380 for me

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380 for me

Postby Quiltmaker » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:49 pm

So after some test driving in a workshop and looking also at the Activa I was curious about, I decided for functions and the stitch options to wait abit on my new class machine and buy a 380 when I"m ready- I went to a convention and spent a day sewing over cords, yarns, threads with metallics and rayons and other slippery fibres making textile art and found the combination of the fantastic lighting, knee lift, needle up/ down just wonderful- and that needle threader because I was continually changing threads. I had minimal thread breakage with some tricky techniques essentially making cords and stitchign them together from other fibres in freemotion embroidery mode. Great test of the machine. Its also only about 11-12kg compared to 16kg for my other Bernina machine, so will be more portable and less to lug or wheel around.
For comparison on lighting the 3 series lighting is so much brighter than on the Activa, I was quite surprised...
And it will be great to not lose any of the key functions that I get with my fancier, heavier Bernina.
One thing I did love apart from how it functions for sewing was the black face plate and design of the machine. Soooooo chic! And one day, if I ever wiggle into an 820 it will be like a miniature version and match, would be too cute!
My Bernina herd: 820, 2 x Aurora 440QE one with embroidery module, for travel: B380, Activa 215, and for knit sewing: 800DL overlocker, 009DCC cover and chain
Fun Vintage girls: 900 Nova, 1010

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mollyshark
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Re: 380 for me

Postby mollyshark » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:37 am

Congrats. I haven't sewn on these yet but they sound great. May go play with one just to, you know, play. Let us know the scoop when you really work with it some!

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Re: 380 for me

Postby Quiltmaker » Tue May 03, 2011 12:00 am

Ok here's the skinny so far: 380 Machine came home earlier than expected- yipeee!

The light? Awesome. I sewed last night and late yesterday afternoon and no tired eyes. I think this is so worth paying for.
The stitching is Bernina perfection. Straight stitch and for the decorative stitches. They're very precise and the satin stitches especially are beautifully formed, I spent yesterday afternoon stitching through all the decorative stitches to see what scale they work up at and how they look. Beautiful. IT has the CB Hook just like the Aurora.

Pieces through mulitple bulky seam intersections of patchwork magnificently, no problems with piercing power. The machine doesn't come with the number 37 foot as standard but supplies the number 8 instead as I suspect it is driven towards garment sewers. There is no darning foot nor walking foot included but I have them already from my Aurora and they fit, so I can share all my other feet that I have acquired with the 380. I haven' t used a machine with the soles in Bernina range, only ones with the solid shank and I like them.
The piercing power especially for a compact machine, I was impressed by this when stitching through cording I was making in a workshop recently on the 380, made of metallic knitting yarns, wools, and mixed fibres. We were free motion embroidering around these forming cords of all sorts, and manipulating them into different shapes. Good fun and an excellent test of the machine I think.

It is a good deal lighter and I can easily manage it compared to huffing and puffing to manage my Aurora. Especially with only one arm. It has a soft cover with pockets for all the bits and pieces so you can carry the all in it with one hand if necessary.

The extension table is excellent, its white and sturdy, slides on easily, has a button to release the table. There is a clear window for viewing the bobbin area although if you clean out the machine you'll want the table removed anyhow.

The stitch card sits in the top of the carry handle in a groove- quite nifty.

I like the look and size of the freearm, Bernina skinny. Nice for garment sewing especially kids stuff.

The machine itself is very quiet, it has a smaller power pack than on the Aurora that accounts for a difference in weight also but I don't see any loss of the machine's ability to sew through what I've tossed at it so far- which is early days admittedly- but it went through 8 layers of patchwork fabric including all the pressed seam allowances, or more, with no problems.
All the feet in Australia supplied with the 380 are the Bernina solid shank feet, not the clip on soles that attach to the ankle. The manual says this can vary by country. Glad to live in Australia! I am not sure but maybe they sell the 330 or 350 with the clip on soles, but the 380 has the traditional Bernina feet.
They have a nifty little zip bag with velour compartments for storing all the stuff. It has the following feet: Reverse pattern foot No 1, Overlock foot No. 2, Automatic Buttonhole foot with slide No. 3A, Zipper foot No. 4, Blindstitch foot No. 5, Jeans Foot No. 8, Open embroidery foot No. 20. If you buy the 380 and are into patchwork you will need to get additional feet but this is no problem for me as I have them already.

As to the appearance, she's svelte, sleek and modern, and so quiet when sewing. The buttons are clearly located and easily pressed. I love the chrome finish on the take up lever guard and the sliding speed control. The black plastic front is super shiny, so much so I can see my own reflection in it.
The 380 comes with the knee lift and extension table as standard.
Nothing feels at all flimsy even though it is a reduced weight. The extension table has the hexagonal reinforcement on the underside and its very sturdy with nice markings for seam allowances on the front in addition to a ruler along the front side.

I was embroidering my name on a friendship patchwork block today for a friend, the memory is easy to program following the user manual- but you do need to refer to the next page for the position of some of the buttons they refer to by number, at first when you look on that page number 28 until you look at the numbered buttons on page number 29 the instructions make less sense. Because I have programmed on the Aurora stitches into the memory this didn't bother me much but if you were new to this you might not realise that until you read the next page.

All up so far, it is a really nice machine that has loads of functions and I am really so glad I didn't compromise and buy a machine with fewer functions and features, as I was intially thinking I would. This machine isn't going to be outgrown or resented for lack of features and I would recommend if you want the mirror imaging function to buy the 380- this is helpful when embroidering or appliquing on larger items so you can keep the bulk of the project out of the harp.

Harp size is 6 1/4 in wide, 4 5/8 in high. Not cramped unless you were trying to quilt a massive bed quilt. For me this is my travel machine and take to retreats, classes etc. I have a machine with a slighly larger harp for quilting already.
Verdict?
Love it!
My Bernina herd: 820, 2 x Aurora 440QE one with embroidery module, for travel: B380, Activa 215, and for knit sewing: 800DL overlocker, 009DCC cover and chain
Fun Vintage girls: 900 Nova, 1010

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Doris W. in TN
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Re: 380 for me

Postby Doris W. in TN » Tue May 03, 2011 8:17 am

Thank you for your review of the 380. Sounds like you chose the right machine for your purposes.

Will you write a review for it over at PR? http://sewing.patternreview.com/
A lot of people (including myself) consult the machine reviews there before buying anything.
Berninas: 1130, Artista730E, 350PE (3-Series), 2000DE serger, 1150MDA serger, Bernette Deco 340; Bernina L220 Coverstitch;
Singers: 301, 201-2, 99K hand crank

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Re: 380 for me

Postby janycer » Tue May 03, 2011 9:23 am

Congratulations. Sounds wonderful. I am very impressed with those 3 series machines
Bernina 880 (Johnnie), Bernina 820 (The Black), Bernina 710 (Foolie), Bernina 350SE (Candy), Vintage Japanese made White (Loey), Babylock Enlighten (Dancer), Babylock BLCS2 Coverstitch(Susie)

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mollyshark
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Re: 380 for me

Postby mollyshark » Tue May 03, 2011 11:24 am

Saw that one when I was peeking at the 8 series and thought it was without a doubt the sleekest machine they have.

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Re: 380 for me

Postby Senior Bag Lady » Tue May 03, 2011 2:20 pm

Thanks for the review. I really, really, really want to get one of the 380 for my daughter. Good to hear from a user. Thanks :clap:

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Re: 380 for me

Postby mizlilly » Wed May 04, 2011 12:33 am

So glad to hear you got a machine that is just right for you and that you love! So true, nothing sews like a Bernina! Nothing...
Bernina 830,153 & WP; BL Enlighten, Sashiko & Coverhem, Brother XV8500D Dream Machine & Persona PRS100, Singer Featherweight, etc., Artista DP V6, Cutwork, Monogram Wizard+ w/ EFs.

https://pinkerpaws.smugmug.com/My-Sewing

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Re: 380 for me

Postby Quiltmaker » Wed May 04, 2011 7:43 pm

I just wanted to add yesterday I sewed organza, silk, medium weight knit, corduroy, cotton flannel, in multiple layers, and the stitching was faultless. There is a stitch balance control that is useful on knits.
And the more I sew with it the more I feel its very like my Aurora just with lighter and slighly more compact size. Love it and am so glad I didn't compromise and buy a machine with fewer features. For what I do need it is a great match. I do love the sleek design. The embroidery stitches are exceptionally neat.
I did write a review over at PR last night after I'd test sewn a bunch of different fabrics as I feel its only fair especially there to sew with a variety of fabrics before reviewing a machine, since so may dressmakers look at that site for reviews. And I was curious to know how it would handle those fabrics, which I do use but less often as I am primarily a quilter.
Can't recommend it enough for a travel and class machine or for those who simply cannot lift and carry a heavier machine.
My Bernina herd: 820, 2 x Aurora 440QE one with embroidery module, for travel: B380, Activa 215, and for knit sewing: 800DL overlocker, 009DCC cover and chain
Fun Vintage girls: 900 Nova, 1010

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Re: 380 for me

Postby MochaB » Thu May 05, 2011 1:32 am

Your experience is very useful for anyone looking for their next machine, but having trouble deciding which one to buy. You started out looking at the Activa, but in your heart you knew you would never be happy because it was missing your favorite features. Fortunately, you paid attention to your priorities and ended up with a machine that delights you. In the end, finding the right match comes down to understanding what is important to you and making sure the machine can deliver.

Congratulations on getting it right. :)
Bernina 780, Activa 230PE, 1150 MDA, and Janome CoverPro 1000CPX.


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