The Elna eXcellence 710
Our featured sewist here has a classic Singer 500a AKA the Rocketeer of her very own. It’s a favorite of ours and vintage sewing machine enthusiasts around the globe. It has a very unique look and all metal internals. So what’s not to love? Well sewing with modern stretchy fabrics for one. It predates the stretch stitch by a couple of machine generations, and predates finding a dual feed options outside of a factory by a few decades.
The eXcellence 710 of course has stretch stitches and a stitch with that is almost twice as wide as the Singer (9mm vs 5mm). But it also has Elna latest version of their dual feed system. This system allows you to add a proper upper feed foot of your choice to this machine. Yes you can add an Even Feed foot or Walking foot to the Rocketeer, but those simply clamp down from the top. The Elna actually feeds from both the top and bottom simultaneously.
The first time Jamie tried to sew with Minky on the Rocketeer she got to the end of the seem and had a lot of extra Minky. Because of the extreme stretch of this fabric it’s very easy for a machine with a single feed to push it along stretching it. Which of course is not what you want at the end of your seam.
Dual Feed Feet
The current generation of Elna eXcellence machines (710 and up) offer the ability to use removable Dual Feed Feet. These are available in a variety of options depending on your sewing task at hand.
It might seem like a simple thing, but a proper seam guide will help keep you on the straight and narrow. There are a variety of options here depending the on the machine you are using.
To sew the label on she was able to use what most people call the 1/4″ foot. The guide blade on this foot kept it right on the edge of the fabric, but by using the 710’s 91 Needle Positions, she was able to dial in this distance to perfectly clear the stitches on the label.