Posts tagged ‘Singer 319K’

January 25, 2011

Make Narrow Straps with Bias Binding Foot and eat biscuits

I’ve posted before about adding bias strips to the edge of fabric in one easy move but then I was needing some thin bits of fabric to use in a drawstring bag and I thought I’d show you how to do that with your bias binding foot.

You need a strip of fabric 1″ wide. If you cut it on the straight grain it will go a bit twisty but it will be a bit more rigid. If you cut it on the cross grain (bias) then you will need to press it to get it straight and it might stretch a bit once you’ve sewn it. My strip is cut on the straight grain and isn’t too twisty yet.

Cut your strip to a point at one end to help you get the thing into the foot. Pull it trough a good way so that you have fabric under the needle to start with. Guide the strip into the foot as you sew, keeping it equally spread between top and bottom curvy bits and this is what you get

Raw edged strip in, folded in and stitched down strip out = magic.

Here’s another view

Then, eat biscuits. J is our biscuit maker and these are from a recipe by Hugh F-W that was in the paper this weekend. We didn’t have enough butter so he made half the quantity and didn’t bother separating yolks so just put a whole egg in and the whole amount of vanilla. This may explain the stickiness of the dough and the curvaceous finished biscuit! The jam was a pretty sharp homemade mirabelle jam that has been in the fridge for months.

Jammed and ready for the oven

On the plate

He definitely needs to make more of these. Yum.

June 8, 2010


Last week I spent almost all week away from the monster and close to nature. It was so good to get away and see the sea, the hills and the skies of Devon.

The view from where I was parked on the beach

The view from the front of the tent

The downside was the early rising of seven children in a tent and the late to bed of two mummies after at least a bottle of wine shared per night……. Maybe that’s why I didn’t remember to take many pictures. We have come back rested, browner, dirtier, with slight colds and a ton of stones and shells and I can see more camping in our future.

While we were away I collected a new sewing machine which a lovely sewing lady who reads here had shown me on ebay – fatal! Ordinarily I wouldn’t have bid on a machine that was 160 miles away but this 319k is green, not black. She came with 10 of the needles I’ve been searching for, a larger cabinet than the one I have currently and was in Exmouth which is not much of a detour on the way to Dawlish. I didn’t think I would win her with a bid of £30 but I did, so we collected her on Tuesday. J and I unpacked the camping stuff from the boot, heaved the machine into the back of the car and packed all the camping stuff back on top. The seller thought we were bonkers. I’m glad we have a big car and I only had three of the children so we had the back seats down to make enough room!

Here is the cabinet which needs a bit of love

And here is the lovely green machine which also needs a bit of love

I don’t know anything about the weights on the floor: they appeared whilst we were away….

I took the new machine out of the cabinet and put my old machine in it. The new machine has a new motor so I’m going to wear out the old one first. It also has a screw taped to the front which I can’t see where it could have come from. It’s not that I don’t like her but I think I’ll stick with the one that I know I can sit and sew with without any troubleshooting for now.

Today I sewed a little hankie from one of my Dad’s old shirts for my sister to have as Something Old for her civil ceremony on Thursday. It has perfect mitred corners which she may or may not notice!

April 15, 2010

Singer 319K presser feet and needles

So now onto the other bits and bobs.

The 319K uses a shorter needle than other machines. If you use a normal needle it will bang on the bobbin casing and break so you need one called a 206×13. I bought a box of a hundred and have now started using a new needle for each new project instead of only changing it if I break one, which by the way is what you should do too!

It also needs a shallower bobbin than more common machines and you can see the difference in these two pictures

There was an unassuming black box with an assortment of feet I knew how to use and some I didn’t. The odd ones are below

The top thing is a ruffler the next row has a satin stitch foot for zig zag stitching, a button foot (for holding a button on the fabric while you cleverly stitch from hole to hole to sew it on) and a straight stitch foot. The bottom row has a free motion foot, a rolled hem foot and a bias tape foot.

I use the ordinary-ish feet as well as the rolled hem foot, the button foot and the bias tape foot. I have played with the ruffler but it scared me! The free motion foot is very cool for doing random quilting but harder to make very planned things like letters and shapes due to my lack of skill.

Here are some close ups. The scroll-y bit rolls the fabric over itself so you can sew a very narrow hem without having to press it once then fold it over and press it again to hide the raw edge. It is great for hemming lightweight fabrics and net as you would for summer skirts and tops or ballerina tutus.

This one sews folded bias tape to the edge of a piece of fabric in one step. You can see a how it works here and here

There is even more… A box of cams to make a gazillion different patterns with thread

So after all that maybe you can see why I was so excited about finding this beauty. I’ve sewn more adventurous garments since I got her and I sew more neatly, more carefully and with more attention to detail than I did on my old (modern) machine. I often use three different feet on one project and the things I sew look better than they used to. I feel that the Singer has some knowledge and skill all of her own and I just add to it with my ever improving skills.

Whatever kind of machine you have, try to get to know it well by sewing and sewing and sewing. Try out the different stitches and feet if it has more than one. The more you know about your machine the less daunting it is to work with it and teh more you will want to sew!

There is nothing worse than starting each sewing job with dread or fear that it won’t be easy because the machine is bound to do something to scupper you. In my experience of machine-driven frustration it has more often than not been user error more than the machine being wrong.

About ten years ago Mr G used to say he didn’t know why I tried sewing anything because it made me so mad; now he is amazed that I can whip up a gift like the bucket without too much bother. The only thing that has changed is that I kept getting the machine out and kept trying to work out how it worked and kept on sewing. Most people don’t get better at doing anything by avoiding doing it, know what I mean?

Nowadays you can find a lot of help with sewing online. Anything from threading your machine to adjusting tension to oiling and cleaning your machine is out there to see on youtube.

So get your machine out and get sewing. For a good start have a look at and go to their free tutorial section. The step by step pictures showing you how to put things together are so much easier to work with than a paper pattern and written instructions written in secret sewing code so give it a go.

Happy sewing.

April 12, 2010

Sing, sing, Singer 319K

Lovely songs with lots of humming.

It is not in the very best of nick in terms of decals and shiny beauty but that isn’t so surprising for a machine built in 1957. It had been pre-loved by a lady in Didcot who had then left it to her daughter who wanted a more modern fancy machine so put it on ebay. I forgot to bid on the auction when I first found it and it closed without being won. Then I noticed that it was re-listed with a buy it now and felt her calling to me. A spanking bargain at only £45 and less than half an hour’s drive away.

This was one of the first swing needle machines as opposed to a needle that only moved up and down. The swing enabled the formation of huge range of zig zag stitches and was considered exciting at the time. Here is a little tour of the outside.

A long face?

From the front showing the stitch width selector which also has a lever to move the needle from left – to centre – to right

These keys on the top of the machine engage inner cams which make the needle move to produce different stitch patterns. The A and B inserts on mine are missing.

This lever which is sticking up here engages any cam disc which is placed on the round dial-y thing just below it. The wiggles around the edge of each disc juggle the needle this way and that from side to side to make some quite amazing patterns.

The bobbin is not easy to remove as the release lever flicks from right to left and there is not much room to get your fingers in there! Down here underneath is also where you find the machine serial number which isn’t the big number you can see here but the other one stamped right underneath the front edge of the base.

Another feature of the 319K is the cleated belt drive. This never slips and the machine will just keep on sewing (almost) regardless of what is put under it.

Here is the stitch length lever from no length to tiny weeny to very long and if you push it right up to the top it does a reverse stitch.

Tomorrow I’ll show the you all the other bits and bobs which share the cabinet with the lovely old girl.