Over at Sew Mama Sew they’re compiling a list of sewing machines, here is mine.
What brand and model do you have?
I have a Bernina Aurora 430
How long have you had it?
I got her about two years ago
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I think she was around $1600 or so, she was a gift from my mother
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I mostly sew clothing for myself, my husband, and close friends. I also made all the curtains in my house. I’ve made a fair amount of handbags. I’ve made one quilt. I swore I never would, but I did because I found Beatles fabric.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew pretty often. I oil the machine each time I sit down to sew.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I love love love my machine. Her name is “My Bitch.” I had some difficulty learning how to use her when I got her. I really wanted to love her, but she was making it difficult. There’s this song by The Supersuckers called “She’s My Bitch” which goes “I try to call her baby, she says call me Bitch.” I’ve written her name on the front, the guys at the repair shop think it’s funny.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
I love the push button stitch selection and the computer display. She’s got about a zillion stitches, most of which I don’t use. Stitch #5 is a lock stitch which I use constantly. She makes perfect buttonholes which are the same each time. I love the free arm/knee lift lever that raises and lowers the presser foot using your knee, thus keeping both your hands free. Although I don’t use it much, she can write words. I like being able to make my machine write dirty words.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Sometimes, when you use the knee lift the feeddogs don’t come up all the way and the machine beeps at you. Then you have to pull the knee lift all the way over with your hand and make sure its securely in the machine. I guess the free arm shakes loose when I sew.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
My mother was a seamstress and made all my clothes up through about the 5th grade. She would never let me use her machine, which was a top of the line Bernina in about 1984. Towards the end of college I wanted a machine and asked for one for a graduation present. I didn’t get one. Then for my birthday, then for Christmas and I still didn’t get one. I almost went out a got one myself. Finally out of the blue my mother tells me that the next time my father visits me (I live in a different state from my family, my father comes through on business every now and then) that he would be taking me to the sewing machine store and getting me a Viking Daisy. I really wanted a Bernina but I knew not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
I used the Viking for a few years. Then my mother came to visit. She sat down to use the Daisy and said “oh no! I don’t like this at all! The next time I’m in town we’ll get you a Bernina.”
Two years later, My Bitch came home with me. I haven’t looked back since
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes, because she’ll be the last machine you’ll ever want to buy.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Brand reputation. I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about a Bernina. I think it’s important that your machine at least go forwards, backwards, and side to side. I think it should be able to put in a zipper, a button hole, and a blind hem. After that, everything else is icing on the cake.
Do you have a dream machine?
She is my dream machine.