Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Project Log/ Journal

One of my recent finds at the Tobacco Barn antique place was an old Singer treadle sewing machine.  It has lovely lotus pattern decals in almost pristine condition.  It came in an oak cabinet, also nearly perfect.  It came with extra treadle belts, bobbins, tools, even an ancient bottle of sewing machine oil and a handmade pin cushion. All this for $99, which seemed like a good price to me, plus I was able to fit the whole cabinet into the back of my VW.

So this morning I decided the day had come to clean it and fix anything that needed fixing.  I pulled out the little journal I use for keeping notes on projects like this.  I made a drawing of one of the decals and took some notes about the dates, model number, etc. of the machine.
 Then I cleaned the insides of the machine and oiled it.  I was all finished except for putting in a needle, when I discovered a missing part.  Luckily it was easy to find on line, and I sketched it so that I could carry it to the computer and compare what I seemed to need with what I could find.  I learned that the part is a needle clamp and screw, and I found one for .99. (I had to add a small bottle of premium machine oil in order to get my order up to the minimum $4.00 for shipping.) I feel that this journal is essential when I have a project like this.  I may get around to gluing in a photo of the machine someday, but it's really a troubleshooting journal.  The drawings are to help me see the machine parts, most of which I don't know how to describe in words or even name!


  1. Wonderful idea! I often photograph things before taking them apart, but I'm sure I would remember better if I drew them instead! You've converted me.

  2. ha, no wonder you and Melly get along. She loves her 3 ring binders to track the details.

  3. I so regret giving away my mum's old sewing machines - she had a treadle and a hand one. On my next visit to Asheville, looks like a visit to Tobacco Barn will be must.....

  4. Oh Lin, I covet a hand-operated one!! I mostly operate my treadle one by hand as I am a very slow sewer and have much more control sewing over lumpy recycled bags, etc. with hand operation. We will definitely go to Tobacco Barn!