By Morley Hunt
March 4, 2017 8:34pm CST
Last year I inherited my mothers treadle sewing machine. This is the machine I learned to sew on. My mother insisted that I make ten pillowcases from flour sacks. I hated making those pillow cases. Next lesson (I eventually finished those pillow cases) was making pyjamas for my little brothers. At that point, I lost interest. When I opened the treadle the first disappointment hit. The finish of the machine bed had deteriorated and it was rough as sandpaper. My husband came to the rescue and refinished the base. Smooth as glass. Thank you to my loving husband. I'm ready to sew...no, I'm not....the leather belt for the treadle has deteriorated. We had a spare....hubby lubricated it and installed it. Again, I'm ready to begin. I oiled all the moving parts and it ran a bit stiffly. Time should fix this. I slowly worked it. It seized up. Time for the repairman. This week I finally got it back. The repairman called it a sweet machine. It's been running smooth as silk and so quiet. It took a year, but it was worth the wait.
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My mother made her wedding dress on this machine. She sewed a lot of clothes and household supplies on this machine. By the time my mother began to quilt she used mostly the new electric machine my father bought her in the early '70's.
If you watch thrift shops and estate sales you can often find them for very little expense. If the machine itself is broken...finding a replacement is simple. You can often find a good machine (just take the motor off) fior $10 or $15.
I finally took this one to the repairman. He explained that because it hadn't been used in many years (never professionally cleaned) that when I oiled it and began to move the moving parts....I loosened sixty years worth of accumulated gunk that stopped everything from moving.
• Bunbury, Australia
These treadlies trundle along so nicely don't they? I had to practise stitching holes in paper without thread so that I wouldn't break the needle if I accidently pedalled it backwards. None that I knew of would sew backwards. Does yours?
• United States
We use to have a "Singer" foot pedal sewing machine when I was a child. I have also seen an older type hand-crank which my mother in law owned. But this is the first time I have seen this brand "PFAFF". Do you know what the letters stand for?
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
You had to make 10 pillowcases and then little boys pajamas. I guess she learned that didn't work, and instead set me to work on making doll clothes. Attaching those tiny little sleeves resulted in a lot of tears...and no interest in sewing for quite a while. I envy you the old Pfaff though!