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What is the Big Deal About a Sewing Machine?

Treadle on Gathering Academy in Ava June 21-22.  The event is free and open to the public. 

By Missy Shay

The first practical sewing machine was invented in 1830.  This machine was originally built of wood.  

Most Americans will claim that the sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe of Massachusetts in 1844.  Isaac Singer pioneered the hire-purchase system and is one of the most well-known people associated with sewing machines.

Many of our grandmothers sewed on either a treadle or hand crank sewing machine.  

When electricity was invented many of these old treasures were converted to an electric machine.  Today there are those of us who still love to sew on the “people powered” machines.  Some of us just love to collect them.  

And, we gather together once a year for a TOGA.

What is a TOGA?  Treadle On Gathering Academy is a spin off from . It is a gathering of vintage sewing machine enthusiasts. 

The first Missouri TOGA was held last year with over 30 people from across Missouri and other states in attendance.  More are expected this year. 

In Ava, on Thursday, June 20, local TOGA enthusiasts are hosting a quilt shop hop.  The group will meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Douglas County Veteran Memorial Assn.  (DCVMA) building which is across the street from the Ava Post Office.  

Friday and Saturday, June 21-22, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., the group will once again meet at the DCVMA building with sewing machines.  Both days offer activities, games, demos, mini classes, and fellowship.  

A fundraiser drawing for a quilt raffle will be held on Saturday. This helps pay for TOGA activities. 

The event is free to attend. 

Those interested in attending are urged to bring vintage machine(s) –– ones to work with, ones to sell, ones to fix, and ones to awe over. 

For more information, please view the Facebook page,  

Or call Missy Shay, 417-543-5642.