Every now and then there's a garage sale of a deceased old lady who sewed in more of a serious way than most. Even better is if the old lady has always lived in that house, and it seems the stars were all in alignment on Saturday. She threw nothing away, including her two sewing machines. One was a Singer 201, the other a 319K. The start time being 8:30am and I got there around 8:25am. The 201 had a sticker with $150 on it next to another that said "sold". This machine looked Russian: Black, amazingly large and very industrial looking. The sewing room was also full of fabric. Aha! This is where one finds old fabrics (rather than op shops, as mentioned before). In amongst the fabric was patterns from the 1940s to 1990s! I got every pre-decimal pattern there, loads of fabric, then asked about the smaller green 319K. I ended up buying it for less than $100. It needs a bit of work, but it basically looks the same as this http://lempobee.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/singer-319k-green-machine.html except that it's in a cabinet. A picture will of course follow. It's full of levers and knobs. The manual came with it and after a few things get moved I'll be getting it ready for a new lease on life.
OK, getting sleepy as well as distracted by lempobee's cool 319K pictures. More later.
EDIT: Late again, but here's a picture of my new machine just before sleep takes me.
Some of these machines, apparently, have been modified to take a normal needle, but technicians don't recommend this, and warn that it will seriously affect the machine's performance.
The manual that came with the machine explains in detail about using the special feet that come with them, and I have never used (except zipper feet of course).
Don't those levers look enticing? The machine has several built-in pattern (fashion) wheels which these levers activate. A couple of dozen extra wheels are included with the machine and attach to the front, on the thing above the "S" on the right side.
The cabinet needs a really good clean, sanding and varnish, and there's the weekend for that. More pictures and information later.