11 Dec

No Electricity Needed

I finally, after three years (way too long), took my “daily driver” sewing machine into the shop last week for servicing. One reason I had put it off so long was that I always seemed to be using it. So now what was I going to do?

I have a 50 year old Husquvarna machine from my mother in law. It’s serviceable and is basically my backup machine. But I also have this…


A friend purchased this Naumann Kl9 for me when we lived in Germany. I had wanted a treadle base to make a side table, but for the same price, she found me this complete machine with a beautiful inlaid top. I agreed it was too nice to pass up, even though it meant I’d still have to shop for another base (which I did and used it for my modern sewing machine).



The only problem was that the Naumann has a scary looking bobbin case and instructions in German, which intimidated me, even though I actually can read a fair amount of German. Check out the cute little bobbin storage box though! Long story short, I’ve had the sewing machine for almost 15 years and have done basically nothing with it. Time to justify hauling this thing halfway across the globe.



I did get as far as learning how to load the bobbin from my friend Nanette when I stayed with her in NC for the Homefront and Downrange exhibit. But I never sewed more than a quick test because 1: we packed up to move soon after, and 2: I still didn’t know how to wind a bobbin with desired thread. So, with my regular machine in the shop, (and a project that actually lent itself conceptually to a little zombie-apocolypse sewing) I decided to figure this out. Thank the Germans for a well-illustrated manual! Between Figure 7 and a few key words I loaded up a bobbin! It’s not beautiful, but it works.



I marked a quarter inch with some handy blue tape and got to sewing. Check out my Instagram feed for a couple videos of both sewing and bobbin winding.



Ta-da, I sewed a whole bobbin-full. I’ve now re-filled that bobbin three times, and pieced a small quilt top. I can sew forward and backward, adjust the tension, and adjust the presser foot pressure. I’ve oiled the machine a couple times and it’s purring along nicely. I’m ready to pick up my regular machine, but it’s been fun prepping for the apocalypse.



4 thoughts on “No Electricity Needed

  1. Oh Lordy prepping for the apocalypse! Way to go on figuring out the sewing machine. I tell people that one of my earliest childhood memories is sitting on Mom’s lap while she sewed on her Singer treadle machine. Circa 1956.

  2. That is a beautiful machine. Is the bed walnut? I have my Grandmother’s treadle. My Grandfather loved to piss my Mom off. (She was/is pretty silly sometimes.) Anyway, I was always had embroidery or hand sewing when I stayed with him. I desperately wanted to learn to sew (4th grade), but Mom said I had to wait until 8th grade. Gramps thought that was silly and gave me Grandma’s machine. It means a lot because I never knew her. She died when my Dad was 7. I sewed on it until I was 16 and saved my pennies for a Kenmore. I love old machines and watching how the stitch is made. Enjoy your treasure!

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