Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

While I was away staying with my Grandma I managed to squeeze in some op-shopping. To be honest, there wasn't much else for me to do except wander round the shops and hang out in the public library.

Wool Coat

I finally bought this amazing wool coat. I had already seen it in a second hand shop the last two times I visited my Grandma but had resisted the urge to buy it. I decided that if it was still there a third time I would get it. Luckily, it was.


The label is Windsmoor. They started making coats and other clothing in 1933 and continue to do so today. At a guess I would say this is from the 50s. It's in almost perfect condition and is made of lovely worsted wool. I thought it was a bargain at $79.99 but my Grandma thought that was a ridiculous amount to pay for a second hand coat. Different generations, eh?

Elna Supermatic case

Speaking of bargains, on my way home to Christchurch I stopped in Ashburton and went to an op-shop there. That's where I picked up this little beauty.

Elna Supermatic

An Elna Supermatic...for $15. I probably would have paid $15 just for the cool metal carry case. According to the lady at the shop it does work, but she said I can bring it back if it doesn't. I haven't actually tried it yet because I'm a bit scared to plug it in until my Dad brings over one of those cut-off plugs that cuts off the electricity if there's anything wrong.

Elna Supermatic with work table

I'm kind of in awe of how well designed it is. The carry case folds over to become a work table that slots into place. It didn't come with a manual but I managed to find two different ones online that people had scanned. Apparently vintage Elna machines have quite a following.
I also think it's the cutest sewing machine I've ever seen. I love that vintage green. It's not really a colour that you see around much any more.

Elna Supermatic FeetElna Supermatic Discs

It did, however, come with all manner of different feet, including a darning foot, a buttonhole foot, a hemming foot, and some I can't identify. It also came with the discs which are used to sew different stitches. Based on the number of discs that fit in the accessory box I think that this is from the Elna Supermatic series made between 1952 and 1956.

As you may be able to tell by now, every time I buy something old I obsessively research the brand to see when and where it was made etc. I like to think of it as honing my research skills, something which is always handy for the research papers I have to write.


  1. Oh me oh my I am so so jealous of that machine! I would love a treasure like that as a back up to mine. I bet it sews beautifully too! Are the op shops good in Ash Vegas? I have some leave coming up in a few weeks, is it worth a day trip?

  2. She is a rather lovely machine. I've had really good luck with the op-shops in Ashburton. They are cheaper than ChCh and often have really awesome sewing supplies. I have so many buttons and vintage zips from the Sallies there. Totally worth a day trip. If you need directions to where they are just send me an email.

  3. Good find that sewing machine was. I love sewing machines with those disks for different stitches! I also have one like that, called Borletti. Unfortunately it stopped working about a month ago. I might have to toss it, unless I'm able to get it fixed.

  4. Wow...great finds, I love, love, love that sewing machine...they just don't make them like that anymore! xoxo Beth

  5. Rhia- The discs are really cool. I had never seen them until I bought this machine and I had no idea what they were for until I looked on the instructions. I hope you can get your machine fixed.

    Beth- Thanks. They sure don't. I don't know that I'd ever want to sew on a new sewing machine, it just isn't the same.

  6. Darling,that coat is to DIE for!!!
    Perfect for keeping your little self warm this winter!xxx

  7. Hi. I just found your blog. I love it. And I adore that Elna! Such a good brand still! You are inspiring me to try to get some sewing in for myself and not just my clients. Have a wonderfully fashionable summer!!!!