Monday, August 26, 2013

Girls Just Gotta Treadle!

 It’s been a while since I’ve sat at my treadle.  And I am due for a reward!

I finished the pattern writing I had set aside for today, right on goal, so I get to reward myself tonight.

And as I worked and worked to get the tension and ruffling fabric issue sorted on the Singer 277M ((Which doesn’t have a name yet ---I really need to know they are going to stick around before I name them!)) I started to wonder what if…

What if I removed the motor –it’s as simple as unscrewing one bolt on the side-- and see how he/she behaves as a treadler!

As soon as I was sure that tensions were where they needed to be and the presser foot pressure was where it need to be, and everything was good…OFF came the motor! 

IN to the cabinet it went!

vintagemachines 108

Singer 227M ready to be treadly!

This is a GREAT machine for a straight stitcher!  See the knob at the base of the bobbin spool pin? Just turn that and the feed dogs are down.  It’s running so much smoother than it was just this morning ---my test stitches are turning out smooth and even, and look – no ruffling of fabric!

The singer 127 you see behind this one has a black belt.  I ordered the black tubing belt from Lehman’s.  It works fine, and the price is $6.95 plus shipping. 

The tubing belts are great because unlike leather belts, they are VERY easy to adjust.  There is a metal connector that slips into each end of the tube, and it stays tight.  Much better and easier than dealing with unbending and rebending a staple and drilling holes into a leather belt the old-fashioned way.

Then I was told about McMaster-Carr  Industrial Supply, and turned on to their tubing by the foot.

vintagemachines 111

This is the 3/16” round tubing in CLEAR.  Click HERE for more info.  It also comes in a yellow with black writing about as bright as the yellow on the bag above..I prefer the clear.  72 cents per foot as I write this post!  I ordered 18 feet.  That should do me several treadle belts.

vintagemachines 110

You will also need a package of 3/16”  connectors.

Click HERE for the package of 25 connectors.  They are tiny, but they do the job!  The price for 25 ((Enough for 25 treadle machines!)) is $5.10 as I write this post.  Slide one end of the connector into the end of the tubing treadle belt, trim the belt to the length you want, thread the belt into the machine, and join the ends. 

**Note** It is easier to trim the belt down than to add to it, so don't cut it too tight! The belt does NOT need to be tight on the machine or the pedal will be too hard to run.  You can always trim off more if it is still too big.

vintagemachines 109

See the connector?

Guess who will be found at the treadle machine tonight?!

Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!


  1. You are such a good machine fixer-upper! I do find it amazing that the connector will hold under all the use you will give it!

  2. Wow, I would never have thought to take the motor off and make a treadle out of it. Can you come to my house and get my treadle up and running? I think it's about a 1945 Singer. I have the date written down and have downloaded the manual but that's as far as I've gotten. Cold feet I guess. Cold feet and the misconception that if I put a belt on it and get a new thread spindle (the old one is missing) I could go to work. My non mechanical brain never thought about all the other stuff that might be gummed up and need cleaning. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to take it all apart. I'll keep thinking on it. Anyway, good for you!! You are a machine wizard!

  3. Anonymous10:14 PM EDT

    That looks like aquarium tubing. Could it be?

  4. new nickname is mrs mechanic! i am impressed...

  5. Sweet. Good solution to the problem of different belts for different machines. I have fitted an old-fashioned leather belt to my 1920's treadle and I just got a 301 in that "ugly" vintage tan. Maybe I need to play around with her on my treadle base.

  6. ok I'm confused now. If it had a motor before, then how can you make it into a treadle just by removing the motor?

    Did you then put it into a treadle base?

    I really wish I had your confidence Bonnie! I have my 1924 Singer Treadle I'm DYING to work on, but I'm scared to take it apart to do ANYTHING to it for fear of making it worse!

  7. You clever thing you! There certainly isn't the collectors interest in vintage machines here in the UK as there is in the US so I love to read about all the sewers stories of collecting and restoring these lovely machines. Keep it up.

  8. You made my day!!!
    I blogged from the country cottage, Oktober 6th 2009, about the machine I inherited from Aunt Ellen.
    The machine were originally without motor.
    The retired sewing machine mender did not have any tubing belt of the right size and neither any of his fellow-retired friend! He told me that the old one would not last forever!
    Now I have ordered tubing belts forever!
    You made my day

  9. Thanks for all the information you give us. Saw a hand crank Singer at a charity shop yesterday. Thanks to you I knew to see if the bullet bobbin was in it and did it at least turn. Didn't buy it quite yet but plan to go back and have another look. It was $80 and had the dome topped wooden case.

  10. Monza? Makes me think of Chevrolet Corvairs!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvair

    My high school friend Linda had a Corvair Monza. It was SOOOO cool. I remember the day we had to pool our change to get a gallon of gas to get home. We scraped up about .55 and that was enough.

  11. Cool! I've got a Singer 66 sitting here wanting a cleaning, and I've been envisioning it as a treadle, which I'm sure it wants to be. :) Have fun on yours!

  12. Sorry to tell,
    McMaster-Carr Industrial Supply mailed me after I got the confirmation of the order.
    It seems that difficulties regarded to international customers are to big. I do not know what kind of problems with shipping they have, compared to other companies from U.S.
    Anyhow, I am glad knowing the existence of a product which would have helped me.
    I will continue reading your splendid blog from Norway, Europe!

  13. I placed my order late in the evening with McMaster-Carr Industrial Supply and received the parts by noon the next day. I was shocked at how fast I was in business sewing on my 1910 treadle! Thank you Bonnie for this great way to fix my missing belt.


Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)