Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: June 11, 2021
Are you a budding sewer new to the world of stitching? Or an artist who wants to try something special? Well, you simply need two things: a reliable sewing machine and practice for increasing your skill level project by project. This is where Bernette machines come in – affordable, innovative and premium quality – all-in-one machines optimized for beginners and experts alike.
In our attempt to find the best Bernette machine, we examined 12 different models and picked seven of them for this review. We came across the Bernette 38, which we found to be the top model in the Bernette series of sewing machines. We loved this one because of its affordable price, computerized functions, and sturdy parts like foot presser. Plus, it offers 394 different types of stitches, including one for stretchy fabrics. We’ve also included six other Bernette sewing machines in our review so that you can find the very best one for yourself.
Our team has spent 50 hours scouring through sewing guides to find the best Bernette sewing machine with easy to use features and designs. Whether you’re a novice or an expert sewist, there are some critical points you need to keep in mind before making your purchase. We will take a look at different types of machines, stitching options, buttonhole options, as well as hook systems. We will also consider the dimensions and weight of those machines. We’ve presented all our research in a simple overview table, followed by detailed reviews of each product and a buying guide to make your selection process a breeze!
Top 7 Bernette Sewing Machines Review 2021
Bernette B38 – Editor's Choice
Stitch patterns: 394
Stitch width: 7 mm
Buttonhole: 8 (1-step)
Hook system: drop-in
Dimensions: 19.5 x 16.1 x 11.1 inches
Weight: 21.7 pounds
More features: 820 stitches/minute, display, includes the stretch stitch for elastic fabrics, memory functions, automatic thread cutter, adjustable presser foot
The Holy grail equivalent of the Bernette models, this computerized machine has numerous functions as well as stitch types. Moreover, the Bernette 38 has a special ‘memory’ function that enables it to store a wide range of pattern combinations for later use. This simply means that you do not have to set it up all over again if you pause on a particular project and want to pick it up sometime later. Another advantage of its computerized system is high-scale automatic controls on thread cutting and limitation for double needles, foot presser adjustments according to the fabric type, and speed regulation through a display screen. All these features translate to a smooth sewing experience, with even stitches and balanced tension.
We loved the fact that it comes with eight different pressers for various applications. This means that you can choose the right type according to the materials and patterns you’re using. Unlike most machines, the user’s foot does not wobble while using the presser, resulting in straight and sturdy stitches. In addition, it has eight different step buttonholes, meaning that you can do away with pesky manual buttonhole stitching. However, if you’re an absolute beginner, you don’t necessarily need this machine and can start out with a simpler version instead.
More features: 860 stitches/minute, manual thread cutter, large accessory box, 14 utility stitches
If you’re looking for a compact and stylish machine with high durability, the Bernette 33 is a must-buy. It’s smooth and has two simple operating knobs, making it a great asset for young sewing students. This machine comes with a semi-automatic needle threader and a 2-step pressure foot lift that helps you to catch hold of the thread and pull it through the eye of the needle in a quick, swift motion. This means no more complicated threading for all our novice friends out there!
Other features included in this machine are 15 different stitch types, buttonhole sewing, and a maximum stitch width of 5 mm. Plus, if you want to sew multiple layers or use thicker fabrics, you can easily raise the foot lift to place your fabric underneath. The machine does tend to make a little noise with heavier fabrics, though, so make sure you oil it every once in a while for efficient, silent stitching. Lastly, it comes with a large accessory box that includes everything you might need for your project.
What are our favorite features?
Easy to use
Large accessory box
High piercing power and convenient foot-lift for thicker fabrics
More features: display, 700 stitches/minute, stitch overview and quick start guide, slide speed control, 2-step presser foot lift
One of the best Bernette computerized sewing machines out there, the Bernette 37 has impeccable stitch quality and a wide range of features. You can easily adjust the sewing speed of this machine to suit your requirements, using the slide speed controller. This, alongside the stitch type, length and width, is displayed on its LCD display, making for an easy and efficient sewing procedure. This machine has a start/stop function, allowing users to sew even without a foot pedal. Not only this, but there’s also a stop up/down option for the needle, determining whether the needle should stop inside the fabric or above it when a stitch is done. This feature is especially useful when you need to turn the fabric around the needle, such as when working on the corners.
Other wonderful features of this machine include 5 presser feet, 2-step presser foot for thicker fabric placement and 7 mm stitch width maximized setting. The only downside is that it doesn’t provide as many stitching options as Bernette 38. However, they still cover major categories, such as quilt stitching, utility stitching, and decorative stitching.
What are its best features?
Wonderful stitch quality
2-step presser foot
What could be improved?
Fewer number of stitch patterns among computerized machines out there
Bernette 35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine – Best for Beginners
Stitch patterns: 23
Stitch width: 5 mm
Hook system: CB
Dimensions: 17.1 x 11.8 x 14 inches
Weight: 16.4 pounds
More features: 860 stitches/minute, adjustable stitch length and width, 2-step presser foot lift, includes seven presser feet, 14 utility stitches
The Bernette 35 is an ideal machine for beginners. It is reasonably priced, easy to use and runs well on various types of fabrics, including outdoor ones for making hammocks and sacks. Although it’s a mechanically operated machine without any computerized controls, it is extremely user-friendly, owing to its three knobs that allow users to set the width, length, stitch patterns and speed easily. The tension of the thread can be adjusted quite easily with its accessible rotation wheel.
Perhaps the best feature of this machine is its automatic buttonhole stitching, enabling users to make professional buttonholes quickly, without lifting or changing the needle. The machine sews the holes quite easily since all the 4 steps are automated. Furthermore, it has 23 of both utility and decorative stitching options, 7 presser feet, a manual needle threader, needle cutter, and storage space for all your sewing tools in the accessory box, making it more efficient for keeping your sewing work station clean. The only potential drawback of this machine is that it doesn’t have a top-load bobbin, making it difficult to see how much thread is left in there.
More features: built-in needle threader, recessed handwheel, two-level presser foot lift, flip-top lid and dust cover, 9 utility stitches, 3 quilting stitches
With the simplicity of the design, the London 7 has 60 built-in stitches and a needle threader for easy and quick threading. The stitching options can be selected through the stitch selector wheel inside of the flip-top lid. This is displayed through a red digital display with a white font side. There are also bright LED lights, a sliding speed controller, and length and width buttons, which allow you to take a press-and-go approach with your projects.
Like the Bernette 33 model, this machine has a 2-level presser foot lift to place thicker fabrics underneath, providing more room for feeding and sewing a wide variety of materials. It has a very convenient snap-on presser feet changing system. Moreover, it allows you to sew single-step buttonholes effortlessly. You can choose among 9 utility and 3 quilting stitches as well.
When it comes to price, this model is almost double the price of the Bernette 33 model, since it’s computerized and has a higher stitch width (7 mm as opposed to 33’s 5 mm width).
Why is it special?
60 in-built stitch patterns
Digital display and LED lights
Speed control slider for different projects
What are the flaws?
Pricier than most models of the Bernette sewing machine by Bernina
Bernette London 5 – Best Space Saving Machine
Stitch patterns: 28
Stitch width: 5 mm
Hook system: CB
Dimensions: 17.8 x 15.2 x 9.5 inches
Weight: 19.8 pounds
More features: built-in needle threader, recessed handwheel, two-level presser foot lift, flip-top lid and dust cover, 9 utility stitches, 2 quilting stitches
Let’s start with the best feature of this model: it has a very compact and modern design. The stitch selection is available via a pattern selector dial under the lid. With the Bernette London 5, you can turn the pattern selector dial to find the stitch of your choice. This is displayed as a number that appears in a red digital display screen on the front of the machine, which can easily be glanced at so as to avoid confusion between its 28 different stitch patterns. These patterns include quilt stitching, stretch stitches, and decorative stitches, to name a few. In addition, its feed-dog drop feature ensures even, free-motion sewing.
Unlike beginner level machines, this Bernina Bernette sewing machine has an automatic needle threader, as well as a two-lever presser foot, which can be raised extra high to accommodate almost every kind of fabric. Moreover, there’s a handwheel for operating the needle up and down manually. Since the handwheel is recessed, and the machine has a flip-top lid, it can be protected from damage and stored easily, in a space-saving manner. The only disadvantage? It’s not that convenient to quickly adjust the settings because you will have to open the lid to do so.
Why is it special?
Simple stitch selector dial
Free-motion sewing with feed dog drop feature
Automatic needle threader
What are the flaws?
Takes time to get used to the design
Bernette Sew&Go 1 – Budget Pick
Stitch patterns: 10
Stitch width: 5 mm
Hook system: CB
Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 14 inches
Weight: 15.95 pounds
More features: 2-step presser foot lift, presser foot pressure, needle threader, direct stitch selection and stitch adjustments
Want to go easy on your wallet? Opt for the Bernette Sew and Go 1 machine. This is the first model for the Sew&Go family of Bernette and provides the best value for money. Even though it lacks a display screen, it’s easy to use with its simple mechanical sewing, 10 stitch types, and a CB system with a maximum stitch width of 5 mm. Designed for easy manual-handling, this serves as an ideal machine for beginners. This model comes with 4 presser feet, including a buttonhole foot and a zipper foot.
Other than the standard accessories, Bernette Sew and Go 1 comes with extra features to aid beginner sewers further. Firstly, it has a darning plate that prevents the fabric from being pulled during sewing by covering the fabric feeder. This enables a neat repair while also providing a base for sewing buttons on. Secondly, it has a seam guide to simplify sewing parallel seams with equal intervals. This feature supports sewing hems professionally while providing maximum comfort to the user. Unfortunately, the number of patterns it has is lower compared to other models. Still, it has a budget-friendly price tag, which is why this model is absolutely worth considering.
The industrial revolution brought forth a lot of machines to make our lives easier. The sewing machine was one such invention, which made the tedious task of stitching cloth faster and more efficient. In this day and age, you can find various types of sewing machines, whether you want a mechanical or a computerized one. A Bernette machine will not only be your ultimate partner in bringing your fashion dreams to life but also provide you with the best value for money.
Why should I go for Bernette sewing machine?
The Bernette sewing machine series is manufactured by Bernina, a premium Swiss brand focusing on high quality and performance since the 19th century. A Bernette combines the feel of traditional sewing with modern technologies in their products, allowing consistent stitches and a professional finish. The best part about Bernette models is that they aren’t just limited to embroidery and regular cloth stitching but also cater to crafting, quilting, and home textile sewing with some of the machines.
This brand name is quite popular among professional severs, and there is a huge variety of products available on the market. You can find anything from simple over-lockers to mechanical and electronic machines full of multiple functions. Bernina guarantees the best quality of their products as well as excellent performance every time you use them.
How to pick the best sewing machine?
Picking the best Bernette sewing machine can itself be somewhat tricky since it’s a long-term investment and can be quite expensive compared to other everyday items. Depending on the type of fabric you want to use (e.g., thin, stretchy, or thick denim fabric), the type of project you want to start (craft, utility, apparel items), and the skill level you possess, you need to focus on certain features and functions, and our buying guide will provide you with a detailed guideline for the same, to help you make the best possible choice.
Type of the machine
Before you buy a Bernette machine, keep in mind that there are two basic types: mechanical and computerized (electronic).
For simple sewing and alteration, the former is a good choice, since it needs to be set using adjustment knobs, which doesn’t prove to be a hassle with these kinds of projects. A great example of this is the Bernette Sew & Go 1, which is easy to handle and has a small learning curve.
The latter, even though expensive, has a lot of automated features, such as the London 7, with an automatic needle threader, an LED display and 60 built-in stitches.
Mechanical sewing machines tend to be more affordable over computerized ones. On the other hand, computerized sewing machines also tend to provide precise stitching and can be used for difficult projects.
The speed of a sewing machine is a very important aspect. If you’re a beginner, opt for a Bernette model like the Bernette 35, which has a convenient speed knob that can be used to slow down the machine for straighter and easier stitching. You can slow the stitching speed down if you use thicker fabrics too. On the other hand, if you’re a skilled sewing artist, you might like to kick up the speed up to 860 stitches per minute. You can easily control the speed to your liking and comfort.
No matter which type of sewing machine you buy, it should have at least 3 basic stitch patterns: straight, zigzag, and reverse. Basic Bernette sewing machines such as the Sew & Go 1 and the 33 model have 10 and 15 different stitching patterns respectively, which is still a lot more than what any other machine brand could provide.
If you require a wider range of stitch patterns, you could opt for more advanced versions, such as the Bernette 38 model, which provides 394 different patterns, including ones for utility, crafts, home decoration, and even stretchy fabrics.
The more stitching patterns a machine provides, the higher the price is going to be, which is why some advanced models could have a price tag twice as high compared to their counterpart basic models.
The width of the stitch is affected by the distance that the needle can move from side to side during stitching. This is a feature that comes into play with complex stitching styles, such as a zigzag or overcasting stitch, and needs to be adjusted according to the material you’re using and the project type. Therefore, it’s better to opt for a machine with more adjustable widths. For example, for stretchy and knit fabrics, it’s better to use a narrower zigzag stitch, since the stitching will stretch with the fabric and hold it without breaking or coming off loose. When using manually operated machines such as the Bernette Sew & Go 1, to make buttonholes, the bar tacks must be sewn with short stitch length and higher width, while the sides have to be sewn with narrow length and width.
Sewing a buttonhole manually can be quite a daunting task. Luckily, advanced Bernette machines can sew buttonholes in a fraction of the time it takes to stitch them by hand. Some models use a 4-step automatic buttonhole procedure, such as the Bernette 35. There are 4 basic stitching parts done by the machine. However, after each part, the user must turn the selection dial and then continue sewing.
If you want to do away with this procedure completely, you can opt for a fully computerized model, such as the Bernette 38, which uses a single step automatic buttonhole system. This will not only save you more time but also ensure that each buttonhole is an exact replica of the last, no matter how many you sew.
There are two main hook systems in Bernette sewing machines: a drop-in system and a CB system.
The CB hook system has been patented by the Bernina brand and is a type of vertical oscillating hook system, ensuring perfectly balanced stitches through a top-loaded bobbin.
A standard drop-in hook system, on the other hand, forms a seam with two threads: one coming from the top of the needle, and one coming from the bottom of the bobbin, which is top-loaded. This system is generally preferred by most, as it achieves higher top-speed because of minimal hook resistance, owing to complete 360-degree spins, and is a lot quicker than a CB hook.
CB hook Bernettes are easier to work with for beginners, since the bobbin is actually visible, and you can keep track of how much thread is left.
A presser foot is an attachment on sewing machines that ensures that your fabric lies down flat while you stitch, instead of rising and falling with your needle. Different machines have different types of presser feet for different materials and types of stitches and seams.
The most common types in Bernette machines come with the all-purpose foot (used for all types of stitches) and the zipper foot (found in even the most basic models like Sew & Go 1), which is used around zips due to its close stitch. The Bernette 35 comes with seven different presser feet for various purposes.
Most pressure feet are made of steel or clear plastic. However, for materials like leather or vinyl, pressure foots made of Teflon or other non-stick materials are generally used.
Size and weight
You may not think much about these two features, but the size and weight of your machine are important factors to consider when making a purchase. Lightweight and compact machines, such as the Bernette Sew & Go 1 are portable and come in handy, especially for people who need to move it a lot. These machines are also preferred by students and provide all the basic stitching patterns and styles required for beginner levels.
Machines with large, heavy motors, on the other hand, tend to weigh a lot more. These machines are sturdier and cope well with heavy fabrics. They’re also long-lasting and result in an overall higher stitching quality. However, due to their weight, they’re a lot less mobile.
Other useful features
Some Bernette sewing machines come with extra features and perks, especially if they’re pricier. For instance, the Bernette 33 comes with an accessory box and has extra storage space for tools, which is quite beneficial, especially if you tend to get messy and lose your pieces. Some versions, such as the Bernette 38, go step further, by using semi or fully automated systems for thread cutting, looping, sewing buttonholes, and memory storage for your latest stitch pattern settings as well as various other combos to make it easy to continue your projects at a later time. The display of your machine is also an important feature to consider. Most new models come with LCD screens and LED lights to highlight features like start-stop, needle-up pause, and speed control, calling for an extremely easy interface.
Mechanical machines are generally a better option for absolute beginners as opposed to programmable ones since they’re more affordable, durable and easy to maintain. Although computerized machines have far more advanced features such as automatic threading and speed adjustment options, they do tend to be rather expensive. Moreover, they provide numerous stitching options, which are useful for expert and industry-level sewers but may not be as beneficial for beginners. As a beginner, you just need basic functions and stitching options from sewing machines, which can be found in mechanical models as well, for instance, basic stitch patterns, a presser foot, CB hook system, and a buttonhole function.
Yes, you can sew just about every kind of fabric with a Bernette sewing machine, whether it’s thin, stretchy, or thick material. Many Bernette models, including the 33 model, have a 2-step foot lift that provides additional space for the fabric under the presser foot. For heavy fabrics, you can just lift the presser foot and place it under easily. Bernette machines are designed such that they provide a high piercing power, enabling the needle to go in and out of the fabric easily, even through multiple layers. You can, therefore, adjust the presser easily to suit any kind of material, even for making hammocks and sacks.
Modern sewing machines come with their own automatic thread cutting feature. This means that you can do away with the hassle of trying to do it yourself manually. Although a lot of people still prefer the old school thread cutting with scissors, automatic thread cutting is more convenient, because the cutter is located behind the needle of the sewing machine. Since the fabric moves to the back of the machine, the thread is easily cut. At the same time, the machine forms an automatic knot at the back, while your hands are free to align the next pieces for stitching your cloth. However, for heavier projects like quilting, many people prefer manual cutting and knotting so that the stitch does not end up breaking later.
Alright, now that you have the complete guide at your fingertips, let’s pick out the top 3 Bernette sewing machines to make the buying process even easier for you.
First, let’s talk about the Editor’s choice, the Bernette 38. We love this model because of its high scale automation and advanced computerized controls. It not only provides 394 different types of stitches but also works on almost every kind of fabric. It has 8 different types of buttonholes and really one of the most convenient multifunctional sewing machines out there.
The next model is the Bernette 33, which is durable, stylish and doesn’t put a dent in your wallet like other advanced models. It also has a foot-lift for thicker fabrics, as well as an automatic threader, making it a good asset for young sewing students.
Last but not least, is the Bernette 37 model, which has a great user interface and provides high-class stitch quality. Moreover, it can be controlled without a foot pedal.
We hope that this information was useful, and now you know everything to find the best Bernette sewing machine. So, what’re you waiting for? Let’s get stitching!