Shopping On Ebay For Sewing Accessories – Good Idea?

Sewing room

Like many sewists, I have an older, used sewing machine.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Bernina 1005 with its pastel 80’s color theme and the band name “Slip Knot” etched into the casing, but having an older model makes it hard to find feet and other accessories I want/need for my machine, like a walking foot.

I’m starting my first quilt (a lap quilt), and I really don’t want to hand quilt it.  Like, really really don’t want to (don’t even try to talk me into it, haha).  I don’t like hand sewing my garments, and I can’t imagine sitting and quilting for hours and hours when a machine can do it much faster.  And yes, I know machine quilting can be tricky for a beginner, but it wouldn’t be anything fancy, just straight lines.  From what I’ve gathered, a walking foot is pretty much necessary for easy(er) machine quilting.  When I checked to see if my local Bernina dealership had walking feet compatible for my 1005 in stock, they said they could order it but it would cost a few hundred dollars.  Insane!

I took to Ebay this past weekend to see what I could find…and a lot of what I found are no-name brand walking feet that say they’re “compatible” with my Bernina model.  However, I’m skeptical…heaven forbid I get one of these feet and they mess up the timing or something like that on my machine!  I’ve always been of the school of thought of only Bernina accessories for Bernina machines.

Which got me to thinking…how do people buy sewing machines etc. on Ebay?  There’s quite a few to choose from on there, like Bernina 930s, my favorite machine my mom has, and some of them have no description of the quality of condition of the machine.  I’m sure you can ask the seller…but it seems so dicey to buy something like that over the Internet without trying it out or being able to return it.

So – have you bought hard-to-find sewing machine accessories on Ebay, or even a sewing machine?  Is/was it a good idea/worth it or do you wish you’d done things differently?



  1. October 21, 2014 / 12:14 am

    I have an older Bernina from the 90s and bought myself a brand new Bernina brand walking foot on ebay. It's going to be more expensive to get Bernina brand feet then if you get generic, but cheaper than at a dealer, and those feet are really nice. I've never heard of even older Bernina machines not being compatible with modern Bernina feet.

  2. October 21, 2014 / 1:32 am

    I haven't bought sewing supplies on eBay, but I have quilted four quilts on my sewing machine without a walking foot so it is possible. Some people use a spray adhesive that washes out to keep the layers from shifting too much. I usually over pin, which isn't too difficult to sew/quilt with, especially if you are planning on mainly doing straight lines. Just go slow and roll up your quilt where it hangs off your machine so you can get a better grasp on it.

    • October 29, 2014 / 12:40 am

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. October 21, 2014 / 1:40 am

    I waited for a 25% off sale to buy my bernina walking foot. I am also of the opinion of getting the actual feet for the machine. I can't tell you for sure if ebay is a bad idea, but you really never know what you are going to get, and I'd rather pay more and not wonder if there is a problem whether its me or the foot. And if its the foot, then I've lost money on something and gotten nothing in return. That being said there are some really reliable ebay sellers out there. For example Sharp Sewing on ebay is the go to person for those generic coverstitch binders according to Pattern Review. So if you find someone of similar repute it may be worth it.

    • October 29, 2014 / 12:41 am

      Thanks for the tip on finding a good eBay seller, that didn't occur to me. Glad I'm not alone in my thinking about machine accessories!

  4. October 21, 2014 / 1:55 am

    I've bought feet off eBay and Amazon (usually the generic feet and they work fine), but I had to jump in to say I highly recommend City Quilter in NYC for Bernina feet — and if you sign up for their mailing list, sometimes they have sales.

    • October 29, 2014 / 12:42 am

      I looooove City Quilter, that's where I got my last few feet. Maybe if I can hold out until I'm back in NYC in December, I'll pop in and see what they have.

  5. October 21, 2014 / 2:28 am

    I can't comment on Berninas. I own a Pfaff sewing machine. I've purchased compatible feet off ebay twice now, and invisible zipper foot and a Teflon foot. Plastic rubbish really, compared to the nice metal feet that come with the machine. I had no probs with the first foot, but the second was poorly made and broke with the first use – it was replaced no questions asked – I would buy off this ebay dealer again, because of the good service and honesty. But to me that is the thing about ebay – finding a trustworthy dealer – I go back to the same people. I have also bought rotary cutter blades (from China – clover compatible – fraction of the price) but they just aren't made the same and ended up destroying my cutter. I'll only buy authentic brand on that front now even though it costs a LOT more.

    • October 29, 2014 / 12:43 am

      Thanks for the eBay tips, I need to go read reviews now!

  6. October 21, 2014 / 12:53 pm

    I've never bought a machine or any accessories online, but I agree that a walking foot is pretty much required for machine quilting. I finally invested in a Bernina walking foot a few weeks ago (it was pricey, ugh!), and now I can finish up a quilt I started like 10 years ago. 🙂

    And yes, I only use Bernina feet for my machine. Might as well protect your investment!

    • October 29, 2014 / 12:42 am

      My Bernina is too precious to mess around with no-name feet!

  7. October 26, 2014 / 5:30 am

    Ha, I literally just bought a generic walking foot for my "old-style" Bernina on ebay! I haven't used it yet, though, so I can't vouch for it other than that it fit. I also bought a generic teflon foot which I did use and was totally fine. It seems like these generic feet are actually just a shank that fits on the machine, and the generic feet attach to the shank. The shank attachment is shaped right for the machine, and I can't see a way that it could damage the machine at all, even if it's crummy quality. I paid like $45 for my walking foot, so I wouldn't be out too much if it isn't great, but I don't think they're that much different from the "real" feet.

  8. October 29, 2014 / 7:19 pm

    i'm in the midst of an interesting (but mostly good) experience with this issue. i also have a used bernina, and it is the old style foot. a little googling found me "sewing parts online", a shop based in tennessee. they have good feedback on PR and i gave it a shot. i'm not sure about the prices – the walking foot was still more than i would ever pay for such a thing – but i got two rolled hem feet. and then i waited, and waited, and waited, for weeks and weeks. i was starting to despair, but then i got a phone call from an extremely helpful employee at the store who explained the delay in my order, and i got a partial refund, and she couldn't have been friendlier. so, good selection, good employees – and we'll see about their supplier. but that phone call went a long way toward restoring my faith and good will!

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