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Sep 5, 2010

"Let Them Eat Cake" + Treadle Update

Readers, are we sheeple?  I thought I'd seen everything in SewBloggingLand until I read this.

I mean, maybe I flash a little too much skin from time to time to keep your interest, but I have never stooped to dessert porn.  Sure, it'd be tempting to blow off sewing entirely this Labor Day weekend and just post gorgeous photographs of luscious fruit pies...

..scrumptious buttery confections...

..and wholesome holiday treats.

But I'm too busy performing sewing-related activities!

I have my Singer treadle to clean...

Every time I take a soft rag to it, usually with a little plain old spit, I get this -- eww!

But the results are stunning.

I've been practicing my treadle technique.  One foot on the back, one foot on the front seems to work much better than both feet dead center.  Thanks for the tips, treadlers.

Here's a brief video update:

BTW, according to the Singer website, my machine was manufactured on April 28, 1920.  Ninety years young!

Meanwhile, I've found the perfect thread for my Burda dress project:

I've laundered the Liberty fabric and ironed it:

I bought cord yesterday and started practicing making button loops.  Not pretty. 

Things are happening!

I get so many questions about where I store all my sewing machines in a New York apartment that, while larger than a studio, isn't exactly the set from Family Affair either.

In brief:

Here, in one corner of my living room, sit my 15-91, my Brother 1034D serger (under plastic), and my ailing Huskylock serger that now serves solely as a thread stand:

Diagonally opposite you'll find my Singer 66 treadle:

In the foyer, to the uneducated eye a contemporary art installation, sits my White Fair Lady:

As we round the corner and enter the kitchen, against one wall we find my Kenmore (in blue denim) and my Pfaff 139.  As you can see, I'm quite the housekeeper!

Turn 180 degrees, look down, and -- ta da! -- my Elna Grasshopper and Singer Genie.  Don't trip!

Now look up: my Viking, my Brother (found in the trash), my Necchi, and my Singer Spartan.  And a pile of other stuff.

Now on to the bedroom...

My lovely Necchi Lydia.  You'd never know to look at her that she has a cracked camshaft, would you?

And there you have it: twelve sewing machines and two sergers, each in its respective place.  It's all about efficient use of space, people.

In conclusion, friends, I'm keeping busy and I hope you are too.

A snack before we part...?  My treat!

Happy Sunday, everybody, and enjoy the holiday!


  1. very interesting - you stash sewing machines...I stash fabric. I live in a nice suburban house of approx. 2,000 sq feet, but I share it with a husband, four kids, and three cats, so space is at a premium. I'm still trying to figure out exactly where to put an embroidery machine that I plan on buying, and I keep my serger (same Brother you have) and my Kenmore computerized sewing machine on the same small table.

  2. Still not working on that suit, I see. :-)

  3. I will join in with meredithp and note that " I sew for myself, my partner Michael, my two chihuahuas, Freddy and Willy, and my identical cousin, model Cathy Lane," is rapidly leaning toward being hyperbole.

  4. I'm glad you were able to find a corner for your treadle. It is looking quite handsome! If you haven't already, do some internet searching about what you can and can't use on a treadle to clean and maintain but not injure it. and the various Singer Yahoo groups are great.

    I am in the middle of making a new sewing area. I am newly retired and have been sewing in a dedicated bedroom. But, I have so much "stuff" and more kept coming thru the door. (I swear it just walked thru the door! I had nothing to so with it!)

    I was feeling overwhelmed and I just do not do well with visual over-stimulation. So, I am trading spaces, so to speak. The sewing/bedroom will now be my TV/entertainment room and my front room will be my sewing room. A little unconventional but it will work out great for me.

    I just finished laying the wood floor so today I will be moving furniture around. I want it to be very sleek and clean looking; but that's a very tall order given all the cabinet machines I have...and use. And then there is all that sorting to figure out where I will put everything! It will be great when it's done. It's just taking sooo loooong!

    Thanks for the cherry pie snack. I need the energy!

  5. "It's all about efficient use of space, people."

    I agree Peter! I emptied my china cabinet and now instead of fancy dishes it holds fabric. Come to think of it, I could probably fit six machines on top of that thing ... the possibilities are endless!

  6. Yeah, what's with all those cakes anyway? I thought she was packing. I find it very suspicious that she managed to NOT pack any baking paraphernalia. My money is on there being a great little bakery around the corner.

    Loved your machine tour. It looks like you still have tons of vertical space, so keep collecting!

    Finally - you commented on my blog that you didn't think you had it in you to spend so much time cleaning your treadle. Well, I didn't PLAN for it to take that much time but like you, each time I wiped it, more crud came off and revealed decals I didn't even know were there. Brasso and steel wool (Brillo) on the metal and Sun & Earth All Purpose Cleaner on the other parts. It was cleaning the metal parts which took me the longest since mine had some real rust going on.

    Oh - one more finally - package to ready to drop in Tuesday's mail.

  7. uh, that would be "... package to YOU ..."

  8. Oh my GAH!! Sara Lee pound cake? You're killing me, Peter!!

    Your treadle machine is so pretty. I'm glad to see that you enjoy sewing with it so much. I learned to sew on a hand cranked Singer.

  9. you should try using rat tail for your button loops - I always use it for piping and covered cord - works like a charm!

  10. Hm. You've made me hungry. Perhaps I should go bake a chocolate wacky cake for dinner tonight. But then I would actually have to get up, and I'm tired. I've been fighting with the jacket from Vogue 8060 and losing. This requires thought.

  11. Honestly. Are you seven? How do you stay so thin? I think today I hate you...just give me my friggin' carrot stick.

  12. Wait -- you don't think I'd ever actually EAT any of those things, do you?

  13. OK. You had me going there.

    Seriously, I had a beet and carrot smoothie for lunch yesterday followed by two shots of lawn (wheatgrass) - my friends are getting tired of my eating choices, too bad. I'm not going gentle into that good night, dammit.

  14. You definitely have a case of SMAD.

  15. That is one chubby blog post. A dozen sewing machines, Liberty fabric (gorgeous, too) and a parade of special baked goodies.

  16. Oh Peter, you do play nasty don't you? First you mock the poor SS about her baking and then you tease the poor thing with your marvelous multitude of sewing machines while she can't sew. Tsk tsk. Love it!!!

  17. Peter, you had me rolling, as usual. I didn't know they still made Sno-balls---or do they? "Baked goods" and sewing machines (12!?!?!?!,) a tour of your apartment, a video (may I say your voice is absolutely delightful to listen to?) and a visit to the Selfish Seamstress. Perfect day!


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