Question about Bernina Artista 180

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Bernina 830 won't zig zag, won't buttonhole, no decorative stitch

I only use the machine a few times a year, mostly for straight stitching. 2 years ago I had the same problem and to fix it, I took it in for servicing ($120). Today is the first time since then that I needed to use the zig zag or buttonhole. I have had the machine for over 20 years and it never did this before.

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Basically it is a matter of a stuck part. Flip open the top by prying up on the front or ends of the lid. You already noticed the hinges on the back. When you get it open, exercise the right hand lever on top (marked ZZ at bottom and 1-20 at top. If you look just to the right of this lever against the back wall you will see that it moves a little part back and forth into triangle shaped grooves. The part is not going completely into the grooves so drop some oil in there and exercise it a few more times, using your fingers if necessary to make the part move into the triangle grooves at the front and back. After a while it will loosen up where it should operate by itself smoothly . Hope this helps, I know it will.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009

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  • thespeidels
    thespeidels Aug 16, 2012

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! That was ALL my machine needed!!! I think because that is not a normally moving part, it never gets oiled therefore the oil that was there was probably old and gummy...thanks again!!!

  • aeteel
    aeteel Oct 16, 2012

    whoa! this just worked for me too. its soooo awesome thansks so much

  • Kimberly K Aug 10, 2013

    Thank you so very much, that was just what my 830 needed too. Explains why sometimes the zigzag worked and sometimes

  • Joy Redhead
    Joy Redhead Aug 15, 2013

    This worked for me, too, but I sometimes still have to push the part into the groove with my finger. Maybe it will loosen more with time and when the oil really moves into places where it is needed. Thanks!

  • Paerewyck
    Paerewyck Apr 06, 2014

    This did the trick...I thought it hadn't at first though so, if I can add anything to the above, I'd note that you know that the parts has loosened sufficiently when that lever (zigzag vs. other stitch settings) actually 'clicks' into position on either side of its range.


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If your machine has not been professional serviced recently or you have not cleaned and oiled it lately, then you might refer to your owner's manual instructions for oiling. I would suspect that perhaps the oil has hardened and is preventing the machine from operating properly--perhaps some of the selector lever/dial mechanics are not moving internally. Use liquid Tri-Flow Synthetic Oil (usually available at the hardware store) and put a drop or two every place that the manual recommends. Direct a hot hair-dryer into the internal works of the machine. (I usually let it get pretty warm to the touch - but make sure to stop periodically because your hair dryer may overheat.) Test your machine. If you can determine that the selector lever/dial mechanics are not moving, you can try putting a drop or two of oil in its metal joints and working it gently back and forth to loosen. Depending on how hardened the oil has become, you may have to repeat oil/hair-dryer process several times before things loosen up. Once it is working again, be sure to clean and oil regularly. (I recommend a good quality oil, ie Bernina oil for mechanical machines. It may seem expensive but it lasts a long time if you use only one or two drops each spot and, IMHO, is worth it in the long run. I do NOT recommend 3-in-1, WD-40, cooking oil, or the cheap sewing machine oil from fabric departments.) You have a wonderful machine and it will continue to serve you well if you treat it well. Suggest cleaning/oiling every time you change a bobbin, every 8 hours of continuous use, or every six months if it is not in regular use.

Posted on Mar 25, 2015

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Hey cool, worked for me! I just inherited my mom's old Bernina a few months ago. I think she hadn't used it for awhile.

Posted on Dec 31, 2012

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