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Bernina:580E (Sewing Machine)
Viewed 1840 time(s)
2 more reviews for this machine
Review rated Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 16 people   
Reviewed by:Millimous
Friend of PR
About Millimous
Member since: 12/13/12
Reviews written: 1
Sewing skills:Advanced Beginner
sewing machines reviewed: 1
Bio: more...
Report a problem with this review
Posted on:11/2/13 10:31 PM
Approx price paid:$5800
Had this machine for:11 months
Recommended? Yes
  • Computerized
  • Needle Threader
  • Needle Up/Down Setting
  • Embroidery Stitches
  • One step buttonhole
  • Drop-In bobbin
  • Free Arm
  • Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
  • Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
  • Adjustable Needle Position
  • Embroidery Machine
  • Auto Threading
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This is my first review. This is the first Bernina that I have had. I had a Viking Quilt Designer 2 previously.
I love the way the Bernina feeds the fabric. It keeps sewing straight to the last thread without any little yaw at the last stitch. I like the ¼ inch feet. I didn’t like the Pfaff’s or the Janome’s or the Elna’s. But since I am primarily a quilter (I do a few things like totes and stuff too) that was really important to me. The screen is very clear and easy to use. I found the menu very intuitive. I had a few questions for my dealer about where to find certain things on the screen but I later found it in the manual. I love that the 580 has warnings for the feet/needle plate combinations. You enter your stitch plate by touching the warning sign then say, enter the single hole plate. Then the computer won’t let you use any zig zag stitches or move the needle. I guess you could also enter the needle plate width to correspond with the width of the hole of your presser foot and keep the 9mm plate. You wouldn’t then break a needle either. I love the eco mode which puts the computer to sleep but you just wake it up by touching the icon and the screen/ functions are just as you left it. It has great LED lighting, 7 inches to the right of the needle which is plenty for just sewing, and a plain, easy to fix full rotary hook. I guess I am partial to plain full rotary hooks since I have timed, fixed, replaced it on my APQS long arm Millenium. By the way, if you want to change the tension on the bobbin you can. I would recommend though that you buy the TOWA Bobbin Tension Gauge so you can set it back to the factory setting. Just test the tension and write it down first before playing! The hook area does need to be oiled. I agree with the other reviews that the bobbin case sits further back than is really really convenient but if you put it in with it rotated slightly to the right than perfectly aligned, then turn it counter clockwise while pushing in it is easier. I had a top loading bobbin in a Viking but I hated the way the fabric seams would flip on the cover for the bobbin area. The area in front of the needle is nice and flat now and I never get my seams flipped. The snap on table fits very snugly. I have used it in class and like that it sits securely and completely flat against the free arm on the machine. I have my machine sunk into my Koala cabinet at home.
I love the knee lift. I had the auto presser foot lift and auto pressure foot height adjustment on the Viking. I was actually always frustrated with the auto lift when I wanted to precisely lower the presser foot. The knee lift allows me to lower the foot as fast or slowly as I want. It has presser foot pressure adjustment onthe side and the number shows up on the screen. So does everything else you can change in nice clear numbers. You can also change screen colors. Silly, but I had fun with it.
I haven’t used the decorative stitches much but the ones I have tried look great. I like that you can go into the menu and if you want to change everything back to factory default you can. You can save your own setting too. When you change from factory default the thing you change has a different color.
I was worried that the 9mm feed dogs wouldn’t be good for piecing. I brought along many sets of an Ohio Star pieces to the dealer and tried the Bernina 780 with IDT, the 580, and Bernina 530. For smaller pieces (block 8”) I couldn’t tell the difference. The IDT did do better for long strips but no better than the walking foot. If the 780 had a large hoop like a jumbo hoop made just for the 10 inch length arm maybe I would have gotten it, but I was not sure all the kinks were worked out of the 780. But I would have turned off the auto presser foot lift! The 580 is simpler and the full rotary hook has been the standard for years. I wanted to try embroidery and I wanted a Bernina (dealer is expert at Bernina) and this seemed like the best combination of practicality and luxury. Also, my Bernina dealer’s father, who is Swiss, was the top tech at the Bernina factory in Switzerland, emigrated here and set up the dealership in 1976. He trained his son from the bottom up in the “old world way”. My Dealer’s mother was the spokesperson and expert seamstress at the Bernina factory. The mom and dad still work at the dealership, Alpine Sewing Machine Company in Roanoke, VA. The dealer’s wife is the expert at embroidery and software. They sell Janome and Elna too, but as you might think they love Bernina. It is my first Bernina and thinking of my poor husband, it might not be the last!
It is extremely easy to move from embroidery to sewing and vice versa and it gives you reminders of what needs doing like raising or lowering feed dogs, plug in embroidery unit etc. I have never embroidered before and I was surprised at how easy it was to learn to do it with this machine. It gave a prompt at almost all the steps. I am not commenting on the long learning curve to get the right stabilizer with the right fabric with the right design. I am just commenting on the icons and the machine process. It has basic manipulation of designs like centering, mirror, move within the hoop adding etc. You can save your design in the computer too. I think there is a limit to the number but then I always save it on the USB stick. It comes with 2 hoops, the 4x4 and 5x7. I embroidered 50 napkins for my son’s wedding and I never had any problems with the bobbin and tension except once in a while the upper thread would make a tiny loop. I have since read that I should have loosened the tension. They were the first embroideries (except at class and some trials). When my bobbin ran out the embroidery would stop and the bobbin sign would flash. It was easy to go back to where there was no bobbin and start again. The computer would give me prompts. I didn't use the bobbin sensor because it was annoying. See my dislikes.
I love all the different feet available for the Berninas. I like the foot being attached to the shank for the presser feet. The area around the needle is “clean looking” and I have great visibility all around the presser foot area of the fabric. On the Janome and Elna machines don’t like the junk all around the presser foot itself near the fabric. I buy feet for the Bernina when the dealer has one of his 25% off accessories sales.
The machine is very quiet. I have had no problems with tension while embroidering or bobbin trouble. I can embroider at its top speed with no breakage of thread. At a FSL class, my model took 15 minutes longer than the 830LE to stitch out the same design. I was fine with that. I am not turning out stuff to sell. As I said I am a quilter primarily but I am having a pretty good time with the embroidery so I may turn into an embroidery junkie too.

I hate the Bernina web site, but so does my dealer…
The bobbin thread sensor was poorly designed. The bobbin sensor would make the machine stop when it went off but the bobbin was half full. I just turned mine off.
It came with a really awful zippered accessory case where all the inside flocking came off on everything.They have changed to giving out a “wardrobe” which doesn't hold many feet. The accessory wardrobe (which was sent to me after my complaining about the zippered one) is not near big enough. It must not cost Bernina much more to have given us a bigger one since everyone likes them and it would encourage us to buy all the feet!
I wish the front , which while handsome, was not black. I have to clean it every day if I don’t want my fingerprints showing all the time. I haven’t found anything I really dislike except the silly bobbin sensor.
Otherwise, I think THIS Bernina is good combination of practicality and luxury at well, a high price but not highest for Bernina. But again, I went with the machine/dealer combination and was willing to pay for it. Dealer support, I have found after having my Viking dealer close and then 3 other dealers screwed up in fixing my Viking so that I finally dumped it, really, really important. My dealer is younger than me, so like a younger doctor one likes, I hope I can keep him for a long time! And I hope my Bernina stitches on and on for a long time too.
By the way, you can look up more reviews here on this machine but they are listed as " Bernina 580". My dealer wrote 580E on my receipt but it is also called just "580" since this model number comes with the embroidery unit.

1/19/14 Follow Up: I have discovered one thing that really kinda bothers me: The thread cutter cuts the bobbin thread too short for the top thread to pull it up. This is especially annoying when the thread cutter is used to cut jump threads or when changing colors. I have to park the hoop to get at the bobbin easily if the mid to top part of the hoop (usually the 5x7) is being stitched. Then I pull out the bobbin thread longer. I think this is especially true the finer or "limper" the bobbin thread is like OESD bobbin thread. Otherwise the machine stitches beautifully.

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18 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
tgm and Kittys said...
Thank you for a comprehensive review.
11/2/13 11:06 PM
beth5646 said...
Wow,, great review. Makes me want to check out the 580. Thanks for the review.
11/3/13 0:31 AM
ISewISew said...
Thanks so much for the review!!!!
11/3/13 9:09 AM
SewBusy63 said...
Great review! You can buy more accessory wardrobes if needed. A lot of people put their feet in plastic containers with dividers.
11/3/13 9:27 AM
Learn To Sew said...
Wow, what a great review. I learned more about this machine from your review than visiting my dealer.
11/3/13 10:16 AM
kathleen1304 said...
People on Bernina forums call those accessory wardrobes "Barbie boxes." I have 4 now. One is constructed a bit differently, attaches to the back of my 230 for portability.
11/3/13 2:08 PM
Millimous said...
I just added a little note at the end of my review on looking up more review on PR. Type in " Bernina 580" when you do a search. I called mine 580E 'cause that's what was written on my receipt.
11/3/13 3:09 PM
Mufffet said...
Excellent review. Thanks.:)
11/3/13 6:17 PM
KPM said...
Yes, this is a pretty great Bernina, as you so aptly say a nice blend of practicality and luxury, and without the tears, trials and tribulations of many of the larger Berninas. I've read that careful bobbin winding (absolutely no thread tail), plus keeping the bobbin area really clean allows the bobbin sensor to do its job. Can't speak for myself, as I keep mine turned off as you do. But maybe I'll give it a try and stop winding the bobbins with a tail through a hole. Enjoy your machine!
11/4/13 3:14 PM
ajoseph said...
happy to hear a positive review. enjoy.
11/4/13 9:58 PM
annenet said...
I have one of these and love it too! Good review and I do agree about the zipper bag - I have a spare barbie box but can't seem to find the racks that fit the C feet.
11/5/13 9:33 AM
Artsewer said...
Great review. This is a really great machine. I hope you have many many hours of enjoyment. BTW you can order more racks for the Barbie Case.
11/6/13 1:24 AM
lgrande said...
This Bernina model will stand the test of time. I predict it will be a prized machine for a long time.
11/7/13 9:17 AM
pamyjo2001 said...
I tried this machine, the 780, and the 880. This machine and the new 560 consistently did a great job on stitching and embroidery. The 780 they seem to have fixed some of the original issues I had with the machine but like the 880 it was just to finicky. You had to have the right thread top and bottom. The 5 series just out-performed the top of the line series (780 and 880)
11/10/13 1:07 AM
erinsluck said...
I just saw the accessory case Janome is including with the 15000. Wow. If these guys would realize if they give you a case with every possible foot labeled and room for it, chances are you'll eventually buy them. I'd love to have something like that.
12/27/13 10:26 AM
threaddy said...
Where do you get the TOWA bobbin tension gauge? I have one that has weights but it does not seem very accurate. Your review is superb!!!!
12/27/13 11:13 PM
Millimous said...
You can get a TOWA bobbin tension gauge at and You can also look on Long arm quilting supplies sites, like I got mine a while ago so you might have to look around for the cheapest place.
12/29/13 10:48 AM
threaddy said...
Thank you...I'll try those places.
12/30/13 12:36 PM
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