I spin yarn, and as I was treadling my wheel last week, thinking about how relaxing treadling is, I realized I would probably like sewing on an antique treadle machine better than on my electric machine. I had never looked into treadle sewing machines before, but found there are plenty available on Craig's List.
Look at this beauty I got for only $25! A 1905 White Family Rotary sewing machine in the original cabinet, with tools, accessories, warranty, original manual, etc. At 108 years old, she is 6 years older than my house. She hadn't been used for sewing in decades, but I knew the woman who I bought her from had used it at one point.
I had to replace the leather belt, and basically take apart most of the components, clean them with liquid wrench and re-oil them, but now "Meg" sews like a champ! (I named her Meg, like Meg White of the White Stripes, because she is a White machine.) I was really proud I got her up and running by myself, because I was almost ready to bring her into a sewing machine repair shop and pay them whatever they wanted to bring her back to life.
The best part is my son, age 6, is very interested in sewing now! He was always curious about my electric sewing machine, but also a little scared of it. The treadle machine is slower, and quieter, so he really wanted to try it! He did a little practice stitching on a piece of scrap cloth yesterday and is so proud of his work he insisted I take his photo. He even brought it with him on a picnic with his grandma today, because he wanted to make sure to show her. How cool is that?!