The lovely Vera has been called up for active duty.

She is 75 years old and still dependable.  ‘Vera’ is my Singer 127 treadle sewing machine, manufactured in the early 1940s and originally purchased in Indiana in February 1945.  Some of the masks I’m making require several colors of thread.  It’s a total drag to rethread the machine multiple times for one mask batch.  So, I’ve called upon my older machines.  For now, Vera is handling the ecru thread color.

Vera has the rare black ‘crinkle’ finish, and blackside metal plates.  The lamp isn’t sitting on the cabinet for decoration; it’s a necessity.  There’s no light on the machine since it isn’t electrified.

Vera the Machine

Here’s a closer view of her crinkle finish and black metal plates.  The plainness of the finish and lack of embellishments says ‘wartime’ to me. Vera closeup

Vera crinkle finish

In the cabinet there’s a well-stocked drawer of presser feet, an old metal seam gauge, needle threaders, and a good supply of bobbins.  (It is a ‘vibrating shuttle’ machine, which uses long, narrow bobbins.)

Vera equipment drawer

Another drawer holds the original purchase receipt, and user manual.  Her original purchase price was $105.75.

Vera paperwork drawer--redact

The handwritten note on back of the receipt says:

  • 5 year guarantee
  • 5 year free service
  • Free sewing courseVera warranty

In another drawer is the all-important sharp pointed tool for piercing a new treadle belt.  It serves as a bodkin, too. Belt tool

Sewing with a treadle machine is like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time.  Your feet work the pedal, while the right hand is on the hand wheel, to be the starter, speed controller, and ’emergency brake’.  That leaves only the left hand to maneuver the fabric.  When it all gets going, the sound and feel is mesmerizing.

More about the Singer 127:

A blog post about the crinkle finish and blackside metal.

And I’ll be darned, look who else was channeling Vera this week.

12 thoughts on “The lovely Vera has been called up for active duty.

  1. My grandmother had a pedal-operated one before. They are like works of art to me. I couldn’t sew a thing but they great to look at.

    The Vera Lynn version is wonderful. I didn’t know she was still alive at 103! Bragg looks like he is having a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I look at the old machines that way too. Same as antique cars that still run. They just need someone to take care of them, which doesn’t require much.

      Vera Lynn is truly special. I agree about Bragg. He’s done three weekly videos so far; all with that super cool guitar. I hope he keeps going with it for awhile.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My friend collects and repairs old tractors…they have the same quality…they are made well.

        He has a grin on his face that is hard to beat. I hope he keeps doing it also.


      2. He has a 1958 ford that works right now…he let me drive it…that was fun and you could feel the history.


      3. If you are ever near Nashville say the word and off you go on the red tractor! It was a lot of fun. I grew up in the country but not with farm things.


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