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Treadle type sewing machines
what to do without pins
mssewcrazy
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mssewcrazy  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/23/13 8:25 AM

I am very proud that the long idle treadle that has lived here has been conquered. I have mastered (enough to sew) treadling so the machine goes in one direction. It just occurred to me that I won't be able to use lots of pins as that would mean stopping every inch as I am one who would never sew over a pin (may need to rethink this). Does anyone on here actually use the treadle machines for garment sewing or piecing quilts? I really want to get comfy with it so it would be available to me in a power outage. Besides the pins can one use a buttonhole attachment on it. If so which one. I'm thinking I have seen some talk of treadle use on here but haven't found it in a search. Any advice on actually using these would be welcome. I have looked at lots of the sites and videos online. On here people have been wagging them home but are any of you using them for real to construct garments or are they like mine a sidetable/novelty item to play with. How do you keep your fabric layers together with out pinning on a real garment? I think this one thing is going to take some adjustment in my stitching methods.

J H
J H
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Date: 1/23/13 9:00 AM

Yes, very much so. My first ever sewing machine was a treadle. I used it to make clothes for my two boys and for myself and my husband. I also made soft furnishings. I sold it some years later.

I still have a treadle, it belonged to my great grandmother and was made in 1889. She bought it in 1906 when she got married. It still works beautifully and I use it for heavier fabrics that I don't trust my computerised machine to sew correctly.

Treadling can be an art form, it takes practice. When starting bring the wheel forward with your right hand and you will always be sewing in the right direction.

Just practice, practice practice and it soon becomes second nature.

J H
J H
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Date: 1/23/13 9:04 AM

I forgot to say don't worry about pins. If you don't like running them over, stop and remove them. Stopping and starting becomes very easy (with practice)

Geep
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Date: 1/23/13 9:12 AM

I used mine a little - I guess I did about half the sewing for a victorian bustle dress on it. I love the quality of the stitching, and I'd use it more except I got married and moved out of my parents house into a second floor flat with no lift- no way we can lug something that heavy up a narrow staircase!
Re pins, I'm guessing that you put your pins in at 90 degrees to the direction of stitching and pull them out as you go? If you're pulling them out anyway, try putting them in the direction of stitching, point towards the needle and bobble towards you. Pinning this way, I find it easier to pull the pins out without stopping. Also, as my treadle machine has a much narrower foot than my modern machine I can sometimes put the pin far enough over in the seam allowance that it passes the foot without getting in the way at all.
Hope that helps! Gemma

mssewcrazy
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In reply to J H <<


Date: 1/23/13 1:14 PM

It is reassuring to have someone now say you can stop and start easily. I was a bit concerned about that and especially wondering if I would be basting everything. I like hand work but not to the point of living without pins. I had an elderly relative who was said to be very skilled with using the treadle and its attachments but I didn't know how someone today would feel about sewing garments on one. Thanks for your thoughts on this as I was wondering if I could go back in time if need be. I feel good about my vintage machines but this is the first time to be pedaling on a treadle. It makes me happy to hear you say you did all sorts of sewing projects on it easily. I am determined to actually use this thing for garment sewing so if I ever need to sew without power I will be comfortable doing so.

mssewcrazy
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In reply to Geep <<


Date: 1/23/13 1:21 PM

I'm hitting my head here -duhh. I have such tunnel vision on problem solving. I do pull out pins as I go and put them into one of those magnetic ovals. I could very easily put them in as you describe and never feel the pain. If I can teach myself to sew on the treadle surely I can retrain my way of pinning. Thanks very much for solving the pin crisis. I think it would be hard for me to sew over a pin-just been dodging them too long. And I did think the shuttle type machine seemed to have an exceptionally fine stitch quality. I was very pleased with that.

JEF
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<


Date: 1/23/13 1:49 PM

I use my treadle pretty often to sew both quilts and garments. I don't use pins when I sew. Honest, you really can learn to sew without pins. It's very liberating. Every now and then I'll have a tough spot that just doesn't want to behave and then I will either pin or baste. Those are rare though. I get through most garments with no pins.

I basically follow the Islander method (you can youtube it and I think there are at least one or two videos demonstrating how to hold the fabric). Peggy Sagers also advocates sewing without pins. She holds the fabric in front and back - that is tricky on the treadle The Islander method works for me using a treadle.

That said, the stopping and starting will get easier on the treadle. I do stop reasonable often to adjust fabric and make sure everything is still going nicely.

Good luck - I find my treadle very fun to sew with.

JEF

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"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." --Abraham Lincoln

NM gal
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Date: 1/23/13 2:20 PM

The Amish still get supplies for their treadles (belts etc) from www.Lehmans.com

TessKwiltz
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<


Date: 1/23/13 2:23 PM

I don't have a treadle now, but I learned to sew on one 40 couple years ago. You get good starting and stopping.

The only time I use pins when piecing is when sewing rows of blocks together - I pin to keep the match points on the corners of the blocks lined up.

I remember my mom chain piecing on a treadle long before instructors like Eleanor Burns were teaching like it was something new...

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Tess

"I am a degenerate art supply junkie" - Jane Davenport

mssewcrazy
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In reply to JEF <<


Date: 1/23/13 3:36 PM

I'm impressed Jef that you are a regular on the treadle. I have seen the video of the islander method but it has been awhile. I forget about you tube. There are such good sewing things on there. I own the Sager dvds but am bad about nodding off when I watch these things -have been meaning to rewatch so will look for this even if not a great thing for the treadle. I will try harder to stop so much pinning. I think a lot of that is just habit on my part. Great to know you like using the treadle. I have always been fascinated with treadle sewing and want to use one on some of my projects.

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