I don’t have much to share this week because I’ve been busy!!  Busy washing and cutting fabric for Iris shorts.  Busy shopping for a sewing machine (I test drove some Janomes.)  And busy going to my sister’s weight training class.  In a few days, when I can walk again, I plan to sew up my shorts.  In the mean time, I’d like to share my sewing machine ponderings.

I’ve been considering a machine upgrade for a while now, but I can’t decide whether I want a vintage machine or to qo with a new one.

A good friend of mine lent me her vintage Bernina to try out.  Wow.  I can see why people fall in love with Berninas.  It is powerful and quiet all at the same time.  It’s truely lovely.  But.  I haven’t figured it all out, but I think buttonholes have to be done completely manually–as in adjust the zig zag to the appropriate size at each step.  I’m used to a 4-step buttonhole, and the idea of no automatic button steps does not appeal to me at all.

As for new machines, I’m considering the Janome Magnolia or HD1000.  Both are mechanical, affordable and have 4-step buttonholes.  The Janomes I test drove ran quite nicely–not as lovely as the Bernina–but much more powerful and smoother than my current Singer.

I’m still completely undecided.  There’s always the option to keep saving and buy a new Bernina one day too.  I just don’t know if I can wait that long (or really want to spend that much.)

Hmmm… any opinions or input on machines and what features are a must would be much appreciated.  I’ll just wait and keep thinking it over in the meantime.  Doesn’t hurt to stalk craigslist either :)


  1. Heeheehee… sorry about the soreness! Between moving tons of boxes and furniture and going a little crazy using a reel mower on our new lawn, I’m feeling awfully stiff and achy myself!

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned it, but I have the Janome Magnolia and I really like it. For the price it’s a great machine– I haven’t had any issues. I’m so excited that you’re getting a new machine! I’ve never had the chance to try a vintage Bernina, but it would be so fun to take one out for a test drive!

    1. aww, Ginger, I hope all the moving is done soon and you can relax!
      I appreciate your input on the Janome–your recommendation is what led me to test drive the Janomes :) I’m leaning towards the Janome at this point I think–seems like the best deal for my money.

    1. Erin, is the Brother no longer up to par?? I think I’m gonna get a Janome… and if so, I’ll bring it down and you can try it out if you like. Although I’m sure there are plenty of ladies in your quilting class with machines you can try too ;)

      1. The Brother is ok. I get frustrated with the tension sometimes, but it could just be an operator error haha.

      2. I didn’t keep the Bernina; I bought a new machine, a Janome HD1000, which I’m very happy with. But, I would still love to have a vintage Bernina one day! It left an impression on me, and perhaps a later model like you say with a buttonhole step would work well for me.

  2. I saw an old post of yours in the comments at Male Pattern Boldness and came here to see what you thought of the vintage Bernina…I know of course that this is now loooooong ago and I haven’t read on to find what you did in the end, but other vintage Berninas than this one do have an automatic buttonhole., Mine is an 830 from the 70s or 80s and it does. Mine’s been in storage for years due to voltage differences but I’ve been reading up on them and am shocked at what I’ve been missing out on so am going to get it serviced and start using it again, with a converter.

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