Thursday, October 10, 2013

My New OLD Standard Rotary Treadle Sewing Machine

I was gifted this old coffin top Standard rotary treadle sewing machine by a fellow quilt guild member. She has a pretty early 6 digit serial number so I'm guessing she is from the 1890's - 1900ish.  It was in  an uncleaned and somewhat neglected, but fair condition.  I knew nothing about vintage treadle sewing machines and was very excited to get my hands dirty and learn all about it.  I started to clean her up right away.  I first removed the machine from the cabinet.  It was evident right away that the decal was long gone so all there was to do was to clean off the years and years of oil and crud that covered the whole thing.  It took a lot of elbow grease and there is still more that can be done.  What I'm most excited about is how much better the cabinet looks after a cleaning with Murphy's Oil soap, touch up with some Old English and an application of Howard's Restor-A-Finish.  We figured out how to cut and fit the belt with a little help from YouTube.  I was able to figure out how to thread it and within minutes I was sewing.  She works like a dream.
Here is a FREE pdf of the original Standard Rotary Manual

Before she came home to me.

Catalog  Image

Coffin top before

Machine before

Dirty bobbin case with a little Liquid Wrench 
Distressed top before


Here she is in action with her ruffler foot attachment.


  1. Your Standard machine is beautiful. I am going to look at one for myself this coming weekend. I can't wait!!

  2. I have acquired a machine very similar to yours. I am having figuring out the tension assembly. The set spring on mine seems to be broken off at some point. The set spring is attached to a screw behind the faceplate of the machine and it seems it should protrude out of a space between the body of the machine and the face plate. I found photos online, but none are close up so I am still looking for help. Is it possible you could post a closeup photo of the tension assembly or could we converse by email? Thank youRenee

  3. Hi Renee,
    I'd be happy to send you some pics, please let me know where to send them. Thanks

  4. I'm so glad I found you! I just got this same model machine, and I'm looking for help with the upper tension assembly as well! Could you pretty please share photos of it with me too? Mine has felt discs and there's no take up spring! Something's very wrong here.

  5. I purchased my Standard in 2000 from the granddaughter of the original owner, had been in the family for a long time. I have only used it as decoration until now. The belt has deterioated and can't be used, can you tell me the length, shape and width of the belt. I am planning on reworking her. Any info would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

  6. Karen I would have to take it off and I hate to do that. All I did was buy a synthetic replacement belt and followed the directions I found online. You can cut the belt to the correct length for your machine. It is a pretty simple process and there are several You Tube videos that can walk you through it.