Saturday, March 20, 2010

Elna Special "Ella"

Ella was manufactured in Switzerland between 1970 and 1972.  This Elna Special is ivory coloured with a soft pink top cover.  She comes in an all metal gray case. 
The front half of the carrying case fits over the free arm to make a flat bed sewing surface.
The manual, accessories and accessory case were included. This is a better pdf of the manual.
At 27.5 pounds or  12.5 kilograms Ella is a very heavy machine, too heavy to be considered portable.  The carrying case is very solid and does an excellent job of protecting the Ella.
It has seven built-in practical stitches including blind hem and a four step button hole.  Stitch width, length and needle position are adjustable.  The machine uses drop in Elna metal bobbins, standard needles and low shank feet. The foot controller has a two speed range.
The manual is well written, with good pictures and easy to follow instructions.  Threading, bobbin winding and loading are simple. 
I have sewn leather/polar fleece booties with velcro and elastic fasteners for my dog as well as polyester grocery and lunch bags with Ella.  I also tested the free motion quilting on a sample and repaired a pair of jeans. The motor runs smoothly and quietly.
She sews beautiful, precise stitches on everything from fine sheer fabrics to heavy denim and leather.  There is a feed dog cover plate and darning foot for free motion quilting. 
I am downsizing my sewing machine collection.  Ella is for sale at Kijiji Brandon.

For more vintage treasures head over to Colorado Lady's blog.

30 comments:

  1. What a great little machine! Heavy because she is all metal I suppose? Made back in the day before they started using plastic for everything.

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  2. Neat machine. I am telling myself that I am not buying another machine. I have my Necchi in for servicing to see if it is worth getting to work. But I love looking at other machines. Maybe someday I will have room to display more machines in my home (or if I open a business).

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  3. I always enjoy seeing your older machines, Tammy. The Elna looks like it's in great shape! Interesting how the case becomes part of the flat bed of the sewing area. Hope you sell it to someone who will continue to enjoy it for many years to come!

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  4. What an awesome sewing machine! It looks to be in fantastic condition. And to have no problem running jeans through it and other heavier fabrics is great. The new machines just don't do tha any more. Unless you want to spend a ton of money on one.

    I just recently bought an old Kenmore that was one of the first "portable" ones. It is all steel and not really portable. LOL But, I paid $16.00 for it and it runs like a charm! No fancy stuff of course, but, a sturdy sewing machine is better for me than one with a lot of gadgets.

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  5. Those stitches are superb!! Very nice find. Happy VTT
    Ann

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  6. I wish my one and only machine would sew heavy things like that.

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  7. That looks like a really good machine and with all those accessories, too. I'm still using the machine I bought before I got married. I like the pink color.

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  8. I would love a free arm. But with 3 (old, older, and manual pedal)machines and no sewing room yet I don't know... May have to check out your auction tho, it is a fantastic machine!
    Kathy

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  9. I rember when my grandmother used a machine similar to this. Lilly is such a cute pup. Thanks for shareing.

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  10. Good machines, Elna my DH gave me one in 1972 so she must have looked like yours. I traded her in for a Bernina in '85. Then a viking & now Pfaffs!

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  11. What a great looking machine, I am a firm believer that oldies are goodies...and this one looks like a goodie!! Have a great VTT!

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  12. Looks like a great machine- Good luck with selling it!

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  13. It does look like a great machine [the fact that is made in Switzerland, it's probably a plus :-)]

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  14. A sewing machine collection would be fun but takes up a lot of space. Good luck with your auction, she looks like a great machine.

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  15. This must be a lovely machine! I learned to sew with my mother's green Elna from the 50's, and I think one of mys sisters still has it. I remember those bobbins, and the different stitches were chosen by combining various amounts of black parts with curvy edges.

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  16. I have one who looks just like this but she has a different Type on her plate. mine says 31cF332086. I can't tell you how happy I am to see the case/flatbed design! And to see how her bits are supposed to be stored inside the case. Mine came second hand with no manual and definitely no feed dog cover. Add I thought she only went straight or zigzgag. And I didn't even care because she does those so beautifully! But where are the other stitches hidden? Maybe my girl doesnt' have any?

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  17. hi i have just happened upon your blog I too have this fabulous machine! I have had it for 20 years i bought it in college. I sew now for a living, but drapes and bedding and use commercial machines; but i want to get back into using this machine! I am wondering if you have any help to offer I am looking for the manual and the metal piece to make it a flat bed and some of the feet and accessories Do you know where i can look or have any leads? thanks

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  18. Hi Kristyl,
    I do not have your email address so I am replying to you here. I am willing to scan the manual and send you an electronic copy. The Brandon Sewing Centre has an old Elna case like mine. I will find out tomorrow how much he wants for it and if he has any accessories. Ella really is a great sewing machine.

    Cheers!

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  19. Hello Tammy,
    An 85 year old lady gave my 7yo daughter an Elna Special like the one you have blogged about. However, as the bobbin thread keeps breaking, I think I am setting it up wrong. If you have the manual already scanned I would be very greatful if you could forward it to me. Also, I just can't seem to get the same magnificent stitches out of it that it is obviously capable of (once again operator error I'm sure). If you can help, my email address is heidinaylor@virginbroadband.com.au We live in Australia and I'm having no luck getting a manual locally at all!

    Bye for now,
    Heidi

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  20. If you download the free manual will you please leave a comment so I can count the number of downloads? Thanks so much. Happy sewing all.

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  21. i am unable to download says the page is unavailable
    what am i doing wrong?
    thanks
    kristyl

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  22. to download the Elna Manual from google docs please click on the blue word "manual" in the original post or the new post published on August 19.
    This is the link address:
    https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B3ZCshcLQhKuM2I2Mjg2MjMtMzlmMC00MzQ5LThlNGEtMWYyNmVlZmEwOGEx&sort=name&layout=list&num=50

    please let me know if it works.

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  23. sorry still can not open does it matter that i have a mac?
    kristyl

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  24. Kristyl,
    I have no idea why you can't download the pdf file by clicking on the blue underlined word "manual" in the original post or coping this link and pasting into a location bar field:
    https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B3ZCshcLQhKuM2I2Mjg2MjMtMzlmMC00MzQ5LThlNGEtMWYyNmVlZmEwOGEx&sort=name&layout=list&num=50

    Once you get to google docs you have to download the file (29mgs) then you should be able to view and print it.

    I have a mac as well. I uploaded the file to google docs with it as well as downloading it back and reviewing with acrobat reader.

    Someone else downloaded this manual without any problems.

    I suggest if you really can't make it work on your own, then ask someone you know to help you.

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  25. Muchas gracias por el manual de la maquina Elna, lo necesitaba de urgencia, especialmente para hacer los ojales.

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  26. Hej Tammy
    I just bought an ELNA zig zag in mint condition at a bric a brac shop here in Copenhagen, Denmark, price only DDK 100 = 19 USD.I downloaded your manual - I works perfect, and now I am going to sow my own curtains - Thanks very much for the manual og greetings from Jan Haugaard

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    Replies
    1. Wow only $!9 USD, that is a fantastic bargain! Bravo.. well done. I hope you have years of happy stitching with it.

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  27. Yeah!!!! Works perfect!!!. And thinking that my husband just bought me and embroidery machine a week ago. I have new toys and I'm in love with this vintage machine. He have not even see it yet.

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  28. Thank you SO MUCH for posting the manual!!! My grnadmother bought this sewing machine for me just before I was born. My mom used it when I was a child and now that she's passed, I've inherited it. It's so fantastic to finally have a manual for it!

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  29. Thanks for posting the manual, best regards from Germany!

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