About Those Bernina Feet

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Before I made it home from the airport on Saturday, I  went to the Bernina supplier nearest me. I won’t lie. I did not walk away empty handed. I also asked Jordan to wait away from the register as my purchase was rung up.

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  • Walking Foot (which cost more than any one of my non Bernina sewing machines!!!)
  • 1/4 inch / Patchwork foot (I do piecing and I love it for the welt zipper tute by Kenneth King)
  • Edgestitch foot (on order) I live for stitching in the ditch
  • Button sewing foot (I wish I’d had one for the last project. Sometimes thick fabric needs this kind of attachment)
  • Low Shank Adapter

I’m eating Ramen noodles for the next two months. From now on, I’m on the one new foot at Christmas and my birthday plan. Or maybe the foot on sale at the dealership….

My machine did come with a bunch of feet:

174 4mm Lap Seam/ Feller 
20 Open Toe
28 Pintuck foot
181 Clear applique
452 Buttonhole
003 straight stitch hemmer
419 Tailor Tacking
168 2mm Roll and Shell Hemmer Foot
016 Blindstich
470 Overlock
16 Extra wide gathering
007 Zipper
030 Embroidery
000 Zig Zag
285 Small Darning foot

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I really wanted the Low Shank Adapter so I could make use of the ‘regular’ feet I already have. While I would like to have *all* Bernina feet, I am not the recipient of a lottery winnings. I also was desperate to see how my vintage buttonholer would work.

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So, I did, like, 20 buttonholes. They aren’t terrible. But, no matter what, I couldn’t seem to get the spacing wider in the middle. You can see my progression from stitches being right on top of one another to getting a but more wiggle room in the middle.  I’ll need to be super precise when cutting them open. Anyone else use an adapter / vintage buttonholer combo? I just can’t go back to a four step buttonhole ::shudders::

Which leads me to my Singer 301. I think I need to sell her. I bought that machine to have one at my parent’s place in Fla. I brought it home because my dad is certainly not ever asking me to sew for him when I visit. I was going to keep it to do buttonholes but I have my Featherweight and my Kenmore 1030. So, I’m going to list the 301 on Craigslist (pricing will be ‘firm’) and hope for the best! That might at least cover one or two more new Bernina feet!

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22 thoughts on “About Those Bernina Feet

  1. Hi Miss Celie. I bought a very old “New Home” sewing machine for $10 at a Church sale. It came with a big box of all sorts of sewing machine feet that fascinated me. Unfortunately nobody could get the machine to work. I put the machine in recycling and kept the box of feet. I have a Janome machine which works like a dream and I have had it for about 20 years. Possibly one of these “shank adaptors” could make the attachments work for the Janome if I take it to my sewing machine fix-it man? Whaddya suggest? Love your blog.

  2. I love the bernina walking foot. I have one for my 930 and it was the first thing I bought for my computerized newer one. You might want to watch online for other feet used you want as the newer machines use different coded ones. I have never used an attachment for buttonholes as I love the ones built into my 930. I have a couple of vintage attachments I keep meaning to try but never do. On my bernina I used tear a way embroidery stabilizer under the button hole and sometimes put water soluble on the top and they are nice. If you get the machine serviced and maybe you should consider it due to its age since you want to keep it a long time, they will routinely check the separation on the buttonholes and you could specify if you want more. My 930 has only been in a couple of times in all these years but I am going to give it a spa day when I take in the computerized one this time. It is really a dream to sew on.
    Don’t forget when you do a button hole to thread the little hole on the bobbin case as it is supposed to be done if yours has that type of case.

  3. The price of Bernina feet is the reason I want a Juki industrial, for which the average foot costs $4.

  4. I purchased a number of my feet for my Record on ebay. Completely happy with them and totally cheap. You will love your walking foot, I sleep with mine under my pillow I love it so much. (I’m joking but you get the idea.)

    • That’s good to know! Is there a dealer that you particularly like? Or, are the generics about all the same? I did find for the ‘genuine’ feet there was a huge markup on eBay (almost $200 difference on the genuine walking foot). And, I’ve read mixed reviews of generics on Amazon. But, I’m totally down for saving $20 per foot!

      • I’ve also bought most my Bernina feet from ebay, I just set up watches and they pop up quite quickly. For me that’s the reason to buy a machine that takes old style feet. I have a 1008 so I need the two prong feet with the narrow tips like you purchased. But for the 830 you can also buy the ones with the fat tips and those go for about $10 on ebay. The really old feet are made better, too, but probably in ways that don’t effect function, just more polished and smoother. The one I had to buy new was an invisible zipper foot. I do use a buttonholer but always play with the settings. I like two passes of a wide setting and one pass of narrow, probably not the most extreme setting for either.

  5. The industrial buttonholer resembles the really old Singer model that predates the ones that use cams. It is fully adjustable as far as stitch length, width and space between the stitches (between the two rows that form the buttonhole). I believe that Peter of Male Pattern Boldness reviewed this model. I paid 10 cents for one at a yard sale but have not used it yet as the cam models work so well. Enjoy your new machine!

  6. I just bought a walking foot for my vintage 190 Viking and it cost 75 bucks. The machine only cost 300?! Then, since I’m about to start sewing with leather, I also got a roller foot (funnest foot ever!). That one, I managed to find at a steal (38 bucks) but I got it from Ireland. I did a lot of looking on Etsy, eBay and other sources before purchasing either. I knew they were the best prices I would be able to find. Point is – I know the Bernina feet are ridiculously expensive (and fabulous, for all of that). But finding feet for the vintage machines can also cost a bundle and those feet are rarely new.

  7. Does your machine make keyhole buttonholes? My Aurora makes keyholes and eyelets.
    http://www.bernina.com/en-AU/Produkte/Produkteubersicht-BERNINA/BERNINA-Nah-und-Stickmaschinen/BERNINA-4er-Serie/BERNINA-aurora-2#overview

    I have a generic walking foot for my Janome/New Home and a Bernina WF for the Aurora. The Bernina one is sooo much quieter and smoother. I try to think of it as cost per use and I use mine a lot. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

    My husband urged me to buy the Aurora QE (quilters’ edition) when I got a bad medical diagnosis. I was too sick to even use if for the first couple of years. Fortunately, my dealer belongs to the same quilt guild and let me retake the new owner workshops w/o extra charge when I was feeling better.
    http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2007/09/paperweight.html

    We met in a lab. He says one of the things he liked about me was that I wasn’t afraid to take things apart or to build stuff. So he never complains about Bernina acce$$ories.

    Jordan seems like a smart and reasonable man.

  8. For cutting open narrow buttonholes, I use a heavy duty utility knife (swiped from hubby’s tool closet when he’s not looking). Put the buttonhole on my wood cutting board, one very careful cut with the utility knife, and it’s open and perfect. I hope you enjoy your new Bernina and all those feet!

  9. Must. Have. ALL the feet. You’ve just made your husbands holiday and birthday gift giving for the next ten years so much simpler-make a list of all the available feet, check off the ones you have, and highlight the ones you want most. Leave it in a prominent area. He’s surely bright or you wouldn’t have married him, I’m positive he’ll get the hint! Congrats again on getting your dream machine!

  10. Is your vintage buttonholer a Singer Professional Buttonholer (with “professional” in script)?? Beige with green, brown and beige cams? There’s a round knob on the left front with markings from 2 to 4. That’s the space selector for the opening you cut. Minimum 2 to maximum 4 . To adjust, loosen/tighten locking screw. I found it is difficult to get much between the min/max width but you can also change the zigzag width. I hope that helps. If you want more info I can email you a copy of the manual.
    Good luck!

  11. You got a good number of feet!! I recently got a walking foot myself, and super blessing – the Bernina I won can share feet with my new-old Bernina so now I have additional feet and a few backups.

    I find it a bit crazy that for 2mm, 4mm and 6mm rolled hems, we have to shell out for individual feet but I guess that’s part of the draw – solid one piece feet.

  12. I own so many Berninas, and everything about them is expensive. BUT I can’t help myself – I love these machines and really do think they are worth it. Good engineering costs money! Besides, ramen is soo yummy (NOT!!). LOL, enjoy!

  13. Hi Cidell,
    I’m a fellow Baltimore sewing enthusiast and we’ve met once before at the opening for the little fabric shop around Patterson Park. I’m a long time reader of your blog and I work as a seamstress for bridal gowns at a high end store in the area. If anyone you know is interested in a seamstress position, check out the Craig’s listing or contact me at mgcornelisse@yahoo.com Our luck with finding someone who really knows what they’re doing has not been so good and we are really in need. We need someone who can sew on a Juki industrial machine and knows a lot about construction. They will need to show samples of their work. Thank you!

    Mel

  14. Oh, what fun you’ll have. For me, the Bernina 830 was the one that got away. It was my first Bernina–and my first decent machine– and I had it for over 20 years before selling it to a friend. We explored sewing together. Boat canvas, sheer curtains, soft baby toys. Join the Bernina Yahoo groups. You’ll learn a lot. It couldn’t happen to a nicer person!

  15. Hey girl, I’ve been reading your blog for several months and just love reading about your sewing adventures and travel experiences. Congrats on your new sewing machine! I can’t wait to see her in action. As part of your review, please consider showing a comparison of the Bernina stitches with those of your other machines.

    Wishing you all the best!

    Deborah C.

  16. Ramen noodles are the worst, most unhealthy thing imaginable. If you must, at least buy them at an international market. I have some that are “Tom Yum” (thai!) flavored. I add sliced mushrooms and they’re good… if bad for me.

    I’m amazed at all the different “Feet” you buy and use. But those buttonholes are gorgeous. And I might know a place where you could keep an eye out for lower priced sewing machine attachments. ;)

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