Merriam Webster gives one definition of the word value as relative worth, utility, or importance. We all attach much importance to our sewing machines, expect them to work and demonstrate their utility. A good, reliable sewing machine definitely carries its worth for the sewist. Value in a sewing machine is often rated in terms of features and price. A good machine may or may not have all the features while its price may or not be the most inexpensive.
My very first sewing machine was a garage sale ‘plunker’, cost me $15 dollars, and it sewed… well… like 15 dollars’ worth. As a budding sewist learning about pattern drafting, I needed two things: a basic, reliable machine, and some support to help me grow my skill level with every project. My plunker failed the value test when it couldn’t do a decent buttonhole on a shirt. Living on a modest graduate student scholarship, I wished I had had access to a line of machines like bernette at the time.
In the 1980’s, BERNINA introduced a new line of sewing machines with the goal of offering value at affordable prices. In 1989, a year after Hanspeter Ueltschi took the leadership of the company from his mother, Odette Ueltschi-Gegauf, he combined the word BERNINA with the name of his mother to forge the new brand name: bernette. In the 90’s, our overlockers were also branded bernette.
So what distinguishes bernette as a brand? Innovative thinking, quality and affordability. And, most important of all, the support of a BERNINA dealer! While bernette machines can compete with big box store machines in terms of price points, they stand head and shoulders above that competition, thanks to the support each machine comes with. If you know a beginning sewist who needs a basic, reliable and dealer-supported machine, bernette is the obvious choice.
Over the years, we’ve had several lines of bernette machines as technology has progressed, embroidery came to the forefront, and overlocks gained currency in our sewing rooms.
My first project on staff after I was hired as an educator by BERNINA in 1997 was to edit the mastery workbook for the line of bernette machines that were current at the time. So I got my turn working with bernette machines after all!
The first bernette machine I owned was actually a 334DS overlocker, and I still own it today! It’s still my go-to serger when I need to secure the edge of a swatch of fabric before pre-washing.
The brand bernette has grown over time, and today is stands on its own, distinct from BERNINA. This is a dynamic illustrated in the brand logo.
Evolution of a Logo
Just as sewing technology evolved, and the bernette offering with it, the logo for the brand has also evolved over the years.
The original Bernette logo. The font was updated in the early 2000’s
bernette logo in the early 2000’s, reflecting the connection to BERNINA
Around 2012, the bernette brand acquired its own identity
The current bernette logo, reflecting the Swiss design engineered into the line.
Our current line of bernette machines include everything from a basic mechanical machine to sophisticated electronic models, including overlockers and a stand-alone embroidery machine.
The bernette brand also has its own web site at www.mybernette.com
To illustrate the bernette range, let’s look at its bookend models:
bernette 33: great value at a very affordable price
This is a basic mechanical machine with 15 stitches and a 4-step buttonhole. Simply dial the stitch you want and sew. It’s a great machine for the occasional or beginner sewist. Many of our sewing camps for children recommend this machine for young ones learning to sew.
bernette 38: sophisticated value: extensive features at a competitive price
This electronic machine offers a selection of 394 stitches (including 67 decorative stitches) and 8 buttonholes and 3 Alphabets. It includes sophisticated functions such as Needle Down, Thread Cutter, Variable (slide) Speed Control, Start/Stop button and a built-in needle threader. It even includes an extension table and a hard shell carrying case. The b38 goes well beyond the basics, and offers sewists premium features at an affordable price.
bernette 44: at the cutting edge of value
This 2,3,4 thread overlocker cuts and overcasts edges in a jiffy. It performs all the key stitch formations typical of its class at a price point that is well below average for that class. If you are considering an overlocker, but are tentative about making a major investment, be sure to give the b44 a look. It delivers superb value without cutting corners.
The bernette sewing, embroidery and overlock machines embody value. We typically position the bernette line for beginning and aspiring sewists. The fact that they deliver quality, reliability and best-in-class dealer support at competitive prices delivers the best value of all: knowing that your investment in a bernette will pay off, with the assurance that you can move your craft forward.