Sunday, April 13, 2014

Elna Supermatic

This machine came to me last summer. I cleaned her right away when I got her and test sewed a little, then I put her away and didn't take her out until this month!

Elna machines weren't part of my growing up.  I didn't know this brand until I began collecting vintage sewing machines. There is the popular Elna Grasshopper, but I was never attracted to its shape. This one, Elna Supermatic, on the other hand, has a bit more round shape and has just as good a reputation. This one is green all over. I believe there is also a cream colored version, and a lighter green two-tone version.

It takes cams. They are called Elnagraph. Single discs and double discs. You need them to make decorative stitches. Here is the little lid which flaps open to insert a disc.

This machine came with all these accessories!

The original manual.

It belonged to the seller's sister. The seller, Judy, herself is a quilter/sewer and it sounded like the entire family was into sewing.  This Elna Supermatic was a well-loved machine. I LOVE it when I encounter a machine like this. Someone really loved and used and maintained the machine well. Now I get to take it over and take care of it, enjoy it, and make things with.

Judy also showed me her creations, these fantastic colorful original handmade wallets. You can find them on Etsy, JDKWallets!  When I went to pick up the machine, she was having a garage sale. I ended up buying some fun fabrics (fat quarters) she had out.  Some of which I've already used to make stuff with. Aloha bag I made for Pineapple Sam was one of them.

Look at all these feet. There are some I don't know what they are really for. I wonder I would ever use all these feet.

Lots of cams, too! I had so much fun making all kinds of different stitches. The machine makes wonderful stitch.  The motor sound is both smooth and strong.

Now, these little metal plates with a hole in the middle. What are they?  Also, just above them, white and blue plastic things. I don't know what they are either. Does anyone know?

The smart thing about this generation of Elna is that the case turns into the sewing extension table!  This is actually not the only Elna machine I have.  I will someday introduce my other Elna(s)......

It gives you quite a bit of sewing space.

See~?  Oh, and it is knee lever operated. You can see the knee lever on the lower right of the machine.  Not my favorite way of operating a sewing machine - mostly because I'm used to using the knee lifter for lifting presser foot, but it works fine. 

The knee lever folds up like this.  By the way, do you see a couple of black strips attached on the machine? One right above the knee lever is attached, and one above the ELNA logo.  These are magnetic strips Judy's sister put on the machine for pins!  I'm not going to strip them. I'll just keep them there.

The whole machine and the accessory box goes neatly into the box. The box is metal. The whole thing weighs a ton.

I used the Elna Supermatic to sew this test run of the top I recently made.  She is a fine sewing machine, quite a workhorse.  But I probably won't take her out to use for my garment making, mainly because I like to have a foot pedal and a knee lifter (for presser foot).  I think I'll use her mostly for decorative stitches, because there are just so many fun discs for that!


  1. Lovely machine! You are lucky to have one that has been used consistently. I have read that the trouble with Elnas can be that, when they sit unused for many years, their drive cams can get a flat spot which leads to thumping when they are eventually started up again. It's also great that the setup is so complete. Those plastic thingys are a set of fittings for an invisible zipper foot. They would give you the parts for low shank, high shank and slant shank all in one package so that it would be universal. The metal plates are feed dog covers for darning, free motion embroidery and things like that. There are both zig zag and straight stitch versions shown in your photo.

    1. I'm glad you knew the answers! I'll have to explore the use of invisible zipper foot fittings. Among the Elna presser feet, there were also Singer feet included so I knew that the accessory box contained more than just Elna original. Oh, fun. Thank you for your comment!

    2. Hello. I'm wondering how you are making out on your Elna Supermatic. I have one that has been in storage for some years and I have just unpacked it and will be getting it going again. My plan is to use it for free-motion embroidery. If you have a cam 151, have you used it yet? I don't have one yet, will be buying one as it looks interesting. Cannot find anything on the internet about how to use it or some of the other cams. My booklet gives minimal instructions on them. Thanks.

    3. Hi "Anonymous". Congratulations on digging out your Elna and planning to use it again! To be honest with you, since the time I wrote the post on the blog, I have not taken her out to sew on her. What a shame, I know. But I mainly use a couple of machines for my "everyday" sewing. Having said that, it's probably time to take my Elna out and sew something on her again. With another Elna I have and the discs that came with it, I have quite a few Elna discs. I don't know if I have a #151. I'll have to check on that. Have fun sewing with your Elna!