Additions to the Herd

I haven’t talked about my vintage sewing machines for a while, but there are two new girls in the herd, and I thought I’d show them off today.

First, there’s a Singer Stylist 457:

Singer Stylist 457

This one was quite clean, although I want to refinish its box. It was made in St. John’s, Quebec, in 1961. Here’s a bit on that plant, which opened in 1904 and was closed in 1986. The Stylist isn’t a machine with a fabulous reputation, because its gears are plastic, as you can see on this page on the Singer UK site. Since it was in good shape, though, and a zigzag machine, and just $10, home it came to join the herd. That button in front is to drop the feed dogs, which is cool, too.

Then, I found this Pfaff 360:
This picture is from its arrival here, and you can see that it was pretty dirty. I think someone was a smoker. It ran well, though, and is very clean inside, as if it was well maintained. I like that it has a similar free arm design to my old Elnas. The serial number indicates that it was built in 1959.

This one didn’t have all the goodies with it – in fact, it needed a new bobbin case – but it ran beautifully and was only $20 so it joined the herd, too. I have another Pfaff, a Pfaff 30, which is in a wooden cabinet. It’s a sturdy machine that sews a straight stitch.

I haven’t shown you the herd for a while, so here are (most of) the girls.

Elna Grasshopper Sewing Machine

First, my Elnas. The first green one is called a Grasshopper. This was the first Elna design and was in production from 1940 to 1952. It was intended to compete with the Singer Featherweight and is a light little machine. That thing coming out the front right is a knee lever.

Elna Supermatic from 1954
Elna Supermatic from 1959

Next is a Supermatic from 1954 and then (the taupe one) another Supermatic from 1956. These two have little doors on the top, which are for cams for decorative stitches. They both have their original cases, which can be used to create a larger sewing surface – you can see how that cut-out fits around the free arm of the machine. The taupe one has the original Bakelite box for bobbins and accessories. It slides under the free arm when you pack it all away.

Hugin sewing machine

Then there’s a Hugin, which is a similar machine that was made in Sweden. This one sadly hasn’t done any sewing, because it needs a belt and I haven’t found one the right length yet. It’s also a straight stitch machine. I just like that it’s named after one of Odin’s ravens. (I blogged about it once before in this post.)

Next are the Singer machines: first a cute little 185K. (I don’t have a picture of my Featherweight – it’s just a plain black one.) My 185 was made in Scotland in 1958. That box in front is a buttonholer. I like that the box matches the machine so well.

Singer 185K
Singer handcrank sewing machine
Singer handcrank sewing machine

Then there are two old Singer machines. The first has a stencil design called Venezia, and some original wiring. (Hmm.) The second one is a handcrank with decals called Victoria. I think they’re just so pretty. They’re both Scottish lasses.

King Rotary treadle sewing machine

Finally, there’s the treadle machine in the cabinet. This is a King Rotary, which I haven’t been able to find out much about. It was likely made in Buffalo, New York – here’s a bit about the King sewing machine company and you can see that the heraldic emblem on mine is like the one on that website. Look at those lovely iris decals:

Do you collect anything vintage?

The Green Herd Grows

Some of you may have noticed that I have an affection for vintage sewing machines, and that I particularly like the green machines.

Just to recap the rest of the Green Herd, here’s the Arrow and here are the Singer 185, the Elna Supermatic (actually there are two Elna Supermatics, but only one is green) and the Hugin. Recently, we saw another green machine (I forget what kind) and Mr. Math was prepared to lug it home. Nope. It didn’t make my little heart go pit-a-pat. I told him that there was only one more green machine I wanted – a Grasshopper.

Hip hop. Guess what turned up?


This is an Elna #1, commonly called an Elna Grasshopper. It is the first design produced by Elna, beginning in 1940. This particular machine dates from 1950 and was made/wired for the Canadian market from the outset. It has a knee control, which is folded down in this shot. The entire top plate is actually just sitting in place in this shot, because I have taken it off to clean inside the arm. (Dustbunnies love it in there.) It’s a straight stitch machine and this one sews beautifully. The green and black box to the back left is the attachments box, and this one came with all its special feet. It also has an aluminum plate, and I can’t figure out what the heck that’s for. As is typical of many Elna models, the hard carrying case unfolds to create a table that fits around the free arm of the machine to make a larger sewing surface.

Here’s some more about Grasshoppers. There are pix on this site of the case, the case being used as a table, and the nifty way the accessories box fits along side the machine in the case.

This just might mean that the Green Herd is complete…

P.S. Here’s the mysterious aluminum plate that came in the attachments box. It says “Swiss made” like all of the Elna attachments so, so it must belong. It looks so useful, but I can’t figure out what it’s for.