1950 Elna 1 Grasshopper

This is a pretty unassuming looking case, don't you think? In fact the flat military looking paint job is what attracted my husband to it while he was rummaging through the local antique mall - he though it might hold some kind of cool military stuff.

It wasn't quite what he expected, but lucky me, he brought it home and I found this box wrapped up under the tree Christmas morning. I couldn't believe it when I opened the box and it was...

A vintage 1950 Elna 1 Grasshopper! Oh my God, are you kidding me? I've seen tons of pictures of the Elna 1 online, but oh man, I never, ever thought I'd even see one of these in person - let alone have one in my collection!

It is very clean, but has some wear and tear from use. Sadly, although it was in the original case, the accessory box is missing. Thankfully, I had some spare bobbins in my "extra's" box that fit this model, and since it uses standard 15 X 1 sized needles, I was able to sew with it ASAP.

The metal bar that folds up in front of the machine is actually a knee operated speed control, and the stitch length/reverse knob is located  on the right of the machine bed. A little different than the old Singers that I'm used to sewing with, but she sews incredibly smoothly, and this machine is amazingly quiet. And did I mention that this machine is a TRANSFORMER? The carrying case opens up and transforms into...

...a slide on sewing table. Right, that IS freaking awesome!

It is a pretty large sewing area, and the smooth finish makes it easy to sew on. But the best part of all is that if you need it, you also have easy access to the free-arm of the machine.

When you're finished sewing, the knee control folds right up, the cord pops off, and the sewing table transforms back into a case.

The sewing bed flips closed and is held in place by two small clips.

The bottom of the case flips back down, and the machine sits right in the bottom.

Close the case and you're ready to roll.

Hell yeah! I can't wait to take this baby out and sew on the go!

And, if you're looking for more information about the Elna 1 Grasshopper, I did find a few links to share  - so check these sites out:


The Needlebar ELNA page.

SewMuse's ELNA page.

A thorough review of the Elna 1 from SewingInsight.com.


Betty Lou said…
All I can say is Awesome and lucky you.
JustPam said…
Congratulations! I have one of these on my wish list. Way to go to your hubby!
I am NOT a green person at all, but man that is one nice looking machine!!!! Glad you have a husband that knows what you would like. Lucky You.
This is so awesome I don't have words. You are one lucky duck!
Gavin Henderson said…
That is a great Xtmas present you lucky lucky thing. I am grasshopper green with envy. Gxx
smazoochie said…
Oh my word! Lucky you!!! The machine looks pristine & what a table!
Elna Grasshoppers are what started my French friend on her love of vintage & antique machines. And because of her love & her generosity (she gave (!) me a Featherweight 221 & 222!) began my love the old machines as well.
Happy stitching!
Synnove said…
Just found your blog through Flickr when I did a search on Elna grasshopper. Isn't it awsome? I got one just a few days ago, and I'm in love!
Yours look like it's brand new, so so pretty. Too bad about the toolbox, maybe you'll be able to find one somewhere?
Sofs said…
I'm happy for you...I can totally feel your excitment as I am also a vintage sewing machine 'junior' collector! I have seen these Elna machines, so cool. I read a few of your posts, thanks for taking the time to share. (cool sewing room btw).
Tor Magnussen said…

I bought one to. But I need some parts, and a service manual or user manual. How can I get that?

Erika Mulvenna said…
Hello Tor, as this is a very vintage machine, I'm not sure where you could go to find parts or a manual for your Elna. Have you tried any sewing machine stores near you that carry a wide range of brands and has a technician on staff? Sometimes those stores have a technician who knows about older machines and can help with parts.
Tor Magnussen said…
Thanks! I got an manual i pdf-format from internet. I also get a paper version, sins I bought one more.
Very nice things!
Now I can sew the most. But I got an Supermatic to! Wery good machine! A little bit more modern, but it is av precision machine, may be more than Elna 1.

To day I repair an Husqvarna Vikin 7510. Not so good quality like Automatic, as I also have.

Have i nice sewing days!

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