Creative articles about sewing

New Sewing Machine Nerves!



*WARNING – Dramatised for effect*

OH MY! A new sewing machine is an exciting time!

Wow! You finally purchased a new sewing machine and now, much to your delight it’s on the floor at your feet in a cardboard box with a red BERNINA logo printed proudly on the side. It’s beyond exciting,  your eyes get bigger and bigger as you peel back each flap of the box. You reach in and gently remove each of the contents, turning them over in your hands. You are flushed with a warm glow of excitement, and, with butterflies in your belly, you pull your new machine triumphantly out of the box and put it onto the table. You smile and admire it from afar, soaking in all the glorious details, the curve of the throat, the glint of the needle, the sheen of the crisp white finish and that sweet hand written tag on the handle. It’s a real beauty and you know it, you are feeling thoroughly satisfied with your decision to buy a BERNINA.

GASP! What does this all mean?! New sewing machine nerves can be a little overwhelming.


After a few moments of admiration, it dawns on you that you need to sew on this gorgeous machine. Your new sewing machine nerves start to bubble up, suddenly you can’t seem to recall what all the buttons do, it all seemed so simple in the shop and now you can’t even remember how to use the computer! Where is the on switch? How do you thread it? Gasp! Your buzz of happiness is receding and being overlapped by a creeping wave of anxiety. The attachments have now inexplicably turned into nameless gadgets and gizmos! All of a sudden you can’t think which bits go where! You try to calm yourself by looking at the instruction manual, your heart starts racing as you are consumed by panic…gah! The words blur, you doubt you will ever remember how to sew, let alone tame this beautiful machine!

*Told you it was dramatic!*

Don’t panic! You have a totally curable case of  New Sewing Machine Nerves or NSMN!

Yep that’s right, I’m totally going to make up the acronym NSMN because it sounds fancy, so let’s just roll with it for now!

I promise it will all be OK,  grab a cuppa and some cake and we can work this out together. I find that cake always helps. 

Hello! I’m Kirrilee from Deadly Mojo Sewing


I’m Kirrilee from Deadly Mojo Sewing and I’m a BERNINA girl through & through. I have a BERNINA 800DL, a BERNINA Record 830, BERNINA 1530 in my sewing gang and I love to sew bags.  New sewing machine nerves are totally a thing. How do I know? Just over a month ago I received a brand new BERNINA B335 and I had lots of new sewing machine nerves bubble to the surface and I really had to commit to overcoming them. I guess I had become accustomed to sewing on auto-pilot, not really having to actively ‘think’ when sewing. Thankfully BERNINAs , old and new, have a calming sense of sameness despite their different look and interface, and as a result I have been quickly rewarded with a positive and enjoyable sewing experience with my B335 (who I have named Nina the Pretty BERNINA).


We all react in our own way to new sewing machine nerves. Some people confidently jump straight in and sew all the things, try new techniques and press all of the buttons. Others struggle with varying degrees of new sewing machine nervousness, I know I did, and it’s totally normal, it can also last for a little or a long time. Recently, at a class I was teaching, a lovely lady shared a story with me about being too scared to use her brand new sewing machine, so she had left it untouched in a box for several years. Recently she got up the nerve to unbox it, she turned it on, only to find it was now home to a thriving colony of ants! Oh my!! Thankfully, she could laugh about it, we all laughed with her it’s just so random! (Mind you, if I was an ant I would totally love to live in a fancy schmanzy sewing machine ant house!)  

All the new sewing machine emotions!


So let’s talk about what can you do to help alleviate those pesky new sewing machine nerves, so you can truly enjoy your sewing time with your new machine. In my experience, you are more less likely to stress about a new machine if it is well suited to your sewing needs.

To get started with choosing the perfect sewing machine, you will need to ask yourself some questions:-

  • What will you sew? 
  • How often will you sew? 
  • Is it your first machine or an upgrade? 
  • Do you have a budget? 
  • Do you have a list of ‘must haves’? 
  • What after sales support is available? 


Now you have a clearer idea of your needs, a little more research will help you make a comfortable final decision. The BERNINA Blog and BERNINA on Youtube are great resources to find information on potential sewing machines.  Another option is to pop in and talk to your local BERNINA Dealer, they are experts and are there to help you make an informed decision. You may even have the opportunity to attend a craft show, talk to the informative staff and test drive a BERNINA display machine. It can be a bit of a Goldilocks situation, one machine might be too big, one too complex, another too small for your needs, but one will be just right! Total oversimplification of course, but you know what I mean.  Knowing what you want and choosing the best fit sewing machine for your needs will build confidence that you will be able to sue it, and therefore reduce some of your new sewing machine nerves.


Now you have chosen a machine, it is time to tidy your sewing space and move other machines away from your sewing table space. This will create the perfect creative environment for your new machine. I suggest you can spend a little time choosing a quick and easy a sewing project you are confident sewing. Cut it out, have the correct needles and have it all ready to sew for when your machine arrives. Knowing how to sew your project will allow you to gauge how your new machine performs, and help alleviate some new sewing machine nerves as you will not be unduly worried about your project as you sew. 

It’s tidy, I promise! Just need to wipe down the cutting mat to be ready for my new machine!


On unboxing day set aside some uninterrupted ‘you’ time to get to know your machine and explore the attachments and accessories. Why not ask a sewing friend to pop over and share in your excitement? Be sure to confidently put your new machine in the tidy spot, plug it in, switch on the power and take the time to breathe and enjoy the moment as your new BERNINA blinks, hums and comes to life before your very eyes! It’s exciting! Breathe! Those new sewing machine nerves are normal, part of the excitement, so acknowledge them, but above all just enjoy this awesome moment.

Bernina #335 Ready to Sew!

If it is your first BERNINA, congratulations! Meet your new sewing best friend.
If you have owned a BERNINA before, congratulations to you too!
I know you will be enjoying a special moment of contentment,
knowing that your new BERNINA will bring you more of the same sewing happiness you have grown to love!


Thinking about actually starting to sew might make those new sewing machine nerves start to rise again. Try to be positive, you chose this machine because it was the perfect one for you, you’ve got this! Just start at the beginning with the basics. Open the manual and find the page that shows how to thread the machine, do it. Then wind a bobbin. Then pop your bobbin in the case, it can be a little tricky, but you got this! Then you are ready to sew! Take a breath, put some fabric under the foot and just sew. Breathe. It feels a little scary, but smile anyway, you are actually making the magic happen! Stop and look at those perfect stitches. Adjust the stitch length and sew some more. Woohoo! You are on your way. Try play with your stitch width, work out how the feet attach you are building confidence and trust in your new machine with every step. Guess what? Now you are ready to sew your simple project!

The #52 Teflon Foot in action on this zipper overlay


Let’s be honest, sewing on a new sewing machines can feel a little uncomfortable at first, however this feeling will fade over time. Sewing your easy project will help you find what feels the same and what feels different with your new machine.  The more you sew, the more familiar and comfortable you will become, by the time you finish your project you will have sewn away a lot of your new sewing machine nerves. Well done to you! Now practice and persistence will be the key to building trust and a creative relationship with your new BERNINA.  Each time you sit to sew, try to challenge yourself to learn something new about your machine.  Be sure to reference your manual if you get stuck, it’s a great source of practical information, or you can ask your BERNINA Dealer for help if you can’t find the answer. Aim to develop a regular sewing habit with your new machine by sewing a little each day, your nerves will diminish as your confidence grows.

The more you sew, the less anxious you will feel about sewing on your new machine.


So as you can see, with a little planning, practice and  positivity you can overcome new sewing machine nerves (and prevent your new sewing machine becoming a fancy schmanzy ant farm!). In no time at all you will be sewing happily and making all the beautiful things with your new BERNINA. You will be proud that you overcame your new sewing machine nerves and will be excited to be enjoying a confident, positive sewing experience on your new BERNINA sewing machine!

Build confidence and trust with your new sewing machine & make all the beautiful things!

Have fun making all the beautiful things on your new BERNINA! I am looking forward to seeing what you create, be sure to pop a pic in the comments and show me, or just say hello!

Kirrilee x 

PS. A little about my project.

This handbag was made on my Bernina 335 using a #52 Teflon foot. It is the Hippo Hobo pattern by EMKIE Designs. Exterior is Sevenberry fabric that I purchased from John Watts Sewing (my local BERNINA Dealer) in Ipswich. It features a lovely thin, soft, caramel kangaroo leather from Packer Leather and bag hardware from Betty Box Pleat.


Difficulty level: Beginner
Used Material: cake, cotton, cuppa, fabric, new sewing machine, sense of adventure
Used Products:
Zigzag foot with non-stick sole # 52
Zigzag foot with non-stick sole # 52

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  • Gillian Anderson

    I got my new B570QE a little over a week ago.  After 4 hours of trying to get various functions working I was close to a migrane.  Next morning I read your blog and followed your advice to just make normal stuff.  I am off and running and starting to love my new machine.  This is my first Bernina, so it is taking a little getting used to after 25 years on my Pfaff and 20 years with a Husqvarna prior to that.   Thanks for your sensible advice  🙂    Almost ready to move on to more complicated things

    • Kirrilee - Deadly Mojo Sewing

      Hi Gillian, I just responded to your first comment, and now I see this one! Aww! I am so happy that you overcame your potential migraine and were able to regroup and just sew. Gives me goosebumps to think that I was able to give you a little boost with the blog. It’s funny how we can be lured into thinking we need to make something fancy with a new machine. I am thrilled that you are gaining confidence and are almost ready to tackle more complicated things! Congratulations on becoming a BERNINA girl 🙂 I would love to see a pic of what you are creating if you get a chance to post one here.

      Keep on sewing Gillian! Have fun 🙂



  • 4everblue

    Hi Kirilee, I think I was in your Pouch making class when one of the ladies told us the story about the ants in her boxed up new sewing machine… 🙂   I read your blog a couple of times and did all the prep work before unwrapping my new machine I got on Tuesday, took me two days to work up to it, but now it is sitting very pretty on its temporary “pedestal” and I tried out some of the things that Rhonda showed at the shop. I am now the proud owner of the B570 QE, SP (Tula Pink) It is such much more sophisticated than my 440QE, so I am still a bit daunted by it all, but totally in love… thanks for the fun read!

    • Kirrilee - Deadly Mojo Sewing

      Hi Nicole, yes!you were in that same class 🙂 Um…Did I just read that right? You have a Tula Pink B570 QE! I would be patting it all day long hehehe! Good on you for getting prepped and organised to welcome home your new BERNINA, you have done all the things you can to guarantee a successful sewing relationship. It would be daunting (they are just so pretty and shiny and lots of new features), but you got this! I can’t wait to see pics of her in action! Thanks for taking time to leave a comment.

      Make all the beautiful things Nicole 🙂


  • Gillian Anderson

    Thanks for your lovely blog.  I have just taken delivery of my new B570QE and feel like a new sewer although I have been sewing for 45 years.  I had my previous one for 25 years and knew the settings in my sleep.  I have been procrastinating buying this machine for 6 months due to being nervous about being able to work it!

    • Kirrilee - Deadly Mojo Sewing

      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog Gillian 🙂 Oh wow you have chosen a beautiful machine! It’s been a week since you posted your comment here, I am wondering how your new sewing relationship is going? All that ‘newness’ can feel a little uncomfortable, especially after 45 years, but on the other hand all of your 45 years of sewing experience will get you through. Big breaths and little steps and before you know it you will be making all of the beautiful things! Hope the blog helps you, feel free to come back an reread it if you get a little overwhelmed. Good luck! Happy sewing!

      Kirrilee 🙂


  • Gwen Heidke

    Great blog I’m a Bernina girl too and have exact same models you have except for the new arrival ? ???

    • Kirrilee - Deadly Mojo Sewing

      Hi Gwen 🙂

      Thank you! Really?! That is an amazing coincidence, high five to you Bernina girl! I adore my older machines but I am really enjoying getting to know a new machine. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am finding it refreshing for my sewing brain. I am actually quite impressed by what my little girl Nina the Pretty Bernina 335 can achieve. Although, I must say that sadly she is only with me for a few more days and then I will get to play with another member of the BERNINA family. So watch this space!

      Happy sewing Gwen 🙂


  • Trish Rowell

    Thanks for your blog! I can relate to this! I have a new Bernina 750. I have probably done about 10 minutes sewing on her & she has been with me for about 6 weeks! I have had 2 Bernina before; my first was an 801 bought with hard earned money at 17 & the next was the 430, bought about 9 years ago! I can now thread the top & the bobbin but have yet to actually sew a project! Crazy nervous! I have a Mary Poppins cloth doll & her clothes cut out ready to go. Thinking it will be a bit of fun. I haven’t made a doll before! I am also taking classes with a beautiful & very talented woman ( Rhonda) from where I bought my machine. You have inspired me; I off to sew!

    • Kirrilee - Deadly Mojo Sewing

      Hi Trish, how lucky you have been to have a life long relationship with BERNINA machines.  I am so glad that you can relate to this post, nervousness is totally understandable, but you got this! With Rhonda’s help I am sure you will be off and sewing without training wheels in no time at all. Trish be sure to pop back and share a pic of your Mary Poppins cloth doll project, I am intrigued, I can only imagine how sweet she will be.

      Happy sewing Kirrilee 🙂

  • Michelle Pegg

    Wow! Very informative. I have the inspiration  sew in the near future.

  • Packer Direct Leather Shop

    Great article!  Didn’t realise NSMN was a thing but obviously a prescribed course of Bernina time soon gets everything back to normal.  Happy to have played a small part in helping you overcome your NSMN.

    • Kirrilee - Deadly Mojo Sewing

      Oh yes it’s quite a widespread thing indeed! Sewing with a BERNINA makes everything awesome. That caramel leather is divine. I am looking forward to seeing all of your new leathers next time I pop in!  Thank you for taking the time to read the blog. ?

  • Barbara Dötig

    Love your blog post…never thought a sewing machine could be a fancy schmanzy anthouse ???

  • Kellie Brown

    Great article! I thought it was just me that got nervous about sewing with a brand new machine ?

    • Kirrilee - Deadly Mojo Sewing

      Thanks for the feedback Kellie. I have been surprised with just how many people have mentioned that they feel the same. Great to know there are strategies to overcome it so we can all get back to making all the beautiful things!
      Happy sewing! ?

    • Kirrilee - Deadly Mojo Sewing

      Hi Robyn, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Oh it sure is! You don’t realise that new sewing machine nerves are a thing until you sit in front of a new machine! Hope you find the tips useful. Happy sewing 🙂


    Yes! I totally understand that new machine feeling. What a fun blog post and awesome to meet you Kirrilee! xx

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