Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Necchi Lelia 513 : Lelia

She is one of the first machines in my collection - it was actually a while back when I got her.  Ever since I heard that the Necchis were great machine, I've wanted one. I also wanted a pink machine. Not long after I set my heart on finding a Necchi, Lelia showed up! I felt quite lucky since these don't come up very often in my area.  She was made in Italy, sometime in the mid to late 60s.

When I began looking for a Necchi, I joined the Necchi Yahoo group. I've learned much from the group.  It's a great source of info on older Necchi machines, and to get to know other Necchi lovers. 

I bought my Necchi Lelia from a person who had hoped to learn how to sew but never got around to doing so and she eventually gave up on the idea. Lelia is actually more like salmon pink than "pink" pink.  

She came in this pretty and compact cabinet. However, when I got her, she didn't move! Luckily, it was just the broken foot pedal - easy to replace. 

Like many things Italian, I was fascinated with Necchi's design. Sewing machines, as I previously knew them, didn't look all that sleek and, well, so fashionable at the same time being a reliable workhorse.  I mean, think about it. This sewing machine company named every single one of their machines with a cool real people name. Julia, Mira, Lelia, Lydia, etc., and not just with numbers. How cool is that?

I love her pretty two-tone color. 

Older Necchi sewing machines enjoyed fabulous reputations. Those all metal machines are what most collectors want. The Necchi collectors are not at all interested in modern Necchi machines that are no longer made in Italy - newer ones are no longer metal inside, and completely different. The vintage Necchis have a great reputation for leather and canvas sewing. 

I haven't sewn leather or really thick canvas on her yet, but I love the way she hums along. She actually makes this really soothing sound when she sews. Despite her sweet appearance, she is quite solid, and she's not even the top model machine of Necchi. She's a very basic zig-zag machine. She has three needle positions. I love machines with multiple needle positions. Just makes sense, and totally handy.

There's just one thing about her. This plastic dial knob thing is a buttonhole regulator and it is jammed stuck. I'm afraid I'd break the knob, so I'm leaving it alone. I figure, I have other machines I can use for buttonholes.

Love the "N" decal on its bed. The letter design is whimsical.

I usually sew garments on my Bernina 1230. When I have smaller projects, I'd like to get a different sewing machine out and sew on it. It's not really good to have those all metal machines sit idle for too long. They really need to be used, the machine needs to be oiled, and the motor needs to be run. 

My son needed a new pencil case. His old one is cracked broken. (I tell you, those plastic things!) So I decided to take Lelia out for a drive. I haven't sewn on her for a while. I used a leftover fabric from my son's journal book cover project. It was a couple of years ago - he chose the fabric himself. 

In fact, we've been trying to figure out what to use it for ever since he saw me using it for a gift wrapping sack this past holiday season. He was like, "oh~, I really liked that fabric....." (Translation: Mom! How dare you used MY fabric without my permission! I'm jealous!) Well, the gift wrap sack was kinda cute. I called it a "bubble wrap". But I got the message.

Anyway.  Worry not, my son. There was still plenty left to make something.  Here it is. A giant pencil pouch. It needed to be big enough to carry a scotch tape, compass, scissors, in addition to pens and pencils. 


I used a couple of scrap fabric pieces from the Zero Landfill event for the liner. 

I used the tutorial from here. I was originally inspired by Dawn's "Two On, Two Off" blog. This was so fun and fast to make. I was so pleased with it that I made another one for carrying my knitting supply!

For the zipper pull, I used this little beaded puppy my mother's friend made.

It was a date night with Lelia. I'm glad I took her out on a spin. 
 Do you like the little boom box with pink flower design that is keeping Lelia company?! (Really. I bought it for Lelia. They look great together!)

Now, I want a lavender Julia. Where are you~?!


  1. I'd love a lavender Julia as well!

  2. That's a very sweet looking machine. I agree that the older metal machines are the best. Your little bags are so cute, too.

  3. hi Micki,I also found a Lelia with a very stiff working buttonhole knob. have you resolved the problem and would you share the fix?