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I am a keen seamstress. I used to tailor a lot, but these days, I do a lot of freestyle artistic work with my machines. I actually draw pictures with thread and make silk dolls.This is important, because freestyling with the feed dogs down for hours will cane an inferior machine and the motor can burn out! I own several Berninas and this is one of them. ( the other two are a 930 and a 155)
Freestyle means you lower the feed mechanism and move the fabric around as it stitches, you have to control the stitch length by this movement. There is some variation which looks interesting. Quilters do this too to make patterns through the top fabric into the wadding.
I bought this because I wanted 'new' old machine. You will notice I LIKE old machines... Why?
Because they are built bettr than new ones! They also usually cost as much but come with added scuffs and marks.
So I thought I would like a new machine. This machine is supplied to schools and colleges beacuse it is rugged. Unfortunately, a lot of learners will mangle even the most robust machine, so regular servicing is probably advisable in those conditions.
For you and I, we need to learn to oil our machine every 5 bobbins- yes, that's right every 5! Take out the CB hook and use a tiny bit on your finger. Never over-oil.
What comes with it?
Regular ZigZag foot
Blind hemming foot
Automatic buttonhole foot
Thick fabric compensator (helps ride over bulky seams)
Pack of needles
5 metal bobbins
Screw driver set
Oil and cleaning brush
Heavy duty canvas dust cover
You can buy lovely lovely feet for Berninas which extend your sewing repertoire. I bought an open toe darning foot. For freestyle.
About Bernina 1008s
Bernina are one of the best sewing machine manufacturers in the world. If not THE BEST. The machines are Swiss designed and used to be Swiss made. Now they are made to exacting standards in the Far East.
You know the machine will run like a Swiss watc. It is also utterly rugged and will stitch through anything at high speed with its powerful motor and patented CB hook which is the shuttle under the machine.
It is the last mechanical Bernina. You may think why not have a computer? Well.... motherboards Can burn out and there is more to go wrong. This machine has gears not cams for the patterns.
There are 16 stitches. If you are used to the usual modern machines, well this does not seem many.
However, this is a machine for sewing, not playing, and believe me each of the stitches is beautiful.
6 step button hole
Stitch setting chart (helps you choose the best settings for different stitches)
16 different stitches
1 button hole
Hopper mechanism for free machine embroidery
5 snap on feet
Slender Free arm
Retractable carry handle
Accessory box attaches to the machine and extends the sewing surface
Slide off stitch plate for easy cleaning
I prefer the Bernina feet with the long stems, but the snap on feet are more convenient and I must not be so old-fashioned.
The body of the machine is metal and so this machine is HEAVY.
You can carry it around with the integrated handle, but I tend to pick up my machines in the crook of my arm through the long arm hole.
There are 5 needle positions and variable stitch length and width.
The bobbin winder is smooth and quite, the machine is easy to thread, although I do wish it had an integrated needle threader, a small accessory for the money.
It also does not have adjustable presser foot pressure, this is done automatically.
I still do not think any machine as easy to thread as my old 930.
The tension discs and upper hook are always hidden these days. I like to see it all. At least this machine has the vertical spool holders, oh how I hate horizontal with the thread catching on this and that!
How does it sew?
Beautifully , smoothly and quietly. Makes lovely buttonholes. Satin stitch is perfect. Feed very even. Feed down excellent.£659 - phew! Handles anything, from chiffon to leather to 6 layers of denim.
( a top of the range Bernina is about 3-4 grand!)
It is heavy 10.5kgs!
I am a teacher of textiles technology in secondary education and this machine is used by all ages and abilities at my school. It is also used by some of the clumsiest people around. This machine can with stand a fall from a meter off the ground without a wound in sight. (Do not try at home if you can help it).
I personally use this machine at home where I work on many different projects including quilting, plush dolls, home furnishings and clothes to name a few.
Bernina are a Swiss company founded in 1893, who specialise in sewing machines, sewing computers and over-lockers, software and accessories. Their products are only available to buy through authorised dealers. The official website is www.Bernina.com where all products are displayed.
The Bernina is a mechanical sewing machine made in a traditional way which offers all your basic sewing needs for projects in the home and in more harsh environments like schools and colleges. The body of the machine is made of strong metal so is sturdy and long lasting. It has an on off switch which allows you to select with or without light on. The slender arm allows you to fit narrow sleeves over it and awkward shaped work. The throat plate has guidelines engraved on it to allow for guiding a straight line. The shuttle underneath the throat plate is made completely of metal and carries the Bernina patented CB Hook system which gives high quality that is usually found only in very expensive machines. I find this mechanism really easy to detach from the machine when threads are caught to release any tangles in the spool case. Even the kids at school can troubleshoot tangles on this machine easily. This patented technology is said to allow perfect stitching on all fabric types from delicate silks to course denim. At school, my GCSE students work on a wide range of projects which include lots of different fabrics. This machine works beautifully on them all.
The machine also comes with a foot pedal power cable and instruction manual. The manual explains how to set up the machine, using different functions and troubleshooting along the way. The bulb is the screw type and is easy to change with the rubber cap provided. The handle if the machine is retractable but I would recommend holding the handle in one hand and the underneath of the machine to support with the other hand because of the weight of the machine. This, you could say is a down side to the product but weight suggests quality.
All of the usual basic functions are included from a variable stitch length and width to reverse stitching and needle position. Stitch length and width start from 0 to 5 mm and the fine tuning allows for accurate buttonholes and satin stitches and a well balanced finish on a wide range of fabrics. Being able to change the needle position makes it easier to insert zips and piping. It is also suitable when topstitching hems. There is a drop feed function for projects like embroidery and freestyle quilting. 16 stitch styles are available to choose from, being simple designs to more elaborate stitches. They are easy to select and the quick reference guide tells you what length, width and needle position to use. The buttonhole function works in 6 steps and after a bit of practise, works perfectly every time. Just remember to start with the needle central, this is where I went wrong when I was a beginner. (See manual for more assistance).
With it comes an accessory box which includes a dust brush, oil, 5 spare needles, flat head screw driver to change needles, bulb inserter, quick unpick, button slide, and 4 spare spools. The box itself can be inserted onto the arm of the machine to increase the working area. The presser feet that come with the machine are the multipurpose foot, blind hem foot, over-lock foot, buttonhole foot and zipper foot. They can all be stored in the accessory box securely. Other accessories are available to buy via many websites and specialist sewing machine shops.
The cost of the machine varies but is around £595 online. I bought 8 and got them at a reduced rate because of this. I bought the machines from an independent sewing machine specialist shop. These places are keen to make a sale and will usually offer a discount if you simply ask. Most places will offer a 5 year guarantee. The price of this machine is expensive but the quality is second to none. In my store cupboard at work I have Bernina machines that date back at least 30 years and are still in good working order. These are machines that have been used by children and have withstood a serious hammering. But when you get your machine home you will want to take such great care of it anyway. You will treat it like a sports car ladies and gents and kiss it good night.
Short name: Bernina 1008