I’ve owned a lot of sewing machines.
Maybe it’s because I’ve moved around a lot (Los Angeles, New York, LA again, all around the SF bay area before settling in Portland), but I never really invested in a great machine until a few years ago. I’ll be honest. Until that time, my sewing machine purchases had largely been based around the size of the discount I could get. All I wanted was something that could do the basics and last me a while. I looked for machines with metal parts and a decent price. That’s it.
That changed about 4 years ago, when my last machine finally bit the dust. After battling with it for months, I realized it was time to invest in a more versatile and reliable machine. You know, the kind where parts don’t randomly fly off while you’re sewing and scare the wits out of your cat?
I did the usual research, reading reviews and looking over specs. And one thing I noticed was how in LOVE Bernina owners are with their sewing machines. Also, because I work with a lot of independent fabric stores, I noticed that stores that sold Bernina were crazy enthusiastic about them.
The idea of loving a sewing machine was totally foreign to me. Until that point, I’d say my relationships with various sewing machines had oscillated between indifference and raw hatred, depending on the task. But once I started sewing with my first Bernina, I have to say… I became one of those people. The Bernina zealots.
I guess the main difference with my Bernina (I’ve been primarily using an Aurora 430 for the last four years) compared to other machines is that it’s clearly been designed with thought and attention, and that’s a big deal to me. If I want to do something, there’s always a simple and elegant way to do it, from automatic buttonholes to installing elastic.
The other thing I love about sewing with Bernina is the huge array of feet and attachments that are available. Seriously, there are a bazillion of them, for every type of sewing imaginable. My other machines always came with extra feet, but they were so fussy and hard to use, I rarely took them out. My bernina feet are constantly getting switched out. My favorite is the #10 Edgestitch foot, and the perfect #35 invisible zipper foot. I can’t tell you how much easier they’ve made my sewing life. (If you’re interested in seeing some of these feet in action, you might check out some of the video tutorials at the Bernina blog, WeAllSew. They do a lot with video, which is also really helpful.)
I’m aware that I’m gushing a bit, but I truly do love this machine. If you’re interested in checking them out, the best thing to do is find a local Bernina dealer in your area. The dealers are really well trained and can help you figure out exactly what you need (computerized machine or mechanical? Embroidery? Accessories? Software?). The experience is pretty different from buying a sewing machine at a chain store.
A special prize from Bernina!
In case you can’t tell, I’m a fangirl.
So I’m excited to tell you that Bernina has graciously given us a sewing machine that we’ll be giving away as the grand prize in the upcoming Albion Sewalong and contest!
This machine is a beauty worth over $2000 and will be our grand prize, so start scheming your beautiful coats and jackets now! Stay tuned for more details on the sewalong and contest a little later in the month.
Any other Bernina users out there? I’d love to hear about some of your favorite feet, because I’m always looking to add to the collection.