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Hey, Baby…

Hey little baby Singer! How have you been all this time?

This is the very first sewing machine I ever used.

I guess this is where it all started. Mom taught me how to sew on this little singer. Her mom (or her grandmother, more likely) taught her on this little singer. I was today years old when I started doubting that her mother had also learned on it.

We still have the manual! I have no idea how that wasn’t lost to time.
If you look down in the lower left corner, it’s (c) 1955. So I think it’s only two generations of my family that have used this as childhood learner machine -unless mom’s mom was really late to the game.

This is hand-cranked lock-stitch style machine. I has no bobbin, and sews with only an upper thread. She sees well enough, but she’s also a champ at making giant thread nests beneath the plate when operated by children who are both stubborn and rather stupid. (Things that also run in my family for 100, Alex.)

So at this point, you might be looking at this machine and thinking, good gawd, I didn’t realize she was THAT old! Yikes! I’m not! I mean, I don’t think I am…? Whatever. An old Italian lady was involved, ok? No, what? Not me! Oy.

Anybody else out there learn to sew on something that looks all adorably quaint in the now-times?


  1. ariellaphant
    ariellaphant May 12, 2020

    My grandma taught me the basics on her beige knee pedal machine that I think was from the 60s. I definitely prefer a foot pedal but she still quilts on that old machine.

    • missa
      missa May 14, 2020

      Oooh, like a knee pedal for the, erm, accelerator? I don’t know what to call that part when it’s not a foot pedal. Lol! That’s so cool! I have never gotten to use one of those.

  2. Vincent Briggs
    Vincent Briggs May 19, 2020

    What a cute little machine! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those little ones in person.

    I learned on a singer 15-90, and when I moved out I bought a very similar one because it’s what I’m used to. My new one is also powered by a knee lever! It… throws me off a bit sometimes because I use industrials at work and they have knee pedals to lift the presser foot, but I like how it doesn’t give me toe cramps like the dumb little button on the pedal of the other machine did. I love the foot pedals on the industrial machines, but the one I learned on just had one little button thing you press with your big toe, and it got very hot if you sewed for a while.

    • missa
      missa May 19, 2020

      Oh, I love the foot-lift knee pedal on industrials! But I can see switching between that and a knee pedal for power would be … bad. Soooooo much bad.
      I can’t envision a foot pedal with a toe button. That’s crazy! My foot is cramping just thinking about it. Lol – thank you for sharing. :)

  3. Elle
    Elle June 3, 2022

    I know this post is old but I had to chime in. I learnt on a Victorian Singer treadle machine from the 1800s. The one you power by rocking your feet back and forth on an iron grate, with a leather cord attaching it to the machine. For some reason my mother thought it was safer for me to learn on that than her electric? I still don’t understand but I do remember loving the rhythm of it. My Barbie dolls got a lot of costumes from that thing and I dream of owning one myself some day.

    • missa
      missa October 20, 2022

      That is amazing! We had a Singer treadle in the house when I was younger, but I could never quite get the rhythm steady enough to sew without the tension going awful. You have skills! :)

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