Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vintage find

1959 Elna sewing machine

It's no secret that I have a weakness for vintage sewing machines. I already own several, including a 1958 Brother that bears the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. So did I need this 1959 Elna that I stumbled on at a yard sale last weekend?

At $15, the price was right. But did I really need it? Perhaps not. But this one was special, and I decided I had to have it.

Know why?

Look carefully to see what's different about this machine, namely what's missing. That's right! There's no foot pedal! Instead, it has a handy knee lever that you nudge to the right when you want to sew. I've heard these are great for preventing foot fatigue and that they're standard on many professional machines. My friend Jen says that they're also great for teaching kids to sew, since kids usually don't have feet that can reach the floor.

It even has a handy carrying case! And I'm happy to report that it sews beautifully. It's so wonderful to me that something that's 50 years old is still in such good condition and is so amazingly functional.

The scallop stitch was one of my favorites. And here's a close-up of the area where you insert the cartridges to get the different decorative stitches. Kinda cool, eh?

So did anyone in your family ever have a machine like this?


Alice said...

Yes, my mom sewed on an Elna with the knee control for years. She sewed a lot of my sister's and my clothes and did tailoring. One neat thing about the Elna is that if you want to use a decorative thread like a metallic that won't go through the tension discs, put it in the bobbin. Instead of running it through the tension on the bobbin, there is a hole in the bobbin case that you can run it out of. You do your embroidery with the wrong side of the fabric facing up and the bobbin thread on the bottom is the embroidery that shows when you're done. Hope this makes sense, I remember helping a friend with a costume and machine embroidering a gold metallic greek key design on the hem and sleeves this way.

kim taylor - - - the sassy crafter said...

Great, tip. Thanks, Alice -- I'll have to try that!


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