After my recent sewing area re-arrangement to accommodate my new Singer 401A, my antique Singer 127 treadle sewing machine is now accessible instead of being buried behind my main sewing machine. I haven’t sewn much on this machine, since the stitches were uneven and the tension went from tight to loose every few stitches.
I decided to try to fix it up some more. I polished the rust off of the tension disks, cleaned some bits of ancient thread from under the spring in the shuttle, and replaced the missing oil wick. I also switched out the tension dial and worn feed dogs with the ones from my parts machine. After a good oiling, this 99 year old sewing machine works almost as good as new. The tension is a bit fiddly, but it’s making pretty decent stitches now.
Unlike modern home sewing machines with plastic gears that choke on thick fabric, this machine will happily sew through anything that I can fit under the presser foot. It doesn’t like topstitching thread, though, so I won’t be using it to make jeans.
After fixing up this sewing machine, I wanted to sew something with it. I decided to sew a baby quilt for my niece-to-be, which has been on my to-do list, and it’s a project that only requires straight stitches.
Surprisingly, my modern snap-on quarter inch foot works perfectly with this machine. It works even better than the original presser foot, which tends pull the fabric to the side when I sew near the edge of the fabric. My walking foot works with this machine, too.
I love looking at those patent dates on the slide plate (the slide plate came off of an older machine).
I’ve never been a huge fan of quilting, but this time I added an ingredient that made it so much easier and more accurate – cornstarch. I used one teaspoon of cornstarch per cup of water, sprayed it on the fabric, let it soak in for a few minutes, then pressed the fabric dry before cutting out the pieces. I highly recommend starching when quilting – it is so worth the extra time.
Here’s the finished rainbow heart quilt, sewn entirely on my antique treadle sewing machine: