As many of you know Barb, Jim, Sheila, Ina and myself were in Nashville about a week ago to attend BERNINA University. “BU” as it’s called is BERNINA’s annual conference for retail dealers and is where they introduce new products. This year one of the things that was so exciting to see was the brand new 97 and 97D feet that were introduced. Aurora Sewing Center was lucky enough to receive a few of these feet to try so that we can learn the ropes and educate you all as they start to arrive and we are able to assign them to all of the waiting customers. I thought it might be helpful to write a quick post about my experience using the 97D foot…spoiler alert- I LOVED it. For those of you who are not familiar with the difference between D and Non-D feet, D feet simply have a space in the bottom of the foot removed so that the Dual Feed can be activated on the 7 and 8 series BERNINA machines. We will have available both D and Non-D options for use on any 9 mm BERNINA machines. I’ll only be referring to the D version of this foot in this post.
When you place the 37D and the 97D foot side by side you can immediately see the difference between these feet. The 37/37D is a 1/4″ to the edge of the foot on either side of the needle all the way back on the foot. Those of you who sew on 9 mm machines know that 9 mm feet are wider than traditional 5 mm feet so that they cover the wider feed dogs on 9 mm machines. The tricky part about a 1/4″ foot is that the whole point is that it needs to be 1/4″ wide, so just making it wider doesn’t work.
It’s easy to see the issue with a 1/4″ foot on a 9mm machine from the picture above. The feed dogs are not full covered by the presser foot. Some people noticed a slight “pull” to the left or right when trying to piece with the 37/37D feet and shared their frustration with BERNINA. BERNINA’s response was the AWESOME 97/97D feet!The new 97D foot solves the issue of not covering the feed dogs by widening the left side of the foot as well as widening the back of the right side of the foot.The 97D is packaged with a seam guide that nestles into the right side of the foot and removes any overhang of the feed dogs.The best analogy to describe the feel of using the 97D vs the 37D I could come up with is comparing it to the feeling of wearing slippery soled shoes and then switching to sneakers. The 97D foot creates a very solid, accurate feel to piecing. There was no pull at all from those pesky hanging feed dogs and the seam guide ensures an almost perfect 1/4″ seam. BERNINA recommends two things to ensure a perfect stitch. The first is using your straight stitch plate.Because of the large bobbin on the 7 series and the large stitch opening on a 9mm machine some people have seen a slight wobble on the straight stitch (although I have never had an issue with my straight stitch). Using the straight stitch place ensures that the thread comes up from the bobbin perfectly straight and produces a flawless stitch. The second recommendation from BERNINA for creating your perfect seam is to change your stitch! The first time Barb mentioned that there was an alternate straight stitch I thought she was a little nutty. A straight stitch is a straight stitch is a straight stitch right? Nope.
Stitch 1326 is found in the specialty stitch folder on the 7 series machines and is meant just for piecing quilts. The “?” button is one of my favorite features on my 750, and it told me that stitch 1326 is a straighter stitch used for piecing. I have tried both the default straight stitch and 1326 and there is a noticeable difference between the two. So if you aren’t using 1326…you better start! If you are a quilter and you own a 9mm machine (450,640, 180, 200.730, 560, 580, 710, 750, 780 ect.) you should seriously consider purchasing this foot. Check out the video below from BERNINA to see the 97 foot in action:
These feet will be trickling in from BERNINA in the next few months and as you can imagine the demand for this machine is huge so supplies will be very limited. Call us today at either 716.652.2811 (East Aurora) or 716.204.8350 (Williamsville) to pre-pay for your foot to ensure that you can get one asap (P.S. If you are not a local customer of our stores you will need to contact your closest dealer to order your foot. Help finding the closest deal to you can be found at www.BERNINA.Com). You’ll be sure to fall in love like I have. BERNINA has hit this one out of the park! So tell me, are you excited to get your BERNINA 97 foot?