Bernina Tote Bag and Miss Hilly

Bernina Series 830 E Tote Bag

Richard gifted me with a beautiful new Bernina Series 830E in November of 2009 from California Sewing. We knew and liked Roza for the years we were Bernina dealers.  I’ve blogged about this machine before, but I’ve also had my share of problems with it. After having it only 2 months the sensor died. One day I turned on the machine and the machine wouldn’t boot. The bobbin mechanism kept spinning and the machine couldn’t be used.  We took it back to Roza who took the sensor off the store machine and the tech installed a new one.  I was working full time and really didn’t explore the machine, yet it did seem like it worked okay when I used it.  The bobbin threading requires you to thread it ‘blindly’ from the bottom and then check it with a mirror. The thread has to be between a ‘fork like’ thing for regular sewing and inside a clip for embroidery. This is unlike any sewing machine I ever used, and it really took a long time to master the technique.  After threading the bobbin, I have to put a mirror under it and then use a flashlight to make sure it’s threaded correctly.  That brings me to the actual bobbins. It’s true as Bernina says that the bobbins have 40% more thread then older models but it comes with a price. The bobbins are black plastic with silver paint on the front. (I never thought Bernina would use plastic bobbins)  After about a month, the silver paint wears off in spots and wreaks havoc with the sensors in the machine.  With this machine, Bernina has introduced updating via the internet. You download a Bernina supplied file; put it on a USB drive and plug the drive into the machine. This worked well until the last update. After the update is installed, the feed dogs no longer lift when going to sewing mode. For the past few months, Bernina has pulled the update off of the web site and instructed you bring the machine to your dealer.  For me, it was after this update that the needle threader stopped working.    Honestly, before that, it functioned but only about 80% off the time. (for a $12,0000+ machine, I expect 100% of the time)  We brought it in to California Sewing and Roza called me a few days later telling me the machine needed a new ‘needle threader’ and it usually costs $300 to fix. He further told me that ‘for me’ he would charge me $150.00. The documented warrantee stated 5 years for circuit boards and 2 years for electrical parts.  I was angry, but I did learn a lesson. I decided to name my machine Miss Hilly and sharpen my understanding of the machine.

After watching the DVD again, I downloaded the instructions for the Bernina 830 Tote Bag. The set of instructions I had was sparse and even though I’m an experienced sewest I found them hard to understand and unclear. I want to thank Sue Halter for her help in the completion of this bag.  It turned out that there was another more comprehensive set of instructions for this bag.

Other side of bag

I do love using this machine.  The features are wonderful and it does drive like only a Bernina can.  I do have a new favorite goodie Bernina gadget:

Slips through the holes on the back of the Bernina Presser Foot

This gives me a guide to place the stitching the exact  measurement from the last stitching.

Close-up of one side of bag


Close up of other side of bag

About kuby2u

I love sewing, machine embroidery, cooking, photography and MAC's. I love my iPhone. I have a beautiful chinese sharpei named Chole. I'm happily married to my best friend. I have a wonderful son named Bart who is a LCSW, that I'm very proud of. I am a Christian. I have a Nikon D300S and an Olympus 510 along with a few other point and shoot camera's. I love my Bernina 830 sewing machine.
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6 Responses to Bernina Tote Bag and Miss Hilly

  1. Joyce Roby says:

    Kuby, I just bought the 820 and I can certainly sympathize with your troubles. I haven’t yet used it for a quilt but in order to get used to it I did make six aprons. It is a very sensitive machine, isn’t it? Now I am getting prepped to make a quilt on it. I’ll let you know how it behaves for me.

  2. Lydia says:

    I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my 830. Sewing has never been a problem, but embroidery has been a big challenge. I was pleasantly surprised these past two days in that I had to use “her” for embroidery, (which I haven’t done in nearly a year), and she performed perfectly. Yes, I has to baby her with cleaning out the bobbin area and administering a drop of oil after each empty bobbin. I was actually praising her performance aloud! I hope I haven’t jinxed anything.

  3. Stephanie says:

    The little silver reflective mirrors on the bobbins need care when storing bobbins. If you let them jumble around together they could get damged. My mechanic told me when I got my 820 recently to store them mirror side down stacked into their original storage containers with the little red screw cap. The same way they are delivered to you. Don’t let them rub against eachother or other objects. And he showed me how I could pop the stitch plate and rotate the hook to check I had threaded correctly but I think the mirror is faster perhaps. There have also been updates since you bought your machine, have you had them installed? If not see your delearship about it because i hear these updates have sorted a lot of the early glitches that affected some machines.
    They are wonderful machines and you are right, they are totally different in threading than any other sort of machine. You just have to learn and get used to it and not apply the same procedures for threading a regular machine to this one! Happy Embroidering and quilting.

  4. MadeByMeg says:

    Hi! Some of us thought it would be fun to get all Bay Area sewists together and plan something fun. I created a meet-up for us to put some events together. If you’re interested, join here:

  5. marlis says:

    So sorry about your problems.. Razza is amazing.. next time you see him , tell him I send him a hug! My friend Charlotte had some issues too, but got them worked out. She just hates the size of it. But the stitching and embroidery are divine! hugs.. marlis… btw.. darling tote.. love the colors and the stitching..

  6. Hi, Kuby. I know this post is already a year old — I just read your 830 review on Pattern Review and followed you over here to read what else you had to share. Are you still having trouble with your 830, or are you sewing away blissfully and RELIABLY now? I’ve got an Artista 200E that was once TOL, that I upgraded to the equivalent of the 730E when that came out and added the BSR upgrade. I don’t embroider a lot, but when I do, it’s for quilting and it is REALLY cramping my style that my maximum embroidery field on my machine is only 5 5/8″ without rehooping. I held off on the 830 at first after reading about the “glitches” so many of the first owners were experiencing, and now I’m going around in circles between the new 780 or 750QE machines versus the 830E. They are all SO expensive; there’s no way I could keep my current machine as a backup and I’d be devastated if I spent so much money on a new machine and was not able to sew at all due to recurring problems like what I’ve read about. Still, I know that we all tend to post about the problems our machines are having when they are NOT working, but when they work like a dream we are too busy happily sewing to write about them on the internet! So I wondered how you were feeling about your 830 now, and whether you would recommend your model over one of the newer ones. Although the 780 and 750QE machines can use the 830’s Jumbo Hoop, the max sewing field on the 7 series machines is only 8 1/4″ versus the scant 10 1/4″ on your machine. I would really love to embroider larger quilt blocks in one hooping, so I keep going back to the 830… Any thoughts or suggestions you can share would be greatly appreciated!

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