Look…no hands!

Did you know you can raise and lower the presser foot on most BERNINAs without using your hands? Did you know you can raise and lower the needle with using your hands either?

I know!!! As Elaine from Seinfeld would say, “Shut up!”

This first feature is similar to industrial machines. Starting standard with the 380 through the Auroras and Artistas and culminating with the 8 Series, BERNINAs utilize the Free Hand System (or FHS).  It’s a lever inserted in the lower right of the machine and your knee can control not only the presser foot but the feed dogs as well.  Raising the foot lowers the feed dogs (temporarily), great for keeping delicate fabrics from getting damaged by the rough edges of the feed dogs. That’s a lot more control–when you can pivot and keep your hands on your work.

The Free Hand System

It’s a great habit to develop…raising your needle with your foot!  Starting with the Auroras, BERNINA has an electronic foot pedal.  See the icon on the pedal? It’s the same icon you see on the face of the machine for raising and lowering your needle.  Just heel back on the pedal and watch your needle raise or lower.

Consistent iconography--how helpful!

It’s not that you can’t use your handwheel, but I typically encourage people to develop new habits, especially with the technology available.  Don’t you hate it when you start to sew and the thread has mysteriously pulled out of your needle? It’s likely because your take-up lever still had a bit of journey up before it could come back down and the thread pulls out.  Taking advantage of the needle up/down function pretty much eliminates this. Fuss-free, hands-free sewing–what a treat!

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