While sewing with a tiny 1.3 mm wide satin stitch for appliqué, I noticed how difficult it was for me to see clearly if the border of the fabric was enclosed by the zigzag stitches or not. It put a lot of strain to my eyes and I had to interrupt my work frequently. My sewing table is well lit with two additional daylight lamps besides the bright light from my sewing machine, but I still had problems to see where I was going with my needle, because the stitches were so tiny. I decided to buy the magnifying lens set for my Bernina Aurora 440 Quilters Edition. It cost me 59 AUD$ and it is one of the best investments in accessories I’ve ever made.
The little box contains assembly instructions, three different lens holders that work with different sewing machine models, three magnifying lenses in different strengths and one magnifying glass holder (to use the lens manually, without the machine).
The lens holder for the Bernina Aurora 440 QE works also for the Aurora models 430, 435 and 450, as well as for the Bernina Artista models 630 and 640.
A different lens holder to fit the Bernina Activa models 125, 125s, 135, 135s, 145, 145s, 220, 230, 230PE and 240 is also included, as well as another lens holder for the Bernina Virtuosa models 150, 153, 153QE, 155, 160 and 163 that fits as well the Bernina Artista models 165, 170, 180, 185, 200 and 730.
Installing the lens holder on the Bernina Aurora 440 QE is very easy, but it should only be installed by an authorised Bernina dealer. There was a warning note in my package, printed on red paper, advising that the lens holder set should not be installed by the consumer. Even though the installation of the lens holder is simple, straight forward and easy, it is understandable that Bernina doesn’t want the consumer to install it as once the head cover has been removed, the electronic parts are exposed.
What can I say? I simply love the lens set. Since I bought it, I have used it often. The lenses are easy and quick to change and if you decide to sew without a magnifying lens, there is a lens holder cover made from rubber-like material.
Nothing is perfect so don’t try to thread your needle while having one of the lenses mounted. I wasn’t able to thread my machine with the lens on and made it a habit to quickly unmount the lens before I thread my machine. It doesn’t make any difference if you use the needle threader or if you thread the needle manually, the lens is exactly in the spot where your hand uses to be when threading the machine. Maybe if one has very small hands, that isn’t an issue, but I don’t have overly big hands and it is extremely uncomfortable to use the needle threader or thread the machine by hand when the lens is on, let alone being successful at it.
Still, this is the best accessory I’ve ever bought for my Bernina. I don’t have to hunch up in front of my machine to see the needle area more clearly when precision is a must, I can see the needle area just fine from where I am sitting. I love it. The lens set is a very well thought out accessory that makes my sewing experience a pleasure. I use it for appliqué a lot and I imagine it could also be very helpful for stitch in the ditch quilting or binding.