Sunday, October 30, 2011

1970s Elna Supermatic Sewing Machine - Ella

Meet Ella she was manufactured in Switzerland sometime between 1972 and 1974.  Does anyone know where the serial number is located on this machine?  I can't find it.  Just look at that pretty blue carrying case.  The case doubles a a flat bed sewing surface as it splits in half and the opening below fits perfectly over the free arm.
 I bought Ella from Wendy in Ontario who included 40 bobbins, most of which had thread.  Bonus!  Unfortunately, when the machine arrived the two-speed foot pedal was not working.  The motor had no juice at all.  A trip to the Brandon Sewing Centre, $70 CAD later, then Ella was ready to strut her stuff.
Not sure why, but Elna and Bernina usually provide two sewing machine manuals.  The first book is specific to the basic operation of the sewing machine.  The second manual contains more instructions on how to use the decorative stitches and add-on accessories.
These are the accessories that came with the machine.
The black disks or cams are loaded in the top, simply by pushing the centre piece down. The machine stitch length, and width have to be set at zero to change cams. 
All the Elnas I have owned have a horizontal bobbin located behind the needle plate instead of ahead of it.
I find this location awkward.  It is difficult to thread the bobbin correctly.  The more times I thread it the easier it gets.
On my green Elna Supermatic sometimes the bobbin cover would open while sewing which is a pain you-know-where.  This lovely blue and white Elna Supermatic has an attached bobbin removal tool that works really well.
It is spring loaded like a needle threader and sits right behind the presser foot.  
The first sewing project for my new toy was tea towels today.  This 100% cotton fabric was washed, ironed, cut to size and then serged.  Even though I have owned and used several sewing machines, I only have one serger.  I bought it new in 1997,  it works perfectly for all my overlock needs.
Next the edge is pressed into place and hemmed.  I miter the corners so the final step is bar tacks on the corners.
 I used Ella to hem the tea towels.  It sews very nice stitches.  She runs quietly.
The corners are pinned into place.
This is before the bar tack.  I'll make those with my Pfaff QE 4 because Big Bertha automatically ties off the stitches and cuts the thread.
Eight new tea towels.
Now for the fun stuff.. playing with the cams and free motion quilting.
The universal tension was perfect for all the stitching.  The sample is 100% cotton fabric with 100% cotton batting sandwiched in between.  I used polyester thread and a Schmetz 90/14 needle.
On this machine the feed dogs do not drop, instead they are covered by a little steel plate.  It makes a clicking sound and I could feel it under the fabric.
About half way through the free motion quilting, I took the plate off the feed dogs and covered them with a Queen Supreme Slider instead.  This worked better.
The Elna Supermatic is a very nice all mechanical machine.
From looking at the back side of my  stitch sample, there are loops on the free motion flower and little feather in the corner.  This is me pulling the fabric faster than the machine was sewing, not a tension problem.  It looks like I should not have switched the foot pedal speed from high to low to free motion quilt.  Upon examining the decorative stitches the tension is excellent.

Recently, I  became a contributing member of  the Free Motion Quilting Challenge.  Please feel free to check it out.

Have a super duper day all.

What are you sewing these days?


  1. Hi, Tammy!
    I hit your page because I googled Elna blue case while looking for one for my recently bought (e-bay) Elna SU 62C.
    I'll bet you've found the serial number for "Ella" by now, but just in case, it should be on the right side, below the flywheel, on the electrical panel where you insert the 3-pin plug for the foot-pedal cord. The little metal plate will say "Tavaro etc" on the top line, the amps and wattage and so forth on the second line, and the third line, toward the right margin, should say "Type", followed by a string of letters/numbers. That's your machine's ID.
    If this is confusing, go to Raymond White's site ( He has several really good photos of the various Elnas and how to identify what type you have. (He gets tired of explaining to people how to find such information *before* contacting him to ask questions about what parts they should get, and so on.) Googling "Raymond White Elna identify type" should also get you right there.
    I must say, your own photos are really clear, and perfectly reflect the text they accompany. (Or maybe it's the other way around!)
    I need to get back to finding a case for my own new "baby" so I can take her in to be tuned up and find a walking foot (even-feed) that works despite the Bobbin Extractor (another great photo of yours!) sitting by the post/rod for the attachment.
    I don't need to tell you to have fun; it's obvious you already are. ;-)
    Karen Downing
    Seattle, WA 98103

  2. Karen, Unfortunately, the Serial Number is NOT on the electrical plate as you indicate..., only the "Type" (a 6 digit number like 722010), is on the plate, along with the voltage etc., etc. The serial number is a 7 digit number. I called Ray White yesterday to ask him where the serial number was located and even he didn't know... so, maybe eventually the answer will be known.
    Cupertino, CA USA

  3. The Elna Supermatic is what my great grandmother sewed on and I would love to buy one!

    1. I have a supermatic made in 1964, lots of cams and feet, I would sell.
      I would ask $500 Let me know if you're interested.
      Its in perfect condition, with the case in great condition, too, the parts case is good with a small cosmetic crack. If you're interested I can take photos and send them to you.

  4. The serial number starts with a Letter followed by six digits. It is on the plate with the voltage and frequency the machine supports. For example, my wife has one with one long number 62CN339544 the 62C is the model, the rest is the serial number N339544 which indicates it was made in 1973.

    The letter codes can be found at this site:

    Your discussion has helped me solve the same problem, just now I am looking for the owners manual. You actually answered the question I had in your blog, so thanks.

  5. The serial number IS located on the steel plate with the voltage and frequency marked on it. My wife has one with a number on it which your discussion and lots of google searching has found.
    The number 62CN339544 is the number which appears on my metal plate. The break down is like this: 62C is the model The rest is the serial number starting with the N for 1973. So, the complete serial number is N339544 for her machine. To find what the letter means, look at the following web site:

    Hope this helps.
    Charles and Cheryl
    Belvidere, IL USA

  6. Does anyone know where I can find a replacement power cord and foot pedal for a 1962 62C Elna? I used my moms and the machine runs fine so I just need to find a replacement for my own. Any tips just email

      If you were able to find a power cord and foot pedal can you let me know the seller? I have an Elna Model 62C which I bought new in the 1970's. I misplaced these parts in a recent move. Thank you!

  7. Hello! I have the same machine, but the light bulb is missing and I don't have the manual. Can anyone help with the picture of the light bulb? or a reference number? thanks a lot!

    1. Good morning unknown: please see blog post here:

  8. According to my research, Elna machines pre-star series have no serial numbers.

  9. Hello, I bought one of the beige/tan models at a garage sale. On the plate it says "220" volt. Does that mean I can't use it in the US?

  10. Tammy I have forgotten how to do a buttonhole on my Elna Supematic - do you have the correct sequence to set it up or maybe scan a page of the manual I have one like the one you speak about in this blog

  11. Hi Tammy. I have my Mum's Elna Supermatic blue and white machine but I'm missing the manual. I Googled one online but I don't think it's quite the same model. Do you know where I could get one or do you know a link?

  12. I'm currently using this machine, which was passed down from my grandmother to my mother and now to me


Your comments give me quite a thrill. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and please have a super duper day! Unfortunately, anonymous comments are no longer allowed, there was just way too much spam.