Are Sewing Machines like Potato Chips?

What is it about finding a lovely vintage machine that leads to another machine following you home? Are they like potato chips? Can’t have just one? Or are they more like cats? You have one so another shows up on the doorstep?

However it happens, I now have two vintage Singer machines that I didn’t have a month ago. You probably remember Betty, the 1948 15-88 from an earlier blog. Betty was unsold at an estate sale and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and I got her for free. Free! Who can say no?

Betty is all cleaned and shiny and reassembled while hubby refinishes her cabinet. A friend saw her on my Facebook page and said that they had an old treadle machine in the garage; would I be interested? A sewing fanatic certainly can’t “no” to a question like that.

Betty! All clean and shiny!

We went, we saw and we loaded up the new vintage machine. Say hello to my new 1911 “Redeye” 66 treadle machine! This machine belonged the friend’s great grandmother, but had languished in the garage for a couple decades. The cabinet was painted about 50 years ago and the veneer on top is a bit buckled. The machine itself still has beautiful decals and other than being dusty, is in remarkably good shape for her age.

(Don’t worry, the friend still has her grandmother’s matching 1912 Redeye treadle, plus a 201-2, a Featherweight and a Riccar.)

A little dingy, but heck 110 years old!
A sad state of affairs for Sophie!
Beautiful faceplate in need of TLC!

Sophia (the friend is Italian, so going with an Italian name for her!) has a couple missing parts including the bobbin positioning arm, the bobbin case and the face and bobbin cover plates. I have found genuine vintage parts for the cover plates and am still looking for the right bobbin assembly and case. Hopefully the parts hubby found on eBay will fit when they arrives.

Shiny face plate and clean bobbin area!

But in the meantime, the sewing machine oil and WD40 (for cleaning the metal parts) have worked their magic and she is looking quite nice, I think!

Love these decals!

The cabinet work for Betty has been challenging, with a few twists and turns, but almost complete! More on the cabinet next week!

My end goal? A nice new vintage cabinet in my sewing studio. Objective? Try out FMQ on a treadle!

Happy quilting all and may your dream machines find their way to you!



  1. SO so glad you are so writing Lennea, You had me smiling in no time and leaning back in my chair just enjoying reading and learning. I learnt to sew on a singer treadle and mum taught me how to clean her and fix her so ever since i have tried to fix all my machines, but they are a challenge when they have not been protected for 40 years or so. I followed Tim when he was online and learnt so much from him as he restored around 50 plus and showed how he did them then he did magical quilting on them!!!!! Thanks for a wonderful visit. Cheers Glenda

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