Treadle Sewing Machine

Guest article by ‘CD in Oklahoma’

People who prepare for tough times, or work in rough environments, tend to select the most durable work clothing available. Most often, the fabric that work clothing is made out of is heavy duty. And many times, that heavy duty fabric can become damaged in a location where several layers meet in a seam.

Tough clothing calls for a tough treadle sewing machine to mend the damage.

Even sewing a new hem on pants legs can stop some of the newer machines in their tracks. An old treadle sewing machine is one of the toughest sewing machines ever made.

When it comes to pushing a threaded needle through several layers of heavy fabric, the old treadle sewing machine will seldom fail the task. We’re not talking about just sewing here, we’re talking about mending, and heavy duty mending to boot.

Mending clothing is an activity that is becoming less common year after year. But in tough times, or when doing tough work, heavy duty clothing can get damaged and need to be mended by a heavy duty machine.

Think it won’t happen to you? Here are just a few possible scenarios:


Why You Might Need A Treadle Sewing Machine

– You squat to lift that last case of #10 cans of dehydrated food that you’re moving to maintain rotation, and you split the rear seam out of your favorite jeans….

– In a split-second, you decide that if you crawl through that barbed-wire fence quickly, you might be able to head off the goats before they make it to that gate that someone left open. But in your haste, you get hung up on the middle wire and rip the crotch out of your pants instead….

– You forgot all about having that long screwdriver in your hip pocket until you stepped over the drawbar and ducked under the hydraulic hoses, then heard and felt your hip pocket rip loose from your pants….

– You cash in on that great “no returns” sale of heavy denim overalls that you chanced into at the farm store, buy four pair, and get home to be reminded by your better-half that you have a 34-inch inseam instead of 38-inch….

– That first really cold snap of the season rolled in last night. It’s time to break out the old insulated jacket again to go out and do the chores. That jacket has been a life-saver for cold weather, but this morning while putting it on, the zipper hung halfway up. It wouldn’t go up and it wouldn’t go down no matter how hard you pulled and yanked. Finally, after stepping over toward the kitchen light, close examination reveals three teeth missing on one side….

– You step up into the stirrup like many times before, but for some unknown reason, your horse decides to head out a little early before you can swing your leg up over the saddle, leaving you hopping along desperate for leverage to complete the mount. Once finally mounted you feel a draft, and discover that the seat of your britches is ripped open full-length….

– You suspect that the milk cow has hidden her new calf in the thicket, so you head in there to investigate. Just a few steps in, a stob hangs on the one lower pocket of your cargo pants that you use the most, and rips it loose from the leg….

– Having to temporarily put woven wire around your garden tub to keep the pesky deer at bay makes harvesting a little more difficult, but necessary. Everything is going well until your favorite apron catches on a cut end of the wire when you’re stepping away, and tears a hole in the left front that you could throw a cat through….

– You’ve just finished your lunch and are heading back out to finish that little project before the better half gets back from picking up supplies. You grab your light-duty work gloves on the way out, but then happen to notice a finger seam coming loose. It’s not much, barely half of an inch long, but that glove won’t last to finish the day. You’re about to go find another pair of gloves, when you notice the sewing machine that you picked up a couple of months ago down at the big box store still set up from this morning’s quilt block piecing all threaded up and everything. The machine doesn’t feed the glove very well, so you decide to help it a little bit. There’s a distinct crack sound that comes from deep within the machine, and while everything still seems to still be running fine, you notice that the needle has quit going up and down….

– You were going to sit and drink some more coffee before you made the decision on whether to wear a belt or your suspenders today, but glancing out the window you notice that last night’s wind nearly blew the gate off of the chicken run. You hustle out to make temporary repairs to the gate, having to constantly hike your pants up by the belt loops. Aggravation causes each successive hike to be a little more robust than the previous one, until suddenly….

Yes, damage to work clothing can and does happen. An old treadle sewing machine could mend (most of) that damage. And besides, sewing with a treadle sewing machine can just be fun!

– CD in Oklahoma

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