11 years ago
I love my sewing machine. I inherited it from my mother in law and remember when she sewed me maternity clothes using it. She taught me to sew with it. But now I think I have worn it out and it is not running well. It seems to be seizing up and skipping stitches. It is around 40 years old.I am going to buy a new machine this week and I wonder what everyone prefers. I am looking at a Bernina 350 and considering a 530. The Bernina dealer is a friend. What is everyone’s opinion about sewing machines and the cost difference between getting a Bernina or a Singer? The difference between the 350 and the 530 is $800 but the 530 can have a stitch regulator added, a bigger motor, and has more stitches.11 years agoicicle @icicle
Have you tried taking your old machine in for a tune up? That’s a lot cheaper than a new machine and if you love it — and aren’t dying to replace it, that is — a bit of tlc and oil could be all it needs to run for another 40 years. Honestly, except for some of the new bells and whistles (fancy stitches, auto buttonholes, self threading ect) the old machines are often better value than new ones.11 years agoNicole @motherof5
I agree with Icicle,both my machines are old 30+ years and I love them. When they get a bit funny my husband blows them out with a air compressor a bit of oil and off we go!
If the dealer is a friend maybe ask him/her to have a look at yours first!
My machine is a Bernina Industrie.11 years agosarahkossanderson @sarahkossanderson
I used to have a very old machine as well- probably 30 or 40 years old. Then I moved up to a new, but very basic Janome which was fine and nice. Then my parents wanted, no begged me, to let them buy me a new Bernina. I let them and I love it. Love it. I have the Bernina Artista 640 which is more machine than I need now but I will never grow out of it. I highly recommend Berninas- but I come from a Bernina family. My Mom also has a 640 and my sister has the one in the 800 series.
My 640 has the BSR- Bernina Stitch Regulator and the Embroidery Module. It has a lot of stitches including various buttonholes like one for knit and one for delicate fabrics etc. It also has lots of great stitches for working with knits.11 years agoViolaisabelle @Violaisabelle
I agree with Icicle as well. 🙂 First make sure your machine doesn’t need just a little oil and tune up. If that’s all it needs, I would keep it and not let it go. After that, if you still find you want another machine, do so, but keep this one as a back up. 🙂 These older machines, for the most part, are way better than today’s modern ones. I have yet to see a modern machine do a lovely tiny straight stitch, like those machine from long ago. 🙂
Carol11 years agoLiesl GibsonKeymaster@liesl
It sounds like your machine might have a timing issue, which can easily be fixed with a tune-up, especially if it’s an older machine with all-metal parts. The newer machines with plastic parts do eventually break down and can’t be fixed, and you would need to get a new machine if that’s the case.
I love old machines, but the new machines do have a lot of great features and elements you can’t get on an older machine. It would be nice if you could have both!11 years agoeban @eban
I bought a bernina 530 2 months ago. I had an old brother (10 yrs old not good old) and I was constantly fighting it to sew – skipped stitches, broken threads, wouldn’t feed thick fabric, the buttonhole function wouldn’t work, etc. I chose bernina because all the reviews I’ve read have been great and I wanted a machine to last me the rest of my life! I was looking at the 380 and the 530. I chose the 530 because I would be able to grow more with it. It has more functions and attachment possibilities, and I thought the difference in price was smaller then upgrading to another machine later.
I LOVE MY MACHINE!!! My husband calls it my fourth child because I talk about it with such affection. The sewing is so smooth and easy and the buttonholes…well, I still take up each one to show my husband how beautiful they are. It sews through everything so easily – 4 layers of denim, 6 layers of wool. I tested both the 350 and the 530 at my dealer and they both sewed the same, so the 350 is probably a great machine too.
If you are looking for a new machine I highly recommend bernina.11 years agodaisygirl78 @daisygirl78
I got a 350 PE a couple of months ago because my budget wouldn’t allow for a more expensive Bernina, though I would have purchased one if I could have afforded it. I am THRILLED TO PIECES with it! But I made the decision to go with a Bernina over a higher-end model from another brand just because I knew I was going to get a quality machine that will last me a loooong time. For me, quality wins over bells and whistles every time.
And I almost cried with happiness the first time I saw my new machine make a perfect buttonhole “on it’s own”. I felt like I was cheating because it was so easy!11 years ago
I bought the Bernina 350PE and sewed on it this week-end. It has improved my sewing accuracy. The feet, digital stitch width and length, the speed control, the automatic down needle when I stop to remove a pin, and the needle positions make a big difference. I love the foot for edge stitching. Thanks everyone for your advice and comments. I am going to take my old machine for repairs.11 years agorastis @rastis
i’ve had a lot of sewing machines (singer, janomes, and now bernina)… and the berninas are definitely good for sewing clothes… the feet they come with help you achieve really nice results… i love my #10 edgestitching foot… love it… i don’t think they’re the prettiest machines or necessarily the most intuitive, but they are definitely good machines11 years agomeleliza @meleliza
So how much do Berninas cost? Everyone raves about them and I’ve had the chance to try one a couple of times at a quilt shop, but I’ve never found prices online. I’m really curious to find out just how expensive they are. And why is it such a secret?11 years agorastis @rastis
they are pricey machines meleliza… i think they are pretty much the most expensive domestic machines in australia… but i believe they are cheaper in the US… i’m not sure what they cost over there… but you don’t need a super duper expensive one to sew clothes (the more expensive ones are more for quilting and embroidery)… you’d just want one with a free arm and some of nice features that come on them…11 years ago
I bought a 350. The 350 is nearly the most inexpensive Bernina. There is a 200 series machine and a 330 which are a little cheaper. The 350 cost $1350. I liked the extra stitches that the 350 has and the hands free foot lift. I also bought a walking foot and several other feet for an additional $200. I almost bought a 520 which can be equipped with a Stitch Regulator for quilting. It was $2200. The stitch regulator has an eye in it that counts the threads and calculates the speed that the sewer is moving the fabric when doing free motion quilting. The stitch regulator costs $500. I don’t do embroidery and I haven’t quilted in years so I went with the 350. My husband would have not supported a $2200 sewing machine purchase. I think they keep the price a secret as a marketing tool. They are not allowed to sell them on-line and you have to go to a dealer to get a price. I checked several dealers in my area. The prices were very similar.
I agree with rastis that they are not intuitive. I wish Steve Jobs could have designed a sewing machine. I think, though, that once you learn a machine then you get used to it. I wanted something that would last for a long time. The bobbin set up is inconvenient. Bernina says they have to keep the design because of better bobbin tension consistency. It’s hard to believe that something better can’t be designed.11 years ago
I was going to add: I have a friend with the top of the line Bernina. I think it is an 800 series. It does everything, embroidery that you program using your computer; it a huge and beautiful machine. It cost around $16,000. Her husband bought it for her as a birthday gift. She is a textile artist.11 years agoaegean17 @aegean17
congratulations on your new machine Jennifer! A hands free foot lift sounds fantastic. I recently tested a 230 and it was dreamy compared to my entry Janome.
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