Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New/Old Sewing Machine# 1- My Elna

I mentioned a while back that my mother sent some wonderful things in the mail. This unassuming industrial looking box was what I got most excited about. I had an idea of what was inside, but how to get it out was quite mysterious. Hmmm? A hinge?
elna 2
Maybe if we turn it this way we can take a peek.
elna 3
Ahhh here she is... my lovely little grasshopper!
elna 4
She came with a tin box of parts and a charming diagram of how to thread written in an old- fashioned hand.
elna 5
This vintage sewing machine was the first ever produced by Elna, a Swiss manufacture, beginning in the 1930's. It was nicknamed The Grasshopper because of its color, and that fold up knee bar only adds to the insect impression. They all come with a sturdy case, which turns into a fantastic sewing table instantly!
my new gorgeous grasshopper
I am obviously in love with her sweet looks, but the lightweight, portability factor is a big reason for my mother shipping her across the country. If I can get my little grasshopper running smoothly, she will be accompanying me to my sewing workshops in June at Squam. I'm looking forward to sharing her! Now, it's time to research where to find a new cord and manual. Any suggestions are always helpful! Pin It


  1. I am jealous, I love the Elna Grasshopper!

  2. It's so cute!


  3. so adorable - can't wait to see it clicking away in your class at squam. I'm getting giddy with anticipation!!!

  4. I've never seen an Elna "Grasshopper" before... it's completely adorable. Definitely worth getting it running again. Sorry I don't have any Elna resources to share - all my research is in old Singers and Necchis. I look forward to seeing it grace these pages in the near future!

  5. Oh, I am so jealous and I didn;t even know bout this sweet thing until now!

    I will be on the lookout.

  6. I had one of these when I was young. My parents bought it for me from some lady that was selling it in the newspaper. It was my first real sewing machine. I loved it. My mom must still have it. Mine had a big button hole adapter that fit on to it too that you picked discs for what size and style of button hole you wanted. It made a beautiful keyhole button.

  7. For the cord, try Ray White at the White Sewing Center. Here's his Elna page:

    Also, you might join the Yahoo Group for vintage Elnas:

    They will have useful info in their files and messages.

    Wish I could find a Grasshopper!


  8. Abelian- Thanks for such perfect resources!!I'm so grateful you responded and I'm excited to check them out.

  9. She's gorgeous! And is that a knee control I see? How fun!

    Oh how I *wish* I could go to Squam and see her in action. Perhaps one day ...


  10. Reminds me of my Elna Lotus, the first sewing machine I could call my own. It was love at first sight and she and I spent hundreds of hours together. I still have her as a back up machine.

  11. Maya you are going to love your Elna!
    I have order parts for both of my vintage Supermatic Elna sewing machines from White Sewing Center. Ray is wonderful to deal with and is very knowledgeable about Elna sewing machines and parts.

  12. Contact your local sewing machine repair shop.
    You could also call this place, the owner Smitty is a wealth of knowledge and I am sure he could point you in the right direction!

    Smitty's Sewing Machine Services
    3 Maple Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452-3877
    (802) 878-4545 ‎

  13. i dont know much about the grasshopper but i own a supermatic.
    i only have one link that could help.
    if you could do a tutorial of how to thread and use this machines i would appreciated. i do not own a manual and i have some parts missing so i am not sure if mine is able to do some sewing.

    PS. i also know there is elna yahoo group.

  14. I love your grasshopper! I have a 1930s Singer with a knee press which is still going strong - definitely made to last back then. I found the Singer website really helpful with manuals etc., so maybe try Elna direct? Good luck!!

  15. Oh boy, she looks so industrial. Quite a character!
    I never knew Elna was a swiss brand, silly me! If there is any translating i can help you with don't hesitate to ask!

  16. Jealous...simply jealous of this little beauty. Have fun with her...and share.

    PS googled the machine and all kinds of things popped, manual & so on.

  17. I love the Grasshopper! I used to have one given to me by my professor at uni. Sadly it blew up on me one day and caught fire so I had to say 'good bye' to it.
    However, my mother still has my grandmother's so there is at least one in the family.

  18. I have an Elna Grasshopper too, and I adore her. There are never any problems with Elna, she just sews and sews as long as she gets a decent amount of oil. She needs much more oil than a modern sewing machine. So if she starts to behave a little odd, just add oil.
    I've been serching for information about her, but couldn't find any. I guessed that she was from the 1940's, so I wasn't that far off. I'm sure you'll love her :-)

  19. Great adorable machine! I've googled about the manual and there's something here:
    Enjoy it!

  20. She's gorgeous! I've been hoping to find myself an Elna grasshopper someday!

  21. Ralvelry has a group for vintage sewing machines. and over the past month that I have belonged I have seen many interesting machines and found a wealth of info about my machines. check them out

  22. I've recently inherited my Granny's old Elna Lotus. She is too cute and I love her, she makes the most satisfying purr as she sews. I just googled for the manual and downloaded it, but I don't know where from.

  23. I searched my history and it looks like I didn't download it but accessed it for free here:
    I also looked at this website but didn't want to pay
    both links are for the lotus but you should be able to search for the grasshopper.

  24. The Grasshopper is SOOOO cool! Fancy them making the case to double as the sewing table. Now that is clever! Hope you get her running well, and find a manual.

  25. Very interesting model of an old sewing machine especially interesting desk :)

  26. I have one of these machines , my Father bought it for my Mother when they were first married ( 16 & 18) I have carted with me ever since I was 18 and I am now 53!!! Neither of my daughters are the least bit interested and its time to clean out the anyone interested could email me on . Its still cased, but the case is a bit rusty, have cord and utensils etc in utensil box but cannot locate the instruction book! Hope this is ok to post here, Kind Regards, Trudi



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