Elna Supermatic

I have a new sewing machine.

Actually, I have an very old, but new-to-me sewing machine!

Maybe a bit of background information: I have always wanted to get an old sewing machine with those fun little stitch cams. And I always wanted to have/try a sewing machine that uses a knee lever instead of a foot pedal. And I love mint green (not that this would come as much of a surprise to anyone …)

elna-manual

After a few months of randomly looking at vintage sewing machines, I happend to find this old, mint green Elna supermatic on the Internet. It was quite cheap, it was in good condition and came with a lot of accessoires. So I had to find a way to get it.

The old thing was not a city dweller – it had spent it’s first life in a cozy village at the end of the world. I had to send some people I know (and their parents that live very close to the end of the world) on a quest to test-drive and eventually purchase it for me. But my plan worked out just like I had imagined*. It’s here now.

And apparently, it’s name – her name – is Eleonore now:

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Here she is. And she even matches my decorating. Or rather … She exactly fits into my overall colour scheme. And she feels lovely. All metal, and really heavy.

She came with the original box and a few instruction booklets that I did not take any pictures of. I did, however, take pictures of everything else. Lots of pictures:

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I love how the toolbox just slides underneath the bed here. It’s such an elegant solution.

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The lid of the toolbox was the only part that was a bit unhappy when it got here. But I was able to find all the parts (erm) and glue it back together with two-part epoxy. While it’s still visible – and I am not completely sure epoxy is the right kind of glue for the material – it works for now.

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Totally legitimate attempt at keeping everything from falling apart while the glue was drying.

But now for the stitching! Yay, stitching! This is what it did when I first got it, even before I took it apart to clean and oil it:

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Of course it was in the middle of the night, so the light is horrible. But it was working right from the beginning :)

Using the knee lever for the first time was interesting, but not as hard as I had feared. I need to work on keeping a more consistent speed and generally getting more control over what I’m doing would not hurt … But for a first try it was alright.

And now to the accessories:

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It came with two extra stitch plates, a bunch of feet and feed dog covers, and all the original tools such as the brush, seam ripper and screw drivers. And loads of bobbins.

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Eleonore also came with 26 different stitch cams.

The Elna Supermatic uses what they call Elna Disks for everything that is not a straight stitch: Single-layer cams for stitches that only need to move the needle left and right (Up to #36 on my sample), and double-layer cams for the more complex stitch patterns that additionally use both forward and backwards movements.

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After inspecting everything that came with the machine and reading the manual, I also made a sample piece to try out all the stitch cams:

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And here it is: All the stitches:

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After the test drive, I also took the machine apart as far as I could. I did some cleaning and oiling and I also got rid of a colony of dead moths that ended (up) inside the machine. Yum.

She is so shiny and pretty now :)

Now I just have to find a new project to play with! It’s been a while … For a number of health and related reasons, I did not have the energy or motivation to sew much in these last few monts. But I really hope that the spring sun will change that sooner rather than later**.

*Insert evil laughter.
No, seriously. A big thank you to the people who live very close to the the end of the world.

**Yes I am aware that it’s snowing again, and it’s freezing. But one can hope for a bit of sunshine, right? It’s almost may -.-

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While sorting through my folders, I found a picture I took last summer …

A double exposure blending a train station and one of Vienna’s flak towers. I kind of gave up on using my old Rolleicord after a few test rolls, as the camera was in desperate need of some repairs, upgrades, and general tinkering. The picture comes from my first test run after I got the camera, proving that the setup was capable of producing proper images after all.

But hacking and tinkering was still required, so I disassembled and cleaned the camera. And when all the new parts were acquired and the camera was back in one piece again, summer was gone. Freshly renovated, the camera sat on my shelf for a few months looking pretty – and waiting for better light.

Spring is in the air. There is sun. And enough light for daylight film, even in ancient cameras.

Now that my Rolleicord Art Deco even has a customized polarizer, it might be time to get it out again and start shooting.