Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My "New" Antique Sewing Machine

This week, I had spent too much time in my sewing studio and needed  to get out of the house for a change of scenery. I popped into a local upholstery store to browse the rows of fabric and see the pretty colors. Tucked away by some finished products awaiting pick up, was a Singer 15-88 treadle sewing machine in a cabinet. Over a year ago, I discussed this machine with the owner and was told it was for sale for $$$. The machine needed refurbishment, is an antique treadle and after considering what might be required to make it function; I passed on it.  

On Monday, I casually asked the current price of the machine expecting the out of my budget price of a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised to hear a price that as 10% of the original! The owner had not followed through on his refurbishment plans and wanted the constant reminder of that failure gone. It is not substitute for the Singer 201 I was looking for in my previous post, but I could not let this gem go. For the cost of a week of designer coffee, we had a deal! 

Here is my Antique Singer 15-88 Treadle machine from 1948.

Folded in the cabinet.

Well loved, but in good condition.

The decals on the back are in great condition.

The front decals are worn from putting it in the cabinet.

Cast Iron treadle in great shape.

The hand wheel.

Singer trade mark

The leather strap is connected, but worn.

The veneer is a mess, but the wood beneath is solid.

So cozy
I have done some research and have been able to find a manual online, parts I can order and great advice on cleaning it. I plan to order the parts I know I need before taking it to the shop. In the meantime, I will clean her up, read the manual and see what she can do.

The machine came with tons of feet for this low shank machine. I know what some are, others, I have no clue. If you know, please share.

Gather foot.

Hemmer foot,


Binding Foot



Adjustable hemmer

I will share the updates as they come. I am excited to get to know this machine.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Congratulations on your "new" Singer! Keep your eye out for that 201, you never know what you'll find. I came here via Pattern Review after I read your Member in Focus Review, and checked out your Alabama Chanin Dress - I've been thinking of doing one, and I think you just tipped me over the edge. I have a lot of those machine feet too (my Singer collection is currently sitting at 6!) Do you have a manual for it? If the feet were standard with that machine, it should tell you how to use each foot.

    I can tell you though, that your second question mark is an edge stitcher, the next is possibly a tucker, and the last is an adjustable hemmer.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Andrea! If you need any help or cheerleading along theway on your A.C. dress, let me know. Thanks for the information on the feet!

      I can see how my collection can grow on the way to the one I really want. :)

  2. So envious! I learnt to sew on a Singer Treadle Sewing Machine exactly like yours. They are so well engineered that they will sew anything as long as the thread and needle are correct. Unfortunately too often they are stripped down to make patio tables. So sad. I hope you enjoy your new machine as much as I enjoyed mine so long ago. :)

  3. I am so anxious to get her up and running!