Monday, March 18, 2013

Re-purposing


Do you have one of these kicking around in not-so-good shape...as in it'd cost more to repair it than it's worth? A family treasure that holds memories but isn't functional, just sits around taking up space....here's some ideas on how to re-purpose pretty much the whole unit into lovely, useable items.
Unfortunately, these machines are pretty much a dime a dozen and unless they're rare and in mint working condition, they're not worth alot dollar wise. Still, so many of us have our grandmother's treadle and alot of sentimental value in them.  They were built to last and very sturdy! My grandmother's treadle was not in good condition.  There were major parts missing, the finish on the machine was almost completely worn off, the cabinetry was in poor shape. Still, I wanted to preserve something that meant alot to her and us.  First, we removed the machine itself and put it on display with some old sewing items.

Ours wasn't a Singer but a Raymond, made in Canada. I love this machine sitting on my shelf :)



 
 Then, we took the 4 drawers out. Only one still had it's original knob, the rest were missing. I use the drawers around my house and sewing room for storing and displaying things. The one that was in the worst condition, I turned sideways and mounted on the wall as a little shelf.
 The wood from the cover and top were planed down and under the veneer was this beautiful oak.  My husband made several picture frames from this wood. Aren't they lovely!
 That leaves the metal frame which hubby repurposed into this wonder table for me a few weeks ago.   All that's left is the cast iron pieces that the drawers set in and those are going to be used for picture frames too.  I was so thankful to be able to take my grandmother's treadle and find ways to make it all useful again. I enjoy each and every item that came to be from something that held so much sentimental value.

Happy Stitching!


29 comments:

Michele said...

What a wonderful way to make a treasure useful! I just love what you did with the drawers. Great idea :-D

Cathi said...

What a fabulous way to repurpose a family treasure!

Sheila said...

Great way to repurpose this great old machine and cabinet , I have an old treadle which is in decent shape but I also had a cabinet that we picked up at an auction and the cabinet was toast but my husband made a new top for the lovely metal frame and I use it for photos in my living room .

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

I love it!

Missy Shay said...

I bought a treadle for $25, it was actually pretty cheap to clean up and fix, and it is the best sewing machine to use. It works better than new machines.

Barb said...

great ideas a great displays!

Diane said...

I think your Grandmother would have appreciated it more if it had been brought back to its original use. JMHO

Prairie Patch Quilts said...

I love what you did with all the different pieces. It is a special treasure. And can be enjoyed and used for many more years!

Sharyn Mallow Woerz said...

I'm learning how to treadle this year, lots of fun, but it ain't my Horizon 8900 :)

The purists are having a fit about your Repurposing I suppose, but using the items with love and care is far better in my book than a basement or barn or garage full of rusting hulks which many of them have...they aren't saving them from anything and remind me of cat hoarders :)

Nancy Baron said...

So Sad. Your Grandmother must be turning over in her grave to see a machine she loved cannibalized like this. And it would have been so cheap and easy to get it sewing again. A little oil, a little patience, some cleaning and some easy to get parts and you could have been sewing on your Grandmother machine.

sewducky.com said...

I am glad you are enjoying the machine in some way, but treadles offer sewing in a way that no other machine can. They're simple, yes, and they do require knowing how to sew instead of relying on the machine to do the work, but they are also calming, cheaper then therapy/aromatherapy/acupuncture and do a fine stitch.

Just re-purposing because the machine is old is a shame. They are wonderful machines.

And yes, I suppose I AM a purist and vintage snob. I sew on one as a main machine (as in I hardly sew if I have to use another one at all). I enjoy my machine so much I find it hard when others don't.

F F Mann said...

What a shame you ruined a machine and a somewhat rare machine at that. I am sure if your grandmother had any idea you would do this to her machine the would have left it to another family member or a total stranger. You are like so many have no idea is what it took for your grandparents to afford that machine, and the sacrifices they made to pay for it. Yes the decals are worn shows that your grandmother loved and used that machine. If you grandmother could see what you have done, I am sure she would take you down to wood shed and you went back to the house you would not be be sitting down for a while. What some called being creative I call being arrogant and stupid as you see things as cash to be had!
May you live long enough to have one of your most prize processions ripped apart and used in such a callous way.
I usually do not reply to such things, but this one has me seeing red as most people do not know about Raymond sewing machines, and you have now made it so they can not see a complete one. As for it costing to much to repair you sounds like you just wanted an easy way to trash the machine and pat yourself on the back.

Dean

lady firefighter said...

Thank you for sharing. It takes courage to put pieces of your life on display to other people.

I do have to disagree with your assessment of the machine. Depending on the make and model they are not a dime a dozen. Many can be restored with a little effort and enjoyed by another generation. I am also not a hoarder, but do have a number of machines each with their own purpose. I commend you wanting to remember Grandma, but sewing machines were a significant luxury and changed life for women.

Heather said...

I read your second post first and then came back to this one. Good for you Shelley. What would have been garbage otherwise is now a number of treasured items for your family to enjoy every day. Shame on the commentors for taking a strip out of you without knowing the full state of disrepair.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a man who follows a quilters blog by commentine is apt to run the risk of putting himself in the position of having some dear old soul tell him that his father should take him out behind the barn and give him a whooping! Seeing I'm an older sort and my father is long gone I'll take the risk.All I hear these days is recycle, recycle and look what happens. Here is an obviously intelligent and inventive lady who has an unretreavable old sewing maching that was once her grandmothers. And someone with this kind of talent is obviously in a position to know the difference and make an intelligent decision. Rather than putting it out on the rock pile ( I have seen them there) she used her intelligence and inventiveness to use every bit of this machine in smart ways to grace her home and life forever. How ingenius! Dear lady, I would say your grandmother would be proud of you! Her husband is obviously a talented craftsman as well. What a team! Some of the negative comments I see here are almost scarry - Are old sewing machines classified as sacred these days?! Maturity comes late to some folks doesn't it. Wish I had an old machine, I'd give it to you. Keep up the good work and quilting!

F F Mann said...

I stick to my comments and wonder how the blogger would feel if people took her quilt creations apart to put in pieces willy nilly around a house. It shows no creativity as it just looks clutter from scavenging a junk shop! I like to sew and restore old machines so I think I may know about what is fixable then most who read this blog. Unlike the blogger and most who have to take their machine to shop to be fixed. Like any sewing machine shop these days wants to fix an older machine they want to sell you their newest plastic wonders that will be obsolete and irreparable in few years when circuit boards or updates for its software are no longer available.
Give me real machine like that Raymond it will sew for a 100 year not 10 years if you are luck like ones from today.
Also I have the courage to sign my post not be Anonymous like some narrow minded people who read this blog!
Even the irons for sewing machine have been butchered to point they could never be used for another Raymond. Seems some people should learn more about things they take apart for some idea of art.
For the record a Raymond sewing machine are not a dime a dozen. They were a Canadian made machine, and were made no where near the number that Singer produced So she had to idea what she was butchering.
Sorry if the truth hurts some of the feeble minded who think the blogger was showing homage to her grandmother, when she showing an arrogant disrespect!
Dean

Anonymous said...

Mother says -
I can't believe some of the stuff that I am reading here. I do not usually comment but this is too much. For the lady seeing red, she should see red from embarrassment. For the man wanting to go to the woodshed, someone should take him there. I learned to sew on that machine. It had many miles of sewing to it's credit. My mother had not used it for many years before she died as it was wore out.It had been left for many years in not a friendly environment. When it was given to Shelley, many inquiries were made concerning restoration. Too many parts not available or too costly, too much rust etc. made it not a viable enterprise. We agreed that restoration was not going to happen. You did not know my mother, so I do not know how you could know what she would say if she knew about her wore out Raymond. I do know! She would be delighted to see it's parts born back to usefulness. These parts have been lovingly polished and shined and will be enjoyed by all of us for years to come. I hope none of you throw out anything of your grandmothers - You know, old shoes, freezers, enterprise stoves,etc. but restore them. So grow up, this was not your decision to make anyway! I am so proud of you Shelley, that you cared enough to do this and not throw it to the rock pile.

Anonymous said...

Dean - I think you had better go have a sleep and maybe you'll feel better in the morning! Maybe a little sleep will give you an opportunity to grow up a bit more and be more realistic! Maitland

Jo-Anne said...

I was envious as always at how creative and talented you and David are. I can "see" them in your home being cherished because you cherished your Grandmother. She would no doubt think you as clever and smart as she did when you were little and she taught you to sew. I love that table!

F F Mann said...

Dear Anonymous,
I am well rested and find it appalling you feel someone cannot state an opinion on an open blog that she set up show off he skills or in this case lack of skill and knowledge of antique sewing machines. She may be able to make a what decent quilt, but she should be told for even thinking this was a clever and showing a talent just how simple minded she and you who thinks this shows a talent are.
As I said before you gutless condescending wonder I am not ashamed to sign name, and you certainly seem to be. I wonder what you have to be so ashamed of, could be you have less talent the blogger or you are one who think that any thing old is useless and junk?
You may be surprise to know on how many found what she did showing such a lack of respect for her grandmother and the machine she used. I have to wonder why she would have even wanted the machine if it was such a worthless wreck she make it out to be. She did not even have the courage to even show what she started with. I have seen machines in far worse shape with just a bit of real work turn into the something that anyone would be proud to have in their home and proud to say it works! Something you see to know nothing of just mouthing off and not even have the politeness to giving your name!
Dean

Anonymous said...

As a collector of antique sewing machines, this bothers me greatly. You have a right to do as you wish with your possessions, far be it from me to tell you otherwise. However, did you know that there are people out there looking to buy exactly what you destroyed? Did you realize that someone out there would lovingly restore and use it?

QuiltSue said...

Having read your 2nd post, I came back to the comments on this one and am amazed at some people's attitudes. I just have to wonder how people DARE to criticise you and what you have done. Well done on making some brilliant use of something from your grandmother.

Anonymous said...

To think that women murder their children year in and year out in this country and call it abortion and no one say a thing about it and yet look what happens when you reconstruct an old sewing machine!

Anonymous said...

Isn't that something now Dean - I went to your site and I see you don't allow folks on unless you know them. Anyway I can't be bothered with this foolishness anymore! Think I'll go and play with the grandchildren!

A Angelfish said...

Unlike some other posters, I won't insult your taste or what you've chosen to do with your property, but I do encourage anyone considering doing the same thing to reconsider. These vintage machines are a marvel of engineering and and amazing marriage of form and function. I would suggest to anyone wanting to have "sewing decor" not to take apart a working machine or one like this that can be restored (my workhorse was in worse shape than what I see in this picture when I rescued him), but rather make contact with one of the many people out there who love to restore and use old machines and arrange to swap for something that's definitely not salvageable. Sure, they may not be super-rare or have great monetary value, but they are also a finite and dwindling supply.

F F Mann said...

Dear Anonymous,
You are one sick and disturbed person. I have made no comment that contained sexual innuendo or anything about abortion. How you could read this into my remark shows that you are one who need some help.
Sawing machine was worn out I find that hard to believe. Why are you hiding under Anonymous when you make comments that state the machine belonged to your mother. So that would likely make the mom of child who was never taught to respect things. So easy to see why she would not try to fix the machine. She had mom who did not know to more then say dear you are so talented. The blogger is computer savvy to write and post a blog looking to show how cleaver she thinks she is. Could this because she has no confidence in her own skill and must try to seek it daily from her friends and total strangers. When people confronts her with the truth that is not as talented as she thinks mommy has to come to her rescue but is to ashamed to admit she is mother of the of a non talented child! She can write a biog but is to ignorant to research the internet on how to restore a sewing machine is very sad. If she taken the time to do that she could have had an antique sewing machine that belonged to her grandmother to quilt on. However do that would have been work when it is so much easier to tear it apart say look how creative I am I stuck an old drawer here and an old drawer there. Reading several of these post seems you raised a daughter with limited ability to be creative and has to seek praise from having her friends post it for her to read.
You and your sexist attitudes that men should not read quilting blog is narrow minded it is hard to believe. What a hypocrite you are, seems there is something in your family maybe you will be on Dr. Phil share why you are so paranoid. I have no site so that may be why found nothing. Unlike you and your daughter I do not need seek validation from strangers. Yes go play with the grand kids, like world needs another generation of narrow minded people like you who think there is nothing of value in things from past, and cry when some does not gush saying how creative you are. Have to remember you post a vanity blog, you may not get what you hoping for.

Dean

Sandra said...

Wow.... I can't believe what I am reading here on your blog about what you did with your sewing machine! I love what you did, and now you have pieces of something special to you, to enjoy in several rooms of your home.
I also repurposed an old treadle machine, one that I bought on kijiji. I used the machine to replace one I already had that wasn't any good, gave some of the drawers as gifts to my sewing friends for their sewing rooms, and kept some for my own studio. The frame was used by a lady who moved here from Africa, to hold her sewing machine. Everybody was happy! :)
Lighten up people. :)

Sue said...

The items you made from your Grandmother's machine are beautiful! You are so creative. I applaud you for your resourcefulness in your quest to preserve pieces in memory of your Grandmother. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Well it is said a fool is born every minute and it sure looks like this a blog with many with no talent fools who think if a sewing machine is not a new computerized machine it is useless. After all it takes talent to do quilting where the you do not pop a few things in a to computer push a button and have it do the work. Most of you will be up the creek with nothing to do when your computer run machine goes bad, or the power goes off. looks as if you must be so poorly schooled in sewing machine history not to that Raymond was one of few sewing machines companies to be started in Canada and based in Canada. That machine if it not hacked to pieces could have sewed for another hundred years, something your computer run machine will do good if it runs 10 years.
Parts not available is just poor excuse as people find parts and get old Raymonds other makes of machines going all the time. Just those people know better than to ask the shop where they brought computerized plastic machines.