Sunday, 15 September 2013

Review: Bernina 800DL overlocker

In case you are wondering how I can write a review about an overlocker that I am supposed to get on Christmas let me tell you: since yesterday I am the proud owner of the Bernina 800DL! My lovely boyfriend gave it to me (which means I chose it of course) for a special occasion.


I have been doing some research about the best overlocker brand during the last couple of weeks. As it seams the babylocks are the best and coincidentally that was the brand I serged with when doing my fitting and sewing class. So I was already prejudiced :P

Having a look at the price tags of the babylocks, I quickly understood they didn't fit Santa's budget. After reading loads of posts and many reviews, I finally settled on either the Brother 1034D or the Bernina 800DL. Both are beginner machines but with a big price difference. The only advantage (I could see) of the Bernina compared to the Brother was, that it has many metal parts and hence is not that noisy and should be more durable.



I slightly tended towards buying the Bernina 800DL and had already chosen a website where to buy it. When I was showing it my boyfriend he noticed that the company was based in South London! Perfect, we decided to go there so that I could try out both overlockers, ask questions and then decide which one to buy.
That's how she looks like when you open her :)


We went yesterday and found ourselves standing in a little shop which is also doing sewing machine repairs. The owner, an elderly gentleman, had loads of knowledge and let me try the Bernina DL800. It was a really smooth ride and I was surprised how quiet she was :) Although the shop sells Brother as well, they didn't have it in stock but I could try a Janome overlocker which was in the same price class. The Bernina won :) and home we went  - me all excited about trying out the overlocker.

Threading of the lower loopers.
I was mostly scared of threading the overlocker, but needn't to worry as she was already threaded! So I just knotted the thread of my cones onto the old thread and then turned the hand wheel until tho knots reached the point where they were to big to pass. That was actually only the case for the two threads that have to go through the needles eyes. Win!

Tension dials.


Serging with her is like a breeze and I started already to sew a knit dress. I managed to sew curves after having a look at the great tutorial by Ashley from Make it and Love it. I also tried to serge a rolled hem as this is an inbuilt feature of the Bernina 800DL, but haven't managed it yet. But I am sure I will soon, because when buying a Bernina you are entitled to a sewing machine class at Berninas in London - so I will go soon!

Such a neat and nice overlocked seam! (sneak peak preview for the dress I made - coming soon!)




Do you have an overlocker? If yes, what are you use it mainly for? If no, are you thinking about buying one?

You can definitively expect to see more knits from me - I still have my flamingo jersey! I hope you will all have a lovely week! Me veryyyyyyyyy happyyyyyy!

19 comments:

  1. Hello I have the same overlocker and love it. I had never used one before i bought mine so I found it quite daunting, but it is easy to thread, even from scratch. I found this a really useful exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTdjgIKIBr0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DNTdjgIKIBr0&nomobile=1? Hope it's useful.

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Gail! The video looks really useful, I was just wondering if you have to repeat this exercise for every fabric you are going to use? Have you taken the Bernina class by any chance? I was just wondering if it will be useful.

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  2. Wow! So pleased for you - looking forward to seeing all the knit clothing you will be making! :)

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    1. Yeah, I am super happy! I just have to find nice jersey patterns that I can make!

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  3. Congrats! You're one lucky girl!
    I don't have an overlocker and have never used one. But since I'm not sewing clothing (yet) I don't need one.

    Ich hätte noch ein paar gut gemeinte Hinweise zu deinem Blog, die du auch gern ignorieren kannst: Die Blogzeit stimmt nicht. Es ist jetzt nicht 2 Uhr irgendwas, weder in Wien noch in London. Und vielleicht könntest du die Word Verification abstellen? Blogger ist recht gut darin Spam rauszufiltern. Und diese Buchstabencombos sind so schwer zu entziffern...

    Liebe Grüße, Ophelia

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    1. Yeah, lucky girl with the best bf ever :)

      Vielen Dank fuer deine Hinweise! Ich habe sie gleich alle in die Tat umgesetzt. Ich wusste nicht, dass die Word Verification an war. Ich mag das selber nicht und dachte es war aus - was daran liegen mag, dass ich nicht wusste das dieses feature word verification heisst. Und die Zeit ist jetzt auch auf London umgestellt, hihi.

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  4. Good for you! I have a conventional machine (a Bernina 1000 Special), an overlock (Bernette 334D) and a coverstitch (Janome 1000 CPX). I'm pretty old school when it comes to electronic gizmos on my sewing machine and I don't like the look of serged seams except when I'm using knits. So the overlocker is pretty much reserved for sewing knits but I was never happy with how my conventional machine tackled hem finishes (it's rather old and doesn't have a double needle option). At some point, you'll realize you've unlocked/overlocked the Pandora's box of sewing enthusiasm and you may wish to also purchase a coverstitch! This can seem excessive to have three machines but I find that I will actually wear garments that I feel good about and I won't wear things if something (even on the inside of the garment) doesn't turn out quite right. You'll probably want to work with your conventional machine to practice some hemming techniques on scraps (old t-shirts are great for this) and then you'll be off to the races. Have fun! I can't wait to see what you'll come up with!

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    1. I don't think it is excessive to have three lovely machines! And I completely understand your wish for having a neat professional finish. I am praticing with my twin needle now and hopefully I will soon get the hang of it and knit hems will be a breeze. :)

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  5. Wow, you lucky girl! I bought myself an overlocker a couple of months ago. I hadn't actually been sewing very long, but I'd already thought that it would be nice to have, and then Lidl had a Singer one on offer - £150 instead of the £240 it usually sells for. I was also just about to make my bombshell swimsuit, and knew it would be invaluable for that, so I decided to go for it and treat myself. I am so glad I did, I love it. I have had a few problems when she wasn't behaving, but that is usually something that I have done wrong (like the threads not being through the tension discs properly). I haven't sewn any other knits yet, but I've got a couple lined up. I've also used it for seam finishes on a few things, and it's just such a nice finish. I don't know if you've seen these workbooks that Bernina have for overlockers, but they're really useful for some exercises to do to try out different things (towards the bottom of the page): http://www.keizerbernina.com/my-bernina-workbooks.htm

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    1. I didn't know that Lidl is also selling Singer here! Actually I also had a look at the Singer overlocker because my mum sent me a flyer from another German supermarket. She would have loved to buy it for me, but I didn't think it would have been a good idea to try to get it to London, hehe. And thanks for the tip with the workbooks, I hadn't seen them yet! I am happy about any help I can get :) I am looking forward to see your knitted makes!

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  6. Very nice, and very exciting! I hope you have lots of fun playing and finding more jersey patterns!

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    1. As soon as I am done with my fall for cotton challenge, I will definitevely sew more jersey! Can't wait!!!

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  8. Hi Daniela! I love your blog, this is my first time that a read you and I loved it :)
    Please, could you explain how to use Bernina 800dl to make the sewing the last photo? I have the same overloxk, but I don't now how to use to make this.

    Thank you so much for your help.

    Luciana

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    1. Hello Luciana,
      It's lovely to hear that you like my blog :)
      In the last photo, I just used the normal 4-thread stitch of the overlocker to attach the sleeve cuff to the sleeve edge. You will have the sleeve and sleeve cuff sewn together already, so that you will have a tube (sleeve) and a ring (cuff). First you can baste the cuff to the sleeve with your regular sewing machine and then you use the overlocker. The only difficulty is to overlock in such a small space. You have to overlock really slowly, Because you don't have a corner where to start, you just have to start sewing somewhere, Check out this tutorial: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/02/using-serger.html, scroll down and Ashley shows there how to overlock in the round - that is essentially how I started and stopped when sewing the sleeve. When you are done, you press the seam allowance towards the sleeve and then use your regular sewing machine and a twin needle (from the right side) to topstitch. It is a bit fiddly. The topstitching will secure your seam allowance on the sleeve like in the photo.
      I hope this helps?! Because I am not sure what exactly you would like to know. So, please let me know if I totally missed your question.

      Happy overlocking,
      Daniela

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    2. Thank you so much Daniela for your explanation.
      I'm going to try your step by step.
      I used a lot my overlock, but always with the little knife, but I never could sew to give a termination as in the case of your photo. ( I know that it is possible with this bernina).

      Thanks again for your help and congrattulation for your blog!

      Lu

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  10. So, now that you've had this for more than a year, what do you think of it?

    ReplyDelete

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