I heart Craigslist


I’ve got an Craiglist alert set up for any posts that include “sewing” in the Quad-Cities where I live. I know, I may have a problem.

So a couple weeks ago an alert popped up on my phone for an antique treadle sewing machine. The top was in bad shape, I learned later a fish tank resided on it for a while, which made it perfect.


I had been on the lookout for a treadle with a top that was in bad shape so I wouldn’t feel bad about refinishing it and painting the base. Well, that was the original plan when I picked it up and snuck it into my house so my husband wouldn’t find out I had purchased yet another antique sewing cabinet. I did get busted and had to fess up.

But my plan was foiled when I did a little research online. Singer has a section on its website where you can look up your sewing machine by its serial number to find out when it was made. You can look up your own machine by clicking here.


Well it turns out the machine is a 1910 Singer in Cabinet Table No. 5 and the combination is going for $700 to $1200 on Ebay.

My painting plans stopped right then and there along with any other plans to do anything to the cabinet. The last thing I want to do is reduce the potential value by doing something irreversible.



My machine isn’t in mint condition and obviously the cabinet isn’t either. First on my to-do list isĀ getting it evaluated by an antique appraiser to see if it is worth restoring and selling or if it the finish is too far gone. The good news is I do know how to refinish wood and my dad is a woodworking genius who can help me replace the damaged veneer.

So, keep an eye out as I tackle this fun project.


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Comment (8)

  1. Wow! You did find a treasure! I bought a Pfaff treadle machine a few years ago at an auction for $40. The owner said it still worked! It is beautiful condition…cabinet and all. I use it in my sewing room to hold my laptop next to my sewing machine. I love it! I hope yours works out perfectly for you!

  2. I just bought a working, in great condition Singer from a friend’s estate that she used until she got sick. making Red Hats, as well as other craft treasures. The cabinet is in great shape; the machine was made in 1949. I have an older one, but haven’t looked at the serial # on it yet !!! I am “savoring the moment” !!!!

  3. WOW, you sure got a great find there! I would love to get my hands on some old antique sewing tables. Growing up, we had an old Singer treadle machine, and unfortunately when we moved, it disappeared. Oh well, congrats on your new machine!

  4. Stephanie,

    Congratulations on your fab find!

    I learned to sew, on a treadle, and am thankful that I found one, several years ago, in New Hampshire. All of my quilts have been sewn, on this machine. When a quilt is signed, this information is included.

    Mine came off the production line the last week of November 1894.

    A few hints: The Singer Company has copies, of the original manuals. That, I am sure, can be downloaded. Singer certified repair shops are trained and qualified to service all Singer machines (A good time, to get it cleaned, adjusted and purchase a new belt). Pop the leather belt, off the machines pulley and remove the machine, from the table. Water stains can be removed, with milk. Dip a soft cloth in milk. Wring out most of the milk and gently rub the wood. Do this several times. Wipe with a barely water dampened cloth, then dry. Let the wood dry. This will need to be done a few times. Then lightly wax the whole table and machine; rub well. It will serve you long and well. Plus treadles sew through jeans, as easy as silk.


  5. I have two Singer machines that need to be restored. One is dated 1921 and the other is 1950. The 1921 machine is a pedal machine and I hope to get it restored first. The 1950 is an electric machine. Both machines need a lot of work. I think finding the right Singer dealer will be the challenge on repairing them. Both machines I got from my husbands grandmother after she passed away. So this is very important to me to get it done right so I will be able to keep them humming for all my future quilts to come.
    CW romanpoint


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