I’ve had my sewing machine for a year now, and I thought I would post a little of my thoughts/opinions on this machine now that I’ve had this long to use it. When I was researching machines, I read quite a few reviews and wished I could have found more, so here’s my two cents worth for anyone out there researching for themselves.
My machine is the Bernina 350 PE. Before this machine, I didn’t really have any experience sewing with anything other than basic Singers. After using this machine for a year, I think I can safely say that I will never sew on anything but a Bernina ever again. Even though my machine is one of the more basic models, it has plenty of extras for all my needs. I love its solid construction- I can sew on it for hours and it holds up like a champ! I actually think the 350 is the perfect in-between model for the basic sewist. It’s a step up from basic, so you get a few extras like the walking foot, quilting foot, and some more stitch capabilities, but it doesn’t have all the computerization (and hefty price tag) of the 500+ series.
I have really enjoyed free motion quilting on this machine. I mean, I was able to quilt a king size quilt on this baby! Definitely would not have been able to do that on my old Singer.
One feature I would definitely recommend is the walking foot. I had a walking foot that came with my old Singer, and I was never a big fan of it. In contrast, I use the walking foot all the time with my Bernina- knits, quilting, binding, etc. My only complaint with my walking foot is that it is pretty squeaky, but they were hoping to oil it up some during the tune-up so I’m hoping that will fix that problem.
Another recommendation I have is to go with a local provider. It is so handy to have my local Bernina store to run to when I have any questions or problems with my machine. I think that the 6 week class I took there (that came with my machine purchase) was the best help in teaching me how to use my machine effectively.
My final thoughts- I think that this machine will last me for many years. It’s been one year and it still runs just as great as it did when I brought it home. If you are looking for a good quality, well-running machine I highly recommend the Bernina. I am so glad that I got one way sooner than I ever thought I would (Thanks to my amazing husband and his Valentine’s surprise last year!) because it has changed my sewing. I feel that it has taken me to the next level and made sewing so much easier. I think the money investment has paid off in the fact that I spend way less time fiddling with my machine because I can’t get it to work like I wanted it to. Like I said before, I don’t have any experience with the other big machine brands (Viking, Janome, Juki, etc.) but I know that the Bernina is a good solid machine to choose.