Bernina 1130 // Closet Case Patterns
Sewing Blogs


Happy 2017 makers! I hope you’re enjoying a restful weekend after the madness of the holidays. I’ve been catching up with friends all weekend, playing board games and drinking too much wine. Anyone else considering a Drynuary? My liver is like PLEASE STOP HAVING FUN ALREADY. I also picked up my new/vintage Bernina from my dealer. I’ve been hunting for this model on Craigslist for forever and finally found one, only it meant renting a car for the afternoon and driving so deep in the Montreal suburbs I wasn’t sure I’d find my way out again. When I arrived, I tested the machine and discovered the handwheel wouldn’t turn at all. After being profoundly annoyed at making the trip for a potentially unrepairable machine, I offered half, drove straight to my Bernina dealer and discovered it just needed a cleaning and tune up. Now I have this purring all metal beauty just waiting for my next project, complete with basically all the feet. I am very happy to have the power and greatness of a back-up Bernina without having to shell out a few grand for a new model.

In sewing blog news, I took a little break from my blog roll and came back to 300+ posts in my Feedly reader. Here are some of the highlights I found before panicking and clicking “Mark all as read” and shutting the browser down.


A pretty jacquard two piece set from Jasika.

Watch your back Dita Von Teese; Gertie’s bodice is coming for ya.

Lauren’s leopard silk wrap dress is purrfection.

Speaking of purring… Erica’s coat is basically ALL OF MY COAT FANTASIES COMING TRUE AT ONCE. I seriously need to start working on my faux fur Clare….

Carolyn is a bag making machine. All of these are delightful.

Some mighty interesting pants fitting experiments going on at An Overflowing Stash.

Love the lace sleeves on this flouncy navy number from Allie J.


I know conspicuous displays of ostentatious wealth are gross and distasteful, but what I wouldn’t give for just one trip in Emirates Airlines First Class. This review killed me.


I’ve been back on the podcast You Must Remember This. Her series on Joan Crawford is wonderful, especially if you’re obsessed with old Hollywood gossip like me.


Speaking of gossip: I am reading the dishiest, soapiest celebrity memoir right now and cannot get enough (I actually stopped reading the new Zadie Smith half way through since I can’t put this one down….) No Lifeguard on Duty by Janice Dickinson is required reading for lovers of tell-alls, fans of New York in the 1970’s, and anyone mildly curious about the fashion world and/or what it was like to date Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger and Jack Nicholson.

  • rosecy

    I want to tell you again how much I appreciate these weekly sewing blog posts. I always find a blog post or other info I missed (Ya” know I gotta have some time to sew!). I’m with you on the catching up with friends. I need to do less partying and more healthy sewing! I loved seeing your Claire Coat on the cover of Sew News.

    • Thank you! So happy you get something out of these posts 😉

  • Michelle

    Oh, congrats on the Bernina. I have an 1120 (the same machine except without the stitches on the lower right). It’s the only machine I have and I haven’t much to compare it to, but I love it! I also got mine on Craigslist and I was lucky it only needed minor repairs because I really didn’t know what I was doing when I bought it.

    • So far, so great. I think some of the decorative stitches are actually nicer than my 3 year old Bernina!

      • Michelle

        The only issue I’ve had is with the automatic buttonhole function. It seems like you should be able to set it to a specific length, and it works fine for the left side and the bottom, but when it returns to do the right side it doesn’t come up far enough to “close” the top of the buttonhole.

        I have to do it manually: start at the left, then press the button TWICE to turn off the automatic function, then continue that way. If you ever have time I’d be very interested to know if yours works so I can figure out if the problem rests with me or the machine 🙂 !

        • Cindy

          Hi Michelle I have a Bernina 1130 and I have the identical problem. I have had it serviced numerous times in the 25 years that I have owned it and no one has been able to fix that particular problem. I finally bought a new sewing machine (not a Bernina), but I kept my old 1130. It’s a workhorse and will sew on anything. Not the case with the new machine, but the new machine makes lovely automatic buttonholes.

  • Barbara Noel

    I have a Bernina 930 that I bought at an Estate Sale for 30.00 what a steal. I took it in and had it cleaned and tuned up and it purrs like a kitten. I have a couple of other machines, but this is my favorite. It had 13 feet with it also and a sewing cabinet. That was my lucky day.

    • That is the ULTIMATE SCORE! People just see an old sewing machine and don’t realize Bernina’s don’t really depreciate in value!

  • Connie Turner

    I have a Bernina that I paid retail for (it was on sale) its a great machine and helps me feel more confident in my sewing. I love your blog and especially the weekly roundup.

    • Thank you Connie! I paid retail for my 330 Bernina and I love her, but I needed a second machine now that I am moving my studio out of my home. I am also considering getting an industrial straight stitch – its nice to have a real workhourse around!

  • I’d read that this model of Bernina was a wonder – how great that you found it locally used! I found my Elna 740 used here locally too from a woman who wanted to up her sewing machine to one of those enormous quilting machines. It’s perfect. Such a great idea to take it to a dealer right away and see what the problem is and as is often the case with Bernina – nothing too serious 🙂

  • Francesca Amodeo

    Omg that plane trip….. I flew emirates a few times to Dubai – economy – and it was amazing. Best seats, leg space, service – charming staff and the only time I ever ate decent food in the air (except when I was upgraded to first class by Alitalia a while back).
    Yup, screw gross distasteful whatevers… flying is loathsomely uncomfortable which is the only reason I still haven’t gone to New Zealand and probably never will… but if I could afford that type of flight I’d go tomorrow!

    • I mean, it just seems so crazy to spend $20K on a flight and I’m not sure I could ever justify it no matter how rich I was… but if they upgraded me I WOULD TAKE IT IN A HEARTBEAT.

  • I have (basically, mine is 1230) the same machine and I love it. It’s my main machine. One thing I learned from a Bernina user group I belong to is that, to prevent this machine from seizing is to use the basting stitch AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH. They are so adamant about it that they send a monthly reminder. There is something about how the mechanics work on this series of machines. As a preventive measure, I gladly comply with it and my machine has been trouble-free for the last five years I’ve owned it.

    • Wow! Great tip! Maybe that explains why it was all seized up?! I’ll be sure to use that stitch regularly. Anyway I could join that Bernina user group?

      • It’s called Bernina Thirtysomething, a Yahoo group. You can request to join. A very informative group of dedicated Bernina users/fans!