Saturday, January 7, 2012

My New Treadle!

I have a new (to me) treadle sewing machine!  It is a Free Number 5 in a parlor cabinet.  I've never had a parlor cabinet before. 

parlor cabinet
The front door opens to show two lidded cubbies and places for thread, shuttles and bobbins.  The side door also opens to help support the lid and to give more room.  There is even a 'lock' on the front door to lock it closed (I guess to keep the kiddies out).

lids to drawers (cubbies) lift up

foot pedal raises when the machine is hidden

Free No. 5 parlor treadle cabinet

The serial number is 'C241622' and the Patented dates range from Feb 11, 1902 thru May 20, 1913, so, I'm guessing this machine is around 99 years old.  I'm hoping to find more information about it from my treadle group.  There is a wealth of information with the members of that group. 

The Free No. 5

end plate and foot

bed decals

arm decals

needle info

made in Rockford, Illinois


bobbin winder and decals
This machine came with one bobbin and shuttle.  There wasn't a needle.  I'm not familiar with this kind of foot.  There weren't any accessories, other than 2 belts.  I need to find out what needle to use with this machine.  I hope one of my seam guides will fit on this machine, since I can't use my 1/4" foot with it.  I haven't cleaned this pretty lady up  yet.  That will happen another day, after I figure out how to take the machine out of the cabinet.  It doesn't work like my Singers. 

An update to my boo-hoo sewing from Thursday.  I finally got all the seams ripped and the sashing sewn together and attached to the quilt square strips.  This quilt has been sewn on my Singer Spartan hand crank. 
1949 Singer Spartan hand crank
I love this hand crank.  (Thanks Caryl Ann).  She is sew much fun to sew on.  My hubby and I are trying to watch all of the Harry Potter movies, and, last night, I sewed to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Tonight it will be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  Maybe I'll get this quilt top finished before the movie is over.  It depends on how often I stop to 'watch' the movie and not just 'listen' to it. 


  1. I have been wanting a hand crank, but I have neck problems that go into my shoulders, arms and wrists, so I rethought that. I decided I wanted a treadle like your new one. I saw one advertised last weekend at an auction, but the auction was already over by the time I saw it.
    :( Just wasn't meant to be. I missed one last summer at a thrift shop too. Where are you located and how much do these go for where you are? Regular treadles go for about $100 here. The one I missed last summer sold for around $300, but that was at the shore. I am in PA.

  2. Congratulations on your new Free and parlor cabinet.
    I'd love to have a parlor cabinet with a well working sewing machine some day.

  3. that's what's known as a back clamping foot. No 1/4" foot for it. I know on some Singers you can change it out for the side clamping but I have no idea about that one. A seam guide should work though. It is a beautiful machine!!

  4. Wow, your new treadle is gorgeous! The decals are especially lovely -- is that a peacock? Hope you have lots of fun sewing on it! :)

  5. I have a Free No. 5 Sewing machine in a parlor cabinet too!

  6. Wow, GORGEOUS decals! I do love the beautiful ones. Let us know how she sews.

  7. Free No.5 have such pretty decals. I have a Free No.5 also, but I haven't used mine since the treadle iron repair. Free No.5 takes a standard needle, 15x1. Enjoy!

  8. OOOOh- Love them! I adopt treadles and vintage sewing machines..they are priceless.
    You have some beautiful treasures :)

  9. Wow, that is a beautiful machine. The Free's decals are so pretty that I would make room if one came my way, especially if it has the cabinet like yours. I let one go years ago and have regretted it every since. I'd love to hear how it works sometime.

  10. Such a beautiful cabinet. I too love old treadle machines.
    Thanks for visiting and posting to my blog. This is the only way I could reply to you. When I tried sending you a email through your profile page it said something about a default something or other not set up. I enjoy your blog.

  11. That is a gorgeous machine! I love the decals. They have an art deco look to them. Have you gotten it up and running now?

  12. Thanks for letting me know about your blog, I'm your newest follower!

  13. Cheryl--Hello from North Texas (Plano). What a beautiful new Free treadle you have! I love how the treadle pedal disappears when the machine is lowered--neat feature. Hugs, Allison

  14. When you get it up and running you will love your Free #5. I love mine and think it is one of the smoothest treadles I have ever used.

  15. PS I lucked into my Free at the River Rat Toga in 2010. $50.00! Some of the carved trim is missing but the machine is perfect. Do you need copies of the manual? I have mine.

  16. Where can one get a new belt for the Free No. 5 machine? I have a machine that I either need to refinish the cabinet and get a new belt for or get into the hands of someone else. It worked great until the belt broke and now it has just been sitting around and the cabinet needs a little work.

    1. Please contact me with your email, so that I can help you. You are a no reply commenter, and I can't contact you.


Comments are IMPORTANT to me. Thank you for commenting. If you are a no-reply or Google+ commentor, please leave me your email address, so that I can reply to you. If you don't want everyone to see your email address, then you can send me a private reply (my email address is listed under my profile).