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#2455: Sewing machines

From: Bob Douglas <redded@ix.netcom.com>

Dear Robert Corbett,

I have been working for the last 2 years on a sewing project with students
in Lacroix, Haiti.  They are enrolled in a vocational sewing program at the
New Testament Mission School.  We have provided about 20 converted treadle
machines for their use.

A man named Jeff Bloemker, in Washington, PA was able to order Treadle
Stands that will convert electric sewing machines to Treadle power.  The
stands cost $100 each but must be bought in pairs.  The cost being $200 a
pair.  The electric machine must have the motor removed and the belt that is
on the stand is connected to the sewing machine.  Any older machine is a
good candidate for this process, if the motor is on the outside of the
machine and the base of the machine has rounded corners.  We were able to
find several machines that could be converted just by asking in our church

The neat thing about this conversion is that the sewing machine will have
all the capabilities that it had as and electric.  For example if it could
do zigzag as an electric it will do it as a treadle also.  I have put
several of these together and they work very well.

We do our shipping through Christian Aid Ministries in Ephrata, PA.  The
items must be driven to their warehouse and then they ship them to Haiti.
There is a warehouse in Haiti that they must be picked up at.  It is just
along Highway 1 about 1 hour from Port-au-Prince.  The cost for shipping is
about $.50 per pound, which is a bargain if you have priced other methods
for shipping.  The treadle stands are packed in 4 boxes and weight a total
of about 120 lbs. per pair.  Your sewing machines will be at least 10 lbs.
each depending on the machines.

If you would like to talk to our source for ordering below is his address
and his hours at the shop.  He traveled to Haiti last October to help
service the machines there.

Jeff's Sewing Station  (724) 745-2550 M-W-F 10-6   T-Th 10-8     Sat 10-3

I would like to here about any other information you have received on this
issue.  There may be things you learn that could help my work as well.
Where do the sisters at the school get the fabric for sewing and what are
the student's making, do they sell it or use the sewn items themselves?
Please give me any information you can.

Good Luck   Denise Douglas