I didn’t intend to buy the B 380. In truth, I was looking at the Bernette 25. The Bernette 25 had lots of funky stitches and it looked very cutting edge. However, even at $1000 more, I think the B 380 was better value. It has a 10 year warranty on parts, and 5 years on the electronics. It doesn’t have as many stitches, but I was blown away by it’s accuracy. The button holes are superb, and the decorative stitches, although only 80 odd or so are all quite lovely.
It was the knee lift that sold me too. If you’ve never used a knee lift you haven’t lived yet. The B 380 also feels a bit more serious as a sewing machine, and less like an accessory. The “utility stitches” are all a single button press on the front which is sensible, and it has auto back-tacking which is a life saver.
I’m note entirely sure I’ve got the hang of the over-cast stitch, to the point where I’m sure I’m doing something wrong. The blind hem, however, is unbeleivably good. I sometimes wonder if a world of competing patents make true excellence elusive, why people would not have copied the Bernina’s method is otherwise beyond me.
The B 380, unlike the 350 is described as a dress makers machine, as opposed to a quilter’s machine, and this is reflected in the accessories it comes with.
Having previously been wedded to my Janome, I’m having some difficulty coming to grips with the personality of the Bernina, but like my conversion from a PC to a Mac, I think the pain will be dwarfed by the gain.