Monday, March 7, 2011

Singer 319k, the Green Machine

I love old machines. Mechanical devices where you can see this-connects-to-that; solid things with wheels and levers and gears.

And so I introduce the lovely Singer 319k, which I use for most of my sewing.
two-tone green, it's a racing machine!
I bought her (her?) for $35 at a disposals store, when my beloved Singer Blue Magic was potentially unrepairable. (That's a story for another post.)

She was a bit grubby, but shined up nicely with some orange oil cleaner. I spent, ahem, a bit more money having her serviced and replacing her bobbin case. However, she's been purring like a dream ever since.
Tilts back to access bobbin case, and stays like that until you release the hinge.  Not the easiest bobbin arrangement I guess but the bobbin holds a really decent amount of thread.
She's heavy; heavier I would guess than my three-year-old, despite being made of "lightweight cast aluminium".
The very sixties carry case clips on securely but it makes me nervous carrying it only by the handle.
She was one of the first Singer zigzaggers, and also has a number of other 'built in' stitches via these nifty levers on the top, which remind me of a typewriter. They engage cams inside the machine. The plain front lever engages replaceable cams on the outside, for a whole heap of other stitches. Cute, huh? Not that I use them.
This is the bobbin winder, with adorable colour-matched green rubber wheel. The original belt was green, and intact, but sadly wore out.
The only drawback with this lovely beast is that it requires special needles which have points ever so slightly shorter than your average. These are only made by Schmetz these days. They're comparatively expensive and not stocked many places. But my sewing repair shop has them and I've also found them online.
this is the trickiest part to master, essentially stitch width on the side and needle position on the top
This machine feels smooth, solid and relatively quiet. I just love the look and feel of her, which I appreciate every time I sit down to stitch. A lot of people find that sort of pleasure in fancy new machines, I'm sure. My criteria for a perfect sewing machine? Whatever makes you excited to sew.

- Jane  x


  1. What a gorgeous machine! I'm glad that it found a good home with you :)

  2. I have a green one too! I thought this was a 319k when I saw your comment on the Philosophy of Lists. I also have a black one which is my main machine and I love how she sews.

    The only downside for me is the needles as it is getting harder to source 206x13 needles at a reasonable price

    Happy sewing!

    1. You can buy an aftermarket bobbin case that allows 15x1 needles to be used. Mine sews beautifully with just standard 319 timing. Bobbins can be got through Cyndy Kitt Productions in Australia.

    2. Hi Susan, thanks for the suggestion - I actually purchased one of these a while back but alas it did not work for me. I don't know why! I can't recall exactly what was happening, whether the needle was hitting or it just didn't stitch, but I tried for some time with no luck. Mind you I have 3 versions of the machine now, maybe I should try it in all of them :D

  3. I learnt to sew on this machine when I was just 9 years old. My three teenage brothers did too - in the days when they zooted all their jeans(the fashion then.) I inherited it when my mother passed away - my husband cleaned and oiled it well today and I am looking forward to many happy hours using it again. Super to see other people still excited about these machines- they are so solid. Happy sewing!

    1. Oh how wonderful that you will be using the machine you first learnt on! It really is such a beautiful machine. A customer in our shop recently donated to us the freearm version of this, too, and it's a beauty. Took me a little while to get it moving again but now it's purring. Happy sewing to you too!


Hey, I would really love to know what you think. Go on!

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