The Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Sewing and Embroidery Machine (discontinued, but available to buy on eBay) is made by the Swiss company Bernina, and adheres to any standards that the Swiss expect from electronics.
With Swiss clockwork setting the standard for machinery all over the world, it’s no surprise this machine is top of the line when it comes to performance.
The Bernette Chicago 7 was made for those who love both sewing and embroidery. With more than 180 different stitches and a few added alphabets, it’s safe to say this sewing and embroidery machine has got most options covered.
But is this enough to offset a slightly lower maximum speed? We’ve got the details, so read on and find out if this is the combination machine you’ve been looking for.
Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Sewing and Embroidery Machine: The Details
This Bernina sewing machine doesn’t look as square as most of its kind. Instead, it sports a slightly elongated bottom half, giving it more stability as well as making it stand out in a room.
The fact that it’s lightweight makes it portable, though finding a carrier bag might not be an easy mission.
The white exterior and black lines make for a professional looking machine. The LCD screen is clear and demands attention. This is an ideal quality for this feature since you’ll be using this screen all the time while using the machine.
While finding a carrier bag might be hard, once you have it, taking this machine to family and friends is a treat.
The variation in embroidery designs makes it a joy to show younger children how everything works and they will appreciate the viewing area while you’re working.
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 16 x 14 inches
- Stitches: 80 sewing stitches, including eight buttonholes and two added alphabets, 100 embroidery stitches, and one embroidery alphabet
- Speed: 80 stitches per minute
- Computerized/Mechanic: Computerized
- Bobbin: Drop-in bobbin
- Warranty: 10-year warranty
As one of the better rated machines that offers both sewing and embroidery, Bernina could have taken the easy way out and only provided the bare minimum in accessories.
Instead, you’ll be fully equipped to try out both functions of your new machine without a hitch.
The accessories included are:
- Nine (9) snap-on presser feet
- All-purpose foot
- Buttonhole foot
- Blind hem foot
- Button sewing foot
- Overcasting foot
- Satin stitch foot
- Zipper foot
- Simple embroidery foot
- Darning/Embroidery foot
- Lint brush/seam ripper
- Needle set
- Extra bobbins
- L-shaped screwdriver
- Long spool pin long
- Spool pin felt
- Two (2) Spool holders (one large, one small)
- Dust cover
- Spool net
- Embroidery hoop (L-110x170mm)
Bernina: The Company
Started after the invention of the hemstitch sewing machine in 1893, Bernina continues to celebrate the memory of Karl Friedrich Gegauf, the man who made everything possible.
With the 5th generation ready to take over the company, this family has been surrounded by sewing machines from the moment they were born.
With a love that’s been handed down over generations and a Swiss tendency toward perfections, it’s no wonder Bernina sewing machines are so appreciated.
Their Bernette Chicago sewing and embroidery machine was created to celebrate some of the most important aspects of sewing.
With great attention to detail, they’ve managed to make a machine that can appeal to any sewer of any level, and they show no signs of stopping here.
This Bernina sewing machine offers a 10-year warranty on mechanical parts. A portion of this warranty includes the guarantee that your sewing machine will be delivered in working order.
The warranty should also keep you covered on all of the ‘clockwork’ that keeps your sewing machine running smoothly.
Of course, this presumes normal usage, so be sure to keep your receipt handy and use your machine only for its intended use.
Be sure to also read the included warranty carefully or to ask more information from your supplier, so you know exactly what to do should you find repairs necessary.
LCD screens are one of the great advantages of computerized sewing machines. Follow the instructions on the screen and select your wanted designs or patterns, and you’re good to go.
Because the screen on the Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 is large and the icons tend to be on the large side, it’s easier to use than machines with cramped screens.
Reading the manual beforehand is a smart move, just to know what all your options are.
In addition to the screen, the included LED light makes it easy to keep track of where you are, even if you decide to go on a midnight sewing spree.
Six Needle Positions
Needle positions are like icing on a cake; they’re not completely necessary but they make the experience so much better.
With six different options to choose from in regards to positioning, you can adjust yourself to the fabric and item you’re working on without having to improvise.
The Start/Stop button is convenient since it rules out foot control and instead lets you run the machine as if it were on automatic.
This is an especially nice feature for beginners who might need time to get used to operating their sewing machine with their foot.
If you’re already used to using a foot pedal, feel free to be leisurely when adjusting to the start and stop button. It’ll grow on you faster than you know.
Needle Thread and Bobbin Monitoring
With the Bernina Bernette Chicago 7, it will be like you have another set of eyes thanks to the needle thread monitoring and bobbin thread checking features.
These features cause the machine to stop automatically should you run out of thread in the spool or the if the needle breaks.
The machine also does an extra check on your bobbin before you begin embroidery as an added precaution. This makes it easy to sew and embroider with less backtracking and mistakes.
Needle Threader and Thread Cutter
While this small feature is only semi-automatic, it will still save a lot of time and frustration, especially for beginners.
Once you start threading with the assistance of your machine, it will be hard to go back to doing things manually.
As for the thread cutter? Well, that’s just more added convenience.
Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Machine Review
Add More Designs Yourself
The USB port might not mean much to you at the very start, but there will be a point where you’ll be happy to have it.
With this port, you can scour the web for new and exciting embroidery designs and add them to your machine.
Have a child that’s crazy for Disney or butterfly designs? Want to embroider geeky designs on a jacket? A quick look on the web will turn up what you want.
It will be easy to let your creativity and personal style flourish with this machine. It’s just a matter of transferring them to your machine, picking some thread, and you’re good to go.
Excellent Stitching Every Time
This machine seldom drops a stitch and turns out a beautiful finish every time.
In the rare case where you do find the stitches missing, check your tension. Once it’s adjusted, you’ll find no more problems and the same quality finish we all want.
Perfect for Beginners
Beginner sewers have no reason to worry when using the Bernina Bernette Chicago 7. With all of its automatic features, guides, and accessories, there’s not much else a new sewer will need to get going.
While it might be frustrating for expert sewers, this machine works at a pace that’s perfect for learners to hone their skills, whilst being generally much more sophisticated than other machines in the line (like the Bernette 35.)
Some users have even given this machine to older children to practice on!
Not only will the manual help you with getting things going quickly, there are also a number of videos available online to help you through most hiccups.
Long Lasting and Versatile
If you’re looking to dabble in a variety of sewing techniques like the included embroidery features, then investing in this machine will most likely pay off.
Once you’ve churned out a number of sewing projects, you can go on to try your hand at a huge variety of embroidery patterns, quilting, and bigger projects involving heavier materials.
With the added warranty, you’ll be able to keep practicing your skills on this machine for a long time.
Here’s a video showing a demo of the Bernina Bernette 7 and what it looks like out of the box.
Slower Than Most
No matter how you look at it, this machine goes a lot slower than most. If you’re working on several projects at once or want to finish the hem of a dress before you head out the door, it’s a frustrating draw-back.
This is offset by the wonderful finish and great variety in stitches this machine has, both in embroidery and sewing mode.
But if you just want to get through your work quickly, this machine might not be suitable for you.
The Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine is a wonderful choice that offers the best of both worlds.
Although it’s slow, it is by no means lacking in quality or imagination. If you’re looking for a machine that’s made to last and gives you everything you want in one go, then this is a great buy – if you have the patience.
We can recommend this machine to users of any level since the LCD screen and excellent support make it accessible to novices and beginners.
The only people who might be unhappy are professionals who need results to be streamlined and speedy, as a number of features are of little help when hours of work are ahead of you.
Where to Buy the Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Machine
Bernina has released some outstanding, quality machines, catering to a variety of sewers at different levels.
The Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Sewing and Embroidery Machine fits their line of high-quality products, though it may be a little hard to find in-stores and online.
The machine has been discontinued by most major outlets.
However, it is still available to buy on eBay.
That’s it for our review on the Bernina Bernette Chicago 7. Tempted to give it a ‘sew’?
For more reviews, head over to our complete archives of machine reviews.
Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Machine Review
Ease of Use
Craft Sewing Specs
The Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine is a solid machine, perfect for the beginner or novice sewer.
While it may run short for experts and professionals (especially business owners), this high-quality machine will cater to crafty individuals looking to sew as a hobby and expand their crafting repertoire.