NOTE: I still have one day’s highlights from Martha’s Orlando Market to share, but perhaps I have worn out that topic. Let me know if you would like this last report.
I’ve been grinning like the Cheshire cat since last night. That’s when my ever indulgent husband drove with me to the other side of the state to pick up my new old sewing machine.
This 1907 Young and Chaffee treadle machine was touted as a technological marvel of its day, what with its automatic tension and variable stitch length. WOW!
But why, you might wonder, would I want an antique, foot-powered, straight stitch treadle when this beauty, my incredible Brother Duetta 4500D, lives well and works hard in my sewing room?
It’s a hard thing to explain. Perhaps it’s because my college minor was history, or because I love all things old, like lace and quilts, or because I just want the whole spectrum of sewing machines from A-Z. And this treadle is definitely “A” in the sewing machine alphabet.
Both the machine and the cabinet are beautiful and in almost perfect condition. I quickly got the hang of pumping the treadle and loved seeing the faultless stitches. With its graceful lines and carved wood, the cabinet is lovely piece of furniture.
Each of the curved drawers has a lock. Why a turn-of-the-century lady would want to keep her sewing notions under lock and key is a mystery to me. Maybe she kept her diary or risque novels in those drawers. I’d love to know.
When I opened the drawers, all I found was the old belt, the original instruction manual…….
and a velvet lined box of accessories. Yeah! That’s way better than an old diary.
My Singer Sewing Library (copyright 1923) of four books includes this one which has instructions for most of the attachments.
Here are instructions for using the tucker. It looks like I’ll be able to do some heirloom sewing on this old girl!
A ruler is built into the bed of the machine for quick and easy measurement.
I don’t know just how much sewing I will do on my new old Young and Chaffee treadle machine. Living in hurricane country, I do find some comfort in knowing that at least I could sew when the power is out. It would be basic sewing, not embroidering, not hemstitching, etc. But I could piece a quilt and while away those long hours more pleasantly than if I were to wait at the window for a Progress Energy truck.
I love this pretty machine. I think of it as art that sews. But until the next hurricane takes out our electricity, I’ll be sewing on my Brother Duetta.