Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery and Lace Work


Singer books, especially if they predate World War  2, are an endless source of fascination for me, and this one is the most intriguing.  Projects range from the sublime to the ridiculous and all appear equally impossible.


I have the sixth edition...


...dating from 1931...


...and this gal is on page 3, busy on her Singer 15 treadle.  Page 6 shows her looking fearfully modern, using a model 15 that has been fitted with an outboard motor.


Some time ago I bought this cutwork runner in a charity shop.  I knew that, in theory, I could make this sort of stuff on the treadle.



The trouble is that I read the instructions in the book and end up baffled.  This, supposedly, is for beginners and is Lesson 3.


Once you get to Lesson 5 you are ready to cast out into the void and stitch bars across cutwork.    The very notion was all too much. 


And then, the other day, while frittering away my time on YouTube, I chanced upon this.  Somewhere in Italy Maria Antonia is blazing away on her granny's treadle and showing how it's done.  Unlike the cloth, the video is uncut, so she gives you plenty of chat to listen to.  My understanding of Italian is pretty rudimentary, but not understanding her fully doesn't really matter because the video is so clear.


One thing I am sure of though is that she doesn't tell you how to prevent your pearls getting snagged on the tension discs.

Linking up with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday

8 comments:

  1. I love vintage machines and found your blog post very interesting. If you haven't found Tim Latimer yet, check out his blog. He does tons of free motion Quilting on a treadle and it's just beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Caro. No, I hadn't seen his blog before. I have just been over to have a look. Yes, nice quilting!

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  2. That video is fantastic to see. I haven't seen cut-work done before, although I did watch a man in India do amazing embroidery on a treadle once.

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  3. With regard to the instructions in the Singer Book, I believe the writers expected the readers to have a pretty good understanding already. Those women (and men) back then had a much better grounding in the basics as it was an everyday thing for them, so advanced techniques were easier to grasp. Having said that, some people do learn more easily from a demonstration than the written word!

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    1. I definitely need to see it being done before written instructions make any real sense to me. Singer used to hold sewing classes, so people would have had the opportunity to learn these techniques together.

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  4. Thanks Muv. That video really had me captivated, and I watched the whole thing (then shared it a couple of times). I've been a bit scared to look at my (PDF) Singer embroidery book and now you've validated the fear: If you can't follow the instructions, what hope is there? Thanks for the information and inspiration.

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  5. Hello, can you please tell me what the upright object that is mounted on the machine behind the reel of cotton is? I'm referring to the picture of the lady with the pearls. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. ??? Nicola, are you looking at the back of her chair? Or the little tiny thing to the left of the thread, which is part of the bobbin winder?

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