Friday, March 8, 2013

Rearranging the Studio

I've been pretty happy with my studio up to this point, but now it's time to rearrange.  After one of my teens have asked for quite some time for a nice quality sewing machine, she now has one.  This is a vintage Bernina 830 Record.  It's a powerful and amazing mechanical machine.

Did you see all those feet?  I can't wait to see how they work.  Some are similar to my newer machine, but some are very unique.

This also came with a cabinet which fits this machine quite well.  I love the large space to the left of the machine which is just at the right height for a project to glide along.

The machine drops down and tucks away when not in use.  Then the 2 extensions can flip inward to close everything up.  There are lots of extras and surprises in the drawers.  Many are handy for garment sewing so I'll have to ask a knowledgeable friend about them.
Drawer with buttons and a wooden piece (?) Looks like thread spools could rest there.

Last night, we cleaned up and opened up everything on the machine.  All the proper spots were oiled and we spend a few minutes turning the hand wheel and watching all the mechanical parts move.  It was fascinating!  I now know more about my own machine, like which part stops moving when I disengage the feed dogs.  Our younger teen is taking robotics and she recognized some of those gears.  She's already expressed a desire to disassemble the entire machine to see how it works.

I think I'll send to her Switzerland for a summer job in their factory.  That way she can see how everything works without turning this one into a robot.  I'd prefer it to sew, thank you.

Older teen has also taken robotics, but she's in my camp.  She'd rather sew with it than take it apart.  Just for a little persuasive insurance, I told them both what these vintage workhorses sell for online.

After an hour of watching the parts move and adjusting the levers to see their effects on the innards, we actually made some stitches.  Purrs like a kitten in the high speed mode.  No weird sounds at all.  Then we switched to the heavier fabrics, slower speed mode.  It does make more noise.  I can't tell if it's just the extra power or if it needs an adjustment.  For everyday use, we won't use the heavy duty mode anyway.  But if it's needed, we'll take it in for a checkup first.

I've read online that the owner's manuals are hard to find in print.  There's a scanned pdf, but it's not the same treasure as this one.  The original owner preserved her name, address, purchase date, purchase price (of cabinet, machine and total).  She took notes in pencil on most of the pages and attached her samples as she went through her orientation class.

When her age and health prevented her from continuing, she passed it down as a gift to a sweet young woman.  This woman's father refinished the cabinet and eagerly awaited the time when she'd catch the thrill of creating with sewing.  But, alas, this just isn't where her passions lie.  So she sold it on Craig's list and I just happened to stumble along to snatch it up.

I'll keep my eyes open for a knee bar to lift and lower the presser foot.  Although the original machine came with one and also a carrying case, these are missing.  Not a big deal at all.  The knee lift from my newer machine fits this vintage one, so I think I can find one if I'm patient.

Enjoy your day!  We're getting some Spring-like weather here.  Perfect for continuing to work on our shed.  Can't wait to finish it and move along to another project.
- SeeingStars


  1. That looks like a great find and that owner's manual with all the sewing samples is definitely a treasure. It's too bad the young lady she was saving it for never found an interest in it, but lucky for you. I'm glad your daughter is getting into sewing as well. I have so much fun quilting with my mom!

  2. What a wonderful find! I know that your daughter is excited about sewing.