Monday, May 03, 2010

What Came Before...

My sewing machine is pretty old because it is now 15 years old (as old as my car too!) It is a Babylock BL2100. I actually bought another brand first, got it home, stitched on it, didn't like it, took it back the next day and bought this one, which was a lesser name brand and came with less frills and attachments. However, it has served me well.

The funny thing is that I didn't try to buy a machine when I was working at Cloth World (a precursor to Jo-Anns) for the summers during college. With an employee discount I could have made out well. Oh, well...

Visiting my dad for his 75th birthday a few weeks ago we went on our usual adventures in various thrift stores. And look what I found on Warwick Blvd. Note: I did not buy this but enjoy the sewing machine pics anyway.


Singer Automatic 319 swing-needle machine (1954?)

This machine is a straight stitch machine with automatic zig-zag. It is called a swing arm machines because the zig-zag needle bar pivots from the top. I have since found this machine, either alone or with all its attachments priced on eBay, Craigslist, etc. for $150, $500, up to $1,500. This all could have been mine for a measly $50. Wow.





The complete manual (which can be seen in full here.) Even though this manual says 306, Internet research seems to identify this machine as the 319 instead.



These are the stitch levers that allow you to choose different styles of stitching. I used the existence of these to identify this machine as the 319 model.

More attachments and feet, see the ruffler in there?


Those two drawers in the wooden cabinet held all the equipment for the machine.

Last, but not least...



The buttonhole attachment. These things fascinate me, so how do they work?

10 comments:

Anne LO said...

Funny thing about the Singer 319: It uses a special kind of needle (206x13) that is a bit shorter than the normal kind (15x1), the 15x1 will fit in the needle clamp but can punch holes in the bobbin case.

Button holer: Look at this fab video from Briansews: http://www.briansews.com/2009/09/what-about-buttonholers.html

lsaspacey said...

Thanks Anne LO!

Tasia said...

That would have been a tempting purchase for me if I'd seen it, and had the space... Thanks for sharing!

Elaray said...

I don't know if I would have been able to say "no". Even though I have no where to put it!

k said...

I've got my mother's 306, and a good workhorse it is. I'm not sure I've used all the attachments that came with it, but I know there is no buttonholer.

parakeetpie said...

It looks fascinating and I love all the buttons and levers, not to mention the attachments. However, I know I couldn't be without my modern Pfaff (but ask me again when it breaks!)

nancy said...

My Mom had the 1960 version of that machine, and only stopped using it a few years ago when she decided to get a fancy quilting machine! I wasn't sewing at the time, and I don't know what she did with it. I wish I had it; it was the machine I on which I learned to sew.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I love those levers--it looks like a cross between a sewing machine and a typewriter!

k said...

Hey- does your 319 have that smell? Oil-cast iron-thread fuzz smell?

EmilyKate said...

oooh, thanks for the piccies! I saw one of these at a market a year or so ago; I was fascinated by the little levers, I haven't seen anything like them on either other Singer models or different brands. I didn't end up getting it though!