Meet the Mighty BERNINA Foot Control!
In this article, we’ll tack about the front, about the back and how to best use it to get the most functionality out of it.
This electronic foot control gives you stitch-by-stick control over your sewing speed, whether you want to sew slow or fast. On the front, it features a heel kick (back-kick) feature, letting you raise or lower the needle, secure and cut threads and raise the presser foot depending on what model it is attached to. That feature is programmable on models B 480 and above.
On the back, the cord winder lets you manage the cord effectively.
Note that when the machine is first taken out of the box from the factory, the cord is wound with the connector tucked into the base of the foot control, to avoid interference from the foam packaging when removing the foot control from the box. That is not how the cord should be secured for everyday use.
To connect and use the foot control: unwind the cord as much as needed (usually most or all of it) and secure the cord between the prongs on the left of the reel (near the gray rubber socket) before connecting the cord to the machine. This will ensure that the cord doesn’t find its way under the rubber pads under the foot control, which would cause it to wiggle on the floor and make it unstable.
To rewind and secure the foot control cord (e.g. for transport or storage): Free the cord from the prongs on the left and then wind it (clockwise only) until you are short of a full turn left of the cord. Then insert the connector into the gray storage socket on the left before you secure the cord with your two thumbs between the two set of prongs at the top. The cord will now be secured in place.
The image above indicates where your foot should be in relation to the foot control so that your heel is aligned with the back kick portion of the foot control for easy operation.
Here’s one more tip for you… or rather a point of ergonomics. You should place your whole foot on the foot control and not just your toes. The BERNINA Foot Control is sturdy enough to support your whole foot and that will make your sewing more comfortable. All you have to do to sew is rock your foot forward… or back to use the back-kick feature. You can sew for hours without feeling fatigue in your leg.
A final tip: We recommend that you use the foot control and sew with your left foot, leaving your right leg free to activate the Free Hand System if your machine is so equipped. This keeps the two functions well separated and is more ergonomic for your body. Again… better sewing comfort… it’s a BERNINA thing!
BERNINA Foot Control for Entry Level Computerized Sewing Machines
There is another electronic foot control in BERNINA land. It is included with entry level machines such as the 2 and 3 series. You will notice that it does not have the ‘back-kick’ target imprinted on the top of the foot control. The features of this ‘junior’ foot control are commensurate with the price points of the machines they accompany. That being said, the entry level machines do have the functionality programmed in for the ‘mighty’ foot control with back-kick. So say you have a B 770 QE machine that came with the full featured foot control (as described at the top of this article) and a B 325 that you like to take to class (and which comes with the simpler foot control), you can take the 3 Series machine to class with the full featured foot control (with back-kick) and use that function on the 3 Series machine! It won’t be programmable as on the higher end machine but still, it will let you use the back-kick to raise or lower the needle. You can even use the full featured (mighty!) foot control with the B 215, our simplest computerized machine!