And introducing…

For my birthday last month, I received from my other half a very nice card, inside of which was taped a needle with thread through it. This indicated, he told me, that his gift to me was a new sewing machine, but he in no way wanted the responsibility of actually picking one out for me (very sensibly, I might add). So since then, it had been my intention to get down to the local sewing machine dealer and check some things out. But between my terrible schedule and the limited hours of the shop, the first time I had a chance to go was last Tuesday. I was absolutely not going to buy anything on the first visit, you see, I was just going to try some machines out, then go home and do my research before I committed… Well, we know how that ended:

It’s a Bernina 1230, circa 1990. I had been thinking I would get a new machine, just cause, well, that’s what you buy from a shop, right? But when the proprietor asked if I would consider a used machine, I said, “sure”, because I was not opposed, I just hadn’t thought I would find any. But he had this Bernina… this totally pristine, all metal, made in Switzerland, smart-but-not-too-smart (I mean, touchscreens? really?) Bernina that was in want of a good home, so who was I to say no?

My biggest complaints about my old machine, a cheap Singer-from-Sears that I got from a friend, were noise and unreliable tension (recently I was tearing out about every other seam because the tension was wonky). I had heard that Berninas are famous for absolutely reliable tension, and the sewing machine dealer confirmed it (and he doesn’t even sell Berninas anymore!). This machine is quiet and sews so smoothly, plus it’s got all kinds of cool features (that I’m sure were even cooler in the early 90s) – needle down setting (it always stops down if you want it to, so great for difficult fabrics), 5 needle positions (I can topstitch at various distances from the seam and still use my presser foot as a guide), hands free presser foot lifter (I didn’t even know I wanted this until I had it), and an automatic buttonhole (I’m no longer scared of the Beignet skirt!). And it cost less than half what a new Bernina would (they are way out of my price range). So I really love it so far, we’ll see how it goes!

Plus it came with the original brochure:

Thank goodness I can lift my presser foot while I’m wearing nylons! I was worried about that.

Well, I’m off to work on my puffy ruffled blouse and a shiny vest for my darling husband, as thanks for an awesome birthday gift! Clearly my new machine can handle that sort of thing…

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6 comments
  1. Ashlee said:

    Droooooooool. You lucky girl! What a fantastic birthday gift 🙂

  2. Amy said:

    What a wonderful birthday present. While I have no need to replace my machine, I am often tempted by the old Berninas at my local sewing store. There’s something about them that just says, I’ll be yours forever. And that’s pretty cool. Enjoy!

  3. Pam said:

    Someone just offered to let me buy their Bernina 1230. May I ask how much you paid for the machine? I don’t know what would be a good price. The persons mom was a great quilter and this was her ‘ favoritet’ machine.

    • aleah said:

      Ah, sorry for the late response. I believe I paid $750. It was from a local sewing machine shop.

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