Buying Used: Bernina Artista 165

After the Bernina 330 didn’t pan out, I was frantically looking for a sewing machine because I’d already lost one of my three weekends without Kay to work on the curtains. I needed to be productive!

I was also again very uncertain which machine to buy. I couldn’t find another 330 on any UK site that would ship VAT free and I wanted something ASAP because of the Kay-situation, so I was contemplating forking over the 1325CHF for the machine in Zürich or going for an even more basic machine.

But finally… I saw a used Bernina on Swiss Ebay that caught my eye. It was an 8 year old sewing computer that could do embroidery and it was selling for a pretty fair price at 888CHF. I decided to contact the seller to end the auction a few days earlier so that I could pick it up on Saturday morning in Bern. (I totally did that with our lounge set too so that we had it in time for our house warming. Don’t be afraid to ask sellers to change their auction to suit your schedule!)

Two weekends ago, I got up at 8am on a Saturday and was on my way to Bern to pick up my Bernina Artista 165!

I had the seller meet me in Bern from his small town. The train is about an hour from Zürich, so I spent the time riding home reading the user manual in English on my iPhone. The one that came with the machine is obviously German, which is great and all… but I wanted to know what to do immediately!

Back at home I had some lunch and taught myself how to wind and load the bobbin, thread the machine and use the needle threader, which I’ve never had before. The sewing machine only came with one needle and one bobbin, which was a bit weird, but aside from a missing thread cutter and power cord it came with all the other accessories. (Bernina’s just take standard computer cords, so it was not a big deal to grab one from our electronics bin.)

After a Skype with Kay, who was very surprised I had already been to Bern and back on a Saturday, I got to work cutting the fabric for our blackout curtains in our bedroom! See what I mean about needing the entire living room to myself?!

I worked until 1:30am hemming the blackout lining and curtain fabric and by the end of the evening I had sewn one curtain completely. I called it a night and went to bed.

I’m super excited about the eight (8!!) presser feet the machine came with as well as the very cool FHS knee lift, which is a pricey add-on for some of the 3 series machines. I think it has more stitches to choose from and more than one automatic buttonhole, which is another big upgrade in the Bernina world. If I can find an embroidery module later on, I can even do embroidery that is not possible on the 3 series! The machine also came with a hard case and an extension sewing plate that snaps on. I’m pretty impressed by the touch screen as well!

Jep, over the moon about this machine.

It’s a little hard to tell how much this machine cost when it was new or which machine compares to it now, but since I see old Artista 200s selling on Ricardo for 2500CHF, I think I got a pretty good deal and I’m very happy with all the features I’ll get to try out.

If you sew, how did you choose your machine?

3 thoughts on “Buying Used: Bernina Artista 165”

  1. I inherited Mom’s old Universal–I think it’s almost as old as I am? She never really learned to use it (preferred hand-sewing) and it sat in a closet forever until I’d moved out and asked to have it. It’s not a fancy machine (though it does have some decorative stitches) but it sews great. I also have a Singer serger/overlocker someone traded me for a cake recipe (yes, really). It, unfortunately, needs a trip to the repair shop as something’s misaligned–it cuts the threads every 2 stitches!

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