle sewing machine. It comes from my grandmother, passed down to my mother- who used it to display items in her formal living room:

(Click for larger image)

The condition is very good, the only missing part is the front scarf between the 4 drawers. The machine is in fair shape, very ornate. Of course, I forgot to look and write down the number.

If my dad decides to give this to me at a later time, then I plan to completely restore both the cabinet and machine. I would love to even use it to piece a quilt, too.

This machine and cabinet has minimal monetary value- you can pick up a similar cabinet with machine for about $100 on ebay. To me, this is an emotional piece, it connects me to my mother and grandmother.

Has anyone restored an old Singer?

16 thoughts on “My Grandmother’s Treadle Singer

  1. My MIL has one that doesn’t need restoration, she has been sewing beautiful clothes on it for years, and only stopped recently because of her failing health. It is beautiful.

  2. What a beautiful machine Carla. Wouldn’t it be great to piece a quilt on a machine that both your Mother and Grandmother used? That is so wonderful. Have a great day.

  3. I have. Your family heirloom is in really good condition!! Google treadle on and there is a group with a ton of resources from knowledge to parts etc. Thanks for sharing all your travel pics. Glad dad is doing better! I want a gate….

  4. Thanks for the info. My grandmother used it a great deal (and even possibly my great-grandmother depending on the age.)

    My mom did not sew, quilt or create, I’m afraid. Her father was an artist, so the creativity gene skipped a generation. My sister, who is currently in Newport, R.I. with the boat right now, also is not creative. She did corner the market on organization in the family….

  5. I’ve not restored one, but if that one was mine I surely would! What a gem! I would almost kill for my grandmother’s sewing machine 😀 …as it is…I’ve prayed for one similar. I sure hope your dad passes your grandmother’s on to you. It sounds like you would truly treasure it.

  6. My brother restored one – cabinet and machine about 15 – 20 years ago. He used it to make a boat cover and repair his jeans. Shortly after he had to move to a smaller place and didn’t have room for it. He has forgotten that I have it!!

  7. I have my grandmother’s that is very similar style. I haven’t used it or restored it for use. but I love having it! Your’s looks great, I hope you get to use it some time

  8. What do you mean, that your sister cornered the market on organization? You need to fess up to your very own type A behaviors, girlfriend, perhaps even write a blog posting about it.

    LOL, Lori!! OK, I admit I may have some Type A issues, but compared to my sister, I am a slob. My house look perfect most of the time, but don’t look in the drawers or closets. I will confess that when I get upset, I have a hard time getting my mind off of what is bugging me. You know me well enough to probably refresh my mind as to past Type A behavior… Perhaps the stamp phase? The fabric phase? Oops, I forgot, I’m still in the latter phase. hahaha!

  9. Oh, what a great machine and the history is wonderful too. Looks just like the machine I learned on from my grandmother…oh I wish I had that machine too.

  10. I have my grandmothers machine now. My Aunt had it until she went into assisted living, and she made all her clothes on the old treadle. This one is in a cabinet that goes completely to the floor. It opens up in the front (of course), but it also has 2 little doors in the back to open up for air circulation. There is a door on the side to get to the wheels to put the pulley on, and lots of drawers on the other side. It’s wonderful. Got alittle banged up when they brought it down from New York to Tennessee, but it is family history! Patty.

  11. My Mom bought a Singer(new) for 27.00 when she was a young bride about 75 years ago. She made all of my sisters and my clothes ,even our coats on it. I have it and treasure it. It is in working condition.

  12. My wonderful son and his wonderful wife brought me a very nice surprise this last weekend. A Singer treadle machine in a cabinet. It was used very long and in a home where it had some wonderful memories. I also have my mothers Damascus Grand. Sold for $21.00-27.00 back when she was a very young bride and mother. She and my father had 8 children and most if not all of us sewed on this machine at some time in our lives. I learned on it with a brother setting under it moving the treadle because I could not reach it yet. Oh yes, life was and is grand. I was so thrilled when I watched my kids roll up to my house with the Singer in the back of their truck. I am going to restore some on it, but I think the less done to them makes them more beautiful. (Of course, if it is in just loved, used condition, that is.)

  13. I just bought one from a friend, she had it restored. I used to have one sewed clothes on it in my teens, but my sister, took it from me, and never returned it. So My hubby bought one for me, for are 34 anniversary. I’m a quiting teacher. I hope I get make a quilt on it, thank-you for listening.

  14. I am now going to get the honor of having my 2 beautiful grand daughters sew on my mother’s Grand Damascus. I bought them a new portable for Christmas a couple of years ago and now both of them are ready to sew on my pride and joy! What a wonderful experience for them and me!

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