Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bernina 930 Record - Helga

This is "Helga" my newest sewing machine aquisition! Isn't she pretty?  I named her Helga because at 15.02 kilograms or just over 32 pounds she's a full figured girl.  She was manufactured in Switzerland in 1983 and some claim she is the Rolls Royce of sewing machines.
Helga has a knee lifter bar to raise the presser foot without using your hands.  Only problem with that is I don't like it.  It seems to be too close to my knee, it feels awkward.  At times, I unintentionally raise the presser foot.
Helga purrs like a kitten when she sews.
The electronic needle up/down stop doesn't work. I took it to the Brandon Sewing Centre where my sewing machine mechanic (Wayne) was unable to fix it.  Wayne suggested I turn the handwheel towards myself when I want the needle down and live with it because a new foot pedal is $200.00 CAD.
I'm still working on getting all her parts.  I bought a Bernina 930 clam shell case on ebay that should be here by October 3rd.  I also ordered an extension table, 479 overlock foot, 419 tailor tacking foot and 145 jeans foot from a new local Bernina dealer (Johnathon).   Johnathon says he can fix the foot pedal, so I'm going to bring her in when my parts arrive.
Regardless, I'm delighted with this machine.  So far I played with the fancy stitches and did some sewing on it when working on my Alzheimer's touch quilt.  I'm just so impressed with the tension, it required no adjustments for perfect stitches top and bottom.  The only time it didn't sew beautiful stitches was when I (operator error) forgot to put the presser foot down.
Helga's underwear is super easy to clean as the free arm sewing bed cover just pops off with a little push on the black lever located on the left hand side.
This machine is very well designed.  In early 2010, I bought a Bernina Nova 900 which I like but not near as much as this 930.  I understand now why people hang on to these machines, they are fantastic.  Ahhhhhhh....the love affair continues!


  1. I believe this to be the cadillac of long as you don't have to take it anywhere. Nobody wants to carry it around. Lane

  2. I'm so glad you are finding the 930 a wonderful machine, I know many people with this model and they LOVE their machine. Perfection when it comes to stitch formation, and especially nice when you freemotion quilt.
    Looks like you have a bunch of really great utility, stretch and decorative stitches there, what a find! Seems its the month for finding great Berninas.

  3. I bought my 930 in 1983 planning on making many quilts. Had a blessing boy and my 930 turned into a mega jean mender.
    A couple of years ago I saw a 930 at Goodwill for $50 and grabbed it.
    The 930 is an awesome machine and now I can share with my mom, who wants to start sewing. It doesn't have as many feet as the original, but she just wants basic sewing. Can't go wrong with this jewel!
    Congratulations on your find.

  4. i really hope you can help me with this enquiry.

    I have recently inherited my grandmothers bernina 930.

    i would like to get the box, for it that comes to store the machine feet bobbins
    and accesories as it is missing.

    i have contacted uk service center but they do not have them. and didnt know where i could try,
    so i am hoping to appeal to anyone out there in sewing machines that can help me

    i know this is an old machine, but it is very important to me. as i used it with her, as a child and one day my kids will use it too.
    please please can you help me?

  5. Hello Raji,
    For a few years I was collecting vintage machines. Rarely do they arrive with all the accessories, carrying case, cams and manuals. My suggestion is to search the web for used sewing machine parts, ebay would be a good place to start as well as kijiji, craiglist and any electronic auction houses in the uk. Or if you are not brand specific a small plastic box with sections in it for storing beads or fish hooks will work just fine. I buy small plastic drawer organizers and put them in my sewing machine drawers to store needles, pins, tape measure, throat plates etc.

    The 930 is an excellent machine, I hope you have tons of fun sewing with it.

  6. May I ask which did you order the extension table from?

    1. I need an extension table also. Did you find one?

  7. Hello. Evelyn here. Just stole a Cadilac I guess! Haha I am searching for a foot paddle. My Cadalac came foot free.
    someone help me. Call me at work. 909 799 3030

    1. Hello Evelyn, I live in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. If anyone in Redland California knows where to get a foot peddle for a Bernina 930, would you please contact Evelyn? Thanks... happy stitching.

  8. I hope you still love your machine - it's a beauty. Did you ever get the foot pedal fixed or did you have to buy a new one? Do you know if the foot pedal with heel control causes the needle up/down or does that have to be a function of the machine AND you have to have the right foot pedal to go with it? So, if I bought a heel control foot pedal (since my old one just broke this morning) would I be able to get needle down if I bought this kind of foot pedal? Thanks and happy sewing, Suz

    1. Yes it is fixed to my liking. I took it Jonathan an authorized Bernina dealer. There is nothing wrong with the foot pedal, the needle down feature worked perfectly on different Bernina that uses the same pedal. The problem was in the electronics inside my Bernina 930, removing the motherboard to send away for fixing was cost prohibitive ($800). So Jonathan fixed it by setting the needle to stop in the down position every time I stopped sewing. It works wonderfully for me. I just turn the hand wheel towards me to raise the needle when I'm done sewing that seam. The first thing I do is set my machines to needle down every time I start sewing anyway. Not all Bernina 930s have a needle down function. Mine does it also has a little stainless steel thread cutter on the sewing bed left side behind the needle plate as well as the word "electronic" on the front of the harp. The older 930s without these features do not have a needle down feature.

  9. I'm coming to this post a little late. But I purchased the Bernina 930 on Ebay with original case, manual, table, presser foot knee lever, lots of feet and more! Amazing that everything was there, along with samples the previous owner had made with the foot, needle size and settings she used to make each sample all neatly tucked away in a binder indexed under categories.

  10. I received my Bernina 930 as a gift from my mom. After a lifetime of sewing and mending and altering to keep the kids in clothes that fit, she was happy to pass it on once we were out of the house. Now I use it when sewing for my kids. It had a knee lift when she used it, but that part never made it into my hands.

    I would like a knee lift, and it sounds like you aren't using yours. Any chance you want to sell it to me?

    Many thanks,


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