The Singer 31-15 Treadle and Me

As The Treadle Turns

This will be a continuing story, hopefully with a happy ending.

I own a Pfaff 7570. It’s been with me for over ten years. We have bonded. I can sew just about anything with her. But, the old girl is getting on in machine years and the electronics may not last. Plus, she wasn’t made for heavy duty sewing even with IDT (Integrated Dual Feed).

Because I like the Pfaff brand, I bought a Quilt Expression™ 4.2. Alas, I only use it for quilting (or when my other Pfaff is in for its yearly checkup). It’s better to have it cleaned and oiled before you have problems.

My friend bought an industrial machine and I was jealous. She could zoom through projects like there was no tomorrow. I tried it, but those big motors are scary. I wasn’t sold. But, I went with my friend when she tried out her machine and there in the same room was a Singer 31-15 treadle machine. It was beautiful, with no scary motor. I could imagine the rows of treadles in the shirtwaist factories, seamstresses huddled over their machines, treadling away. So much history. The owner of the shop showed me how it worked. She even let me try it. It was SO much fun. A big drawback was that it wasn’t for sale. I threatened to put it in my handbag when she wasn’t looking. It didn’t work.

The owner also belongs to the same quilt guild as I do. Every time we had a meeting I sidled up to her to ask if she was ready to sell. You should see the machines she has stacked up in her workshop. She wouldn’t miss it.

When she brought back my Pfaff after servicing it, she said she was finally ready to sell. Unfortunately, it was a little out of my price range. It is beautiful but I wavered and wasn’t sure I wanted an antique. Although it’s not quite 100 years old so it wasn’t technically an antique.

Time went by, and my Pfaff was struggling with sewing more than one piece of leather together. So, I reasoned that I should have a machine that was a workhorse and it probably wouldn’t take too many sales to pay for it.

I approached the owner again, and the price had been reduced. That clinched the deal. It was a happy day when my son-in-law drove out to the shop with me and we picked her up. She’s sitting proudly in front of the window so I can keep an eye on what’s happening outside.

To be continued . . . .