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Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Reviews That Tell You The Truth

As a fully-fledged embroidery and sewing machine, the Chicago 7 leads a dual life.

Not only does it create sewing garments and also quilting a piece of cloth, but also includes the embroidery module, and in just a second, the Bernette Chicago 7 will be transformed into the embroidery machine.

And Yes, Bernette’s Chicago 7 is also the first combination sewing machine made by Bernette. It is highly capable of embroidering and Sewing.

You know what? This wonderful model is no longer available, which means you’ll have to settle with an alternative.

Well, we pulled out a few highly capable embroidery machines, and out of those, we have finally picked the best alternative to Bernina Bernette Chicago 7.

It’s Brother SE600, which is far better than the Chicago 7 in true words. You can read dedicated the SE600 review HERE.


Brother SE400

  • USB port to import designs.
  • Compact and sturdy.
  • Portable and easy to store.
  • Looks expensive than what it costs.
  • Dual Purpose – Embroidery + Sewing.
  • Highly dependable construction.
  • Appreciable range of accessories.
  • Features will win your heart!
  • 3.7 inch Colored LCD touchscreen making editing and previewing designs easy.








Bernette Chicago 7

  • Stop/start key available, so no need to use Foot Control.
  • Perfect design for comfortable long-span work.
  • Portable and Lightweight.
  • Very attractive by looks.
  • Exceptionally sturdy.
  • Easy and Quick Threading.
  • Features will win your heart!
  • Tough to say – it’s a discontinued machine!






Bernina Bernette Chicago 7 Reviews


Buttonhole foot All-purpose foot Blind hem foot
Overcasting foot Button sewing foot Satin stitch foot
Zipper foot Darning/Embroidery foot Simple embroidery foot
Needle set Lint brush/seam ripper Extra bobbins
L-shaped screwdriver Screwdriver Long spool pin long
2 Spool holders (1 large/1 small) Embroidery hoop (L-110x170mm) Spool pin felt
Dust Cover Spool net Scissors


Full-Size Machine 6 1/4″ to the right of the needle Enlarge/reduce designs 20% up or down
7mm stitch width 200 built-in stitches 100 built-in embroidery designs
2 Alphabets 1 built-in Font ARTlink/BERNINA Software compatible
Built-in Editing Tools CutWork Compatible Start/Stop Button
Flip Top Stitch Display Semi-Automatic Needle Threader 1-Step Buttonhole
2-Step Presser foot Lifter USB capable Hook System – Drop-In
Needle-stop up/down Stitch Patterns – 200 Display – LCD
Buttonhole – 1-step Embroider functionality Built-in embroidery motifs – 100
Embroidery Area – 110 x 170mm USB Port Stitches per minute – 800
Editing possibility (flip, rotate, scale) Utility Stitches – 14 Quilting Stitches – 20

Features comparison Bernette Chicago 7 and Brother SE600

In the section below, we’ve deeply compared every essential feature worth consideration. We’ve put forth our recommendations and facts after spending huge time researching and testing. Whatever written below is unbiased.

LCD display Of Bernette Chicago 7

LCD displays are one of the best advantages of advanced computerized machines. You just have to follow the instructions displayed on the screen and choose your wanted patterns and designs, and then you’re ready to go.

With Bernette, there were a few complains concerning the LCD display. We can call it over-bright.

The question is, when do you use LCD display? Obviously, when it’s low or no light. Now, when LCD display is so bright that it actually starts hurting your eyes when you try to read the numbers written inside, what’s cool about it?

Absolutely nothing! The LCD display is a disadvantage of Bernette!

LCD display Of Brother SE600

Because the display on Brother SE600 is much larger and the icons of the menu tend to be on the big side, it’s much easier to take advantage of than those machines with cramped screens.

To be smart, you just have to read the manual before you make the next move, so you can understand how many options you got with this machine. In addition to the display, the LED light becomes handy to keep track of your work whenever you decide to go on a sewing spree.

Six Needle Positions of Bernette Chicago 7

Needle positions are perfectly provided in this machine; they are not completely needed, but they give you the experience so much fascinating. With six different selections to select from so you can decide which positioning is better for your project, you could easily adjust yourself to the item and fabric you are working on without any improvise.

Six Needle Positions of  Brother SE600

Now, talking about Brother SE600, here also you get 6 needle positions, and the better thing here is that the changing of needle positions is much smoother in contrast to Bernette Chicago 7. 

Even more importantly, the needles are super sturdy, and hardly even anyone complained anything about these needles.

Start/Stop key in Bernette Chicago 7 and Brother SE600

The Start/Stop key is convenient because it rules out foot control, which means it lets you run the sewing machine as if it were working on automatic.Fortunately, you get this feature with both the embroidery machines.

This is an especially great feature for newbies who may need some time to get used to operating their machine with foot controls.

If you are already using a foot pedal, then feel free to be relaxed while adjusting to the stop and start key. It will grow on you as faster as it can. 

Fabrics of which Bernette Chicago 7 works


Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet 8.1 9.3
Knits 7.7 9.5
Fur 7.8 8.7
Canvas/Twill 8.0 9.1
Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool 8.8 9.8
Upholstery 6.9 7.9
Leather/suede 7.2 8.9
Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers 7.1 8.8
Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester 8.8 9.2
Denim 7.9 9.5
Reptile skin 6.6 7.1
Plastic/Rubber 6.1 7.7

Brother SE600 also works well on all these fabrics. Besides versatility, we also have to look after perfection, and in this department, Brother SE600, and Brother PE535, both prove to be far better than Bernette Chicago 7.

The Barnette model doesn’t work that well with thinner fabrics, and it’s performance on denim was also not something we expected. On the other hand, both Brother models do tremendous job all the fabrics.

Bobbin Monitoring and Needle Thread

With the Bernina Bernette Chicago 7, it’ll be like you are having another set of eyes because of bobbin thread and the needle thread monitoring checking functionalities. These functionalities cause the sewing machine to stop automatically whenever you run out of thread or whenever the needle breaks.

The sewing machine does extra monitoring on your Bobbin before you start embroidery, so it’s an added precaution. This creates it easy to embroider and sew with fewer mistakes and backtracking.

Obviously, Brother SE600 is no way less safer than this model.

Thread Cutter and Needle Threader of Bernette Chicago 7 and Brother SE600

Let’s talk about the Bernette model first.

While this little feature is semi-automatic, it’ll still save a ton of time and frustration, especially for newbies. Once you begin threading with the assistance of your sewing machine, it’ll be much tough to go back to working manually. The thread cutter is also there, and that’s a more added convenience.

Now, talking about the super amazing Brother SE600 model, it arrives with a fully automatic needle threader, which is undoubtedly much more convenient than what you get with the Bernette model. Certainly, thread cutter is also present.

Bernette Chicago 7 Reviews: Why do we love Brother SE600 more?

Add More Designs Yourself

The USB may not mean much to a sewist at the very beginning, but don’t worry, there will be a moment when you will be happy to have it at your hand. With this USB port, you could scour the web for exciting and new embroidery patterns and also add them to your sewing machine.

Have a kid that’s crazy for the butterfly or Disney designs? Wanna embroider geeky and nerdy patterns on a jacket? A quick look on the internet will turn up whatever you desire. It’ll be much easier to let your personality and creative style flourish with this sewing machine. You just have to start transferring them to your sewing machine, then pick some thread, and boom, you’re ready to go.

Excellent Stitching Every Time

This sewing machine seldom drops a stitch and then turns out an attractive finish every time. In a pretty rare case where you do discover the stitches missing, then you should check your tension. Once you have adjusted it, you will find no more issues and the same quality finish we all need.

Bernette Chicago 7 isn’t good for newbies, but Brother SE600 is

Newbie sewists have no excuse to worry whenever using the Brother SE600. With the help of its automatic functionalities, accessories, and guides, there isn’t much else a newbie will have to get going.

Well, it could be frustrating for advanced sewists; this sewing machine works at an exact pace, which is perfect for those who want to hone their skill, also being much more sophisticated than other sewing machines in the line. Some sewists have even given this sewing machine to older kids to practice on!

Not only will the manual help you with Sewing and quilting going much quicker, but there’s also a tremendous collection of videos available on the internet to help you with your new and creative projects.

Brother SE600 is more Long-Lasting and Versatile

 If you are searching to dabble in sewing techniques like the embroidery features, then investing in this sewing machine will definitely pay off. Once you have churned out an amount of sewing and quilting projects, you could go on to try a huge variety of quilting, embroidery patterns, and also bigger projects involving tough and heavier materials(fabrics).

SE600 is manufactured to be sturdy while handling all kinds of materials like denim and leather, as long as you are using the proper accessories and needles. With the warranty, you will be able to keep improving your skills on this sewing machine for a long duration.

EXPERT’S ADVICE: Choose Brother SE600 over Bernette Chicago 7


BERNINA is one of those kinds of companies that listens to its users and makes adjustments to their items in order to satisfy all the kinds of concerns raised by the users who are actually using the machines they’re selling.

However, Bernette Chicago 7 was a cool model, but we don’t feel that pity, as we’ve got much better Brother SE600.

Brother SE600 is one of those sewing machines which our experts believe could possibly be a very viable choice for those who are not sure whether or not they wanna be seriously engaged in sewing machine embroidery.

In short, Brother’s machine is cool for all.

A parent or a grandparent can first invest in an affordable machine like this before making a huge investment in embroidery and sewing machines with many more functionalities and higher rates than the Brother SE600. For those with tighter budget, Brother PE535 is the top recommendation.

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