Happy Monday! I've been up to my eyeballs in packing/life-organizing this month for my big move happening a week from today (merging households with my fiance), but I wanted to share my new baby I came home with at the end of June. Say hello to the newest member of my sewing machine family, the lovely Bernina 550!
I wrote a post right before I went on vacation to visit my family in PA of all the things I was looking for in a new machine. Namely, it came down to what I could afford, but this guy fit the bill with all of the features I was looking for and came in right at my budget. Plus, this is the exact machine that my mom has at home and I've used it several times, so I knew exactly what kind of machine I was getting.
Technically, this pretty lady is a "pre-owned" machine (a nicer way of saying "used," because she's classy like that). Apparently, the previous owner only used this machine for six hours before she came back in to trade it in for a newer version. Some people have more money than sense, I think! It was alright for me though, it helped to knock down the price considerably, Plus, I got allllll the feet for this machine (including a walking foot), a carrying case, bobbins, and a stitch regulator as part of the deal. There's no way I could have gotten this kind of a bargin at the Bernina dealer near me.
It's so simple, but I love the fact that this has two different types of thread spindles depending on what type of thread spool you're working with: cross-wound or stacked. In the photo here, I'm working with a cross-wound spool of thread, and having the spindle horizontally makes it a lot easier for the thread to come off of the spool in smooth way. Plus, I can put a spool of thread on the other spindle to wind a new bobbin and not have to unthread my machine. Love it!
I also wasn't sure how the knee bar and I were going to get along, but I became quickly addicted to using it. How did I sew without one of these bad boys? It makes it so easy to adjust the fabric while sewing with a quick little bump of the knee to raise the presser foot, and it's great for those times when you feel like you need a third hand to keep things in place as you adjust.
Besides those little details, it comes with a whole slew of stitches that it can sew because this is a quilting edition model. That wasn't something on my list that I wanted/needed, but I'm sure I'll play around with them. And this sews like a dream! The stitching is so smooth and I have much more control over my speed than I ever did with my previous Bernina. I feel much more comfortable having this machine as the machine I'll be using to sew my wedding dress.
Deep in the heart of Lancaster County is one of largest, if not the top, Bernina dealers in the United States. Hinkletown Sewing is where my mom bought the last few of her machines, and they know their stuff there. Even if you're not in the market for a brand new machine, they have quite a few used machines, and they also have used machines that Bernina sends them to sell, which is why the prices are so great. They turn through a lot of inventory in this tiny store.
The sales associate took her time with me and walked me through all of the different options they had on hand based on what I was looking for. She even showed my mom and I how to use the automatic threading feature, which is a little tricky but we got the hang of it.
I loved all of the vintage Bernina machines around the shop, it was neat to see how some of the older models were designed. They even had my mom's Bernina 980 on display that she bought in the 80's when I was born - that machine is such a joy to sew on, and still purrs.
How cool is this see-through Bernina??
They're also a long arm quilting machine dealer. It was neat playing around with this Bernina Q24, definitely not something I'm interested in but it's great to see that Bernina is making a quality long arm machine. They also had the brand new Q20 which the sales associate demo'd. Long arm machines are a completely different way of sewing, it's like thread drawing with a machine.
Something else that was great - we ended up dropping off our current machines at the store for cleaning, went to lunch and did some more shopping in the area, and came back in the afternoon to pick them up - they were really busy, too! What place do you know that does same-day sewing machine cleaning?
All-in-all, I'm pleased as punch with my new machine and already made two garments from it that turned out beautifully, which I credit it to my new machine. If you're ever in the Lancaster County area, and in the market for a new machine, I highly recommend checking out Hinkletown Sewing Machine Shop!