Getting My Sewing Machine Serviced

Bernina Going To Be Serviced

When my Bernina sewing machine started misbehaving, I decided to get it serviced. Here are my tips from that experience.

WHERE DO YOU FIND AN ENGINEER?

My first course of action was to do a Google search for sewing machine services in the London area. But I was casting my net wide and non too carefully. A lot of sewing businesses still have barely functioning websites. How could I possibly choose where to take my beloved machine?

So, I asked my blog readers for places and you came up trumps with suggestions.  Personal recommendations are so reassuring.

WHO DID YOU RECOMMEND?

The three stand out recommendations in the London area were:

Sew Amazing in Mile End

Tony’s Sewing Centre in Tufnell Park

Chapman Sewing Machines in Camden

WHERE DID I GO?

Sew Amazing in Mile End. Extremely friendly service – if you go here, carve out time to hang around for a chat! I chose these guys because they were near me, quick to answer the phone and friendly.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?

It took just over two weeks for the work to be done. When the machine was ready, I was sent a text message asking me to phone first, and then come in to pick up the machine. It then took me another two weeks to organise myself to pick the machine up. Depending on your own levels of efficiency, you can expect to be without a machine for 2-4 weeks.

bernina sewing machine did you make that

HOW MUCH DID THE SERVICE COST?

£79.85, for the service and a bobbin of thread! I paid when the work was done. They threw in a free bottle of sewing machine oil.

WHAT WAS WRONG?

Thread was caught behind the shuttle drive. I was advised to always ensure that the tails of needle and bobbin thread are pulled behind the sewing machine foot (rather than to the side of it) when I start a row of stitches.

ANY OTHER TIPS?

Think about how you’re transporting your sewing machine. These things are heavy! I managed – just – on public transport but wished I had a car.

Leave a standard foot in the machine, not one of your fancy ones.

Plan your back up strategy. What machine are you going to sew on in the meantime?

toshiba sewing machine

If you’re mid-project, rescue your coloured thread from the machine going in for service.

I was advised not to leave computerised sewing machines in very cold places – the boot of the car or the garage – because they can be disrupted by the sudden warmth when you bring them in to central heated rooms.

AM I HAPPY WITH THE SERVICE?

Yes! Sew Amazing were brilliant to deal with and my machine works again. It was delivered back into my hands with a little test row of stitches as evidence of its happier temperament.

I don’t intend to spend the best part of £80 more often than I need to, but next time I need to – I know where to go!

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31 Responses to Getting My Sewing Machine Serviced

  1. lauriesannie says:

    Why didn’t you consider the dealer that sold the machine to you?

  2. Bia says:

    I have always used a Bernina dealer for my Bernina, but last year I had to take it to Omaha (Nebraska, USA), 60 miles and a one hour drive away. In late November, the Omaha Bernina dealer opened a store in Lincoln where I live! Now a short drive from home.

    • M says:

      Yay!!! I did not know that! I live not too far from Lincoln and have had to drive down to Lawrence, Kansas [they have a great Bernina shop there: Mia Bernina] — but this will be even better. I bought both of my Berninas in Nebraska.

  3. Irene Stratton says:

    I’ve got a small second hand Elna (at least 30 years old) which I use when travelling (or to take to a friend’s house to do repairs or little tasks) so I always have a machine…….

  4. WendyStitch says:

    I teach textiles at a school in Bethnal Green and always use Sew Amazing for the annual service of all the machines. As you can imagine, school sewing machines take a bit of a battering throughout the year but they always come back to me working perfectly. Glad you also had a pleasant experience using Sew Amazing.

  5. Gilly Anderson says:

    I’m amazed to hear it’s not easier to get Bernini repairs and servicing done in London, but well done you for persevering.
    We are in the wilds of Suffolk, but are lucky enough to have a Pfaff and Bernini dealer within 20 miles – Franklins Limited. The wonderful chap there has been nursing my 39-year-old Pfaff back from the brink for the past 25 years. Even when it seems no spares are available he somehow manages to come up with an answer. I know one day it’ll be the end, and in preparation for that sad day, I have bought a new – and IMO far inferior – model with many bells and whistles that the original Tipmatic never had, but I live in hope that my Mr Wonderful will keep fixing her up for many more years.
    Happy sewing 2018!

  6. JenL says:

    Lucky to find a good repair shop. I have an older mechanical Bernina but I have found that repair shops are not always well suited to repairing them. I don’t see how my old machine could be much more complicated than, say, a Singer of the same era, but at least twice without the most satisfactory results. Sigh. The Bernina specialists (in New York) often charge a premium fee up front, but I guess I’m going to have to go that route myself next time. £80 seems fairly reasonable for Bernina repair.

  7. Jo says:

    Me and my mum use a local chap here in North Yorkshire. He comes to the house and collects the machine or does it on the spot if he is able. I always notice the difference when I have had it done. I can’t remember how much it was but I didn’t faint so it must have been reasonable!

    • didyoumakethat says:

      An engineer who visits your home – you’re living the dream, Jo!

      • Victoria Connolly says:

        John Kennedy who used to be the machine man here at MacCulloch & Wallis has now retired from here but still services and repairs all industrial and domestics himself. His speciality is Bernina and he will come to you within reason! (he lives on the London side of Southend). If you would like his details we have his cards here.

      • didyoumakethat says:

        That’s great to know – thank you!

    • Yaffle says:

      Hi Jo – where in North Yorkshire do you go? We live internationally but my mum’s in North Yorks and I need a person there to help!

  8. Donnalee says:

    This is very helpful for folks in your area, plus gives some reminders for the rest of us–thanks!

  9. Colleen says:

    Delighted you were happy with the lovely Rob. Always a bit of a risk recommending people just in case it doesn’t work out.

  10. Elizabeth Ashby says:

    The sewing people at John Lewis usually keep a list of reliable contacts.

  11. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Just discovered we have the same Bernina model! Glad to see your precious is back home again, and thank you for that tip on threads placement.
    All best wishes in 2018!
    del

  12. Henriette says:

    Very sadly Chapman’s in Camden has closed down. I used to go there and loved them. Might have to go to Mile End now… thanks for the review!

  13. tinygoldenpins says:

    80 pounds seems like a good price. Just to have it serviced, a Bernina costs about $125 to $150. I’ve had my Bernina for 17 years and love it but it’s really been acting up and I know it’s going to need something beyond the tune and oil. So, I’m expecting to pay well beyond that and I will. It’s worth every penny.

  14. mensew says:

    The realities of servicing. Good to read, thank you. I’m long overdue my first service… scared, putting it off… but that clunking is getting louder and my buttonholes are getting worse! … 2-4 weeks you say… I’m going to need another hobby!!

  15. As someone who takes their machines in by pubic transportation (2 buses and a subway/underground trip) I highly recommend and inexpensive folding luggage trolley. I put the machine in a canvas tote bag and secure it with bungie cords. I have also heard of people getting rolling tool cases that fit machines very well. Either option is much cheaper than a car.

  16. Irene says:

    It seems that “sewing machine guys” are becoming a rare breed world wide. Unfortunately, sewing machines are becoming more and more complicated. What will happen when there’s no-one around to take care of our precious machines? (Not sewing is NOT an option.)

  17. Jo says:

    We have a shop in Shrewsbury in Shropshire but he is a miserable git but needs must!I took my overlocker there last January and had the blades changed and a service it was £108.00. So well done for finding a friendly service. Jo xx

  18. rbjaneite says:

    I’ve very sadly just moved from being a 10 minute walk away from Sew Amazing – Tony serviced my ebay-bought Pfaff a couple of times, and it was brilliant having a source of Guttermann thread so handy. I’m now in SE17 and am not sure where to go (no urgent necessity; I had a service three months ago, but I don’t like not knowing where to go in case of emergency!).

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