Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Berni is back and better than ever!

Berni, my deeply loved vintage 830 Bernina, is back home after a very long time at the sewing machine spa. The time away was well spent. She is back and she is beautiful. It is true of all the classics, with proper attention they age well.
She needed some attention to her motor, a gear somewhere in the middle, a new bobbin case cover and a new bobbin winder. The bobbin winder used to make a horrible banshee wail because what used to a rubber washer had turned into bakelite.
 Now, Berni winds bobbins with a gentle purr -- like a Bond girl or something.
There have also been adjustments made to her automatic button holer. Nothing sticks and we progress through each step like the champion she is.
Berni is also very, very zippy now. The problem with her motor meant she was operating on half speed -- well after 33 years, stuff like that happens. After her tune up, I can only trust myself using her at half speed, but I notice I am speeding up daily.
I am glad I took her into the shop for servicing. It is truly amazing what we get used to while creating our masterpieces. However, the tools that help us do the work often get neglected and that's a shame. When they are running in top-notch shape they are even more fun to work with. My Dad used to tell me that it is true that a poor workman blames his tools, but a lazy one neglects to care for them. I truly understand what he meant now.
Sitting pretty in progress
The good news is that according to the shop owner, Berni will not likely need this level of service again. Every two years, I will bring her in for a check up and an intense lube job. Cool.
As soon as she was back, we worked on a Tilda angel which will be going with me to the CreativFestival this week in Toronto. She's a work-in-progress still, but I wanted to pose her on this little wicker chair that I found last week at one of my local thrift stores.
The angel's skirt is made from a bit of my great grandmother's "company" apron. This dates from the 1940s, and had some damage, but I used some very diluted non-chlorine bleach to restore it back to almost white.
The angel's leggings were from the remnant bin at the quilt store. The pickings there have been pretty slim lately, so I was lucky to find this bit.
I am tackling her hair next. The instructions in every Tilda book I have aren't especially helpful, so I am going to hit YouTube this evening and see what's out there in the way of tutorials.
We had snow yesterday and today. Weird this late in April, but then again, weather is like that sometimes. I will post the angel again when she is finished and ready for the big show on Saturday morning.


  1. great to have your machine back and love your tilda doll.xx

  2. Glad to hear that your Bernie is back from her "spa" treatment and that she's better than ever. Your tilda angel is looking good, can't wait to see her once she's finished.

  3. Bella is back from her spa treatment as well - we should get Bella and Berni together for a sew-in ;)

    For those that are not in the know, Bella and Berni are what you might call ... horizontally supplemented and vertically challenged - aka Rubenesque. Carrying them any further than - say, the kitchen table - would be a back-breaking experience, LOL!

    Miss Angel is pretty - I think she looks like a redhead!!! ;)

  4. Pleased Berni is home again and I am sure she is purring like a kitten when you sew.
    The Tilda Doll is looking great..

  5. She's coming on lovely! I clicked over to find out more about the event, but I still dont' really understand. Is it an exhibit of handmade goods?

  6. Your sewing machine is just like mine. I need to have it serviced like yours because I have never done it. Recently the machine does not work immediately when I press the foot pedal:(

  7. So glad Berni is back in flying form, I love your Tilda doll and the story of the fabric is so precious, I am so happy to be back blogging, but I have so much to catch up on, will be around again soon, big hugs, Margie.


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