Friday, June 1, 2012

My Bernina 1008: Two Years Later


I only just now realized that I've had my Bernina 1008 for over two years! When I was in the market for a new machine, I asked your opinions on mechanical machines and then discovered how much I liked them. I haven't written about my machine since, because it's been a smooth, drama-free relationship. (Yes, we're in love.) But I've been getting lots of emails about machines lately, so I thought I'd revisit the topic.

If you're unfamiliar with the 1008, here are a few facts: it's a simple mechanical machine (no computer or LED display), but it's made by Bernina (renowned for its quality) so you're looking at a higher price tag than for other mechanical machines. I paid $850 for mine, but I think the price has gone up slightly since then (anyone gotten a quote on this machine recently?). It's an all-metal machine, so it's very sturdy.

Pros

Let's talk about the good stuff.
  •  I love the way this machine sews. It's smooth and fast. It does 1,050 stitches per minute. For comparison's sake, you can usually expect 800-900 from a home machine. The downside is that when I sew on other machines, they feel so slow!
  • It's an easy, no-fuss machine. It does what I expect it to do, and doesn't jam or have other annoying issues.
  • The stitch quality is lovely.
  • It sews chiffon and heavy wools with ease. It doesn't have adjustable presser foot pressure, but I haven't even noticed because it just takes whatever material you give it and sews it flawlessly.
  • When oiled and dusted regularly, it purrs like a kitten. I haven't taken it for maintenance since I bought it because it does so well with proper home maintenance. (And I'd miss it.)
  • No extraneous features and stitches. I love the simplicity of it. It doesn't have alphabets or alligator-shaped stitches; it just does what I need and does it well. The majority of my time is spent on a straight stitch, with occasional zigzagging. I'll use the blindhem and the buttonhole every now and then. That's all I really need.
  •  The metal case is sturdy and good-quality. 
  •  The 6-step buttonhole is a revelation! Not having to deal with my machine jamming in the middle of an automatic buttonhole is lovely.

Cons
  • It comes with snap-on feet, as opposed to Bernina's standard kind with the shaft attached. This was disappointing, since everyone raves about Bernina feet. So one of the first things I did was start replacing the snap-on feet with the traditional Bernina feet. I've spent a pretty penny on feet, some utilitarian (zipper, invisible zipper, edgestitch, clear, blindhem, etc.) and then lots of fun extras (ruffler, walking foot, pintuck, narrow hemmer, and the list goes on). Many of these I would have had to buy extra anyway, so it's not entirely a fault of the 1008. But damn, these feet are expensive!
 
  • It's heavier than a small child. Not really an issue if you're not planning on traveling with it. (I lugged it on a bus to Baltimore, along with luggage, and it was hell. I couldn't get a taxi home from the bus station on the way back, and it was raining, and it was awful, readers.) On the other hand, metal has that nice, quality, long-lasting feel to it.
  • There's only one buttonhole. I love keyhole buttonholes, so this is sad for me.
  • The price makes it out-of-reach for beginners. The quality makes it worth the price, in my opinion. But beginners always ask me for my recommendation for their first machine, and while the 1008 would be a fantastic machine for a new sewist, the price tag just isn't practical for a newbie.
  • It's made me a speed demon. (I've always had a lead foot, just ask my parents and the California state police.) If I were to get another machine, it would be a straight stitch or semi-industrial that sews more like 1,500 to 2,000 stitches a minute.
All in all, I couldn't be happier with my machine. The pros far outweigh the cons. I have other machines, but they've all taken up permanent residence in the closet since I got the Bernina.

I feel like I'm missing stuff here, so let me know if you have questions and I'll update the post! I hope this helps you all in your quest for your dream machine.

86 comments:

  1. Once you go industrial you never go back. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nothing sews like a Bernina!!! I made the switch about 15 years ago and never looked back!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've had my 1008 for 15 years. I love this machine. I also sew on industrials, but for some projects, my lil' Bernina is best. I teach and this is the machine we buy for the classroom since it is nearly indestructible and seems to be less fussy with beginner sewer quirks. You can get a cheaper machine, but this one is built to last.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Post again when you hit 46 years, like my mother and her Singer, which is still my standard for how all sewing machines should work.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have the Bernina 1030 that my father in law got at auction for me for 300$. I am so in love with my machine I dont think we will ever part. I named her Doris after Doris Day becuase she is so perfect. I will say to be wary of taking her to be fixed, they cleaned my Doris a bit too much and she doesnt purr like she used to. I need to re-oil her but I am afraid because I have never done so before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie, your manual should show you where to put the drops of oil. It should be oiled once a month, minimum. :)

      Delete
    2. The 1030 only needs a drop of oil where the bobbin shuttle slides back & forth. Simple.

      Delete
  6. I am in love with my Bernina - it is a Bernina Record 730, made in 1963. I've only had it for a few years but I have no need for anything else. It's mechanical (of course), made of metal (aka practically indestructible), and serves me well. It also has beautiful decorative stitches, which I rarely use. If I were to "upgrade" to a newer machine, it would be a Bernina and it would likely be mechanical so, I may hit you up for your old 1008 once YOU're ready to upgrade in a decade or so! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am in love with my Bernina - it is a Bernina Record 730, made in 1963. I've only had it for a few years but I have no need for anything else. It's mechanical (of course), made of metal (aka practically indestructible), and serves me well. It also has beautiful decorative stitches, which I rarely use. If I were to "upgrade" to a newer machine, it would be a Bernina and it would likely be mechanical so, I may hit you up for your old 1008 once YOU're ready to upgrade in a decade or so! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fun post! Metal, mechanical, no frills. Always the way to go. There are similar machines at better prices for those not able or willing to spend so much, especially beginners. Some of my best machines have been old metal thrift store finds!
    I sew a lot of weird stuff, even cardboard!!!
    I had to get rid of an excellent used machine I found at a thrift store, however, for being to SLOW!! I gave it to a young, beginner and she couldn't have been more thrilled!
    Ask Lightning McQueen, speed....I am speed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gretchen,
    I'm so glad I didn't do you wrong and you're still in love with the machine I sold you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. For 28 years I have used a Singer Touch & Sew. I got it when I started high school and it was a rebuilt machine. It was the last year they made that model with the metal housing. It's been a tank and tried and true. It has a buttonhole attachment that works really well, but the downside is that any thickness of fabric is hard to get between the attachment and the machine.

    Because I have always wanted to do stretch fabrics better than my Singer would allow, I finally got a new machine two months ago. It was a huge deal for me, because I had no clue what machine(s) to even look at or an idea of what I would like. A sewing machine is a personal thing: what one person loves, another may not. If anything, I was completely overwhelmed on where to start.

    My best friend is 20 years older and an avid sewer, too. She loves Bernina (she has two)but she suggested the Janome Magnolia machine to me. She'd just bought one for her daughter to learn to sew on. Amazon sells them for $200 and they generally have free shipping. The machine has awesome reviews and I had already heard great things about Janome from my local sewing machine shop and the guy in the service department.

    The Magnolia machine is perfect as my new primary machine (I'll never get rid of my Singer!). It has a 4-step buttonhole, and it lets me do stretch and overlock stitches, so I don't have to mess with (and buy) a serger. I broke Goldie in on a vintage dress pattern for myself, matching sundresses for my daughters, and a slew of home decorating pillows for the sofa. I love that it's lightweight enough to carry (with it's own handle at the top of the machine!) and it has a nifty drawer under the machine that slides out to hold extra essentials like bobbins and seam rippers, et al.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good to know. If my bernina 800 series ever dies, I will definitely look into yours!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I scored on mine and got it for ~$400 used from a school that closed. It is in mint condition and I am so happy with it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Gertie! I have 3 (yes 3!!!) Bernina Record 830's. Two are mechanical and 1 is "electronic (only the foot pedal, really). These have the same feature set as your 1008 - but you can buy them used for around $500. If you are lucky - sometimes you can pick them up at garage sales or thrift stores for less. If you have private students (like I do) - one idea is to buy any Bernina 830 (or 730 or 930) that you find at a great price, and it serviced at a great dealer, and then sell to a student. I have done this before, and my students really appreciate it (or their parents!). It is definitely true that they will pay more for this kind of machine - but they will not spend all their sewing time fighting their machine like the cheap plastic models.

    Check out my tweet showing my keyhole buttonhole I made on my new jeans using my Singer 500 - KILLER machine. @sewmaris: "Roxie" the Singer Rocketeer NAILED it! http://buff.ly/L4muER #lovemesomekeyholebuttonhole #jeans #jeanskeyholebuttonhole . I haven't had time to blog about my jeans yet but I will.

    Have fun sewing! And get that machine in for service! The dealer can get into places you can't - and you need to keep the dust and lint out of the gears.

    Sew Maris

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've had my 1008 for about 20 years now(!) and I love it beyond all measure. It's one of my top 3 most valued possessions. I get mine serviced every 2-3 years (I take it over before I go on a longish trip so that I don't miss it), and I keep it very clean and oiled in between.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Bernina's are brilliant ! Love my Bernina that i bought new 19 years ago, it has not missed a beat. My mother has had her Bernina for 40 years and it too has has constant use since and is still as good as new. By the way mum used to have a singer that was dreadfully unreliable .21

    ReplyDelete
  17. Loved this post! I've insisted on simple, mechanical machines since I began sewing (at age 5 or so), but compromised on my newest machine and went computerized out of desperation.
    I did, however, keep to a simple machine and made the switch to Bernina (915). I LOVE the quality of Bernina compared to my POS Pfaff. Sometimes I love the computerized aspect (remembering stitch length/width from straight to zig-zag), but this post has me wishing for a mechanical Bernina! Would have been my dream machine if they'd had it in-store when I was buying! Glad I still have six months to ponder a full price trade-in. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mine's not a mechanical, but I do adore my Bernina. Mine is an Activa. Something. I don't remember the number. It never gives me trouble, and if there's a problem, it is ALWAYS user error, never a fault on the machine.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would have to agree with Alyson about going industrial, for the most part.. just more ooomph and less problems. My Seiko industrial sews up to 3500 stitches per minute. I have not been able to find delicate needles for this machine however (14ish is the smallest), this would be my only complaint. I have been looking at the Bernina lately for the more delicate stuff... Bernina gets the best reviews from what I find.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I bought all my additional specialty presser feet on Ebay. Sometimes I've bought them for as little as $5 each.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I adore my sturdy vintage Bernie (model 830 I found on craigslist for $200, can you believe it?!). If I ever upgrade, it would likely be to the 1008.

    Having the right tools makes a job so much simpler; I make and sell aprons so I really put my ruffler and rolled-hem foot through their paces. A reliable machine and the appropriate attachments make all the difference between enjoyment and drudgery!

    ReplyDelete
  22. My Bernina 830 was purchased by my mother 2 years before I was born, in 1972 (you do the math!). She used it for her monogramming business for years - before monogramming was automated. Berninas used to come with a 30-year warranty. It has outlived that, and still makes a better stitch than most home machines today. I will never own anything else!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've had my 1008 for 15 years. I agree with everything you said. My only con is the button hole. I can do it, but I am jealous of those with a 1 step buttonhole.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I learned to sew on my mother's Bernina 830 in the early 1970's. My sister still sews on it. I wore out a Brother and an Elna before I bought my Bernina Aurora 430 2 years ago. I love my computerized machine. It sews heirloom stitches like a dream. I'm currently lusting after a ruffler and a walking foot both which are rather expensive. I love my Bernina.

    ReplyDelete
  25. We use Bernina 1008's at school in our costume shop, and I like them more than my Singer at home.

    Don't tell her, though.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I luff my 1010 (purchased used nearly 20 years ago) just as much. That thing is a tank. I now also have a serger and a cover stitch machine, but my Bernina will always be the queen of the harem.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My mother has an old metal Bernina, I love it! Simple, reliable, indestructible.

    But when I went to buy a machine I couldn't afford a good Bernina. Instead I settled for a Janome 1000, which was on sale for AU$129. Bargain!

    It is a very simple machine, 7 stitches and a 4-step buttonhole. I have found no problems with it so far and highly recommend it to beginners!

    One day I will invest in a metal Bernina though....

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have the 1008 to but am always having tension problems, I actually find it a bit of a fussy machine compared to my others. Sometimes the back stitch gets jammed and the stitch isn't always perfect, maybe it needs some maintenance? But the button holing is brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine came with a bobbin tendon that was too tight - once I loosened it just a touch, it sews like a dream.

      Delete
  29. I have had my Bernina 1001 since...oh my, 1995 - and it works perfectly. I am a bit lazy when it comes to service, but it doesn't seem to matter - it works perfectly anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  30. My mother bought her mechanical Bernina in 1984, and passed it on to me last year when she upgraded. She will snatch up any spare 830 she comes across, and said her fellow quilters do the same.

    I think a serious beginner should seek out at least a used mechanical Bernina. A lesser machine could, at worst, frustrate th into quitting sewing, or at best, be traded in for a Bernina in a few years anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have a dream vintage Bernina, it was my grandmother's in the Mad Men era!

    I wouldn't dream of replacing it, it still works like a pro!!!

    Find out more here:

    http://lifesjewelsonstring.blogspot.de/2011/12/sewing-machine.html

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love how we love our sewing machines:)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I don't have a Bernina, but I have an industrial machine and I love it!
    It's a Jones (not related to the US Jones I am told), they used to be built just outside Manchester.
    Mine comes with a table and it's all metal, fast as anything and with that beautiful stitch that comes with a weighted machine!
    I decided I wanted it because, well, I saw it on eBay and it was blue. I named her Judy after Judy Garland.
    My other machine is a 1971 Singer and it's called Rufus.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love my Bernina 1020, bought used 15 years ago. I clean and oil it religiously, and it runs like a champ. Nothing like those old, all metal mechanical machines!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have a very old Pfaff 130 (I call her Helga von Pfaff) and I love her! She goes zoom and can sew through anything!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I used to sell these. It *is* a sturdy machine with stitch quality to die for. My list of cons for this machine for a NEW sewer is this 1) No programable needle down. 2) No speed control other then the pedal, which can leave new sewers intimidated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a 1008 & a B215 - I always go to the 1008 but sure do love that needle down option on the 215 ☺

      Delete
  37. I am reading all these lovely Bernina comments and and chomping at the bit! I just bought a 380 (electronic) last week, but they had to order it and it's not here yet! I'm dying over here! I hope I'm still using this machine, 15-20-30 (!) years from now!

    Happy stitching, Ladies!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I've used the 1008 in a garment class I took at the local junior college. It's a great machine and I'd love to get one, but it lacks two important features : the needle down function and a knee lift. I am so used to using those on my Bernina 1530 and 1130. I find them invaluable both for quilting and garment sewing.

    But I would really like to get a mechanical because both of my Berninas (one of which was inherited from my sister) will become boat anchors someday when the computer boards fail. (My dealer says that those boards are no longer made, but that the boards can still be repaired. But how long will that be so?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I miss the knee lever too. What is a comparable bernina with the knee lift?

      Delete
    2. Bernina 950 has knee lift. Industrial quality with a belt drive not direct drive. Motor under the table.

      :) jeff w
      PS I've been browsing Bernina

      Delete
  39. To Maris Olsen:

    What gizmo did you use with your Rocketeer to make the keyhole buttonhole?

    C.B.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Whoops, I meant 807...

    ReplyDelete
  41. My hubby and various family members purchased me a refurbished 1080 almost six years ago. He likely got a good deal on it. It is a perfect machine except for all of the cons listed - the two most egregious being the buttonhole function and the weight of the machine itself. To supplement, I purchased a Bernette - lighter for travel and with an automatic buttonhole.

    ReplyDelete
  42. My Mother in Law picked up a little Bernina for about $45.00 in a thrift store and it's her favorite.

    I have several vintage machines, mostly Singer and Brother with one lone Toyota in a treadle base. But the one machine I dearly love is my Singer 401a. It has cams with allow it to do many different fancy stitches, came with an awesome buttonholer attachment that will do traditional and keyhole buttonholes, the owners manuals, and a box full of additional feet. This little gem of a sewing machine is the best one I've ever sewn on in my whole life.

    It would be a great starter, all metal machine for a beginner or advanced sewist. They're easy to maintain and service.

    One of these days I'll have to try out a Bernina.

    Debbie...(O:
    ><>

    ReplyDelete
  43. While the Bernina machines sound amazing, I am afraid they are out of my price range. I really appreciated what M said about Janome. I have used basic Singer and Brother machines but would like to upgrade within my budget. I am excited to do research and find my machine match like you have. Thanks for this post Gertie, great timing.

    ReplyDelete
  44. How convenient, I start shopping around for a sewing machine (I'm a novice) and you write this post the same day! I've been in my local sewing store and have zero inclination to go in there again (pushy, snobby, and waaay overpriced) so it's either Sears or Amazon for me (most places won't ship to Canada).
    At Amazon I'm eyeing up a Juki HZL-27Z that would be about $275 after shipping and import fees, and at Sears I'm looking at the two 17 stitch machines they have, I've read that their Kenmores are made by Janome. They'd cost about the same but I could get it *today* (http://www.sears.ca/catalog/sewing-machines/12941).

    In both cases I am just not seeing as many reviews as I would like to see, and in the case of the Kenmores I'll have to go into the store just to find out what exactly those 17 stitches are, any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  45. My mum has this machine, bought it 30 years ago and it's still going strong.

    ReplyDelete
  46. What perfect timing- I'm inheriting what sounds like a super strength industrial sewing machine. Haven't seen it yet, but it's free. How could I say no to that?! I am predicting the Kenmore I have used on and off since high school will be put aside.

    I enjoyed reading through everyone's comments!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm a theatrical seamstress and we have Bernina 1008's in our shop. I love that machine. Its a work horse and its so user friendly! I'm always looking around for one of my own....

    ReplyDelete
  48. I sewed on this same machine for 3 years when I was ballet wardrobe mistress. Nothing sews like a Bernina; which is why I own two...a 240 and a 640.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I have had this exact Bernina since 1999, I have had zero problems with it despite my horrible habit of not taking it to get it's yearly maintenance on time (I know, I know, I need to just take the class and learn how to do it myself since it's apparently easy...). I have been tempted so many times by the fancy new machines with zillons of stitches and features, extra embroidery attachments, etc but my Bernina works so well with no hassle, I would say it's definitely worth the higher price tag!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Sounds like a great machine, but for that price, you could almost have purchased 2 slightly pre-loved industrial machines that would do everything your Bernina does while also making you feel like a total badass. Industrials go fabulously fast, can sew threw anything, thick or thin and can usually be had for $400-600

    ReplyDelete
  51. Good timing for this post. I just broke a bit of my old Husqvarna (bought for $25 second hand when I was a uni student many years ago). I was warned last service that it was on the way out. When I started thinking about what to replace it with I thought "I wonder if I can find the post from Gertie about the machine she ended up with" when this post came through. I definitely want another mechanical machine. Just saw the price of a new Bernina 1008 in Australia (AU$1,599 *gulp*) so I think I'll be looking for a second hand one. That is if anyone ever parts with a working 1008.

    ReplyDelete
  52. So, a friend of mine says "I have a friend that has a sewing machine that she's never used and wonders if you want it". You can never have too many so I said 'yes'. I almost passed out when I saw that it was a Bernina. That is the story of how I got my 1008. I have had to replace the foot pedal though. I love it otherwise!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'm currently in design school and use an industrial. Do you know which industrial would be best if you are going to sew full time, as a business? Thank you.

    Reyna
    Reynalay@gmail.com

    Could u email a reply as I sometimes do not get notified of a reply on blogger! Thank u! Btw, can we order an autographed book from you?

    ReplyDelete
  54. I have a mechanical Elna from the 1970s (and one for the 1950s that I haven't yet used, I just got it because it was pretty and came with the original receipt) and I love it. I don't trust computerised ones - I always think that, after a few years, the motherboard or something will go and it'll cost a fortune to fix it. So if I ever replace my main machine with something new, I'd pony up for one of those mechanical Berninas. It seems to be the last of its type.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Congratulations for you lovely machine!
    I have almost my 1001 for 20 years, and I'm still love with her, I sewed hundreds of things with it, and it's not finish!

    I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I really enjoy all that sewing machine talk!
    I have my machine a few months and as a starter at sewing world I really love it, I'm talking about my Brother XL6600. It's not a profesional or computerized but I'd recommend it to someone who has just started and want to experiment. Comparing the price (it was about 200€) has a lot of possibilities and until now we're having great time together!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I've had my Bernina 1008 since 1998. My parents had to bribe me into high school so they promised I could get my own sewing machine if I'd go there. (The system in Finland is a little different, so I'm not sure if you'd call it high school. But this was at the point where I was 16 and done with the mandatory 9 years of primary school.)

    I said ok and we went shopping with my mother. The actual reason why Bernina 1008 was chosen was that it happened to be on discount. The shop owner wanted to get rid of the old models and my machine was the last one she had. So we took it.

    I've been extremely happy with my Bernina. Before I got it I used my mother's Singer and after that Bernina was SO easy to handle. For example the back stitch button in Singer is so stiff that when I began sewing (I was maybe 7 or 8) my mother had to stand next to me and help me press it. And I'm not even going to talk about sewing buttonholes with it..

    ReplyDelete
  58. I couldn't afford an expensive machine so I have two: an older Montgomery Ward Signature Zig Zag that could likely go through anything and a new Janome Sewist 500 that is light and can do a surprisingly large amount for all its plastic parts. I love them both for different reasons, but my hope is that I can save up for a Bernina or a Pfaff eventually.

    I missed a Pfaff 1222E on Craigslist when I first started looking for a machine. They wanted $60. I about cried.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I know what you mean about loving your Bernina. I have loved mine since I bought it in 1989. I had been sewing on an old singer that had a fussy tension adjustment that balled up thread on most of my projects. My Bernina has always made perfect seams. I used my income tax return to buy it and it was an indulgent investment that I never regretted.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I learned on a Singer Touch and Sew and loved it. My Babba a seamstress then went to a Singer Athena, and had nothing but problems. When she passed away my mother took both machines and bought a Bernia 1230 (I think) Anyway, our house now has 2 Bernia sewing machines, 1 Bernia serger, 1Viking serger, 1 Babylock sewing machine, 1 Babylock Seger and 1 'cheap" Janome (for the kids). Almost forgot a really old Singer, 1920 I think and a Kenmore about the same time period (it was Hubbies grandmothers)

    My advice to anyone new to sewing is buy a better more expensive machine than you think you need, make sure it has speed control. Our Janome does not and my kids won't sew on it. If that was they only machine they had to sew on they would have quite by now, I know I would have it is a mess of a machine.

    ReplyDelete
  61. great review! what IS your recommendation for a machine for beginners?

    ReplyDelete
  62. I bought a Bernina 1005 used on ebay. it has less stitches than the 1008 but it's still really nice. I do the bulk of my sewing on an industrial sewing machine and I use the bernina for buttonholes and zig zagging, stuff like that. I love it. I cannot stand the computerized machines.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I just bought a brand new bernina 1008 today! It was 1049 euros and now they come with #1foot along with #0,2, and 5 snap-ons. I love your blog and it helped me a lot to sound informed when talking to the salesman. Now I just have to learn to sew.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I love my Bernina 1008 that I have had for over 10 years. At a recent quilting retreat everyone was bragging about their expensive machines and how much they cost. One trying to outspend the other! My 1008 does what I need and I don't need all the bells and whistles either!

    ReplyDelete
  65. I love my Bernina 1008. I bought it in 2004 for $100 when the woman who owned was moving back to Africa! She knew I wanted a better machine then what I had and asked me to make her an offer, I felt bad I knew the machine was worth more but that was all I had to give! She told me it was mine to my surprise and gave me a chest of cloth, cones of thread and a thread holder and magnetic. Bobbin keeper! Sure beats the old dress maker I had!!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Just wanted to let you know that I just bought a Bernina 1020 (have to wait till next Tuesday for her to get here!), and your review of your Bernina 1008 was one of the reasons I kept coming back to a Bernina.
    So, I totally "blame" you!
    Thanks!
    Sarah
    (aka OldeSarah)

    ReplyDelete
  67. I have had a Bernina 830 since 1975. I have used the machine more than 3 or 4 people do in a lifetime.....I have actually worn out 4 motor brushes. If taken care of these machines just don't break. They are worth the price and more than pay for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  68. These mechanical Bernina machines sew on forever! Schools use their sister the 1008 where I live, and the teenage kids attempt to kill them with abuse in sewing class, but fail.
    I learnt to sew 35 years ago on my Mum's 1010 Bernina and recently after a long, long time of looking, found a near mint contdition 1010 for myself. My Mum's machine is still sewing strong now with just regular maintenance and servicing. It sews perfectly whatever is asked of it and performs consistently on a range of threads and fabrics. Mine sounds, looks and feels the same as hers.
    And yes, it weighs a tonne so if you want to travel, get it into a sturdy trolley case with some good wheels! It is the perfect beginner machine I think, but if you want to sew knits that are not stable, I'd recommend a walking foot and investing in an overlocker.
    Sometimes they go for much less than new price on ebay or second hand as a traded machine and they are well worth the hunt. I got mine for $350 in near mint condition off ebay and another $60 to ship it. Round here, that's cheap and I still can't believe I paid so little for it as they often go for much, much more. I am told the brand new ones are mechanically identical to the older Swiss made version so you are good to go with either, depending on budget. The good news is they hold their value better than most sewing machines when it comes to resale value, if you ever needed or wanted to part with it.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I just rec'd an email from a sewing machine shop that this is the last year they will be making the Bernina 1008. If you are interested now's the time to go shopping. I have an 1170. Bought in the 80's and will never part with it. I would like to invest in one with a larger area to machine quilt with but the 1170 stays with me!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I bought my Bernina 1008 yesterday for 14 000 South African Rands .... I already stitched a top with it! It is a lovely machine and I expect many many more hours of sewing with a smile!

    A question: the two cotton spool at the back have black rubber tips which looks like they cannot come off - they are too think and I can't fit some cotton over them - are these rubber tips supposed to be able to come off? And, they don't seem to be extendable ... I have seen pictures of other Bernina 1008s but their cotton spools don't have the rubber tips and they are extended. Am I missing something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the rubber tips are supposed to come off and then the spool pins are extendable. Perhaps they are just tight because your machine is new.

      Delete
    2. Thanks I will go and check them out again!

      Delete
  71. Just wanted to thank you, this article is perfect and has helped me make my decision. I hope that yours is still purring perfectly (3 years later now). I will be paying 999 for it, so the price has gone up slightly, but no big deal.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I know what you mean about loving your Bernina. I have loved mine since I bought it in 1989. I had been sewing on an old singer that had a fussy tension adjustment that balled up thread on most of my projects. My Bernina has always made perfect seams. I used my income tax return to buy it and it was an indulgent investment that I never regretted. mirc indir mevlana sözleri kapak sözler abiye modelleri moda sitesi

    ReplyDelete
  73. I have just watched Libby Lehman demonstrating the roller leather foot. Apparently it won't fit machines before the 910 series. Do you know if this foot would fit on your machine as I may have the opportunity to buy a 1008. The fit is very important to me. Love your review, thanks sew much sounds like it is a great little machine.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Thanks for the information and the comments. Mama's Bernina has been around for 25-30 years. Two days ago I bought found a Bernina 1010 at a school demolition sale. No foot pedal and a bent knob, and they gave it to me for $5. Not mint, but I think I stole it for that price. I can hardly say how giddy I am at the prospect... I hate my soon-to-be former machine, an old Brother named "the Curmudgeon."

    ReplyDelete
  75. Got my 1001 for my 25th birthday 10 yrs ago from an ex-boyfriends mother who was a seamstress. It's served me very well over the years, but I'm not sure when it was produced. Anybody know?

    ReplyDelete
  76. Does anyone know where you can buy replacement rubber caps for the spools at the back? Had my 1008 since 1999 and never had a problem with it at all! (Apart from me losing these spool caps!)

    ReplyDelete
  77. I have had a 1630 for close to 20 years. I have loved this machine, but it has so many problems now that never quite get fixed. I have loved this machine so much that I have put off getting a new machine, but I think it's time. So I'm thinking about getting the 1008 - I love that it is all metal and no computer board to get fussy. After reading all your posts it sounds like I really must get the 1008!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  78. I have had a 1630 for close to 20 years. I have loved this machine, but it has so many problems now that never quite get fixed. I have loved this machine so much that I have put off getting a new machine, but I think it's time. So I'm thinking about getting the 1008 - I love that it is all metal and no computer board to get fussy. After reading all your posts it sounds like I really must get the 1008!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

© Gertie's Blog For Better Sewing. Powered by Cake