Author Topic: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case  (Read 379 times)

mysewingpleasure

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Hi, everyone,

Just recently there is a conversation in this forum about Elna, the brand i have not heard before.
I happen to see this advertisement, it is from inland of BC, 3 hours from my home

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.html?adId=1446643605&utm_source=alerts&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Kijiji%20Search%20Alerts

I wonder how good it will be, I need 8 hours round trip to get a look of it.

Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
A sewing mom

hutch--

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 09:05:17 AM »
Elna's of that age are Swiss made and they had a good reputation years ago but I doubt that spare parts and accessories are easily available. Both myself and at least one other member use a later Elna that is also Swiss made and the parts for them are really hard to get. I have survived by buying a few of the same model from eBay and I emptied out a few old dealers and repair shops to have enough to fix things and keep them going.

If you go for the grasshopper, ask about spares and bits first.
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Schneiderfrei

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 01:09:49 PM »
Hi mysewingpleasure,

That machine looks in good order.

It is a domestic machine and as Hutch said it is made in Switzerland and the mechanics will be very good. It is also a free arm machine, which can be a great asset in collars, cuffs and sleeves.

On the down side it looks quite idiosyncratic, not a standard build and parts may be a problem. For $200.00, I would be looking for a nice local Bernina from the 70's, or a Singer from the 60's.

I think it's a long way. And I lived in BC for a few years.

G

mysewingpleasure

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 04:52:47 PM »
Thank both of you, Schneiderfrei and Hutch, for your opinion. I appreciate your insight about getting an older machine. I come to know the Elna is a very good brand and they are like antique/collection nowadays. As far as practical is the main concern if I plan to buy it to get it work for me, it might have to take serious consideration of parts. There are a lot of fancy machines on the market, too much that you do not have any interest to get to know them.

I am using a Bernina 1030, which I bought from a thrift shore,  is a very good domestic machine, it is lovely. Before that I owned a Singer portable when I was young and I earned  myself enough to buy a sewing machine, that was my best company when  I learned sewing and patterning for one year course   It came along with me when I got married. It was my treasure that it immigrant with me to Canada, and worked for me many years until one day it died out. With it I made a lot of clothing for myself, my family and home decoration.

Now my son had finished fashion design, he has fashion show twice a year, I am helping in every aspect. This year, he decided to focus on men's wear. He has a few customers now. I am getting busier and busier.


This is time to look for an industrial one. There are quite a lot of advertisements pop up to my email. I am not in a hurry, so I will take my time to hunt for a really good one within my budget.  And, I think I have more and more impulse to crave for antique stuff like shears, sewing machines, I was so influenced by you guys... Ha Ha, I do not know how to insert a smilie face into here, can anyone help?


Schneidrefrei, I agreed with you, the Elna looks a little strange to me too, I cannot tell what it is but somehow something seems not right. I do not have much knowledge about this brand, in fact, I have never heard of it, may be it is because I am not around this industry for so many years. I did not sew for at least 15 years, until the last two years I started to get my foot back on my sewing machine paddle involved into my son's dream.

It takes 3 and half hours for a single round, without traffic jam, to get there, but by the end of the day... during rush hours.... who knows how long it takes you to get home?! You need to start driving at the break of the dawn. However, in the summer time, it is good for driving, it turns dark about 9:00 pm. It brightens up not just the trip, the mind and the soul as well. I think it is enjoyable to have a relaxing drive, if you have spare time to spend... which becomes a luxury for me as a working mom and a sewing mom.

Where did you live in BC? I live in Surrey, more than 20 years.

Again, thank you for letting me share my daily life and get your opinion and support.
A sewing mom

Schneiderfrei

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 06:46:23 PM »
We lived for 2 years in Nanaimo, magical, and Pitt Meadows for nearly a year.

I missed BC nearly every day for 4 years after we came back, but I saw that the locals were almost un-noticing of the beautiful environment. I swore that when I returned to Australia, I would find the beauty in this land. It is beautiful too. More antique but beautiful.

$200.00 is a lot - in my opinion.

peterle

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 07:06:12 PM »
The Elna Grashopper is indeed the first electric portable domestic sewing machine ever. So it is interesting from a historical view, but not necessarily for modern sewing needs, it doesnīt have a zig zag. But Elna is (was) a well known Swiss high quality maker and the machines from the 60īs and 70īs are at least as good as the Berninas from that time. Having a double drive hook they run even quieter than the Berninas,  wich featured an oscillating hook and tend to vibrate.
Interestingly in the add is a manual for an Elna Supermatic, wich is a later model. (and 200 Dollars is really a lot. Look here: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-hobbies-craft/kamloops/vintage-elna-sewing-machines/1447019128?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

Schneiderfrei

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 08:05:17 PM »
The first ever - fantastic, I knew there was something about that.

hutch--

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2019, 04:13:33 AM »
The first sewing machine I owned was a Bernina 707 and it is still in very good condition but after finding the first Elna at a garage sale for $20.00 AU I got the speed, power and stitch range of a more powerful machine. The 707 was a fine and delicate machine and was well suited for people who make fine and delicate things but after the first Elna, I hunted around for a Supermatic and with further hunting I ended up with over 100 cams for it and while ducks and flowers are not much use to me, the exotic stitch range has in fact been very useful.

For mysewingpleasure, if you already own a couple of domestic machines that work OK, I would go for an industrial on a table as you can often pick them up for less than a domestic and they really have the "hoot" if you are doing any production work. Brands like Singer, Consew, Pfaff and many other that are designed for continuous running and have a wet sump for lubrication.
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http://www.movsd.com/tailors_shears/  ;) ;D

mysewingpleasure

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 09:31:27 AM »
Peterle, You have punch me on my face, the Elna is $200, but you found $70 for 2 Elna. I am glad that I did not pay $200. Now I will totally forget about Elna, as Schneiderfrei has suggested.
.
Hutch, you are right, I am actually looking for a industrial, like Juki, my son has a Janome horizon which is very very expensive, as he began his one year fashion design course. it has all the fancy patterns, stitches, you name it, but the plate and the pressure feet are , to me. a little clumsy, well, for a new-born-young-man, it is fascinating. I found it very hard to do the stitching, especially when turning the corners of the shirt collar, making a 1/16 stay-stitch or top-stitch,   

About a month ago, I saw an advertisement of a Juki, with the computerized system... asking $800, it is a bit too much for me, so I dropped it and wait, although I still regret that I did not take it. Juki is always expensive, almost all the time, over $1000.

As I watch a lot of people sewing from YouTube, they only use single stitch machine, the plate and the pressure foot are simply dedicate, fine and faultless. I wish I can afford to buy a juki with a few figures, such as auto cut the thread and needle always in down position when you stop, those are very useful functions, my son's is able to do this two function, that is marvelous, while Bernina will sometimes munch a mass of thread at the beginning of the sewing. Sign.
A sewing mom

Schneiderfrei

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 12:45:29 PM »
I agree with Hutch my Bernina 737 is a delicate machine too. Great for shirts.

Mysewingpleasure, I only meant that particular model. Other Elna's might be very good indeed.  Sounds like Hutch's experience points to a useful trend.

G

hutch--

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 04:38:30 PM »
Just as an aside, a friend of mine owns and still uses an old Consew industrial that has no gadgets or electronics in it and it is a genuine rocket and easily fast enough to stitch the sails of ships but I have seen her make incredibly delicate things with it. It is purely a straight sewer and she keeps an ancient singer dedicated zig zag for that task.

I don't have the room for a table machine but if I did it would be one of those, a purely mechanical machine with no gizmoze.
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TTailor

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 08:37:08 PM »
I have an old consew industrial. Straight stitch, no back stitch, and it is the machine i use the most. I sew everything on it.
I prefer and I would recommend basic mechanical machines. I know there are features in the newer models that people like but I am wary of more expensive repairs on the newer models.
You should be able to pick up a used industrial for around $600.

Schneiderfrei

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2019, 09:00:56 PM »
My Pfaff 138, is a beautiful piece of mechanics. It does zig zag as well as straight and reverse, in Australia it was $450.00. Over the border, in the US, they could be much cheaper.

mysewingpleasure

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2019, 02:06:05 PM »
Schneiderfrei, you suggest me to go across the border? I have thought of that, however, I am concerned how I can get it delivered, even I have a mail box - a kind of transaction agent just across the border, I still have to get there and load it onto my car, a Honda Civic. If the machine comes with a table, it won't fit it in. The only thing I can do is to rent a light truck from a moving company like U-Haul. It might worth if it is very very good price, and I won't be able to take a look before making decision, it is a bit risky....
TTailor, yes, thank you for your opinion, now I am very clear what I should look for, after everyone giving me all the suggestions and reasons why I should only aim at the basic simple straight single stitch industrial one.

A sewing mom

Futura

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Re: An advertisement : Elna grasshopper 1950 sewing machine with case
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2019, 02:21:24 PM »
I recently checked out an industrial sewing machine supplier in Seattle, though at the time I was looking at machines for upholstery. As an example, they had an old, worn Pfaff walking foot machine with clutch motor for around $900. I am not sure what the prices would be locally for a typical lockstitch machine. I think prices here in WA State for decent secondhand machines (both domestic and industrial) are much, much higher than they were in the UK. I don't know how it compares to BC, though.