Apr 30, 2013
Let's face it, readers: there's something about Switzerland (and all things Swiss) that's very compelling.
The -- what are these people doing exactly?
And then there are the beautiful Bernina sewing machines -- purportedly the best sewing machines one can own. Alas, I've never sewn with one.
I'm not drawn to the new Berninas of course. I'm not even sure they are made in Switzerland anymore; I believe some of their manufacturing takes place in Thailand. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Most of you know that I own, or have owned, many different sewing machines, earning myself the reputation of a somewhat promiscuous sewer. I've sewn with American Singers (too many to count), with Italian Necchis, a Chinese Brother, a few Japanese (and one Taiwanese) Kenmores, and German Pfaffs. I've sewn with Swedish Vikings and even a few Swiss Elnas. But no Bernina has ever crossed my threshold.
It's the old mechanical Bernina's -- the 730's to be exact (zigazaggers that can do a few embroidery stitches) -- that appeal to me. I also love a knee pedal (which I had on my Elna Grasshopper, since sold), which some 730 models come with.
Bernina's proprietary presser feet -- which cost a pretty penny if purchased separate from the machine I understand -- are apparently very beautifully crafted. I've also heard that the Bernina stitch is second to none.
Now, I have always maintained that a well-balanced stitch is a well-balanced stitch, and if your machine can create that, that's pretty much all you need to sew garments. Still, I must admit, I am tempted by the Bernina mystique. The ones I've seen on eBay, however, mostly go for a few hundred more than I'd want to spend on something (let's be real here) I don't actually need. But it would sort of complete my sewing machine repertoire, don't you think?
Maybe I'll use one and realize that it's not that big a deal. Or maybe I'll kick myself for waiting so long to own one!
Readers, I ask you:
Do you currently sew, or have you ever sewn, with a Bernina? How did it compare to other machines you've owned? (and if you can be specific about what you're comparing it to, that would be great)
Have you ever used a vintage mechanical Bernina like the 730 Record? Everything I've read around the Internet suggests that they're very special machines. Do you agree?
In short, are Bernina's really better than any other sewing machine, or do they just have some brilliant marketing going on -- for decades?
This enquiring sewer wants to know!