For this Winters Project I thought to try something ‘different’! Always been aware of Bernina by reputation, but never laid hands on one before last month. 

First arrival was a Minimatic 807 on 14th September. (Today is 8th November)

Was always aware of Bernina being precision made, expensive to buy new, & ‘interesting’ nowadays. Never thought I could afford to dabble…

Then I came across the 807 on my favourite Charity Online Auctions site.

Minimatic 807 in front of the shy 707. The 830 Record speaks for itself.

Eldest is the Minimatic 707 made in 1970, which needed the camstack gear replacing but looked good else. I only bought it for the foot control to use on my 807 that came without one, but this machine was very nice as well. So the 707 gets its controller back & I buy a modern, clamshell, Electronic controller for the 807.

This machine has a badge on the front which says ILEA on it.  The Auction described the machine as a ‘Minimatic 707 Ilea model… It actually stands for the Inner London Education Authority, so it belonged to a school/college from new. It has been well maintained & it shows in the stitch quality now it has its new gear fitted. It’s quiet & slick already: )

The second eldest is the 830 Record from 1971, the first year of production I believe.

I came across it by chance online & the honest description indicated that it likely needed a replacement camstack gear: ) (£20 & 1 hours fitting) It also came with pretty much all its original kit, 10 feet in the accessories box, in a good case. All in good condition. A few very minor paint chips, yellowing to the plastic exterior panels the only slight negatives I saw. I paid £146 shipped & was very happy when I saw it. It had been stitching until relatively recently & was therefore smooth & good, no frozen controls, just needs a proper service, some minor adjustments & it’ll be good for another 53 years.

I replaced the cam gear yesterday & it sewed well from the off: )

Just one negative I have found up to now… Cheap & nasty plastic rear cover. Retractable spool pins built into it that are so cheap & flimsy when you look inside. No wonder they break. On their top of the range machine at the time. I had to remove it yesterday in order to fit the new gear. It is a nice machine though: )

Youngest is the Minimatic 807 from 1974. First one I bought & although it looked good & came with its case, spare feet etc. It turned out to be almost solid… And no controller. Paid £57 shipped & its hard plastic case got trashed during its trip here!

But 2 weeks later I have freed up the whole machine, (except for one awkward little detent button) & it was stitching sweetly last night: )

So, coming up to a month in, efforts made, with £309 spent I have the three, very nice stitching Berninas above.