In April of this year, a new toy joined me in my sewing room, a Bernina 710 Sewing Machine! I received the machine as a loan from Bernina as a part of their Bernina Ambassadors program and We All Sew.com.
Since then I’m sure you’ve seen this beauty popping up here and there on my blog, but I haven’t sat down to write up a proper review of what I think of the machine. Since I’ve now been using the machine for more than 6 months I thought it would be a good time to talk about some of my favorite features of the Bernina 710.
The first thing that stand out to me after sewing on this machine for a while now is it’s size. It’s a BIG machine. I’ve really enjoyed having all of the extra surface space to sew on. The bigger throat size (the space between the needle and the inside of the machine) I think is my favorite part by far of this machine (well the dual feed foot is a close second, but we’ll get to that in a minute). The only downside to the large size is that it is heavy, but to be honest it’s nice to have a heavy machine again, it feels so much more sturdy.
I’ve always quilted my own quilts (with only a few exception) and was frequently frustrated in the past that I ran out of room or the quilt was “squished” making it hard to move. Which in turn messed up the stitches. It’s very important when machine quilting that the quilt can move freely through the machine and is not “caught” on anything as the machine pulls it though. This has been the nicest thing! I quilted a nearly twin sized quilt for my book on it and it went though like butter! I couldn’t believe how easy it was! The strong motor of the machine did all of the work.
My next favorite feature is the dual feed foot. It’s pretty much a built in walking foot on the machine. It just “clicks” down onto the foot when you need it (btw, I had the wrong foot on the machine in that shot, should be the 1D foot).
I can not believe how handy that feature has become. I now use a walking foot for many different kinds of sewing, not just machine quilting. It has come in especially handy when I’m sewing handbags, I use it in the final step when I’m sewing the lining to the outside of the bag. It helps to keep all of the layers from bunching up.
It’s also been very handy when I’m sewing trim onto fabric (like on my Embellished Tunic), when I’ve been sewing with knits and any time I’m sewing heavy batting or foam into a project (like in my sunglasses case tutorial).
Here is shot of me machine quilting the front of my dorm room pillow project this year. I’m about to do the same quilting on a Christmas Pillow that I’ll be sharing with you next week.
I also love the onscreen guidance. I’m not the best at remembering what settings to use for which types of projects. The machine keeps track of this for me. I just touch the fabric type (woven, light, heavy, knit etc) then the sewing technique (seam, quilting, FMQ, appliqué) and the machine sets itself, tells me what needle to use and if I need extra stabilizer.
Since the machine is a bit more heavy duty than my last one I’ve been able to play around with sewing on additional materials, like leather, canvas and more home dec fabrics. It’s handled all of the above very very well, with the only exception being 4 layers of suede (but I have to admit that was MY problem not the machine, seriously 4 layers of suede ? what was I thinking?).
A few other quick things that I love.
The large sewing table attachment. I use this much more than I thought I would, as it stays on the machine most days.
I’ve decided that the giant bobbin is a blessing and a curse. Blessing in that you don’t run out all the time! Hallelujah! Which is great if you mostly sew with one color of thread. Curse in that when you do need to change the thread you feel like you are wasting thread if you have to empty out a bobbin… I guess I just need to go buy some more bobbins :)
I’ve only had one problem with the machine, the tension got messed up a few weeks ago. I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t my fault (remember the 4 layers of suede *ahem*)… but I took it into my local Bernina Dealer and they had it fixed FAST. It was a quick fix and I was back sewing the next day.
I must say now that I do adore this machine. I don’t want to give it back, it’s been a dream to sew on this year. This is a quality computerized sewing machine and the price does reflect that, if you’re looking to invest in a new machine, I’d recommend giving it a look.
**Disclosure, as I stated above this is a sponsored post by Bernina, all opinions are 100% my own. I have not received any other compensation other than the loan of a sewing machine.