Help please! from someone who knows how to drive a Bernina 830 Record – 1974 vintage

Okay so the story goes like this. My Pfaff 7570 died suddenly last weekend. Foot on pedal, and  – nothing happens. And I love that machine, and have only recently bought some new specialist feet for it, so it’s a bit upsetting. It’s at the repairer and I won’t know for 6 weeks whether it’s a permanent death, or simply an extended coma while it waits in line to be inspected and then (hopefully) repaired.

This unfortunate situation prompted me to browse the interwebs looking at sewing machines ‘just in case’ and we all know what happens, when that happens…

So, may I introduce to you my new (to me) Bernina 830 Record – bought today for the bargain price of $80. It’s good value at that price I think, and is a good way to plug the gap while I wait for the verdict on my Pfaff.

It was advertised as 2004 vintage but I’ve since worked out (with the help of someone on Facebook) that it is in fact a 1974 vintage machine.

When I saw this ad on Gumtree, it had only been there for 4 minutes so I was the first to enquire. There were several keen buyers in the wings by this morning so if I hadn’t got in quick, one of those people would have snapped it up I’m sure. Obviously this machine is well-appreciated out there in the sewing world.

If I believed in fate, I’d say it was meant to be. But I think I was just lucky.

It came in its original red box which is fabulously put together, and still had all the bits and pieces that I think would have come with it when purchased new.

It has definitely been used, but not heavily from what I can see. There are quite a few pieces of sample fabric inside the instruction booklet demonstrating different stitches and techniques, that suggest to me that the purchaser had a few lessons on the machine when she bought it. And the bobbins had cotton on them.

The man who sold it to me said it belonged to his mother who passed away several years ago, and that she once used it to make little dolls. That put a smile on my face. I think I should make a doll on it before anything else.

Bernina Record machines have a good reputation, but I don’t know much about them. Is the 2004 1974 model a good one to have? I have no idea, but it seems good to me. I guess time will tell.

One thing I like straight away – the bobbins are huge.

Don’t let the fat cotton on this bobbin fool you. The bobbin is huge it’s just that the thread is thick, like top-stitching thread. I’m not sure why it was wound onto a bobbin, but it was.

Here’s to not having to constantly refill the bobbin in the middle of a project – hip hip hooray! The Pfaff 7570 bobbins are on the small side but these ones are enormous. And there are loads of them in the box so I’m all set as far as bobbins go.

It also came with a range of feet – but here’s where I need the help. I don’t know what they all do, and the zipper foot has got me scratching my head a bit. Plus – where is the buttonhole foot? I can’t see one but perhaps I’m just not recognising it?

I’ve put captions on each of the photos above to give you a sense of what I think I know, what I just think, and what I have absolutely no clue about. There was also a foot on the machine itself which seems to be just a general purpose straight and zigzag foot – I forgot to photograph that one.

The feet all have numbers on them, so I know I can look these up and work it out that way (and I will do that). But I also know that lots of feet have their ‘official’ uses, and then other things they’re also great for, so I’d be very grateful for any tips anyone can share with me.

The innards are so sexy. It’s great to be able to so easily look under the hood. It was quite noisy when I was first sewing with it, and quite hesitant as well (still is a bit actually). I gave it a good oil today and this seemed to help a little. I’m not sure if these machines usually hum a little before they get going? I’d be grateful for your thoughts on that as well.

I really like the 5 step buttonhole, and the idea of having a buttonhole that can never finish too early on me, as the Pfaff sometimes does. But I’m struggling to work out what foot to do buttonholes with from the set I currently have.

I ended up doing some practice buttonholes with a zigzag foot that had some room cut away underneath it for stitches to slide through, but I feel like a sliding foot must surely be missing from this set? So you can keep track of where you’re up to on the buttonhole, length-wise…? What do other Bernina owners out there use for buttonholes? I’d love to know.

I find it a little noisy, but not overly so. I’m not sure if this is normal for this model, but perhaps it is. I’ll need to check out some youtube videos of similar machines – I did listen to one quickly today and it was sounding very similar so perhaps it’s just how these models sound. I was assured it had been serviced a year ago, and I’ve oiled it today but it’s possible that it just needs to limber up a little more as well.

It makes a very neat stitch and all in all I’m pretty happy. I will keep experimenting over the next few days and weeks.

And here are some pics of my beloved Pfaff so you know I haven’t forgotten her. She will be back soon – I hope!


6 Comments Add yours

  1. sewmeshowme says:

    Welcome to the Bernina world :). I love mine and have found it to be the most reliable machine I have owned. There is a Bernina app on the iPhone that has all the feet and there uses, it may be on android too but I’m not sure. Definitely worth getting.


    1. Thank you! I will check that out. Working my way through the manual tonight has given me a few surprises re what each foot is for. It turns out I do have a buttonhole foot after all – it just looks nothing like I would have expected that’s all. And surprise! It’s a 1974 machine. Laughing at myself now for thinking it was 2004 just because that’s what he said.


  2. piecefullane says:

    Just came across this post while exploring sewing blogs; this is the exact same machine I use! My Mum bought it in 1971, and it has been very well used over the years; it is still going strong. You have obviously found out that 452 is the buttonhole foot.
    ps I was reading your “Kelly Anorak” post as I’m sewing it at the moment


    1. Yes I worked that out eventually. I’ve been loving this machine – it’s so simple to work with and sews beautifully. I’m pretty in love with it actually. I’ll check out your blog in the hope of seeing a Kelly Anorak 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s