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Thread: Bernina Sewing Machine? Yes?

  1. #1
    Junior Member mimmy96's Avatar
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    Bernina Sewing Machine? Yes?

    I have always just had a cheap walmart sewing machine... well it is on it's last leg and I am needing a new one. Went to my local Quilt shop just to look around and she was showing me the Bernina 215... I watched her sew on it and wow, I was amazed! Question.. is it really worth all that money??? and does anyone have this model and what do you think? Thanks everyone in advance!

  2. #2
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    I don't have that model but I have two Berninas and I can without hesitation tell you that they are a joy to sew on. I got my first one about 17 years ago and it has never given me a minutes trouble. I still have it and it works great but I wanted the BSR and bought a 440QE a few years ago. They are very high quality machines that always perform well. Only you can decide if it's worth it for you but you will be buying a machine that will last for many years and make sewing a pleasure.
    I'd rather be at the lake

    Do one thing every day that scares you... Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. #3
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    I do not have that particular model but I do have a Bernina. I have seed all my life and never had a nice machine. A year before I knew I was going to retire, I bought mine. I love it!! Best purchase I ever made!

  4. #4
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    Berninas are expensive, but many owners LOVE them. I got one second hand and while I love the machine, I'm disappointed in the service/support by shops that sell them (and I'm really lucky to have two stores within reasonable driving distance.) If I had it to do over again, I think I'd invest in something else. Sad, but true!!

  5. #5
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Janome's have always been great machines also. I have a Bernina and a Janome and love them both.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  6. #6
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I have had my Bernina 1230 for over 20 years and would never give it up. I would love to get a newer one, but at this time, it isn't in my budget, so I just keep sewing on the one I have.

  7. #7
    Junior Member mimmy96's Avatar
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    I am def open to suggestions.. I don't want to spend a killing, but yet I want a machine that sews good! I just need a basic sewing machine.

  8. #8
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    I own 2 Berninas, an Activa and 440 QE. I saved up for both of them because they are pricey. An important consideration is your dealer, will you have good support, warranty/service and lessons on your new machine?There are many excellent brands out there and you will need to try some out. Go with a couple of fabric swatches and a list of must have features. I wanted a good buttonhole stitch for appliqué, needle up/down for satin stitch, adjustable foot pressure and the BSR for Fmqing. What are your must haves?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    I also have the Bernina 440QE and a vintage Bernina 910. I absolutely love them. After 25 years struggling with the tension on a 1978 Kenmore, it is SEW nice! I love the many vintage machines I have now but sewing on the Bernina is a joy! (Although now, I can adjust the tension on that Kenmore and it works much better).

    I got them all used. The 440 was one year old and the seller worked at the store and got every new model that came out so she could teach it. I got a great deal with all the extras she included. My dealer has a package deal to be "adopted" by her dealership. $250 gets servicing and all the mastery classes you want to take for a year. She'd still like me to buy a machine from her but it worked for me. Then I bought a Bernina serger that was 18 months old and used once in a class, and did the adoption package again. The lessons and a good dealer matter!
    Last edited by Skyangel; 01-29-2013 at 05:07 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I love my Bernina, which I've had for 7 years. It is a sensitive sewing machine, at least mine is. I have to clean it every 6 bobbins which have to be made by Bernina. I can't use any cheap thread as well as any Coats and Clark. Other than those few issues, which have not been an issue now that I know it, I love my machine. My LQS wanted to sell me the machine for $2800 used and I bought the same machine off ebay for $1400. Never have regretted it.

  11. #11
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    I have sewn on nothing but a Bernina for 26 years. They ask top dollar for their machines and they get it. It has to be the quality and the satisfied customers, or they would be out of business. It comes down to what you can afford, and what features you want. Bernina has several features that I like, some are exclusive, and others are found on other brands, also. The knee lift for the presser foot is one of my favorite features, as it frees up my hands. Their machines are also known for the tension.

  12. #12
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Berninas are the Rolls Royces of sewing machines. I own 3 of them. I love them, but love my other machines too. Parts and feet are uber expensive. They retain their resale value and are worth the expense. But, do you need a Rolls Royce?

  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I just sewed on one a week ago that cost more than my last machine and did not sew as well IMHO with as much as their accessories cost i feel they are too overpriced and you can get machines that sew just as nice and pay thousands less in the long run. I am a brother babylock lover by far and after a week ago will remain so
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  14. #14
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Be sure to find out if that model is made in Switzerland. I heard that only the top models are made there now. Those are the best quality machines. If the model is not made in Switzerland, I'm not sure it is worth the extra money over other brands. (I have had a Bernina 1230 for 15 years or so, and still love it. This was a classic Bernina model, though.)

  15. #15
    Senior Member nvb50's Avatar
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    I have a Husqvarna Ruby and it is well worth the money.

  16. #16
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    You'll get many differing opinions...those with Bernina's and those without. For me, I wasn't willing to part with the $$ for the name. As I've said many times here - I am the spreadsheet queen. I determined my needs; wants; desires. Let my fingers walk the internet for machines that had those features. Went to dealers to test drive and get pricing. Made appropriate notes. Sat back and looked at the s/s and did an 'unbiaised' assessment based on MY personal needs/wants and factored in the $$ I wanted to spend. I ended up with a Viking and am very happy. Your, as well as others, assessment may be far different. Me....I wouldn't buy a machine just because others say it's the 'best'. Best for you may be far different than 'best' for someone else.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    The Bernina 215 is a sweet machine. The price covers a great warranty and mastery classes.
    Since I gain weight reading cookbooks, why can't I lose weight watching a fitness program?

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    I have the Activa 210. Like you, I tried inexpensive machines but they didn't hold up. I do a LOT of sewing and needed a machine with a good motor. I was told all Berninas have the same motor. I got less expensive Berninas as I know I would never use options on more expensive models. I LOVE it!! It is so nice to have a good machine and worth every penny. My store offered free cleaning for three years, too.

  19. #19
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    I have 2 Bernina's and like them very much. I get great service from my dealer in Cedar Rapids IA. Pine Needles Sewing Center. Good service is also vital and almost as important as which brand. I also enjoy piecing on my vintage Singer 15-91. But I would not be without my Bernina and a walking foot for attaching binding.
    Cheryl Robinson
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  20. #20
    Super Member Mary O's Avatar
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    My Bernina is activa 135. Patchwork edition that I got at a quilt show.with free financing.Cost was $1000. then.Very basic stitches which is all I wanted especially the blanket stitch.....I would never be able to afford the newer ones but it is a great investment.The only thing I don't like about them is that they weigh alot.....Good metal parts......Good luck.
    Mary

  21. #21
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    Starbucks, Harley Davidson, Mercedes Benz (or Rolls Royce) and Bernina. Buy the best you'll always have the best! I have the 440 QE also and LOVE it. Now I'm wanting the newest 710. yum

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyl View Post
    Starbucks, Harley Davidson, Mercedes Benz (or Rolls Royce) and Bernina. Buy the best you'll always have the best! I have the 440 QE also and LOVE it. Now I'm wanting the newest 710. yum
    but i'm going to throw this thought out. i believe the 200 series is not swiss made. it's made in china or taiwan...can't remember. so you are buying a swiss designed machine, but not a swiss made one. and, if you are on a budget...those bernina feet can be spendy. i would look at other machines which might offer a bigger harp space. i have a viking 140c, which i love. I would, in hindsight, also look seriously at the janomes.

    Harley Davidson-all depends on what year! quality control has gotten better in recent years, but there was a run when the saying was "more time polishing than riding"! same can be said for high end items of every type-guitars-martin had a run of bad years, starbucks,,,,well, i'm a wawa fan myself .

    go shopping and find your likes/dislikes. but enjoy the process!

  23. #23
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    A LQS owner that sells Berninas just got back from a tour of the Bernina factory in Thailand.

    I have an older Bernina, a 1260, very happy with it. I have a Brother 1500, Singer Quantum and Janome and several vintage Singers. The Quantum makes the best stitch of them all so I use that for any decorative stitching.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 01-30-2013 at 06:04 AM.
    Got fabric?

  24. #24
    Senior Member ksdot417's Avatar
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    I have two Berninas and love them both. They are expensive and I did a lot of research on them prior to getting them. I have a wonderful dealer and had some one on one training on the 440 QE. They've been great about talking me through problems over the phone when possible. There are several great machines out there and one of your considerations should definitely be the local dealer. You can have the best machine ever but if the dealer isn't 'user friendly' it's not worth it. Good luck on your purchase, whatever brand works best for you.

  25. #25
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    Mimmy...Berninas are great machines and it would last a long while but in the case of the 210...you are paying top dollar for 11 stitches, no adjustable foot pressure (requires purchase of expensive walking foot), no blanket stitch, and a small harp. This might be ok if you don't do applique and if you piece a lot but don't machine quilt. I'd prefer the mechancal 1008 but I think it costs even more than the 210. For what the 210 costs, your dollar can go much further in another brand. but if you LOVED that one..understand its limitations, don't intend to machine quilt and can get a walking foot...it will be very capable, reliable and one you can keep for a very long time. What is the cost at the lqs? I think they normally go for $700-ish...some dealers charge more. I'd definitely shop around if your dealer is one who is charging $1000 for that machine.
    mea

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