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Bernina 117L

#402839, courtesy of Richard. The 117L is a semi automatic machine with zig zag and three built in stitches.
The 117 model was Bernina's first zig-zag model and was brought onto the market in 1938. The company's first family machine, the 105, first appeared in 1932.

The chrome lever on the front is the stitch-width selector. There are stops at either side that can be set to limit the travel of this lever. When used for regular zig-zag stitching the lever is set to catch in the grooves along the arc to hold in position. When used for the automatic feature it is set to ride above them.

The smaller lever on the top front (with the black knob) is the needle position selector. There are three options.

The big chrome lever directly under the bobbin winder is the stitch length selector.

If you look at the picture taken from above, you'll see a smaller flip-type lever on the back that is immediately in front of the circular piece with the slot in it. That circular piece is linked to the main works of machine and goes back and forth as you sew. The little flip-type lever is linked to the chrome stitch-width selector on the front of the machine. If you flip the lever back so that it catches in the slot on the circular piece the stitch width selector will move back and forth as you sew.

By setting the stitch length to a satin stitch, the end result is an elongated ball pattern. It would be similar to the Singer fashion disc #10, only elongated. By moving the needle position to one side or the other, the pattern is almost identical to a scallop just like Singer's fashion disc #4.

Two major differences between this 117L and the 117K is that the 117L has a built-in light behind the face plate and that the 117K only has a manually set zig-zag.

Bernina Dating:

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