Singer Red Eye

Let me start by saying that I must have the best THE BEST husband in the whole world!  When he asked me what I wanted for Christmas I really didn’t know what to request!  I really didn’t NEED anything.  I have, however, always wanted a treadle.  He found this one for me from a gentleman in New York.  It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!  I mean SERIOUSLY!  Who needs diamonds?


I spent the majority of this weekend cleaning up my new machine.  It was in pretty good shape for being 87 years old!  The Singer website has age information on these machines based on serial number.  It was pretty dusty, though, and I did want to clean everything up inside.  I have done a lot too much research on this subject, but found some very interesting sources!  I found an awesome group Tools for Self Reliance who accept refurbished machines to help relieve poverty in Africa.  They have an awesome step-by-step guide for the Singer 66.   I found the TFSR website while trolling the Treadle On website.  They are devoted to restoration in order to use the machine, not just to look at it!  They have awesome advice on which cleaners to use and which to avoid.  I used their hints on cabinet restoration to give the dry wood of my cabinet a drink/spruce up!  I encourage you to look at some of their before/after pictures.  Incredible!

My machine was in pretty good shape to start with, but I still spent about 12-15 hours cleaning!  I couldn’t believe all of the lint in the bobbin case and under the faceplate above the needle.  I adjusted the timing, needle depth and feed dog height.  I have since successfully stitched, but alas, I still need to adjust the tensions.  Once I have this tweaked out, I’ll be ready to treadle!

Here are some before and after shots (not as drastic as those on Treadle On, but I can be happy all is clean inside too):



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So now I’m hooked on the world of treadles.  About a year ago, I got my first treadle:


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I haven’t fully restored this machine, but I have cleaned it up a bit.  I found that it still has its original decals under a layer of black paint.  You can just see the word “Singer” starting to appear on the neck of the machine.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I can restore its original beauty as the black paint can’t be removed without harming the decals underneath.  This machine is particularly intriguing because it can sew in ANY direction!  It is meant for leather work and is considered an industrial machine.  Many leatherworkers still employ them in everyday use.  Here is a video showing what this baby can do with just a flick of the wrist, the pressor foot changes direction:

Ok, and one last picture showing how beautiful she can look with her decals intact:


I found this picture on a website which deals in old machines.  They have a brief description of each machine–some of them are pretty interesting!  There are great pictures there too, and it is worth a visit just to see how far this wonderful machine has come!


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  • Laurie Anderson

    Wow, Rebecca – what a beautiful machine! You have inspired me to learn more about my treadle – open it up (It’s been in the closed position for YEARS!) and check out what my baby can do! I had no idea that with a flick of the wrist you could change the needle position – VERY interesting – now I gotta see if my machine does that!!! I just might have to blog about it later this week! Thanks for sharing your and inspiring me!

  • Cj Tinkle

    Oh it is indeed a beauty! And I so had to laugh at your comment… I don’t know how many times I’ve hugged my hubby and said, “who needs diamonds?” LOL I too will take a sewing machine any day instead!

  • Sew Shine

    I ABSOLUTELY agree! Thanks for stopping in to see my beauty! I just smile every time I look at her! :) (WAY better than diamonds)

  • CK

    I have one of these machines in a different cabinet which I have had restored but in the process the guy broke the spring which raised the machine up out of the cabinet.  I have tried to fix it with no luck, would anyone have any information on this?  

  • Sew Shine

    I’m not sure, but maybe try these guys. I ordered replacement parts from them to restore my machine. Seems like they have a lot of parts!
    Good luck!