$9, a vintage piece, and one very happy seamstress!

Let me tell you my sewing machine story.

My sewing machine used to be my Mums. It’s a wonderful Elna TSP Air electronic. Made in Switzerland in 1978. I learnt to sew on it. You get the picture? The machine is ancient.

I used to have a Janome but something went wrong with it. My Mum couldn’t use her machine anymore, so I just swapped back to using the Elna.

Everything went well until I started to have a bit of problem feeding fabrics through. Why were they sticking? Finally, I thought to look at the presser foot. My machine had a Teflon coated foot. It was lovely and black on the top,

but the bottom looked like this..

…all the Teflon was worn off and the foot itself was rough… and smelling a bit like rust.

I had a serious case of presser foot abuse.

I started to dream about new machines. Even got a brochure or two and some prices. I was lusting after rolled hem feet and piping feet and all sorts of other attachments.

Then reality kicked back in. Why not just get another foot? Surely that would be easy? Perhaps, if Elna hadn’t been bought out by Janome and changed their feet. But there is a whole internet out there full of feet. High shank, low shank, slanted shank, a zillion and one machine types and models and none of them seem to be your model or make and your feet seem to be in between low high and slanted shank…

But there was light at the end of the tunnel. I stumbled across a Yahoo group dedicated to old Elnas.

From that I worked out which other ancient machines were like mine, clues about where to find a new foot and how excellent my machine really was. Whatever made me think I needed a new one! Machines the same as mine are on ebay for >$300!

I also posted on the Sewing DownUnder thread on Pattern Review and received lots of good ideas and links for online shops. Thanks jayjays, Schnauzer, AuntChelle, PatM, treefrog, Aless, and Skye! The most excellent online stores were temporarily closed, or wouldn’t ship to Australia. Of course.

But, knowledge about what I was really looking for was a wonderful enabler. A quick search of local sewing machine repairers and a few phone calls later and I’ve found a  stainless steel version of my Teflon presser foot (preloved of course), ordered an adaptor so I can use all the new fancy snap-on feet and found someone to fix my Janome!

And, best of all, He who Cooks can stop hearing about my obsession with feet…

6 thoughts on “$9, a vintage piece, and one very happy seamstress!

  1. It was a good find wasn’t it. My local bernina dealer also handles Elnas and he’s got a shop full of bits and pieces and is very helpful too. It’s good to build up a rapport with your local supplier.

  2. Preloved feet are great when you find them for older machines! I’d say the other foot just shows how much you and your Mum love sewing because its so worn down. Now, how about an entry showing us this favourite old Elna you have and love?
    I’m nosy and love seeing what others sew on in their sewing rooms.

  3. Hi.late to find this post. There is a quirky sewing machine shop in melbourne which has all the old Elna feet. The owner used to work at Elna and bought them all. You could try there for a Teflon coated one. Its out at Tunstall Square, Doncaster.

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