Bernina 1530 Meme

Edit: A few years ago, Sew Mama Sew had a Sewing machine month, and they asked for folks to review their machines on their blogs. They’re doing this again, and so I thought I’d re-review my workhorse (a Juki TL-98 Q), as the last time I wrote about it it was relatively new to me! (Here’s the post with everybody’s information about their particular machine on Sew Mama Sew). My Bernina hasn’t changed, so I’ll submit this post to them again. So, without further ado, here’s the info on Sewing Machine # 1, a Bernina 1530!

My Bernina 1530 with the neat feet storage container.

What brand and model do you have?

  • A Bernina 1530

How long have you had it?

  • 15 years, but I got it used

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

  • It was $1200 used when I bought it (but I got a $400 trade in!) I’m pretty sure it was ~ 1500-1800$ new. Edit: Amanda just commented that hers was $3500 brand new – Holy Moley I got a GREAT deal!

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

  • Quilting, home dec, bags

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

  • 2-20 hours a week, probably averages out to 4/5 hours each week…? But now that I’ve got my  Juki TL-98 Q as well, she gets to rest on her laurels a lot!

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

  • Love it!  No, it’s just “My Bernina”

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

  • GREAT stitch quality, love the easily switched feet.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

  • Wish there were more room under the arm for large quilts.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

  • I had a real entry level Bernina that was giving me fits with tension adjustment. I took it to the dealer 90 minutes away to get fixed, and went shopping for a couple of hours. When we came back and were waiting for the final bill, I of course was oohing and aahing at all the new Berninas, and noticing that there were some very nice used Berninas at very nice prices (Bernina had come out with a completely new line of machines that year, so they were getting lots of trade-ins). The repair was going to be price (?$200 or so), and dear hubby could see how much better all these other machines were, so we ended up trading the injured machine for my 1530! The trade-in allowance was just about what we had paid for it a couple of years previously! WooHoo! This was QUITE a lot of money for us back then…and the amazing thing was that it was such a spur of the moment thing. Usually when we’re going to buy a big ticket item we do all sorts of research and price comparing.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

  • Yes. Great stitch quality, very sturdy construction, I love the trackball instead of a lot of little buttons, knee lift, needle up/down, speed control.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

  • Knee lift, needle up/down, speed (spm)

Do you have a dream machine?

  • ?? Along with my Juki (see this post), I’ve got all my bases covered! Maybe if I had a huge studio and lots more money, I’d look into one of the mid-size machines that mount in a table with the body to the back so there’s room for hand controlled free motion quilting on both sides of the head. But it would be an addition to the 2 I love now!
My 2 machines in the table my husband & I built for them

Tutorial for sewing machine table here.

14 Responses

  1. I, too, have a Bernina 1530. Mine cost me $3500 brand new.

    I bought it 12 years ago, and I absolutely love it for the same reasons you do. The stitch quality is the best.

    I also have a Bernina 1030. My husband bought it for me the day I graduated college. It’s a mechanical machine, and I love it just as much as I love my 1530. It’s 20 years old. The only reason I bought a 1530 was because it had a stitch for buttonhole applique.

    I , too, have a Juki. I love the make it “vroom, vroom”! I can’t believe how fast that thing sews.

    I have a Singer Featherweight (antique), a Singer Genie (my first sewing machine when I was 11), a Hello Kitty Janome (for my daughter that she’s never used), a serger, and an embroidery machine. I don’t like the embroidery machine, and I’ve never used the serger!

    Thanks for participating in the meme. I was glad to see my machine represented. I love your sewing cabinet you and your husband built.

    1. I see u love your bernina 1530 so do I, have had mine a long time. I have moved an misplaced my Manuel. I have a question about sewing with knit fabric, what foot do I use, can u please tell me the number? Also is a walking foot and an even feed foot the same foot?

  2. I have a Bernina 1530 too. Got it used in Dec 1987 when they came out with the 180 machines. I think it cost $1200 – big sticker shock for me at the time, but I love it! Can’t imagine not having the knee lift and needle up/down option.

    Nice table you built.

  3. Thanks so much for the info on the bernina 1530! I am looking at one now…$375… what do you think? Do you still love your bernina 1530 even now?

  4. Oh yes I would never give it up or even replace it. The free arm, the up and.
    Down needle position, feet attachments so easy to change. Buy it that’s a killer price.

    1. Cindy, if you will send me your address, I will copy the manual section and send it to you.

      There are several options for knits. Stitch A1/9 or A1/3 with the honeycomb stitch or the vari-overlock. These are for edges, like neckbands. For visible hems, either A1/8 (jersey stitch) or A2/6 (triple zig-zag).

      Regular stretch seams recommend the overlock foot with stitch A1/3. Double overlock would be a1/7 or A2/8. Stretch is A1/10 or A2/7 (reinforced overlock seam).

      Sorry for the long delay, but I seldom check this blog.

  5. I, too, have a 1530. I bought it new and really, really like it. Got it to replace my 830 (Wish I had kept that one, too!!)

    I have been away from sewing for several years (sewing career disrupted by regular career) and I cannot recall how to change the needle position on my machine for using the zipper foot, etc. Scoured the manual but could not find a clue. I remember it’s really easy and I always feel silly when I recall how, but when you age, your memory fades! LOL. Can you help me? I sent an email to Bernina, Inc., customer service but got no reply.

    1. I, too, cannot find out how to change the needle position. I wanted to sew piping and couldn’t because I couldn’t figure out how to do it. My manual was no help!! I also sent an email to Bernina, Inc and haven’t received a reply!
      Can someone please help???

  6. I figured it out! Use the tracking ball and pick one of the positions just BELOW the zig zag options. :). Happy sewing!