Bernina Custom Stitches

If you own a modern 9mm Bernina that allows you to import stitches from a USB key (740/770/790/880/570/590/480) make sure you read my previous article about modifying Bernina stitches without using the built-in Stitch Designer on the more expensive 790 and 880 machines.

The density of many Bernina satin stitches can be changed through the “i” menu, but many are FIXED and cannot be modified so I decided to improve on many of the built in stitches. I started with #438, which is a lovely stitch currently only available on the Bernina 590, but depending on the selected thread and fabric it can sew out a little thin. I increased the density by 40% to give the stitch a much richer feel; you can download both the original and improved versions below and use them on ANY 9mm Bernina machine with a USB port.

Original version
Original version
New and improved
New and improved









Download stitch #438 Original

Download stitch #438 Improved


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5 Replies to “Bernina Custom Stitches”

  1. Hi Janet. That’s a good question that I don’t have an answer to. I have an older 570 that has a manual basting stitch like yours but I can’t load custom stitches onto that machine to try it. Can you load stitches onto your 710? I can make you a custom basting stitch and you could try it on your machine.

    1. Hi Paul,
      I’ve never loaded stitches but have done firmware updates. My machine has USB and PC ports. It’s 9mm and was the forerunner to the B740. However it is not capable of embroidery if that makes any difference.

      This machine was my first (and maybe last) Bernina. Big $$$ for me and I was disappointed when my 710 (wonky ss) was replaced by the 740 about 8 months after I bought it. I was not given the option to upgrade or trade up. I don’t use decor stitches much but am a quilter and would love to have that basting stitch since hand sewing has become difficult for me these last few years. Bernina now only offers that stitch on their very high end machines. It is absurd to me to spend thousands of dollars for features I will probably never use just for one utility stitch.
      If you think you could create that stitch you would make me and a lot of people happy!

      1. I took a look at the manual for your machine and unfortunately you can’t load or save stitch files externaly to USB 🙁 What I haven’t tried yet is to connect the sewing machine directly to the computer and see if the personal folders can be accessed directly. I’ll try on my 570 tonight.

        You do have a manual basting stitch #30 – which actually works quite well – have you tried it?

        What’s wrong with your straight stitch?

        I hear you about Bernina… It’s almost like they mix and match features like the cable company does with channel packages. On top of that the machines are very quirky and the firmware has lots of bugs and Bernina is very slow to acknoledge problems or make changes. I do love the stitch quality of my 790 and the quality of the embroidery – which is the only reason I am sticking to Bernina for now…

        1. I have used #30 and it is fine for small pieces tho cumbersome for basting a large quilt. Maybe I just want #21 because it’s unobtainable to me right now!

          The wonky ss on the first release 710/750/780 is the main reason IMO they came out with the 740/770/790 with a re-designed bobbin case. I get a noticeably slanted stitch every 8-10 stitches which isn’t a problem within a seam but ruins the look of my topstitching.
          I came late in life to the Bernina ‘cult’ – have had and loved Viking for over 40 years. Brief encounter with Janome – big mistake.

          I made the same cable company analogy this morning to my husband LOL.

          Thanks for taking the time to check on this for me. :>)

  2. Hi Paul,
    is the ‘long stitch’ or true basting stitch (can’t remember the number) one that can be downloaded to a 9mm machine? I have a B710 and was told that it was a mechanical feature not software based. Just wondering…

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