I went to the City Quilter to test drive Berninas a few weeks ago. I knew I’d probably fall in love with the 1008 as I am a huge fan of big, metal, clunky beasts. I did, all was well, but I decided I should shop around. After all, there are about six Bernina dealers in the area, why not see who has what? Apparently, shopping for your dealer is as important as shopping for your actual machine. More on that in a later post. I had my heart set on either the 1008 or the Aurora 450 (big jump), but both salespeople threw other machines into the mix. Now, obviously, I’m totally confused.
At the City Quilter, the (lovely) salesperson had me try out an Activa. I think it was because I was also considering Bernettes at the time (hey, don’t judge; I’ll be in an itsy dorm room pretty soon). I tried it. It was fine. The 1008 took my breath away, though. This one was nicer than the Bernette and than my current machine, but nothing to write home about. It seems rather. . .dinky. I think I’d grow out of it pretty soon, just sizewise. It didn’t feel like a real machine, if that makes any sense. However! I’ll be moving into a dorm pretty soon, and will probably not have enough space for a big old Aurora. It also doesn’t take the old-style feet without an adapter. However! It is really reasonably priced. $799 at Hartsdale Fabrics and $850 at the City Quilter. Plus, Hartsdale has 20% off sales at least twice a year. Have I mentioned my love of a bargain?
At Hartsdale Fabrics the (also lovely) salesperson recommended that I try the 330 because they no longer stock the Aurora 450. It’s a 3/4 size machine. I didn’t get to test drive it, so I have no idea if the shell is metal or plastic. I don’t know how it runs. Nada. Even if the 330 were to suit all of my needs just fine, I think I’d still kind of want more, you know? The fact that it’s 3/4 sized will still be in my head. I don’t necessarily need a separate motor for winding bobbins or visual pressure foot control or any of that, but what if I want it at some point? If I’m going to leap from mechanical to computerized, I’d rather like more than one type of buttonhole. I suppose that’s why this seems to be a second sewing machine for a lot of people.
I mentioned that I had no interest in decorative stitches or the alphabet or any of that mishigas, and the sales associate said, “Wait until your friends start having babies.” That never quite occurred to me. It is $900 at Hartsdale and I-forget-what-price ($1000+, if I recall correctly) at City Quilter.
I’m still crinkling my nose in the direction of these machines and their dealers. I feel all sorts of awful when I go in to check out dealers—they’re people, not machines! Yet, it’s a big commitment. These people will service your machine forever and ever. I’m galled by the fact that prices aren’t readily available (which is why I shamelessly post them here). Also, you’re apparently supposed to negotiate prices and extras?! Have we met? That’ll go swimmingly, I’m sure.