Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Lotus Blossoms

As I have written about in a previous post, Hey Stella!, I love those little 3/4 sized sewing machines and have fallen hard for the Elna version. Stella comes with me from time to time, even visiting my workplace when I was making Dobby for a Harry Potter display. You can imagine how fast I jumped when I found out someone was selling, not one, but two, Elna Lotus model sewing machines. Sure, there were problems, but I thought they were all just challenges that beckoned to me. We struck a deal and they were coming UPS, faster than I could have imagined:
Lotus model 25 in front, model 35 in back
They were in terrific shape but traveled in subzero weather so I had to restrain myself to wait until they warmed up. The biggest disappointment was the top flap that conceals the accessories had broken through its plastic fittings so it no longer would hold in place. Bummer. But all else was great with the exception of the bobbin winders but they are on back order at Ray White's Sewing Center so I'll have to be patient or include a bobbin "Side Winder" with the sale.
Model 25 open with the bag holding foot control and cords
They were different models: a model 25 with basic straight and zigzag stitches and a model 35 that has an elastic zigzag and a modified blind stitch:
Model 35 with stitch selection dial
Of course, the more basic model, with the name lotus on the front had that broken top. I made up linen bags out of a vintage piece of fabric for the foot control and cords so they didn't scratch the bed of each machine and could also contain extra bobbins and a few other accessories.
Linen bags (confession: made up on a Bernina serger)
 The Lotus and Stella do not come with many extra feet so they are pretty slim and trim.
Lotus 35 accessory tray, only missing an oiler
 I hope I don't have to point out why they are called lotus but just notice the flaps when they open. Yup, like a flower blooming, the Lotus was the first model Elna made with the Stella coming later. I like how the Lotus has you place it in a parking mode when you are done:
Dot matches up to the 0 for locking in place
and then move the handwheel towards you and it locks in place. This actually disengages  the friction wheel so it does not get a flat spot on it, a major cause of rough running and uneven wear. Stella didn't have that but then there were other upgrades so I'm not complaining. So how did I fix the top from falling off? I have to pat myself on the back on this one: I used a thin piece of plastic coated wire, like a twist tie, and ran it over the end of the rod and then through the nearby screw hole, twisting it together underneath. Once the screw was in place it was held down and now could open and close without falling off. Voila!
Twist tie as a flexible fitting
They are just so sweet and I can't wait to call Kristie who showed an interest in my Stella. But she's "my Stella" and I'm hoping she will be interested in a cute Lotus for herself.

Here's an update on the Brother Select-O-Matic that traveled from St. Paul to South Dakota from my last post Letting Go. She's home!
Brother Select-O-Matic in a place of honor
I got these lovely photos from Linda who promises she's going to retrofit the treadle cabinet to fit the Brother (remember, she's a big gal and needs a cabinet). There's even a photos of their home, the same one where Grandma was born in 1899 and used her Brother Select-O-Matic (or one very similar):
Snowy South Dakota in January 2017
Now doesn't that just feel good to know where this little lovely ended up? She does look petite even if we can barely lift her and her two tone coloring is very appealing. I think all her nicks and dings on the bed of this model are just fitting since both this one and probably Grandma's were very well used. Linda plans on doing the same having already mended jeans on them (she doesn't waste any time). But look at this photo, above the sewing machine to see who is looking down on it:
Grandmother and the Brother


Congratulations to Linda (and Dale) for making this story have such a happy ending!

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