meet elna : the lady behind the seams.



Lindsay here, and I'd like you meet Elna : the lady behind the seams.

My number one gal and the center of it all... quite literally and figuratively.  This 1950’s zig-zag sewing machine resides in the middle of my one bedroom apartment accompanied by a wedding photo of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Ulness and a Schlitz brewery clock.  My only inheritance from my greatly missed, but dearly remembered grandparents which have easily become three of my most valued possessions.  

But this story doesn’t start out with lady Elna, it begins with a Singer and a damsel in distress.  It was right at the cusp of linyage— we were just paving our path and still discovering and defining what exactly this new venture was and what it all meant to us.


I was pushing through a late night to finish up one of our first custom dresses, when my Singer Sewing Machine clunked to a halt.  When the normal tricks, prodding and (somewhat) gentle caressing failed and with no back up machine in sight, I went into full meltdown. Jonathan got the brunt of my distress (but that’s what boyfriends are for) and calmly drew my attention to the windowsill not 4 yards from where I was standing.  There was, in fact, a vintage sewing machine sitting in my front windowsill that was currently acting as my flag waving at passers by, announcing my craft.  

This relic had been found in my grandparents garage after they passed away and not having much to have left much behind, my family thought that it would be fitting for me to have it.  unbenounced to me, my grandfather had done the mending and sewing in the family and Elna has been living near his tool bench since 1950.  It was a beautiful ornament.  But I had never actually taken it for a test drive.


This became a defining moment. In so many ways.”


Starting linyage, our intentions went beyond the dress— we wanted to create heirlooms.  The name speaks to that, clearly a play on lineage and my name... (my friends call me linny).  We use vintage lace in every dress with the option to incorporate fabric from familial dresses or keepsakes to add to this new heirloom.  The fact that my only heirloom I had only so recently and unassumingly inherited became the forefront to this brand new, and ever so fitting endeavor after THE most tumultuous year of finding my footing was the biggest sign that I was finally exactly where I was supposed to be in my world.

I have two guardian angels.  It turns out that my grandparents had left me everything.  The machine was solid gold.


In disbelief the next morning, I hauled this bowling ball downtown to the sewing shop, not a mile from my apartment and asked the owner to take a look.  He told me that he just happened to be an Elna expert and connoisseur, traveling to yearly conventions and that he’d never seen this model in such pristine condition before.  The Zig Zag was one of the most popular models for housewives in the 1950s (the first model to have a zig zag stitch) and with the era, a ton of home sewing was done.  The belts on the machines tended to wear out from use over time and unfortunately replacements are nearly impossible to come by.  To both of our surprise, he assured me that Elna was tip top and I could look forward to many good years ahead!   And so the story goes…


That which I have not sewn by hand, I have sewn on Elna ever since along side unwavering amounts of faith and my grandparents guidance.  Every wedding dress that goes out of our door, passes through this lady first.  This little sweet nothing has become my everything.  Like a true fostered relationship, I give her my time, my love and my patience and in return she has the potential to give me the world.

Sarah Hrudka2 Comments