We Don’t Need No Stinking Power!

The New York City suburbs, where I live, experienced an unexpectedly heavy early snowfall last Saturday. Since the trees here have not yet lost their leaves for the winter, the heavy wet snow accummulated on the leaves. The larger trees could not handle the weight of the snow, causing either whole trees or massive limbs from the trees to crash to the earth, taking power lines and bits of people’s homes with them. On Saturday evening, the cracking of tree limbs sounded like fireworks. I was quite lucky. My house was without power for about 2 days. Many, many people did not get power back until yesterday or today.

While we were sitting in our cold, dark house, feeling sorry for ourselves, I mentioned to my husband that it might be nice to have a treadle machine so at least I would be able to sew while we are without power. My husband is always up for a purchasing challenge. If I had asked him to buy, say, milk, I might still not have any. But since it was something esoteric that I wanted, today, less than a week after I wished for one, a treadle machine arrived in my driveway. It was dirty, but it appears to be in perfect working order. It only needed a new belt, the acquisition of which my husband considered a trivial task.

It sews beautifully. I am so tickled with the bobbin winder that I took a video of it. I am glad that I have this blog, since almost no one the I know IRL could possibly share my enthusiasm for a bobbin winder, the way at least some of you can. I was holding the video camera while I was treadling, so the camera work is a bit wobbly.

I love my new treadle!



  1. Posted November 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous! I love those Egypt-inspired decals.

  2. Posted November 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    oh wow, I am so jealous…. that is a wonderful new toy!

  3. Posted November 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine — Your new antique treadle machine reminds me of my grandmother’s that I learned to sew (Barbie doll clothes) on. I know you’ll enjoy putting it to work on your creative projects.

    BTW, my husband is exactly the same way. He can’t go to the grocery store for more than 3 items, but he’s always up for a similar challenge and will spend hours diligently researching.

    Terri K

  4. Posted November 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am completely nostalgic and envious at once. I learned to sew on a treadle and loved every single minute of it – I even made suits and gowns on it! I didn’t get a “modern” electric sewing machine until I was 17, and it was for my high school graduation. I would love to have an old treadle again. Maybe someday!

  5. Posted November 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love the video of the bobbin winding. It’s exactly the same as mine. Beautiful machinery!

  6. Shams
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That is pretty cool, Claudine! What a beautiful machine and what a sweet, thoughtful husband. If you lose power again, I hope it’s during daylight! 😉

  7. Posted November 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Who needs electric power when you have (wo)man-power? What a fun find! Much better than milk, I would say.

  8. Posted November 5, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Now THAT is how to suffer through a power outage in style. 😉

  9. Cherie
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very cool! And, were it not for treadle machines in third world countries, hand sewing would still be the norm there. These are indeed precious commodities even in today’s electric/electronic world! Cheers to husband!

  10. Posted November 6, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    Now that is kewl! I was wondering how you did in the snowstorm since your town has all of those old beautiful trees! The one good thing about living in new construction is that all of our wires are underground. Glad you only lost power for 2 days especially since there are still about 5,000 people in NJ today without power.

    Will we see something new made on your treadle anytime soon?

    • Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      The huge old trees are one of the things that makes this town so desirable, but when you live among them, they can turn on you. I’m still getting used to treadling. It may end up being my backup machine, or the one that always has the buttonholer set up. But who knows? I may like it enough to make it my main machine.

  11. Posted November 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love it and I love the video. I’ve been watching the treadles on e-bay for a while hoping to find one close by to purchase. I don’t know where I will put it, but…… those problems can be overcome, right?

  12. Posted November 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! DH is amazing. That’s so cool.

  13. jan
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Looks like the one I sewed on when I was in grade school, loved it and miss it now. We had to give it up because we were a military family and moved a lot. Sure wish I had it now.

  14. Posted November 12, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love your treadle. I have a shuttle bobbin hand cranked machine and I love the bobbin winding, so cool. I got it out to show my mother and she did not understand my enthusiasm at all :(.

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