The Marvellous Minimatic Bernina 807 – Ready to Play!

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I love, love, love old sewing machines. Here’s my latest find – the Bernina Minimatic 807.

Bernina in case

She is my first Bernina and although I was well aware of the brands fabulous reputation, what delights me the most is the machine’s case. A normal looking red plastic box from the outside, but open her up and wow –  an utter design delight.

Bernina case (2)

A sturdy sewing machine table lays in the front of the case – you can see it in the first photo – which slides onto the free arm and locks in place to increase the size of sewing bed.

summer holiday 2014 616

The foot pedal sits in a red plastic holder over the free arm.Foot pedal holder

Even the accessory box is designed so its big enough to fit in an oil bottle, but thin enough so it can sit on its purpose built shelf behind the Bernina.

Bernia Toolkit

This cute Bernina beauty came to me with a bobbin that didn’t wind and a foot pedal with a life of its own!

Popping the top lid of the machine revealed that age has played its hand at hardening the black rubber bobbin wheel.

under bernina lid

Without any ‘give’ in the rubber the bobbin wheel kept slipping against the teeth on the inside of the hand wheel. If you look closely you might just be able to make out the teeth / grooves on the burgundy hand wheel. Inside Bernina case

The foot pedal fault was a little surreal – a sewing machine which spontaneously made its own little stitches. I did wonder at first if those fairies had finally popped in! It was when the foot pedal began to hiss and give off a hideous odour of melting plastic that I knew the game was up.

A little bit of internet research and a very helpful father-in-law moment later – the foot capacitor was removed and a new bobbin winder wheel was on order. Isn’t it amazing what information you can find on-line?

My beautiful Bernina Minimatic 807 is now ready to play again and I’m off to have some creative fun.

What design features do you love about your machine?

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46 thoughts on “The Marvellous Minimatic Bernina 807 – Ready to Play!

  1. Hey! I just love my Bernina 807 – my only problem is: When I open the top, there aren’t any more red oiling marks left. The manual doesn’t show how to oil the inside of the machine (just the shuttle race and that part). Can you maybe show a picture if your red points? Or do you know a manual where the whole oiling process is shown?

    (In this one on page 53 it stops after removing the cover….
    https://www.bernina.com/de/SupportData/Out-of-Print-de/BERNINA_807_810_817_manual)

  2. Have you tried your Bernina minimatic’s embroidery capacity yet? If so, how did it go? I’m thinking of buying a minimatic from ebay, but want a machine that can do satin stitch and its variations. Berninas are wonderful machines.

    • I have an 807 also. I bought my when it was first released. It came with several presser feet, but no edgestitch foot. I’d really like to have one. Has anyone acquired one for their 807, and if so, what is the part number and from where did you purchase it.

    • I bought a snap on ankle that allows you to use regular snap on feet for your “old” bernina ( the 807). Changes from Bernina shank to low shank. I haven’t used too many snap on presser feet yet, but the set of snap on jobbies I bought for about $15 on Amazon are pretty useful. Hope this helps.

  3. I need help. My footpedal does not work though I have removed the capasitor. Do I need to buy a new one and put in or can I do something else. Give me some advise.

    • Hi there, sorry to hear your foot pedal isn’t working. I’m afraid I’m not an expert so l’m unable to offer advice on what’s wrong. Is there a sewing machine repairer you can pop in to see?

  4. Have just bought this machine secondhand as I could not afford a new one. Had a machine I paid $100 for and took it into be serviced and the cost was more than I had paid for the machine . The repairer said the best machine to buy was a Bernina which I now have even if it is a 1974 model machine but it sews basic stitches and sews beautifully. I hope I get years of use out of it and love it as much as everyone else.

  5. I recently acquired a a Bernina 807 from a thrift store. It is beautiful and works well. Since I have other machines ( stretch stitching, buttonholes_ I was not too concerned with the lack of specialty feet. I did find out that it it a high shank machine and you can buy an adapter to allow you to use snap in low shank presser feet. This site also sells individual high shank Bernina presser feet for “old” machines and “new” machines. The average pric per foot seems to be about $25 (assuming US). I also found a site on You Tube demonstrating the stitches on an 807. Both sites were quickly found just by typing Bernina minimatic 807 sew machine. I am sorry, but I did not save the links. I just go through all the selections, until I find something useful to me. What I would like to know is about the buttonhole function. The manual I found online says to use the zig zag foot )my only foot). I would be interested to learn how to do buttonholes this way. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Karen, I’ve just done an a general Internet search on ‘how to make a button hole with zigzag stitch’ and quite a few links and video clips come up. Some of the look really clear so if you do the same hopefully that will help.

  6. Hi Does anyone know where I might get belts for my Bernina 807 please? I haven’t had much luck on this side of the Pond (Ireland). It works on and off when I coax the wheel along with my hand but I don’t know how long I can do this. Eithne

  7. Hi, I’m fairly new to sewing machines, but have always wanted to become proficient with one… So I’m really excited, I’ve just inherited a Bernina minimatic 807 ,beautifully kept and preserved. I too found the Manuel online, and gave it an all over inspection. The only thing I found is I’m not sure if the lever at the back is broken, or not engaging the foot through my lack of mechanical knowledge, or whether it’s even meant to… In the manual it says the foot can be dropped, I’m assuming to keep the tention and feeding the material through, as I saw on other sewing machines..?

  8. I wonder if you can give a bit more description about the fix for the foot pedal problem. My sister has the same trouble: mysteriously, the machine will start with no foot on the pedal. No smoke or burnt plastic smell yet though.

    • I started off doing some research on the Internet to see what other people had thought and then talked to my father in law about it. I’m really lucky because he used to be an engineer so he knew what a capacitor looked like and how to remove it. Have you managed to work out what’s wrong with yours yet?

  9. I’m just unpacking my mother’s Bernina 807 on which I sewed many years ago under her watchful eye; now it’s mine, as Mum decided to upgrade. Trouble is, I used to live in UK (240V) and now in Canada (110V) so I have to use a step-up transformer and I’m a bit worried about it. My dad reckons I can swap out with a Bernina 110V motor (off ebay, probably) and everything should still work, but I don’t know I’ll have the courage to try that.
    I used to make ballgowns (prom dresses) but now I’m making fashion doll (Sindy, Barbie, Fashion Royalty) clothing from remnants and old clothes. I am anxious to supplement the standard presser feet pack I unpacked yesterday with some new, old style Bernina presser feet (gatherer and/or ruffler, possibly a walkover foot, and I must get that 2mm rolled hem foot) which will make this not the “free” sewing machine it might otherwise have been! I’ve been persisting for a few years with a Kenmore (made by Janome, for Sears, I believe) but it struggles with finer fabrics and the bobbin thread is always nesting up into a big mess no matter how clean I keep the shuttle and how carefully I sew. Even though I always use Gutermann (that brand always worked a dream in Bernina, by the way). I’m hoping a good tune up will do the trick – the Bernina’s been in storage for years before coming over here – so I can put the Kenmore back in the cupboard for back up duty only. I also got a hand-crank Singer from the early 20th century that I remember does a perfect straight stitch, and another like it that was “electrified” later in life. The manual Singer was my first sewing machine, has a family history going back 4 generations, and I can’t bear to part with it, especially if electricity prices keep going up!

    • Wow, you have some very beautiful machines – good luck with getting your Bernina going, they really are (like Singers!) built to last. Keep in touch, would love to know how you get on. I’m determined to get mine out today and make a new yoga mat ! x

    • Hello Sara,
      About the power… An Up/Down Converter is what you are looking for. I moved my Bernina from the US to Europe and bought a SevenStar TC-500 Up/Down Converter along the way. It might be overkill on capacity, but I have a stereo system running off this converter too. I nearly burned the sewing machine motor out using a simple outlet-style adapter, although it did physically run, I was not doing myself any favors.

  10. My hubby and I prefer to pass things on and give stuff away rather than sell items on auctions, etc, and I reaped what we’ve sown yesterday when I adopted a little Minimatic 807 from the street among items to take away for free! I love Google, downloaded an instruction manual and gave it a good clean and oil (the lint inside was so dense, like felt!) I love the retro shape, the sound as it hums along, the cute foot attachments, the sewing board space. Yes, it certainly feels like I’ve driving a Rolls 😀 Thanks for the tip about opening the top up – the stitch width setting isn’t responding. If my machinist friend can’t fix it, I’ll take it to the professionals. I’ve got excited about sewing again and flooded my Pinterest boards with sewing know-how and inspiration. I found your post while looking for presser foot information xx

      • I think there might be two slightly different types of machine, on mine you ‘rock’ the top off (carefully) and on some (and according to the manual I printed off the internet) you open up the face plate and there should be a shiny button in the back corner you press inside the housing. Hope one of these methods works for you. X

      • ook ages to work it out…yes, it can ‘rock’ off, or you can open up the face place (which houses the light bulb), and there’s a big shiny knob in the back corner – press it. And it pops the top right off!

      • Do you mean the very top? For cleaning and oiling.

        On my machine I open the end where the lightbulb is and push a little lever in the top corner to remove the top. There are three points to oil marked with red. One is tricky you need a oil bottle with an angled tip.

      • It took ages to work it out…yes, it can ‘rock’ off, or you can open up the face place (which houses the light bulb), and there’s a big shiny knob in the back corner – press it. And it pops the top right off! Meanwhile I’d been pressing a latch I thought was a lever, and discovered the face plate wouldn’t stay shut again – oops! Pleased to get the top off to re-position that little catch…

  11. Good luck with your new Bernina. I have this model which my father bought for me in 1978. I am ashamed to say I have only had it serviced twice in that time despite using it a LOT. Bernina are the Rolls Royce of sewing machines and you are going to have years of pleasure using it. Mine is still used regularly and has coped with dressmaking, curtain making as well as heavy upholstery making. It has never let me down. Enjoy!

  12. I too have a Bernina, an 801 Matic, very similar to yours but has the buttonhole function. I had longed for one for years. Bought it secondhand in a shop in Winchester when I asked if they happened to have any and this one for due in. It was like new! I too love the look of it – the design seems almost timeless, rather like Golfs I always think, not that I’ve ever owned one…. and when I use it I can’t help thinking of the phrase “sounds like a Golf”! I also have a Singer 201 which I love for its immense sturdiness. Plus one or two other old Singers under my sewing table waiting for my attention…..

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