Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You were warned...

I told you I"d be waxing-lyrical, didn't I? (Think yourself lucky you're not one of those poor ear-bashed folks in my studio...). The way I'm banging on about all it can do, anyone would think that I'd never had a new sewing machine before.

The truth is, this is the first EVER brand-new machine I've owned, and my first electronic sewing machine. I'm a bit gadget-struck and excited.

But mostly, I'm glad I went the extra expense to get the Aurora 440 for a number of reasons, and mostly it's not for the 180-odd pre-programmed stitches.

#1 reason was the motor.... Ah, the motor. Of course, there's a fancy name for the type of motor (that I've forgotten) but I just listened to it and felt it pull any thickness of fabric through with ease. Anyone could tell you that I'm not usually a huge fan of domestic machines, but this one handles like an industrial (if slower, as domestic machines are by nature). It has serious oomph - and the difference between the Aurora 440 and smaller machines means a lot when you're sewing lots of bulky, awkward shapes.

#2 The machine bed has LOTS more room. Managing bulky bags around a smaller machine can be difficult but this one is nice and roomy.

#3 Automatic needle-up and needle-down... but wait... with a foot-controlled option to change its position when you need to. If it's set for needle-up and you need to pivot on a seam, you just kick back on the foot pedal and the needle goes down. Or vise-versa. LOVING that one. Combined with the knee-lift on the presser-foot, it means you don't have to take your hands off your work.

#4 The knee lift, the walking foot, the BSR (stitch regulator) unit and lots of dinky gadgets in a cute little wardrobe box came standard with the machine (they're extra with other models).

#5 Automatic buttonhole, automatic buttonhole, automatic buttonhole..... I'm in love.

#6 Three types of automatic back-tack or lockstitch. Again - loving that I don't have to take my hands off my work and I can vary the backtack according to the work I'm doing.

#7 Automatic blind hemming with a special blind-hemming foot. With all my other mechanical machines, I've never been able to do the perfect blind hem. This one takes all the guesswork out of it. No more hand-sewn hems for me. (I can spend telly-evenings making more hair ties).

#8 A sliding seam guide that travels the width of the machine bed. Topstitching heaven, and not a Post-it note in sight.

#9 Ok - I admit it - I love pressing those buttons.

#10 Loving that the wee girl is loving it, too. I spent most of the Saturday before last with her on my lap at the machine. She had the style-card with all the stitches, chose the design she wanted to see and then pressed the appropriate buttons (it's educational too!). After several hours of calico embellishment, she brought out every t-shirt she owned and we embellished the hems. It's another step in the right direction for my plans to completely indoctrinate the poor unsuspecting child....

Edited to add:
#11 ELEVEN needle positions at the touch of a button. Being able to shift the needle position is one of my favourite features on my old Berninas, and here it is with more positions and a whizzy button control. It means you can use the presser foot as a seam, edgestitch or topstitching guide and sew exactly where you want to - adjusting by degrees if necessary.


The wee girl proudly took her calico to Show & Tell at kinder and told the class that she "sewed it on Mummy's fancy-schmantzy sewing machine". Amused the teachers no end.

24 comments:

rachelmp said...

My kids call my mere model the "sewing computer" like on the instructions :)

Allison said...

Positively GREEN with envy right now.

Purple Paisley Patch said...

Sounds like an awesome machine! Thanks for the thorough review of the features, it's good to hear/read what real people think of various machines, rather than relying on the promotional brochures, of course they're going to say the machine is great! Sounds like your little-un is well on her way to being fully indoctrinated, you should be able to farm out at least half your workload to her in a few years time. LOL ;-)

CurlyPops said...

Ear bash away! I'm completely fascinated by the fancy schmancy machine too.

Fer said...

I love how you're loving your Bernina! My old 1230 has some of those features - especially that needle up/needle down (#3) thingie. And I NEVER sew without the knee lift!

Kate said...

Ear bash away! I got one last year and love it!!

Posie Patchwork said...

OH yes, it's a winner!! Gorgeous stitches, no wonder you're super excited. I just love how new machines bite & hold fabric so perfectly firm, you don't even need a walking foot. Oh, what beautiful things will come from there. Love Posie

Gina said...

Fabulous, Nikki, I'm thrilled that it's exceeding your expectations. Long may it do so! It looks so fun to fiddle with... and sounds so solid. Keep enjoying your well-earned *new* machine.

UmaPreve said...

It must have been a very good machine. I have Brother Innovis 200. I wish it was as nice as yours...!

Thanks for sharing!

Handmade said...

Sounds wonderful - Berninas are the Best!! Needle up / down is THE best function - especially for beginners, but equally good for everyone. I'm so happy for you!!!

Liam's Mummy said...

Liam likes to sit in my lap and push the start button on my embroidery machine. This is followed by lots of oohs and aahs (from both kids) while it sews by itself. I wish mine did as much as yours does (mines embroidery only). I love that you embellished all the t-shirts!

Vik said...

Congrats on your new baby. A machine like that would scare the hell outta me!!

Kirsty said...

Right...super love the new machine & thrilled that you love it but I really want your sampler. x

Tapestry Tree said...

Thanks so much for the review! I bought this same machine last Friday at a Quilt Show. It's on order and expected in about a week. I can hardly wait. It's great to hear all of the great things it can do.

sooz said...

OMG. Who do I have to kill to get one??

willow and moo said...

I used to love to select decorative stitches on my mom's sewing machine (she had an Elna with cams).

Gotta love that needle up down with the foot control. :) A definite fave here too!

beccasauras said...

Ok, I got to number 3 and went SHUT UP! teehee

Sue said...

I love my Bernina 440 too - the invisible zipper foot is fab (as is the jeans foot,...)
what's that about three lock stitches - I am missing one??? I must go and find it...

I had a baby Singer before and the oomph of this machine blows me away!

Annie said...

What a wee darling! I love those type of smile moments at school. Looks like you're having heaps of fun Nik

Bree said...

OMG! You must be in love! March 17th and no talk of green, shamrocks or Guiness!! So great to see you(and R) enjoying your new purchase so much. I think you've earned your stripes!

Dawn said...

will it sew leather? Dx

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Jealous, jealous, very jealous :)

heather said...

ooo, what a beauty. i have a similar model, but it's 12 years old now, and still completely amazing. that's another reason berninas are the best! i just found your blog through myrtle and eunice, i love it.

AMIT said...

Have you made this white dress?Its looking so beautiful.

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