Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Music To My Ears

It has been a very busy buying and selling season and the top of my list these days is Elna, the wonderful sewing machine made in Switzerland. My story begins with an Elna Air Electronic in a cabinet that we drove 45 minutes in a rainstorm to get. My husband is such a good sport about my madness with sewing machines. It had belonged to a woman's mother who was long gone and they were moving out of state and downsizing: mom's sewing machine had to go. I sold it to a nice young man with six children who said his mom and sisters would be mad at him if he didn't get either an Elna, Viking, or Bernina so this was one he could afford. He brought his five year old son with him and they were quite a team.
Elna Air Electronic
Next up was an Elna SU with the blue top, given to me for free because there were "electrical issues." As it turned out, it needed a new electrical cord and foot control to the tune of $87. There were only a half dozen of the coveted cams but it came in the original metal case that folds out to create a large table top surface for sewing. I still have this awesome sewing machine but I should try to sell this one soon.
Elna SU 62
I've been looking for one of their "green machines" and that doesn't refer to their ecological footprint. No, they are bright green and have the distinction of having a knee control for a portable. They come up on Craigslist once in awhile so I just needed to wait. Much to my surprise, I was walking through my local Goodwill store and found this gem:
Elna Plana
No, it wasn't the green version I was after, but it looked about the same and the cabinet was way cool and in good shape. It came home with me and I found a spot in the living room. I wrote another blog post about replacing the motor drive pulley that was a fun exercise in repair that I would gladly do again.

Shortly thereafter I did find my green Elna and I'm still pretty excited about that as I wrote in a previous post about a vacation turned business. I haven't sewn anything with this beast yet but I knew I needed to get the rest of her accessories and a set of cams before I could sell her. I've been outbid on those Elna cams several times  but one of these days it's all going to work out for me! When Sara came over to pick up a sewing machine over the weekend I showed her the Elna Plana and ran the motor a bit so she could hear how smooth it sounded. Now she was hooked! She wanted an Elna but the green model was what she really wanted and I know the feeling: there is just something about the green model that the beige doesn't have. Bright color? They do run the same but my green model is freearm whereas the beige is flatbed and that does make a difference.

Here's where it gets interesting (if you haven't stopped reading by now: congratulations!): Sara found her dream Elna on local CL, portable, full of cams (30?), just fully loaded, but in beige. And a bit more than she wanted to pay. Mine was cheaper but no cams or other accessories. I suggested she offer a lower price and see if the seller would budge but if she could get a set of cams with my lower price that might be the way to go. As it turns out, the cams on Ebay go for way more than initial starting bid so she didn't get them but the seller went down on her price. Yea! I'm happy for Sara, quickly becoming somewhat of a frequent flier with my postings, but just a tiny bit sad for myself until today. I  bid on another set of Elna cams and, of course, I had to figure out what my top price would be and hope that wasn't going to be too low but I knew what they were worth. At the last 30 seconds, a bid came in $22 more than my previous high bid but my final bid was $4 more than theirs and with only seconds left, I WON! Now my Elna, in green, comes with a nice set of a dozen cams plus a set of accessories,to be collected from my stash, when I get home. Score!
Elna in green

Cams from another set and accessory box
 It takes patience and practice to collect all of these items but I know a buyer will want to have a sewing machine that is complete and ready to use. That is hopefully why they come to me instead of just buying off of Craigslist themselves: I have cleaned, tested, adjusted, and furnished each sewing machine so it's ready to go (and you can bring it back if unhappy).

The Elna adventure isn't over yet. On Sunday I got a call for an Elna TOP 300 that I've listed several times as a nice beginners sewing machine but it's missing the front storage compartment and that's not too great. A nice woman wanted to get a friend started in sewing but didn't want to spend too much so the Elna with it's missing storage was going to work just fine. I'm glad that nice sewing machine has finally found a home. Then on Monday I get an email asking if I buy sewing machines because the writer had (drum roll here) an Elna Air Electronic (see photo at top of this post). I sure did so she came over with one in excellent shape, just a little dusty from storage in the basement. I even tried to talk her out of it when she said she bought a Singer on sale at a chain fabric store. I suggested she might be going in the wrong direction there but she was sure she didn't want that dear old Elna. And I'm thinking "Come to mama!" as I cleaned it up inside and out and she ran like a champ. Yes, it's been an Elna kind of a week and I still haven't been to Switzerland.


d said...

what a beauty! what feet come in the accessory box for the SU?

Karen said...

The feet include the usual hemmers, zipper, button, nothing too unusual but just what an average sewer would be used to using.

Unknown said...

I'm also a big Elna fan after I found a used Air Electronic for almost free. I think they are even better than Bernina.
I have some cams twice and would exchange them for sweets if you are interested.
Greetings from Switzerland.