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Bernina Bernette Chicago 7

Bernina Bernette Chicago 7

2.7 from 12 reviews

See the Best Sewing Machines & Overlockers in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

Not Happy

Despite a few lessons from vendor. I still had constant problems with the tension both upper and lower, bobbin kept popping out. Vendor kept telling me I was threading it wrong . The vendor also threaded it twice and it still played up. Then told me it was the wrong thread it was embroidery thread sold to me when I purchased the machine . I ended up trading it in for a cheaper machine but a different brand.

Date PurchasedMar 2018

Nothing but issues. Majority of the stitches don’t work with any stabiliser, tensions, feet etc. con

Nothing but issues with this machine I was gifted for my 21st. I was so excited to upgrade from my $100 kids Elna. Missing screws, foot falls off, broken thread sensors, can’t see more than 4 stitches. Embroidery has NEVER worked. So disappointing and upsetting, back to my $100 elna. Stitches shown in the manual didn’t come with the actual machine. Misleading advertising.

Date PurchasedDec 2017

Great embroidery machine Bernina Chicago 7

I purchased my machine during the year but did not use it until later in the year I initially had some trouble with the cotton jamming but a rep from Bernina visited me in my home and sorted out the problem very quickly and it was the brand of cotton and the machine not being properly thread for the right tension. Cannot complain about the service I have had as its been excellent and for the price range I don't think you could get a better entry embroidery machine

Date PurchasedJul 2017

only straight stitch works

I tested the machine out and its not good . the straight stitch is ok . the rest of the settings do not work correctly most of the time the button hole has wrecked work just making a mat of stitches on the spot .I have consulted my book on every threading although I have threaded machines thousands of times before on other machines and I have been doing it correctly. I have re threaded over and over again to make sure it is going through the plates. When on embroidery . it can look ok on the front some times but always loopy and matted on the back. I have spent so much time attempting to use this machine . I have now seen many reviews on the machine on create and craft were all good so I purchased it . I have now seen reviews from other sites and they seem to have the same problems as me. I am returning the Chicago 7 I will update once it is working correctly.
I am not a beginner I have 50 years of machine usage.

Date PurchasedMar 2017

When it works it's great.

I wonder why you have to ask people to respond in a certain way. When this level of frustration is felt, is very difficult to remain factual and objective- especially after spending hundreds of pounds/dollars, but i will try: I am so relieved to see all these negative reviews, because now i KNOW it's not me at last- and my almost lost confidence can start to return. It was lost over the past 18 months having to keep repeatedly returning to the shop and feeling more of a fool each time. The latest incident is that after a few blissful weeks of it working okay, it is now once more standing idle whilst i try and pluck up courage to get it back to the shop yet again.(No car, so have to hire a taxi each time.) My partner has done all he can to help. We've changed and wasted needles and dozens of metres of bobbin and expensive embroidery thread trying to get it going dozens of times for different problems. We spent £60 having it overhauled after just over a year of very little use- just in case.There was actual internal damage done to bobbin area due to one tension issue. The machine doesn't turn off when the spool is wound, so i have had to discard all the thread and cases... and on and on- so many problems one after another, each time being told it is something 'i' must be doing wrong. We are exhausted by keep removing the plate and the bobbin case to 're-set' it, especially as the design doesn't allow enough room to manipulate a screwdriver easily. CURRENT PROBLEM: in decorative stitches the spool on top is not moving and both top and underneath of fabric are being embroidered in bobbin thread only! How can this even be possible? Tried everything and very depressed to have spent so much time and money, only to be left with a machine that i would not even feel right about selling on. Is it not time, Bernina, to actually do something, like admit there are serious faults with this machine and compensate all your disappointed and frustrated customers in some way? I've also heard more than once that trying to deal with 'customer service' can be a nightmare, so haven't chanced that as yet. I've been using sewing machines all my life since a child, but never had one i am almost scared to use because of what might happen next.

Date PurchasedSep 2016

Yes and no!

I've tried to be positive about my Chicago 7, but now I'm fed up with it! I've done a lot of sewing and embroidery, of which most has been fine and enjoyable, but there have been continual tension issues on the embroidery. I've taken it back to the supplier at least 7 or 8 times in the year since I bought it. Initially the bobbin wasn't seated properly and the buttonhole function wasn't working. Three visits to the shop have fixed those, but the tension problems persist. Since the last visit, all my designs are puckering the material so badly that I've had to throw them away. Even the sample piece that the mechanic did himself is puckered, but he was satisfied with it! I'm really disappointed.

Date PurchasedMay 2015


I have read these comments before buying the machine. I must say it was little bit difficult to learn proper usage of the machine. Every problem that people had with tension and other embroidery problems, it is all about not putting the correct needle size for the material or it is the tread not sitting well in the machine. I have this machine for about six month and I am very satisfied with both embroidery and sewing considering it is low end home machine.

Worst sewing machine I've owned with a lack of after sales support from Bernina

I am disappointed. I have been sewing for 30 years and I detest this machine. Tension issues, irregular stitches, threader is useless, needle does not stop at the top and and and... Oh and did I mention rude Bernina staff. Okey, just one woman, but still. Bernina blames the needle (I only use schmetz); thread (Gutermann) and fabric (mostly quilters cotton) interchangeably. Even contacted Bernina International to help. Then tried to sell it after owning it for a month and I can not even give it away! My advice: A Don't buy from Bernina, B if you feel you must, don't buy this model.

1 comment
The drama continues. I sent it into the repair shop for the 2nd time, 6 weeks later I get it back. Now the bobbin winder does not stop the motor when the bobbin is full, the machine is even more broken than when I sent it in. "Well done" bernina

Bernette Chicago 7

I purchased this machine to learn to sew and embroider.
I have found for sewing it is a great machine. I use the instruction manual a lot the directions and pictures are easy to understand.

The embroidery part has been more difficult if I use the built in embroidery selections everything is easy and straight forward. The embroidery designs that I have downloaded are not so easy. I have to make sure I name the design in a way that I know exactly what each design is as the machine doesn't display the picture of any imported product, the sales lady or I didn't know this information when I purchased the machine. When rotating a picture test on a piece of fabric first to make sure its facing the right way.
If embroidering hand towels or face washes use thin ones as the embroidery hoop doesn't close with the thick face washes etc as they are too thick for the hoop.
I was able to do some beautiful lace designs on sparkling organza and a floral design on cotton fabric which does look great.
I would certainly purchase a Bernina machine again but I would purchase the next model up for embroidery machine or forget the embroidery and buy a good sewing machine. Using an imported embroidery design on this machine even with help has been a headache.
Using this machine has been easy I also made a baby quilt and cot quilt
Using embroidery designs downloaded even from reputable sites.

Love this little machine and all it can do.

found this machine to be a great purchase. i have done quilting, piecing, garment mending, craft sewing and embroidery work . although embroideary area is small, it does a lot mor than one would think and using free hooping techniques, it does hand towels and cloths great! i love it!

Great sewer, not so great embroider

a little painful to use in embroidery function. Bernina are less than helpful with getting back to you, sales person has not been able to help. From a general sewing purpose all fine no issues, however the embroidery section and manual is very limited with not a lot of information and being a newer machine the salespeople are also unable to assist. if you are looking at more of an embroidery machine then don't get this machine, spend the little extra and get a 100% embroider. The hoop size is also not fantastic only allowing small designs really in the largest hoop


I have had this machine for awhile now had nothing but trouble. The first machine that arrived the had bits missing and had scrathes all over. I returned it and it was replaced with a new machine got home to us it and the buttonhole would not work, back to the shop again and sensor was replaced . Now it has been back to the agent for tension issues. Twice in 6 weeks the tension has gone and screen has dulled.Now dealing with Bernina.

Date PurchasedJun 2014

Questions & Answers

I have problems with my Bernette when the embroider is thick, and the design need to re embroider, the machine makes a big knot of thread in the bobbin are. Any ideas?
1 answer
I got told by the lady from Bernina not to use rayon thread and to use a thread stand positioned about 10 inches away from the machine apparently this stops the top thread from twisting I haven't tried this yet though I also use bobbin thread in the bobbin I found that helped

Why does bobbin thread show on top when embroidering?
No answers

Why does the bobbin stops winding before its even half full. I have watched videos as well as reading the manual over and over and it will not wind a full bobbin.
No answers


Bernette Chicago 7
Price (RRP)1499

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