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|Elna:Supermatic (Sewing Machine)|
|Viewed 1095 time(s)|| |
6 more reviews for this machine
Review rated Helpful
by 3 people Very Helpful
by 14 people
|About FunFur |
|Member since: 9/18/12 |
|Reviews written: 3|
|sewing machines reviewed: 3|
|Posted on:||12/31/12 9:47 AM|
|Approx price paid:||$60|
|Had this machine for:||3 months|
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- Embroidery Stitches
- Drop-In bobbin
- Free Arm
- Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
- Adjustable Needle Position
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|What FunFur likes about this machine|
I wasn't looking for this machine, being quite happy with my Singer 503A (for most things) and my Necchi 575FA (for its free-arm and stretch stitches). But, when I came across one at a secondhand store, I couldn't resist. I tested the machine at the store and found that it made an unnerving roaring/growling noise. Still, it was a Supermatic and I'm fairly mechanically inclined so I decided to give it a shot. Turns out the problem was the infamous motor pulley, which develops a flat spot when left unused for an extended period. I ordered a replacement pulley from Ray White, and rented his pulley replacement tool. Replacing the pulley was an easy task and took maybe 30 minutes. After a good cleaning and oiling this machine runs... well... like a Swiss watch. To prevent the flattening of the replacement motor pulley, I leave the balance/handwheel loosened when the machine is not in use.
I've heard other sewists comment on the "dwell time" of their machines (the amount of time a machine pauses after the needle has penetrated the fabric (during which the hook catches the top thread and loops it around the bobbin) but before the needle raises and the fabric feeds the length of one stitch.) My Singer 503A has what I have come to think of as a typical dwell time, which results in a rhythmic plunge-pause-pull action to which I'm accustomed. My White 761 behaves in much the same way. The Elna, however, has an almost imperceptible dwell time and creates the feeling that the fabric is feeding constantly without that slight plunge-pause-pull rhythm. It took some time for me to become accustomed to working/thinking at this increased, or at least steadier, pace. The product is the ability to sew even straighter seams than with my Singer.
This machine also produces the straightest stitch I've ever seen on a domestic machine. Both my Singer and White produce stitches that are slightly angled in relation to one another, as a product of the twisting of the threads to form the lockstitch. The Supermatic produces completely straight stitches that lack evidence of this twisting, even on lighter fabrics.
The Supermatic is a low-shank machine, which makes attachments easy to find. Embroidery stitches are formed via cams, of which there are 100+. Single cams allow satin- and single-stitch patterns while double cams allow stretch stitches, as well as ducks, flowers, sailboats, etc. While I prefer a machine with removable cams, in lieu of an all-metal camstack, this means that even a simple zig-zag stitch requires a cam, as is the case with my Singer 503A.
This Supermatic has a knee control rather than a foot control. At first this was disconcerting and I found myself starting the machine inadvertently, or trying to lift my foot off the nonexistent foot control to slow/stop the machine. With a bit of use, I find I prefer the knee control as it produces less muscle fatigue as a result of trying to keep my foot on a foot control.
On the matter of strength I assumed the Supermatic was a non-competitor, particularly in relation to my White with it's 1.2 amp motor. Our dog courteously limits her destructive tendencies to her own toys. While we greatly appreciate this, it's problematic in that store-bought toys tend to last only a few days and are hardly inexpensive. To preserve my 401(k), I took to making denim toys using my White, which was more than up to the challenge of sewing through multiple layers of denim. On a lark, I fabricated the most recent ill-fated denizen of the denim jungle on the Supermatic and was amazed to find that it was more than capable of meeting the demands of the job with no complaint.
As to functionality, the Supermatic is twin-needle capable (which requires special threading of the bobbin), and takes standard 15x1 needles. It sews on buttons, darns, and is a free-arm machine, which makes sewing cuffs and sleeves much easier. The needle position is adjustable, as is the stitch length (in both forward and reverse) and width. A really useful feature is the adjustable bobbin tension, which is done in marked increments using a small screwdriver. This feature lets me use a wider variety of threads than is possible with my Singer (at least without a lot of fussy, time-consuming trial-and-error adjustment of the bobbin tension.) The Supermatic case fits around the base of the machine to produce an extended work surface, which is a boon when working on large or heavy items. The instructions indicate the machine can do buttonholes, but I haven't tried to do so. Originally included was a storage case for attachments and bobbins, which fits under the free-arm. When folded and packed away, the Supermatic is a lightweight (compared to machines of that era (1950s)) and compact sewing set-up that results in a portable, capable, versatile machine that's also stylish and just plain fun to use.
What FunFur does not like about this machine
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