I own a BERNINA 790 Plus and it is the best sewing machine I’ve ever had. I could write a book about all the things I like about this machine but today I just want to discuss four little features that make a big difference in my sewing. Some of these features are easy to see why they are so useful but a couple of them really surprised me. Keep reading to see which ones I now appreciate greatly even though I thought I’d never use them.
This one’s a no-brainer. Having a bobbin that holds 70% more thread than a traditional bobbin means you don’t run out of bobbin thread as often, so your sewing is not interrupted while you refill it. You can go more than twice as long without having to stop. Who wouldn’t like that?
Large Selection of Presser Feet
OK, this goes for all BERNINA machines, but I have to say, it is a big reason I love BERNINA. I think really understanding how to use regular presser feet and then adding specialty presser feet to the mix improves my sewing and opens up a world of creative possibilities. It’s amazing the things we can make these sewing machines do!
Push Button Start/Stop
Now, this is a feature I really had no use for when I first brought the machine home. I had been using a foot control for many years and I knew how to manage the speed of the machine, and quite frankly, I was comfortable continuing with this method. To be honest, I was a bit afraid of the Start/Stop button on the front of the machine. Pushing the button to start the motor was easy but fear set in when I needed to stop. It wasn’t second nature to plan ahead and push the stop button as I came to the end of a seam and I often felt out of control if I tried to use this method of powering the machine. But, as with most things, the more you use it and the more reasons you find to use it, the easier it becomes.
There are several sewing situations where I use the Start/Stop button exclusively. Any situation where the machine is going to stitch and then stop automatically is perfect for this. This could be when you are making duplicate buttonholes, using the button sew-on program, or the pattern repeat function. If you use the Start/Stop button, you don’t have to worry about lifting your foot at the wrong time or interrupting the program in mid-cycle. All you do is push the button and then let it sew until it stops.
Another place where the Start/Stop button comes in handy is for seaming long strips together. I can keep my focus on managing the strips without thinking about what my foot is doing. Of course, I do have to stop at the end. But it’s amazing how easy that became once I started using this feature. One more place I use the Start/Stop button is for free-motion stitching. There are several things I’m trying to coordinate – the speed of the machine, the movement of the fabric, and the rhythm of the process. Letting the machine power itself gives me one less thing to think about as I stitch.
The Hover Function
This a feature found on many, but not all, BERNINA machines. When I first started using it, I found it very frustrating. On most machines, the presser foot is either up or down. But on models with the hover function, you press the Presser Foot button to lower the foot, and the foot goes down to the fabric and then automatically lifts to sit above the fabric. It drove me crazy until I realized this puts the foot and the fabric close enough to each other so you can perfectly align the fabric as desired. Each time you stop sewing, the foot lifts automatically to hover above the fabric. This is extremely useful when you stop at a corner to pivot. It’s also great when you are micro-pivoting around an appliqué shape. It’s like the machine can read my mind (scary, huh?). I’m amazed at how much smoother the process goes when the machine helps me in this way. One more thing about the Hover function. I can turn it off if I want (which I don’t). I’m glad I didn’t know that when I first started using the machine. I would have turned it off and never discovered how useful it is!
These are only four little features of my sewing machine, but they help me sew better and more creatively with less frustration. And isn’t that what we all want?