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Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine

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1 Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:19 pm

Magdelan

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I know this has nothing whatsoever to do with chickens but I feel it might be acceptable to ask because I have seen plenty of talk about quilting.  

I am looking for a good sewing machine which I can use to teach my son how to sew with, and also want for myself.  I am an impatient sewer, I like to go like the clappers so can't handle rattly plodders that always needing its tension tuned.  I got to have a decent work horse that can really move on out there and be sturdy and strong.  I have two old clunkers which have done some work but I find I just don't want to go near them and the pile of mending is growing!  Their tension is all out of whack all the time.  Whinge whinge whinge.  I think I might dislike them  Suspect   Not good for sewing lovely things   No .  there is no love with me and the clunkers.

There are two machines I like the look of very much, both made in Switzerland and no longer being made now. One is a model which my Mum had when I was growing up and learned on so I think I have been spoiled for slow machines right there.  An Elna Air Electronic.  I am looking on the net and some on ebay and around.  Have limited funds :-(. Looks like this, sews fast:

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The other machine which has caught my eye is this one, a Bernina 830, here is a UK listing, I have never tried this model but everything I can find on it looks good to me:
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If anyone knows of a good sound machine that sews really well, please share coveted knowledge :-). Would prefer speed but am willing to compromise some on that front in the face of sound and solid. I am working with limited funds but am determined none the less. Can knit and spin, green dollar could work? Somewhere someone has a great machine that they want to pass on to a motivated sewer. Also looking to hear what you know about other machines out there that sew well. I am not big on computerized models, looking for basic stitches (straight, zigzag and decent stretch stitch if poss), solid machinery with a bit of get up and go - so when I am perusing the classifieds I will know what to look for - armed with knowledge!

2 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:41 pm

uno

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I know very little about sewing machines. BUt talk of quilting is always appropriate. Always.

Sue is a bit of an Elna hoarder, if I recall correctly. She will know what to tell you.

I admire your determination to sew quickly. THe faster I sew, the worse things get!

3 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:41 pm

Schipperkesue

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I own three Elnas. I have never sewn on anything else. I adore them. I think I made a thread singing their praises. I will try to find it for you.

Older Elnas are amazing workhorses, and very simple machines. Swiss made, precise and they are easy to use.

4 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:45 pm

Schipperkesue

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5 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:55 pm

Magdelan

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Oh my goodness, I am in the company of kindred spirits :-). So glad I got courage to ask on here. Time to make a trip to the big smoke maybe and check out the thrift shops. Will continue to trawl the classifieds online too. Sue I believe I could get kicked out of Rivendell for asking if you would like to part from any of your treasures :-). I am joking of course, and wouldn't dream of asking, you are obviously betrothed. I know the outside doesn't tell you everything about the inside but to my eye they look like lovely machines in nice shape. I am inspired. Of the older Elna's, what can you say about speed? Do they need oiling? I believe my Mum oiled her Elna. I had a Pfaff which didn't need oiling ?? And it was a newer one which didn't sew anywhere near as nice as me Mams Elna. I saw on one auction a person asked about how the older Husqvarna's can freeze up from old oil. I would hate to damage a new second hand machine by trying to make it work with old gunky oil in its works. I might have found an air electronic but could be outside my budget. Will see what can be done.

6 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:59 pm

Magdelan

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uno wrote:I know very little about sewing machines. BUt talk of quilting is always appropriate. Always.

Sue is a bit of an Elna hoarder, if I recall correctly. She will know what to tell you.

I admire your determination to sew quickly. THe faster I sew, the worse things get!

I will get in to quilting I don't doubt. I can't seem to throw any fabric scraps away. This is a good curse to have, right?? I suspect if I do get into quilting I'll have to slow down. I have a lead foot problem so might be a wee test. Seems you were spot on about the resident Elna hoarder :-).

7 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:09 pm

Schipperkesue

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Magdelan wrote:Oh my goodness, I am in the company of kindred spirits :-).  So glad I got courage to ask on here.  Time to make a trip to the big smoke maybe and check out the thrift shops.  Will continue to trawl the classifieds online too.  Sue I believe I could get kicked out of Rivendell for asking if you would like to part from any of your treasures :-).  I am joking of course, and wouldn't dream of asking, you are obviously betrothed.  I know the outside doesn't tell you everything about the inside but to my eye they look like lovely machines in nice shape.  I am inspired.  Of the older Elna's, what can you say about speed?  Do they need oiling?  I believe my Mum oiled her Elna.  I had a Pfaff which didn't need oiling ??  And it was a newer one which didn't sew anywhere near as nice as me Mams Elna.  I saw on one auction a person asked about how the older Husqvarna's can freeze up from old oil.  I would hate to damage a new second hand machine by trying to make it work with old gunky oil in its works.  I might have found an air electronic but could be outside my budget.  Will see what can be done.  

Oooh, them's fighting words! Even if I never sew another stitch I would never give them up!

I am a confident sewer, so faster in the straightaway would be fine by me, but I also want control in those chicanes. The newest, the blue one, is my main machine. I would not be without it. Get any newer and you enter into computer controlled machine category. Never would I trust a computer machine, sorry people. Mechanical all the way for me!

I do oil them, and they need it. The grasshopper is supposed to use kerosene! Often you can find them in the independant thrift stores for good prices, but the big stores know their value and they can be pricy there. If you need a manual, they are often easily found online. Just print them out!

The nice thing about thrift shops, is if you get one that works and you don't like it, keep looking and put the one you bought in Kijiji!

8 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:08 pm

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Just a question, but if you have 2 "clunkers", and a limited budget, can you not get them tuned and refurbished for less than you might spend on a new-to-you machine? I just took my Elna workhorse in to be rejuvenated and it's $70. I haven't sprung her yet, but I'm pretty sure she'll be better than new when I get back to it. All I needed was someone knowledgeable to adjust the tension, but I will have it cleaned, disassembled and reassembled with all parts oiled and shined.

I'm excited about using this machine again. Maybe you can rekindle the love with your's without turfing them? Maybe they're salvageable?

9 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:18 pm

Schipperkesue

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Farmchiq, $70 is about what I pay to have my machines brought up to par. Well worth it for a good machine.

10 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:34 pm

Magdelan

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You know I wasn't serious aye Sue  No .  I know the connection one has with ones equipment.  I am not ever going to give my best spinning wheel up.  No-way-Jose.  Once I have my beloved sewing machine I'll be the same about that.  I would love a grasshopper.  I think I have found an air electronic (we may have agreed on a price that will work  cheers ) and feel I must have a grasshopper for good measure.  I may be incomplete without one.  It is cute and small like Pollywog likes.  But mighty in performance.  wow.
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Was wondering what your blue machine was called and whilst I was searching to see if the air electronic was a computerized machine (I must have it, computer or not  -  it is a dream that I must experience  -  but, computers do worry me and I love your thinking Sue  -  we have roll your own windows in our car and no air con because of this non belief in the computer thing  -  more things to malfunction if you ask me) . . . anyway, I think I found your one in this link, an SU Star? or the earlier Star Supermatic?.  
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Now must continue the search to see if I am buying a computer or not.  The woman who is selling said that when she took it to the service guy he said she should never never sell it and did she realize what she had?  She said she did.  We got to talking and I asked her about the Bernina, had she used one of those?  She said she had and found it an excellent machine but she worried about the plastic pieces in its constitution.  They can be sourced of course but myself, I prefer metal.  Could start up a whole other thread about cast iron . . well cast iron what ever but I love grinders and frying pans.  Teflon schmefflon.  I'm a cast iron pan gal.  dang it, hijacking my own thread again.  

Hey Macklemore!  Thrift shop!  just because  . . . I love it and I'm going to find a grasshopper in one  bounce  Such good advice Sue, will be following your lead there.  Have done it before actually, at one time I had a small spinning wheel obsession and when my husband confessed he had begun fantasizing about cutting their legs off and making them in to a bonfire I thought it was time to move the ones that I didn't love on.   I did have fourteen What a Face  I'm down to one now.  
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Farmchiq, my clunkers are not Elna's.  They are a Sears and Kenmore and I've had one tuned already with very little advance in performance.  If I thought either was worth keeping to rejuvenate I'd do it for sure.  My Mum brought her original Elna from NZ and it has had the life of a real slave.  She has maintained it and had it overhauled when it was flagging, it is here in the country but it also runs on different electricity strength and plugs different etc.  And, it is hers.  She will not likely let that one go.  I remember her sewing underwear on that machine.  They were frog green!  She still loves the color but has since moved on to animal prints  -  we all have lovely animal fur print bed spreads now.  I think she makes about half of her clothes, most of the rest she picks up in the thrift shop I think (not the knickers though   What a Face  ).  She made me some swimming togs once.  This machine has a decent stretch stitch.  I'm not big on stretch but nice to have it there I guess. Think I've had too many coffees today. Time to get off the computer for a while and do some dishes. It was a good idea though, rekindling the love  Smile . Whats the first thing you are going to sew with your newly polished machine?



Last edited by Magdelan on Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : acknowledging Farmchiqs suggestion about rekindling the love)

11 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:51 pm

Schipperkesue

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Macklemore is my hero. I love his music.

I'm gonna buy some Elnas
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I - I - I'm hunting, looking for a machine
This is sewing awesome!

My main machine is the 1979 Elna SU. It has little plastic discs that rotate and create sewing patterns from zigzag to chain stitch to embroidered leaves. The disc turns as you sew and it works like a player piano roll, creating sewing designs.

12 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:04 pm

Magdelan

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a poet too! songstress/seamstress :-).

the genius in those machines, amazing. love the discs. still need to see a graphic of how they work to fully understand I think but the way you describe sounds elegant. even though I haven't sealed the deal, I think I have a machine now. It should have some discs too. If not I can share Mum's. It comes with plastic bobbins but think I'll get metal ones too. I like them better.

13 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:19 pm

Schipperkesue

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Macklemore and sewing machines...is there a more perfect combination? Yes! Frankenclothes! You take two or three or more pieces of old clothing, cut, rip, sew...and voila! A new original piece of clothing!

14 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:35 pm

Magdelan

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I just remembered you are in to steampunk - a good name for a hard working sewing machine :-).

15 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Magdelan

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Thought I'd update on my sewing machine search.  I have a gazillion Elnasuper's on my ebay watch list (along with some heavy duty old Pfaff's) but having just bought another machine from elsewhere I cannot afford to buy any of them just now.  Fear not, I will have an Elna one way or another.  I have the will so the way will make itself known in due course!  

I did not end up getting the Elna Air Electronic SU.  The price was grand but it was not to be, still a little too high for our current budget.  So I began looking all over the classifieds for something else and have bought a 50 (+/-) year old Bernina 700 in great condition.  She's at Cedars in Penticton getting the $100 red carpet servicing that should keep her going for another 200 years so long as I oil in the right places etc.  I still haven't used it and it is driving me nuts having to wait!!!!   Just couldn't run the risk of using it and doing damage because it needed a clean or whatever.  The guy I talked to said he could sell it for four or five times what I paid so that is some consolation to the sting on the pocket book which can't really handle too much extraction right now.  I still don't know if I will like using it so if I get it home and hate it then I'll sell it on and get something else.  It only does straight and zig zag but those are my two main stitches, occasionally I want a stretch stitch and that is where an Elna like yours Sue, well I will have one eventually :-).  It's pretty compact, apparently quilters like them for classes etc.  It does have two nylon parts in its machinery I believe but the guy said they were in good shape so all good there.  He also said it is not the fastest, maybe 900 a min if I understood him correctly.  Patience . . . ahhhhhhh.   pale 

Here's a cutie, cool thing, it came from Vernon in BC!  Japanese made but sold in Vernon half a century ago.  Found it on etsy.  just cause I am obsessive compulsive right now and looking at everything sewing machine.   It sews thick/thin, good for quilting cause something to do with a pressure adjustment thing and it appears to go fairly fast when you want to. In beautiful shape.

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16 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:59 pm

lady leghorn


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Magdelan,

Between you and SUE the enabler, lol. I got so interested in the old elna's that I decided I wanted to learn to sew. Well next thing I knew, I found an elderly

lady right in Olds through a little ad I put up, that no longer could see well enough to sew anymore. She had an Elna very that looks like the last machine sue

has pictured on her Elna Treasure list. Smile I got it for $125.00, which is what she was asking. it is immaculate, has all the goodies with it and a case. This

coming weekend I am going to

fabric land or somewhere like that to get some thread, and some material. I'm going to try and make a pillowcase ( don't everybody laugh at once )  Embarassed 

Since the last time I tried sewing, in high school, on a treadle machine, all I did was go backwards and get tangled up.  Laughing  I want to start "trying" to sew

straight lines first. I know sounds ridiculous, but I really want to try. At least the machine was affordable. Really happy about that.

What kind of thread should I buy???? I have no idea?


Be careful around SUE, she is an enabler, lol. Bad Sue.  Laughing 

17 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:34 pm

Magdelan

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that sounds like a lovely buy Lady Leghorn! I have these machines on my ebay watchlist, a good one with accessories etc. goes for $200 - $300. I have a wee obsession going, you can tell what the most recent obsession is by looking at the ebay watchlist.  I would quite like to try one of those machines one day.  I wouldn't dream of laughing at your taking on a new learning curve.  Got to start small (which will seem big!) and go from there.  Next thing you know your house will be half fabric stash and a little bit chicken scratch  Razz .  

I too have an update on machine acquisition.  I wanted one like you have bought but in the mean time found an Air Electronic Elna in fabulous shape with all accessories etc. It is like my Mum's one, that I did most of my sewing education with.  Has few more electronic things to it than your model and possibly some nylon parts  -  will either have to take a look behind its shell or ask an elna service person (yours has none as I understand it, desirable from the perspective of some of us, I find myself favoring this as computers scare me and if they go wrong then more problem maybe?).  I believe what causes issues with those nylon parts is when they get oiled by ignorant but well meaning folks  -  can cause cracking.  My new machine was serviced about a year ago and I haven't got it in my hot little hands yet but believe it will be in great shape.  $100 because that is all I could stretch to right now.

I would start with some decent thread, don't use cheap stuff from the dollar shop.  Ask the peeps at Fabricland.  And maybe change the needle so you have a fresh one.  Sometimes they can get barbs on them, or be bent or blunt.  I googled sewing machine needles, good to know about what types of needle are good for what types of fabric:
 
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this link give the conversion for European to US size needles:
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I saw this link on threads too:
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Very cool Lady Leghorn. We have a small Elna club growing  affraid 

18 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:48 pm

Schipperkesue

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Lady Leghorn, I would suggest getting a piece of paper, drawing lines, curves and swirls on it, and then without threading the machine, but using a needle, sew and trace the lines you made.

19 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:24 pm

authenticfarm

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Sue has expanded her enabling beyond chickens and has entered into fabric arts enabling. Next, world domination! o_0

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

20 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:45 pm

lady leghorn


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Authentic farm......I can see that happening, with SUE the enabler, lol

Sue, that sounds like a really good idea. Never would have thought of that.  Embarassed  I will be trying that. Thanks for the idea.  cheers 

21 Re: Wanted (very much alive): sewing machine on Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:06 pm

Schipperkesue

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Chickens...sewing...world domination!

Yes, clearly the next step!

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