Sunday, May 16, 2010


My first sewing machine was a Bernina 830. When I was growing up my mom had a hateful White. She also hated to sew and this just aggravated it. It never worked the way it was suppose to and finally when I was 19 she decided it was time for a new one. She just wanted one to make mending not as frustrating. She called a neighbor of ours who was a home ec teacher at a high school and asked what she recommended. She swore by Bernina and also told my mom that the school she taught at was in the process of getting new machines. She said they were trading their machines back to Nuttalls but were able to sell the machines to people who wanted them for the cost Nuttalls would pay them. My mom decided to buy one and I did also. I bought my Bernina for $250.

I didn't sew at the time, but I had taken sewing classes when I was growing up. I had always liked to do crafts and decided in the future when I wasn't so busy with collage I might like to sew and it was a good opportunity buy a good sewing machine at a good price.

Fast forward 7 years. When I was 26 I was looking for a quilt for my then 1 year old's bed. What I really wanted was super expensive. I had always gone into quilt shops because I liked to do embroidery and make it into pillows of frame it with fabric in a picture frame. I decided I would try to make my little boy a quilt for his bed so I could make just what I was picturing in my head. I found I loved to sew. I think it was transforming beautiful fabric into something useful and loved and also providing heirlooms for my children.

Although I loved to sew, I didn't love my machine. It hadn't come with an owner's manual and I never felt like I knew how to really use it. Whenever I would go to Nuttalls for any sort of sewing machine pieces I would eye the other machines, thinking there was no way I could ever afford a computerized one. I knew that for some reason the Bernina 830 is in high demand and maybe I could sell it and use the money toward another machine, but I knew I was still really short for what I wanted. I did some Internet searches and found a Bernina Virtuosa 150 on ebay. I had checked a few local Bernina dealers and found that this machine was selling for about $1400-1500 used. I found it on ebay one night for $450. The auction was just closing. I showed it to my husband who got on another computer to look at it too. I put in a bid not knowing that he did as well. He outbid me and won it for $456.

To say that I didn't stalk the UPS guy for the next few days would not be true. It even arrived during nap time and I accidentally woke up my kids with shrieks of joy. True love. It was so smooth. There was no guessing about the settings. Everything worked perfectly. I sold my Bernina 830 on for $454 about 4 hours after it was listed and have never looked back.

Over the last 3 years whenever I have mentioned I used to have a Bernina 830 and sold it people have questioned why I would ever do it. Honestly, I have never once missed it. Never.

This weekend my husband and I went to a garage sale. We went to one that we hadn't planned on going to, but was on the way. When I got there the first thing I saw was a Bernina 830. Guess what they were asking for it........$20. I'm totally serious. I asked the lady if it worked and she assured me it did. Of course I didn't need a sewing machine... I do have three already, but could I really pass this up?
I felt guilty. Did this lady know what she was practically giving away? Should I alert her? I decided to buy it. I am now the proud owner of another Bernina 830. I used it tonight. It runs like a dream. It is super smooth. It only has the basic foot, but it was definitely worth more than the $20 I paid for it by far. I don't know what I'll do with it....... but who says there is no such thing as hidden treasure!


Barb said...

Oh wow.....that is so wonderful...I just love good deals like that. I also love shoppping ebay, I got my pfaff for 1/3 of the price they were asking in the stores. Let us know when your machine comes in...excited for you!!

Laurie said...

I'll tell you what you can do with it?? Sell it to me. I'll pay you $25. You'll make a profit! :)

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

It is always good to have a spare, I say. And my mom made me promise I'd really only buy berninas. She had an 830 for years. She used to always trade up though. I've had my 2 berninas for more than 20 years. They serve me well. You can't beat that metal machine I think.

Sherri said...

What a fun find! I have more than one machine...and it always feels good knowing I have a spare!

Nicole said...

That is amazing! And I am jealous! I will start looking at more garage sales. I want to teach my 7 year old to sew, but I don't really want her using my machine (I don't share well lol)