Sewing Machine Review: Bernina Matic 910
My Bernina Matic 910 and I have been creating for last seven years together.
The range of materials she sews well is delightful. She is an excellent all-round machine. She can handle several layers of heavyweight denim and cotton canvas. She also handles lightweight fabrics and knits well.
So far, she and I have made jeans, bags and backpacks with cotton canvas and waxed canvas, stretchy knit underwear and swimsuits, knit sweatpants and sweatshirts, silk dresses, puffy wool vests and quilted jackets, and of course, lots of projects with linen.
I especially enjoy sewing with thick materials, so I appreciate that she has a beautiful heavy duty metal body. It gives the sense while you’re sewing that she can handle most every project with grace and elegance.
There are minimal stitch options. I only use two regularly – straight stitch and zigzag. These older mechanical machines don’t have all the options of new electronic machines. Because I am not a great adventurer with stitches, I personally prefer the simplicity, sturdiness, and reliability over the new varieties that come with a plethora of options.
Cleaning and oiling is easily performed. Some fabrics deposit more lint than others around the bobbin while sewing. It’s easy to brush out and oil regularly to keep the mechanics running smoothly.
My one difficulty with the machine is I’ve never fully mastered the buttonhole process. I prefer using the buttonhole attachment on my grandmother’s vintage Singer for ease of use.
All in all, the main essence of the Bernina Matic 910 is a lovely combination of strong and graceful. As she sews, she gives a nice hum and clack, clack, clack. It feels like each oscillation of the needle is precise and powerful. A fine-tuned machine of high-quality working just as it ought to. She is a joy to sew with. I hope to make many more garments in our next seven years together and maybe even master the buttonholes.
In 2019, I bought a vintage Singer machine from a local “vintage” machine repairman. Mostly because I was visiting my daughter (850 miles from home) and had had some linen delivered to her house to make a couple of things for my mother to wear to the local Renaissance Festival (long story). I used handkerchief linen from the Fabrics-Store and that machine (with only a straight stitch to work with) handled it beautifully. Five years later, my mother still has that Krysta Natural IL020 blouse in the Clara peasant blouse pattern and LOVES it. I’ve made another one for her in a brighter blue (Curacao is a very bright dark tropical blue) and those two blouses get worn whenever the weather is warm. Even if there isn’t a Renaissance Festival in two days’ driving distance or for another four months.
I took that machine home with me on plane (well padded with leftover linen) and continue to use it today – only it’s one of the machines using “cams”. I’ve tracked down one of each available cam and the machine is now doing some 30 stitches, making it a lot more versatile when sewing. It still handles any linen I put under the needle (of any weight) by breezing through the whole stack like it’s enjoying itself while I’m sewing.
A good machine is a good machine – and the older machines were designed & built to be the ONLY machine a person needed — cotton lawn dresses, denim overalls, leather work gloves, or baby layettes & doll clothes. The older machines just keep on sewing, as long as you keep them cleaned, oiled, and in new needles!
Oops! I missed a typo – it was 2018, not 2019!
What a fun story, Renee! Thanks for sharing that. I especially enjoy your line about the machine breezing through the stack like it’s enjoying itself. An apt description of these older machines. Also, I admire that you sew for your mom. Sewing for others is a labor of love. A special labor of love.
Love your machine and review. I have an old Bernina machine as well. I’ve had it 43 years ! ! I L.O.V.E. It. I have never had a minute of trouble with it – it is a WORKHORSE. It’s sooo heavy, no plastic. Like yours it doesn’t have many stitches, but like you, I only use zigzag and straight. I wouldn’t trade this machine for anything. ?
Reading this comment makes me smile big, Jeanie! We’re birds of a feather.
Great story. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Kathleen! What machine do you like to sew with?
I have a Bernina 830 Record I bought in 1980. It has served me well making clothing, slipcovers,, curtains, quilts and lingerie. During Covid I acquired a Record 831 which had been abused as a school machine and serves now as my backup machine. I bought another Record 830 which I gifted to my daughter and granddaughter and use when I visit them. Berninas are “ like buttah”.
Amen, Sistah! I got mine (an 801) in 1980 as well. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.
So nice to have found a machine you love and want to stick with for decades! Just goes to show it’s worth it to invest in one that will serve you well.
Your daughter and granddaughter are lucky ducks to have machines from you. What a treasure for your granddaughter to sew with a gift from you.
These older Berninas are gems!! I have an 801 Matic and an 801 Sport, both from secondhand shops and I had them serviced. Nothing better than the hum of a Bernina!
Such gems! And how cool you found them at second hand shops!
I have this exact machine! My grandmother bought it new. It’s absolutely priceless to me!!!!
Hi Karen! Wow, what a special multigenerational machine to have. I love going to my parents’ house and sewing on my grandmother’s Singer. It feels nice to sew with it knowing my grandma and mom and aunt spent a lot of time with that machine. I understand how you feel about it being priceless!
Hi to both of you. I am in need of a heavy duty machine that has a high enough clearance to allow for thickness of several layers of denim or canvas. A machine that easily sews straight and zig zag as mentioned.
Would you recommend this machine?
Is this machine on the market? Is there another you would suggest if not? Thanks
This machine was not on the market when I bought my Bernina 1001 in 1993. My mother had this machine and it was fantastic. I was told when I had my 1001 in for service recently that Berninas are no longer made in Switzerland and are no longer metal body. If you can find one of these older machines, it’s worth the cost of repair.
Hi Jamie! Bernina sewing machines are now made in Bernina’s Thailand facility. They own the factory and all of the management is Bernina trained. The working conditions are exceptional and workers get treated and paid well. As for the machines, only the outside of the new machines are plastic to make it easier to access and a little bit lighter. Inside is a fully cast metal frame. Bernina is the only sewing machine company still owned by the original founding family!! They still hold the mark of quality that the older ones have!!
Great information. Thank you.
Hi Susan, yes I do recommend this machine. You can sometimes find them on eBay. My sister bought this one from eBay and gave it to me as a gift. I just checked and there are still some out there to be found!
Thank you for sharing the story of you and your Bernina. She is a beauty! I too have an older Bernina and we have been together for 23 years and wouldn’t part with it. I also have my Mom’s Pfaff (she purchased it around 1952) which I learned to sew on and can’t part with either. I think sewing machines such as yours are pieces of art all by themselves. Let’s sew on…..
Hello Lesia, thanks for sharing about the older machines you have in your life. They are indeed works of art. And friends! Faithful friends.