Here were my requirements: something that does a really great straight stitch, zig-zag and a button hole. And it had to go faster than my current machine. I realized that although the embroidery is really cool, I wouldn't really use it that much.
While I was looking for a good machine, I got a marketing e-mail from Burda advertising a partner company's machine on a great sale. I thought I would check it out, so I clicked the link in the e-mail... I shouldn't REFUSE to look at a good deal. The machine looked fancy, but the sale price was about $15,000. Really? For that price, I'd want it to do more than sew. I want it to also make really good coffee, clean my toilet, and insist that I look at least 10 years younger than my actual age. Flawlessly.
I ended up going with the all mechanical Bernina 1008. I found out new ones are expensive - over $1000. But I got obsessive about checking e-Bay and I got one that must be at least 10 years old for about 350.00. It came with the foot pedal/wall cord, but only one foot. Still, it seems like a decent deal. Here are the pros and cons.
- It is definitely faster than my old Singer Confidence Quilter.
- It does a cleaner stitch and is fairly easy to switch stitches.
- The thread length is much easier to adjust than my older machine.
- The easy-remove foot is very cool. If I had more than one foot, this would be even better.
- I like the button-hole feature - it isn't perfect, but my old machine didn't do this well at all.
- No computer, which may not be a pro for some people, but I like a lot. My old machine was fussy and the computer didn't always work right. This is all mechanical and from what I am reading, the machine should last forever.
- It has a smaller arm so I can fit round sleeves over the arm to sew.
- The light is really bright and makes it easy to see what I am sewing.
- It takes a little getting used to the needle not automatically stopping at the highest point. It stops wherever you darn well stop. This caused me to have to re-thread the needle a few times at first when making the next stitch after cutting.
- I do miss the needle threading attachment that drops down on my other machine.
- Bobbin is front-loading, not top-loading. I liked being able to see the bobbin through the clear cover on top and seeing just how much thread I had left. Plus, it is a little more of a pain to load. Not overly horrible, but not as easy.
- The clutch is stuck in the off position which means that the needle will move when trying to wind a bobbin. I will either have to invest in a bobbin winder or just keep my old sewing machine around for it. I googled stuck clutch on Bernina, but none of the solutions offered worked for me. I will have to take it in to get serviced and see if there is something that can be done.
- Holy cow, the feet are expensive. 30.00 minimum per foot is what I am seeing. I regularly use the zipper foot, the blind hem and I was thinking about getting a walking foot since I am sewing with knits more.
Next up: get some new feet. I looked on e-Bay and noticed that the feet are sold as Bernina old style foot and Bernina new style foot. Huh? How do I know? It turns out that the newer ones are square and have a notch at the back. Mine is rounded with no notch. Old style, it is.
Anyone else have any luck with a Bernina? Any solutions for the clutch that don't require taking it in? Or maybe there is another machine that you love and can recommend?