She’s My Bitch – Bernina Aurora 430

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.


17 responses to “She’s My Bitch – Bernina Aurora 430

  1. Pingback: Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog » » Sewing Machine Master List

  2. Wow. I’m impressed! I’ve got a New Home (think it’s a Kenmore knock off) that I’ve had since junior high. Very basic. Forwards, backwards, zig zag and a buttonhole attachment that takes a lot of cussing at to work properly.

    I used to make a lot of my own clothes on it. Now the only things it comes out for are catnip wrenches, guitar straps from ribbon with tomatoes on it and the random jeans shortening task. I really should get back into sewing.

  3. Hi I’ve been researching buying a bernina sewing machine and I’m torn between a 430 or a 450 do you have any thoughts or suggestions?


    • it looks like the only difference is the 450 comes with a BSR stitch regulator. If you’re a quilter, you may like that. But since I’m not a quilter, I like my 430

  4. I have a Bernina Virtuosa 155 that I also love, love, love… I am looking for a less expensive Bernina that I can haul to quilt alongs as my Virti cost way too much to haul around town so often, maybe I will find a used 430… love her name…

  5. Do you do embroidery work with the embroidery arm for the Aurora 430

  6. Do you do embroidery with your Aurora 430?

  7. I’m going to bookmark this post…

  8. If I had a penny for each time I came here! Amazing post!

  9. Haha am I actually the only comment to this amazing read!

  10. I have a Bernina 830 Record and have had it FOREVER!!! It’s been a real trooper and I use it to this day, it gets regular servicing and has NEVER failed to perform to the standards one expects from a Bernina. Then a few years back I bought a Bernina Deco 650 emboidery machine. It’s has probably over 1000 hours of use on it and still works like a dream. It’s only limitations is the software is limited and you have to look for it in places like eBay. I have been shopping for a Aurora 430 with the embroidery module the last couple of weeks and plan on buying one next week. Bernina is number one on my list and always will be.

  11. I have a Bernina 450 and love this machine. It is a dream. It has a 9 mm wide stitch and the 430 is 5 mm. There are machines with a lot more features that cost less, but I could not get the Bernina out of my mind. I looked and tested machines for a year. Then the store offered me a price I could not refuse on an ‘open box’ – a machine someone purchased the night before and returned because it did not have the logo on it that they wanted. There are a few models of the 450 that vary only in the cosmetics/logo/color of the front. I make clothes, and this machine is perfect. It was worth the wait and price!

  12. I’m about to get a Bernina 430 , so I found your blog.
    It’s all I needed to read, even knowing that I must learn about her.
    Thank you

  13. I have a old 830 and am looking to upgrade. Am looking at a 430 or 450. I’m just getting into quilting and the newer machine are more precise in stitched. Which way should I go and what is the cost on each

  14. marie bartels

    Hi, I have a 440qe for over one jear now. And I love it! Today I bought a 430 for a very good price! The are old models now. Replace by 530 550qe. I like the old models. So if you can find one new in box for a good price by it!

  15. Hi,
    This is the best! I found you through some old posts on Sew Mama Sew. I have just gotten off the phone with a dealer who has a used 3 year old Bernina 440 QE. They have it with all the bells and whistles. Also the Embroidery attachment.
    I have a Singer 401 Slantomatic from my mom,
    I bought a Singer Superb for my Granddaughter for Xmas last year. I have been wanting to do more sewing and have been wanting a machine that would be a keeper. Not that the other aren’t . But, the Bernina is just the cats meow. So, I guess I’ll drive the hour and get it.
    Your blog is great.The site is wonderful. Real, really original.. If you know what I mean. I have been sewing since I was in 4-H In the 1950’s. Boy, have things changed. Thanks again, GalaLass

  16. I just got a used 440QE with 5 (FIVE!) hours on it for 1200.00 – with BSR and embroidery unit.

    I have a Bernina 1230 from my grandmother and wanted a single machine to do my quilting, embroidery, and garment sewing on… and the only machine that could replace my Bernina…. was another Bernina!

    I absolutely love it, it’s quiet, has the fantastic stitch I was looking for, and has all the bells and whistles. The perfect machine for me.

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