Sunday, July 27, 2014


From time to time sewing machines are donated to me to fix up or just to give them to a better home. Maybe this happens a lot to me, but I'm usually pretty happy about it and find a use for someone's cast-off. A co-worker approached me several weeks ago about her mother's old machine and I said sure, bring it over sometime. While I was at work yesterday she reminded me about the machine and I said I'd come over tonight to her house and pick them up but, no, she had them in her car so I could get them now. Sounded good to me so as we traveled over to where she parked her car and I heard more of the story I started to get pretty interested in what I might find. She said her mom had an old machine that was giving her "problems" and she bought a new one and didn't want this one back. But the other sewing machine (oh boy, now there are two!) was from the man her mother recently married, both having been widowed and found new love in their 80's. She said the machine was his first wife's and was different. It had little drawers for the feet and such so maybe if the sewing machine wasn't worth anything one of his daughters wanted to see if the feet would fit one of her sewing machines. Fair enough.

She opened up the trunk of her car and I just couldn't help it, my heart started to beat faster, because there was a while plastic carrying case and a green suitcase next to it. Yup, the tell-tale Bernina carrying case. Now let's all have a silent scream together: IT WAS A BERNINA 730 RECORD!

Bernina 730 Record (it's green, not beige)
I explained what a valuable sewing machine this was, thanked her over and over again, and she assured me they really didn't want them or have any interest in selling them on Craigslist or ebay. The poor sewing machine in the while plastic case was a White, nothing special, and when I got it home and worked with it I found out it has a cracked part that keeps it from shifting from the regular stitches to the stretch stitches. Yes, there were problems, as her mother tried to explain, since it still worked but would not make all of the stitches. Oh well, I will think about that one later.

When I got the 730 Record out of the suitcase, I could see it had the extension table to fit over the free arm and the "sewing kit" which is the set of swing open "drawers" my friend was referring to. They held all of the accessories, mainly the extra feet, but this one included a hoop for embroidery. Very nice. Then I found the service ticket from 2010 which said the light was broken: no charge. Yes, the light is broken, in fact, you can't even move the switch so it's probably not the connections but the switch itself. Bummer. So I look up in ebay to find another light but no luck yet I do find a light with a magnatized anchor and 20 led lights with a power cord. This might work just fine in the end. It really does stitch nice so I look inside and find black shreds. This is no mouse this time:
What a mess!

Close-up of belt: shredding on left
The upper belt has started to come apart, exposing the black rubbery core. The bottom belt is getting brittle, too, so I'm going to try and replace both of them. Of note, others say this isn't too difficult so I hope I don't mess anything up since this is a very fine machine and it's easy to get things slightly out of balance. All-in-all, it was a very generous donation and a wonderful sewing machine that can be brought back to life for about $50, the cost of two of the specialty feet for these older Berninas. Yep, worth it!

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