Monthly Archives: May 2015

More wedding sewing

Good news: I got the Denver Fabric order. Bad news: they were sold out of the cotton lawn. I’d ordered 10 yards and planned to use that for my blouse and maybe a chemise. The blue cotton twill is very nice. I’d thought about doing a wedding skirt out of it, but went with the white linen. It will still make a nice skirt and I will try and cut it out this weekend. I’d gone to Hancock Fabric last night and picked up some lace beading and ribbon for the Edwardian Underthings pieces. The store manager was very nice, gave me 20% off the whole order and asked if I’d take the survey for her. So I did that and got a code for $5 off on an order of $30 or more.

I checked around the house and didn’t find any natural fiber sheer enough for the blouse. So back to Hancock today. I found some 100% linen that is lightweight, maybe even considered handkerchief weight. It was $17.99 a yard, ┬ábut they were having a 50% off sale that I didn’t know about. I bought three yards and didn’t have enough for the discount, so picked up another spool of thread. It’s in the dryer now. I like the idea of both pieces being linen. It wrinkles, but it’s the perfect fabric for these pieces.

Here’s another picture of the skirt:




closeup of skirt fabric

Sewing for the wedding

I ordered some fabric for wedding clothes. I wanted something I could wear for other occasions. But, I am still waiting for that fabric. I have some fairly heavy white linen that I bought years ago. I decided to sew it up as a Walking Skirt. And I like it enough I will probably wear it on wedding day. I am sewing this on the 1891 Singer, which deserves to make a wedding dress.

I usually struggle with sewing. I tend to cut things out poorly and I don’t press them as I sew. It comes from working in a sewing factory where I picked up bad habits. But, the Treadle Quilters group on Facebook has helped me tremendously! The first thing was spray starch. I grew up in the era when you starched and ironed clothes, but I haven’t used starch in years. It makes a huge difference in cutting out fabric and in sewing it. I starched it, let it sit and ironed it with my Steam-O-Matic.


I cut it outside, on a freebie table that Lon plans to use in his office. It was a lot easier to cut it there than anything I’ve tried inside. I need to make myself a nice cutting table for my office. The Walking Skirt is pretty straight forward and I’ve made a few. The only tricky part is the placket. And here is where I had fun. I took out one of the binders from my puzzle box. It just turns it over once, which works okay for the edges on the plackets. It was so easy to use and I couldn’t be happier with the results.


In fact, I liked it so much, I used it on the waistband too. Normally, I’d press the edge on the waistband and sew it in. I ran the edge through the binder and then sewed that to the skirt. It worked beautifully. I still need to put in hooks and eyes (and I found a neat way to do that in a 1927 sewing book I just got.) And I need to hem it. I know this skirt will be much too long. I am thinking about hemming it as is, then doing tucks around the bottom. That’s a traditional type embellishment for these skirts and would shorten it. I am really pleased with the skirt so far. It’s linen and will wrinkle, but it’s summer and it’s a traditional fiber. And I finally found a use for it. If I don’t get the fabric for the blouse pretty quick, I may improvise there too. I have the lace I want to use, but I need a light weight fabric. I also have a few other items, cut out from an earlier project, that I will work on this week. They can be used if the fabric order doesn’t show up soon. I like Denver Fabrics, but they take a long time to ship out.

I’m hoping to use the tucker and ruffler on this project. These attachments were used to make the designs of the day. They should work fine for my project.

Den Danske Pioneer, Siegel-Cooper and New Home treadles

UPDATE: I’ve been told, by knowledgeable folks at Treadle On, that this is a National that appears to be a New Home. It has faked out other folks. I will try and pull that information into a new post this week.

I’ve mentioned it before, but my first treadle was a Siegel-Cooper. I owned it way before I was on the internet and I didn’t know a thing about badged machines. We had it in the bus, and then I found a new home for it in Walla Walla. So, when I found a treadle head with the same decals, I bought it. This one said Den Danske Pioneer, which turns out to be the oldest Danish language newspaper in America, still published. I’ve been trying to find out which company made it and had assumed it was National. After investigation today, I believe it was New Home.

Here’s what it looks like:

side view

front plate


side decals

bobbin winder

decal den danske pioneer

another look at the name


center decal is bad

top decal

stitch regulator

shuttle cover

would have serial number here if new home


back of the tensioner

large access plate

Now, take a look at the links to this very nice New Home Light Running treadle. The base is very close to my original treadle. Links here, here, and here. They are very similar.

I managed to get the bobbin cover opened up. I’m using some lubricating spray called Deep Creep and it seems to work well. I am going to give this a spin over the weekend. I have a lot of sewing to do, so really don’t have time to do a lot this time. I’m putting it in the White base for now. That should work well enough for testing.


I’m feeling a lot better, although not completely off prednisone yet. My oxygen levels have been good and I have more energy. And that’s good because we have a lot of stuff to get done before the wedding next month.

I have a new old bicycle. It’s an Allegro, which is Swiss made. It seems to be from the 40s. It will need work:

Allegro bicycle

I’ve made some progress on the White treadle, but still don’t have it sewing yet:
base with some work

newer White head

I have fabric ordered for my wedding dress. I plan to do some sewing over the Memorial Day holiday. I have been trying to finish up some of my old projects. I managed to finish the Gibson Girl blouse and am trying it out today. I didn’t order enough fabric for it and had to improvise. I need a better way to hem skirts. I don’t have any problems sewing them up, but it seems to take forever to hem them. I am really focused on sewing right now. It helped a lot, when quilting, to spray starch the fabric before cutting it out. I”m trying to do that on anything I cut out. I have a major sewing project planned this summer and think it will really improve my sewing skills.

White treadle

I am able to get the head to work on this machine. The problem is the tensioning device. White has a unique tensioning system. All the experienced sewing machine people warn you against messing with it. There is a small loop of spring steel, that the thread runs through, which has rusted off. I can’t just replace this. I had a nice treadler offer me a newer White head, and was able to have the kids pick it up while on the coast. It’s from 1929, I believe, but does look similar. So I tried swapping the faceplate. It actually fits, but the thread tension bar on the old machine is shorter. It bangs on the faceplate. It might work for now, but would probably damage the face plate over time. For now, I am going to hang onto the old head and put the newer one on the treadle base. It will give me a working treadle and I can always try and finish repairing the old head at another time. I plan to tackle work on the base again today. I have been using wood glue to stabilize those drawers. I am not doing a lot of finish work on this. I am going for function.

I am still working on my quilting. I picked up a rotary cutter and board. I remembered to get spray starch. I cut out some blocks and did a bit of sewing, but started to get tired. I’ll try and finish them this week. It’s fun, but I am having to learn new skills and just need to let myself make mistakes while I learn.

On the health issues, I have been fighting another round of Bird Fancier’s. I had some things stored in the office that had been in the garage. I got a reaction when I started moving things around in the office. I finally convinced my pulmonologist to treat this like we did the first round. It seems to be working. My oxygen levels are good and I have energy again. I am starting to taper down, so will see if this holds. But I truly wonder about the medical practice. Prednisone causes bone loss and depletes the adrenals. We have our medical records digitized. There’s no reason why it can’t remind a doctor to schedule a bone density test or prescribe adrenal support. I did the adrenal support on my own. I was given Fosamax. If you read the cautions on this drug, it’s a vile drug that causes things like thigh bone fractures. I took one dose and stopped. I could tell that it was not a healthy thing to take. The good news is that I finally have enough energy to do things. We are going to start taking a Tai Chi class tonight. We need to start moving a bit more and build some muscle. Tai Chi is gentle enough for us and we will be the only folks in the night class for now. Will try it for a month and see. I also want to start setting up a small garden in the back yard. I want to grow a few things. I am tired of eating processed foods and spending so much on groceries. This is a lousy place to garden, as there is too little sun. But I’ve done this before and it’s worth the effort.