If you’re looking for a sewing machine that can introduce you to the basics of dressmaking and home sewing hen this machine could fit the bill. Designed to please occasional and new sewists or those who need to move their machine around the house a lot, it’s a good choice if you often find yourself sewing in different locations as it’s portable and versatile.
What does the Elna Experience 450 sewing machine do?
This computerised machine offers plenty of basics to get started on your sewing journey.
- 30 stitches (including 3 buttonhole)
- Built-in needle threader
- Auto needle up/down
- Start/Stop button
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Speed control slider
- Top loading bobbin
- 4 feet included (standard foot, sliding buttonhole foot, satin stitch foot, zipper foot)
How much is the Elna Experience 450?
This machine retails from £299 online.
Is the Elna Experience 450 good value for money?
- This machine is on par with most others available at this price point, but you may be able to get more for your money elsewhere.
Is the Elna Experience 450 easy to use?
This machine is super easy to get started sewing. It comes with the basics you will need, including a starter pack of machine needles and several bobbins. The machine has two positions for your spool of thread (vertical and horizontal). I love this feature, as I find my thread breaks or catches less with a stacked thread spool in the vertical position, and crossword spools in the horizontal position. This is also handy if you are doing twin needle sewing and need two spools, or need to wind a bobbin and don’t want to unthread your machine.
The machine comes with a few options for feet, which are easy to change. Simply press a button to remove one foot, and lower the presser foot lever onto the new one.
As I’ve sewn on a lot of machines before, I could thread this machine easily by just looking at the numbered reminder diagrams printed right on the machine (they blend into the machine a bit, but they’re there!). And it has a built in needle threader (a little lever you can run the thread across and then it pops it through the eye of the needle for you). These days, I think a needle threader is really essential for any machine.
It’s also quite simple to wind a bobbin, and drop in under the needle. Then simply use the up/down button to draw the thread from the bodbbin to the top.
Elna Experience 450 quality and durability
The motor of this machine worked easily through the pile of teacher gifts I needed to sew up (including some layers of foam interfacing). However, I would suggest if you’re planning to do lots of heavier materials to invest in a walking foot to go with the machine.
The small harp space is a bit limiting. So I would definitely avoid putting larger projects that need to be able to go through the harp space, like quilts, through this machine.
It has a handy sliding compartment at the front of the machine to store your accessories, though you’d be hard pressed to add anything extra into this storage space.
Elna Experience 450 functions and stitch options
This machine has 30 stitches, all accessed by using arrow keys to scroll through the selection numbers, which you can see printed right on the machine. You can also adjust the width and length of the stitches using the arrow keys. With a small digital screen, I found it easy to forget to check I had the right section selected section (stitch type, length or width) highlighted before I made adjustments, resulting in a few false starts and a bit of unpicking to be done!
As well as the standard presser foot, this machine comes with a zipper foot, satin stitch foot and buttonhole foot. I’d say that’s the bare minimum you need to get started, and you may find you need a few more depending on what type of sewing you are doing (for me I’d add the walking foot and blind hem foot from my collection).
Personally, I hate sewing button holes, so the 4-step button hole included in this machine just isn’t for me. But it’s not very difficult to achieve one, if you’re only doing them occasionally and you’re not too concerned about only having one shape option.
The speed control slider is a great feature for those just starting their sewing journey, that aren’t comfortable with top speeds yet. Though, even experienced sewists can make use of this when they need that extra precision on delicate projects.
How portable is it?
I could easily carry this machine by its handle with one hand. It was really convenient to move between my sewing space at the top of the house down to the dining room when I needed to sew while supervising my child.
Our verdict: should you buy the Elna Experience 450
This is a simple machine that can handle most materials you throw at it. It is lightweight and super portable. It would be good for the occasional sewist, who doesn’t need a lot of extras and will be working on smaller projects. It would also be handy for someone who is looking to move the machine around a lot because they don’t have a dedicated sewing space or they want to travel with their machine.