Singer 31-15 Industrial Treadle

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Or, How the Treadle Stopped Turning

The beautiful treadle that I had so much hope for and have since learned that she really wasn’t cut out for what I wanted to do with her, are going to remain just friends.  The relationship showed a lot of promise.  She was just the machine to use when I thought I couldn’t handle an industrial motor.  I could get a workout when I treadled and I could use her if there was an interruption in electrical power.  Such dreams.  A sewing tranquility that a noisy machine couldn’t provide.

But, it was me and not her.  Even though I tried to put the blame on her.  I could make something one time and change thread color and I couldn’t get her to work the next.  Surely it was something simple but I am anything but the mechanical type.  Well, you might have read my previous posts, so I won’t go on.

I did some more research; asked a few vendors what they used; and even watched some in action on Instagram.  Those were the machines for people who make ten of one thing or have stores full of their product.  I’m a one woman band and make one-of-a-kind items—sometimes repeated—so I didn’t need a machine like you see in the big factories.

While searching for machines that sew leather, several sites recommended the Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSX-1.   It looked good and affordable but I was told it sounded like a jet engine.  Ear plugs and loud music?

I went around and around.  Do I still want to struggle with my domestic machine that was getting old and huffing and puffing when I went over heavy seams?  How long do I think about getting an industrial?  Or, how long until I ruin the domestic?

A few days later, I made the plunge but not for the portable.  I ordered a Sailrite® Fabricator®.  This machine came with a table and a servo motor.  Power and quiet.  Lucky for me, I also decided right at the same time they had a sale and an extra 10% off.  Must be fate.

But, OMG, what had I gotten myself into?  It arrived in four boxes.  One of which, I couldn’t carry upstairs by myself.  I’m sure the FedEx guy loved me that day.  NOT!

There is an instructional video they send you and the running time is 30 minutes.  It looked pretty easy.  But Bill (the guy in the video) probably has put more than one of these together among other things.  Me, the only things I’ve put together are those shelving units and cabinets you get from Target.  Or, you could count the Lego sets I helped build.                                                                

But I did it; several missteps and all.  I big shout out to my daughter and my friend Marybeth who helped me with a few things I just couldn’t figure out.  I only made one call to the company when I hadn’t set a part right, but that’s it. 

Well, that’s not quite the whole story.  I wrote this the day I got the new machine and while I did practice, there were a few thunks and a machine that kept sewing after I thought I had stopped it. While Sailrite’s customer service is great it’s hard to figure out what to do from hundreds of miles away.  A phone call to a sewing repairman who makes house calls has done the trick.  He made a few tweaks but congratulated me for how I did put this machine together.

I have a walking foot machine.  I will practice on it before I make a real product but I’m encouraged.

As for the treadle.  Right now she’s a decoration.  I’m hoping to find her a good home.  Someone who can appreciate her qualities.