Recently, I visited Once Upon a Quilt in Ft. Lauderdale to review BERNINA’s new 780, a sewing and embroidery machine that brings with it a great new innovation.
The folks at BERNINA call it the 9 Hook, an oversized bobbin that can hold up to 80 percent more thread. That alone is a wonderful plus.
Who among us wouldn’t want a bobbin that holds 80 percent more thread? The BERNINA 780 can sew at speeds up to 1000 stitches per minute and has lot of other standard features, including BERNINA’s exclusive stitch regulator, the capacity to sew stitches up to 9mm wide, computer connectivity and lots of embroidery designs.
At A Glance
The BERNINA 780 is a sleek, modern looking sewing machine that has a large full color LCD touch screen, LED lighting and function buttons that are most popular with today’s home sewers: start/stop; needle up/down; stitch lock; tie off; and reverse.
Navigating through the LCD touch screen is easy to understand but more on that below. The BERNINA 780 that I reviewed had an extension table, a free arm and a front loading bobbin, all of which are standard on all 780s.
The standard features available on the BERNINA 780 include:
- 1306 on board decorative and utility stitch options
- 32 utility stitch options
- 15 one step buttonholes
- 3 darning programs
- 460 total decorative stitches
- 91 sideway motion decorative stitches
- 33 quilting stitches
- 28 cross stitch programs
- 52 tapering stitches
- 8 alphanumeric fonts
- 130 embroidery designs
- 12 embroidery alphabets
- Computer connectivity via USB port
- Drag and drop capability
- BERNINA Design Works software
- Position recall
- Extra large free arm
- 11 needle positions
- Semi-automatic needle threader
- Automatic jump stitch cutting
- On board thread cutter
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Start/stop button
- Variable speed control slider
- History function/recently used stitch memory
- On board tutorial
- Design mirror rotating and scaling
- Word Art
Working on the BERNINA 780
As with all other BERNINA sewing machines, winding the bobbin and threading the BERNINA 780 is easy enough for a beginner to master in just a little bit of time.
The stitch selection process, however, is not for beginners – at least not in my opinion. No doubt, there are a few who would disagree.
In order to select a desired stitch, you would have to go through several steps. First, touch the menu icon on the touch screen, then select the embroidery, quilting, utility or decorative stitch icon.
This will then open a screen displaying all of the stitch options in a particular category. Once a particular stitch is selected, the default stitch length and with settings are displayed along with an icon which will display the proper presser foot for the selected stitch.
The stitch length and width are adjusted on the touch screen as well, allowing each user to customize stitches to suit their particular needs.
For this review, I sampled several different utility and decorative stitches. Each stitch came out perfectly. To be honest, with an MSRP of more than $10,000, one wouldn’t expect anything less.
I fully expected each stitch to be absolutely perfect and was not disappointed. Each stitch I sampled was well defined, well formed and well balanced.
The USB port and monitor plug are located on the right side of the 780, making connection to a computer easy and fast.
I was impressed by the quality of the LED lighting. The positioning of the lights eliminates shadows and sheds the brightest possible light on the work space, which makes working on the BERNINA 780 very easy on tired eyes.
The work table has a window situated above the bobbin housing. Ideally, it should make inserting the bobbin and taking it out easier.
However, unless you have relatively small hands and wrists, this may be a bit of a challenge. Ideally, you should be able to change the bobbin without removing the work table, but I have my doubts if that is really going to work for everyone who uses this sewing machine.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Knits(Medium to heavyweight only)
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
The list of standard accessories that come with the BERNINA 780 includes:
- 9 Presser feet
- Reverse pattern
- Open embroidery
- Sideways motion
- BERNINA stitch regulator
- 3 embroidery hoops
- Extra needles
- Lint brush/seam ripper
- Spool caps
Optional accessories recommended for the BERNINA 780 include several specialty presser feet and notions such as:
- Seam guides
- Needle punch tool
- Touch pen/stylus and holder
- Spanish hem stitch attachment
- Mega hoop
- Plexiglass extension table
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
The BERNINA 780 is a great top of the line sewing and embroidery machine. When you consider the MSRP, however, I would only recommend it for the home sewer who is definitely a machine embroidery enthusiast.
This eliminates the novice and even people who have passed the level of beginner, but who are not interested in machine embroidery or are unsure as to whether or not machine embroidery is their thing.
When you spend as much on a sewing machine as you might spend on a used car, you want to be sure that you’re going to get your money’s worth.
If, however, you are passionate about machine embroidery, do not buy another sewing and embroidery machine without first visiting your local BERNINA dealer and asking for a demonstration of the 780.
It sews great and with an on board inventory of more than 1300 stitches, I’m sure you won’t get bored with this one.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Rotate, recolor and change size of embroidery designs on touch screen
- Full color LCD touch screen
- Eco saver
- Front loading bobbin can be difficult to get to