My First Bernina 830 With the Red Case is Now 36 Years Old
For as long as I can remember, sewing has been a part of my life. My maternal grandmother sewed and taught my mother to sew, and my mother taught me to sew. My mother was a perfectionist seamstress, so I truly learned from the best. After my husband and I married, we moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas, and it was there I began to hear about this fancy sewing machine called a Bernina that was sold downtown at a fabric store. I wanted that Bernina 830 in the red case so badly, but it was expensive. For our 10th wedding anniversary in July 1982, my husband bought me that pricey Bernina. I still have the machine and the original receipt showing the total cost of the machine was $978.50. I remember the patience of the store owner, Jannette Martin, as she gave me lessons on how to use my machine. We went through the My Bernina Guide and Jannette showed me how every presser foot worked; I even stapled how-to samples inside the guidebook. To this day they are all still there. Many creations came from that Bernina 830. Most of our three daughters’ dresses and many of mine were created on that machine. I vividly remember staying up until the wee hours of Easter Sunday morning in 1984 to finish their dresses. The material was neon striped and I did not particularly care for it, but the girls loved their dresses and proudly wore them to church that day. In 1986 I made my first quilt, a Dresden Plate, again using my Bernina 830. Through the years, I made curtains and draperies, Halloween costumes, and even tried making a man’s shirt. In the fall of 1988, I tackled making a blue sequined and chiffon gown for one daughter to wear in a school pageant. Later when she was in college, her sorority wanted matching appliqued sweatshirts, and my Bernina 830 help me create about 70 of them. Many hours were spent at that machine; sometimes I was filled with tears when the sewing did not go well, or anger when I was ripping out a seam, but the sweetest times were filled with excitement when a project turned out particularly well. In the intervening years, I have become the proud owner of a Bernina B560 and a Bernina 790 Plus, and I’ve even won a Bernette London Sublime, but I still have my trusty 36 year old Bernina 830 and it still sews like a champ. Once when I had it serviced, the dealer said, “I can tell you have done some kind of sewing on this machine.” He was correct. There is no way to count the happy times, sad times, and late night hours spent beside my machine. There is no way to surpass the big grins, hugs, and kisses my girls gave me when they loved a project that came from my Bernina 830. There is no way I’d ever have anything other than a Bernina because truly nothing can celebrate your creativity like a Bernina. Thank you, Bernina, and happy anniversary!