The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Hello all!


I thought I'd take the plunge and ask about something that has been on my mind. My machine is a second hand Bernina Virtuosa 153 Quilter's Edition and I love it to death. Ever since grade school I've wanted a Bernina (what can I say, I had taste even then ;) ) and through lots of hard work, scrimping, saving, and a chunk of inheritance from a grandparent, I finally was able to get Stitch. She has an amazing variety of  toys and tools that came with her, and I love Stitch very dearly. However she is lacking in the footwear department.

At least the practical ones. She is quite set in frivolous footwear, from freehand quilting feet to embroidery feet. I am however lacking a zipper foot of any kind, as well as other essentials, and quite frankly I would love a ruffler foot.

My dilemma is that coming from the dealer in town, they are painfully expensive. I can either have a presser foot or groceries. As I have two young nephews to feed, groceries wins out. They are not very understanding about aunties wants and desires. Enter e-Bay. Far more affordable, but they aren't -really- Bernina, they do however make the claims they fit my machine. Has anyone had any experience with these? What are your thoughts? I am quite willing to go the dealership route, I don't want them to go out of business, but its a several month difference. I can set aside a bit every month until I have enough, or go generic.

I would also dearly love suggestions on what you all think are essential, or just dead useful footwear for your machines! I have the standard all purpose foot, a button hole foot, and blind stitch foot.. I know I need a zipper foot, and am thinking a jean foot, and the coveted ruffler. On a similar note, do I need a zipper foot and an invisible zipper foot, or can I get by with just the invisible one?

Thank you all so much for the taking the time to read my rambles! Happy stitching!


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Hi Lyrissa,

I too have a Bernina which I purchased 8 or 9 years ago...after having the worst machine ever (seriously). I respect Bernina and would use the appropriate feet. In all honesty I use my #1 foot, # 10 foot ( stitch in the ditch, and top stitch) most, like all the time, next comes #4 zipper foot and #3A buttonhole. I would say these are the feet I use and seriously depend on. Now my nice to have (not necessary for survival) are #5 blind hem, #35 invisible zipper, #16 ruffler and #37 quilter's foot for .25" seam. I could do without them but they make it just that much nicer.

My vote is to save, they aren't horribly expensive and Bernina has deals where you can get the second foot half off the full price.

If that doesn't convince you, the feet are metal, they don't wear out. Once you have them you are good to go and they universally fit Bernina models.

I hope this is helpful!

Thanks Cathe!


I was leaning in that direction as well, I spend that much money on my darling, I want things that will work, not break. I ran over to the shop and grabbed an invisible zipper foot for $25! That was by the cheapest by half but I can cope with that. Knowing what awaits me will help me plan better.

Another question though, there is a #16 gathering foot, and a # 86 ruffler. I got a bit lost listening to the explanation, he recommended the gatherer for my needs (mostly clothing with some home deco), but both were out of stock.  I'm not really sure what the real difference is...

You were an amazing help and I truly appreciate your time and knowledge, thank you!

Oh I had the same dilemma with the gathering foot verses the ruffler. From what I could understand the ruffler is a lot more heavy duty and (I felt) beyond my current needs and further out needs. Really what I wanted was help making an extremely even ruffle which #16 does really well. Sorry, above I referred to #16 as a ruffler, it's a gathering foot, whatever all that really means!


I'm pretty much a novice at all of this and just keep experimenting. You are very welcome.

Hey, I would not hesitate be unfaithful and try the cheaper option, I have an Elna, not a Bernina and universal means fits all.  I do not believe it would cause any damage to your machine.  If you are concerned - before you start sewing, just hand wheel the needle through its range of motion and make sure it is going through the gap in the foot - not contacting any area of the foot.


I didnt know you could get a gathering foot - that might help me to get over a little phobia of mine!


good luck




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