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Simulators Let You Sew Virtually with Bernina's 8 Series

The new Bernina 8 Series website includes videos, tutorials, free patterns and simulators for the 820 and 830 sewing machines.
This screenshot of the Bernina 830 simulator (available for download at gives you an idea of the complexity of the experience. The display mimics that of an actual Bernina 830.
The Bernina 830 simulators Tutorial section has Folders covering features from presser feet to needles, buttonholes and embroidery. Click on one of the folders to see more information - as text, animations or a combination of both.
The new Bernina 8 Series website includes videos, tutorials, free patterns and simulators for the 820 and 830 sewing machines.

The new Bernina 8 Series website includes videos, tutorials, free patterns and simulators for the 820 and 830 sewing machines.

Photo: Bernina

The Internet offers sewing enthusaists many learning opportunities, from sewing machine manuals and free patterns to download, to advice from experts and sewing video tutorials for a multitude of techniques and sewing machine features.

This week, Bernina launched a website that offers all that and more to promote their 8 series sewing machines. presents what was to me a unique experience: Simulators you can download to get an first-person, sewer's-eye-view of using a Bernina 830 or 820.

It would take me weeks to explore all of the options the simulator presents. In just a few minutes however, I was experimenting with stitch patterns on the 830 simulator. I could select a design, adjust stitch length and width, control the foot pedal or push button start/stop, and see a simulated version of my stitch created. The simulator mimics the display on an actual Bernina 8 Series machine.

The graphics allow you to see the needle position (horizontally and vertically), start and stop stitching, and see a animation of your stitches being formed. You can switch between sewing and embroidery mode, examine presser feet options, lower the feed dogs... the options go on and on.

The simulator is also a alternative to any instruction manual - It's chock full of general use instructions. For example, if you select the "Tutorial" button, you can read how-to information about features and see animated instructional videos. I watched "Winding a Bobbin" and the animation is clear and easy to follow. It moved slowly through the process, magnified parts of the machine as they were in use and repeated until I paused it or moved on to another section.

I know I was far from discovering all the simulator has to offer, but I could quickly see it would be a great reference and a chance to test techniques and stitches without wasting thread or fabric. What do you think of the chance to virtually use a sewing machine before you buy it?

Comments (3)

Sewing2enjoying Sewing2enjoying writes: I never thought trying out a machine would be helpful because it seemed to me it would take awhile to become comfortable enough to use it properly in order to accomplish anything you would normally sit down and do almost automatically at home. I have to admit, though, the comments in this article have me wondering if it would not, indeed, be a help. I always do so much research on a machine everywhere I can, that I know exactly which machine I want before I enter the store. Thanks anyway.
Posted: 6:47 pm on June 29th

auntbea46 auntbea46 writes: I'm not sure about a "virtual" sewing machine but I will certainly check out the site.

Using the machine I had wanted to purchase DID settle the argument of "to buy or not to buy" for me. I stopped in at what was once our nearest Viking dealer for something. I already owned an old Viking. The assistant manager got me looking at the latest Viking (back then it was a #1+. She showed me many of the things the machine would do and I asked her if I could come in and use the machine as I had 4 blouses I was making and I was dreading the buttonholes. A few weeks later I was back at the shop, blouses in tote. I had called the assistant manager before I left to make sure I could use a new machine. The sales lady set me up to make the buttonholes. I made 30 buttonholes faster than I could find my old buttonhole attachment. That did it for me. Three months later I was back in the store purchasing the #1+ (which still makes beautiful buttonholes). That was about 20 years ago.

I'm due for a new machine and I would love it to be a Bernina (saving money now), perhaps a 730 Arista. This time what is catching my eye is the BSR and the embroidery.
Posted: 10:21 am on June 29th

ipodgrannie ipodgrannie writes: I love the Bernina site, and use it often, because of all the different feet they offer. It is just like being in the store and you can go over the process several times. Plus, I have forgotten what some of the feet are used for as I was doing more upholstery when I bought my machine, than I do now. I have the 1130 machine.
Posted: 12:26 pm on June 28th

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