Bernina Activa Accessory Box

Bernina Activa Accessory Box

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Happily Organizing My Sewing Supplies

Jan 26, 2004 (Updated Feb 6, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Holds 25-plus presser feet and accessories, sturdy, well-made, attractive

Cons:For Bernina sewing machine accessories only

The Bottom Line: The Bottom Line is in the bottom drawer of this cabinet. It's been organized!

Dare I state the bottom line first? I love the Bernina Accessory Box! I'm so glad I received this as a gift. However, the term "accessory box" is not an appropriate name. Bernina should have called this an Accessory Cabinet. It's too classy for the term "box".

What the Cabinet Looks Like

The cabinet stands upright on a table. Two sturdy see-through plastic doors pull open (the left door has a handle to grab, and both doors have half-circle finger holes to pull the doors open). The body of the cabinet is plastic in an attractive steel-blue color. Overall the cabinet measures 8 1/2" wide x 9 1/2" high x 2 1/4" deep. Each side of the cabinet is 4" wide. A narrow but sturdy vertical plastic wall divides the two sections.

A great feature of this cabinet is that you can customize the interior with racks that slide into place. The racks can be positioned in the cabinet to suit your preferences. The cabinet comes with one rack that can hold five sewing machine presser feet and one rack that can hold five bobbins. Additional racks can be purchased.

The Left Side

The left side of the cabinet interior has slots for three racks. The racks slide and snap into position. I have a presser foot rack inserted in the top slot. I skipped the second slot because the presser feet dangle, making the second slot unusable. In the third slot, I placed another rack for presser feet. Note that because the left door has a handle that juts out on both the outside and inside of the door, that the bobbin rack cannot be placed in the third slot. The door won't close if the bobbin rack is in the third position. So if the bobbin rack is placed on this side of the cabinet, it would be best to place it in the top slot.

Beneath the area where the racks slide into position is a square that is divided into four "cubby holes". A package of sewing machine needles can slide into each of these holes.

There are two "U" shaped slots to hold feet that won't fit on the presser feet racks. In one of the U-shaped slots I've placed foot #29 (the Freehand Quilting Foot). The foot I own does not have the traditional shaped shank and will not fit in the presser foot rack. Instead, the presser foot rests in the U-shaped area. If these special slots are not being used to house presser feet, there is a narrow gap where a few more sewing machine needle cases can fit.

Beneath the U-shaped slots is a small drawer that measures 3 1/2" long x 1" high x 2" deep. Small items easily fit into this handy space. I keep my Bernina presser foot screw driver in this drawer with some other accessories. A finger hole in the top center of the drawer allows the drawer to be pulled open.

At the bottom, a large drawer runs from side to side the full width of the cabinet. This drawer measures 7 1/4" long x 1 3/4" high x 2" deep. My sewing machine Walking Foot resides in this drawer, but the drawer can hold a 6" ruler or seam ripper as well as other sewing accessories. A finger hole in the top center of the drawer allows the drawer to be pulled open.

The Right Side

There are six slots on the right side of the cabinet that can hold racks. Since the presser feet dangle, technically only three foot racks can fit in this area. Or, two foot racks and the bobbin rack. Or, if you choose, fill all the slots with bobbin racks. My bobbin rack is in the bottom slot with two foot holders above it.

Bottom of the Cabinet

This cabinet is designed to sit on a table top. Two sturdy plastic legs fold out from the bottom of the cabinet to add upright stability. The legs measure 3" long x 5/8" wide. There are also two ridged squares on the bottom of the cabinet that slightly raise the cabinet so that the doors open freely without scraping the table-top surface. The feet are designed in a way to grip the table surface. I have never had my Bernina Accessory Cabinet tip over, and it does not easily shift position due to the construction of the feet.

Two Cabinet Styles

Bernina has made this cabinet in two styles. The bodies of the two cabinets are almost identical. The difference is in the holders for the sewing machine presser feet. One style of cabinet is for the older Bernina sewing machines (like my Bernina 1260 Quilter's Platinum Edition). This cabinet is identified by the blue tint on the plastic doors. The other style cabinet is for the newer Bernina sewing machines in the Activa sewing machine line, and the doors of the cabinet are of clear plastic. So if you own an older and a newer Bernina sewing machine, you can purchase both cabinets and know which cabinet holds the presser feet for the different machines by the color of the plastic doors. (My Bernina dealership told me the Activa cabinet came in blue with clear doors, but on a recent trip to the store, I saw the Activa cabinet in white with clear doors.)

How Much Does It Cost?

Cost is one reason why I'm delighted to receive this cabinet as a gift.

$39.00 = cabinet with one presser foot rack and one bobbin rack
$3.00 = for each additional presser foot rack
$3.00 = for each additional bobbin rack

My mother told me that she bought the cabinet on sale at a local Bernina store. She paid $29.00 for the cabinet and $3.00 for each additional rack for a total cost of $38.00 plus tax.

What I Like Best

* Cabinet is customizable
* Can house 25-plus presser feet
* Presser feet slide easily into the racks and stay in position
* Two drawers to hold other accessories
* Sewing Needle area is handy
* Cabinet is made from sturdy plastic
* Cabinet doors are see-through
* Cabinet doors snap into position, so the cabinet can travel without spilling contents


I love this cabinet ... so dislike is too strong a word. But here are some things to consider when deciding to purchase this cabinet.

I primarily use the cabinet to house my sewing machine presser feet and only have the one bobbin holder that came with the cabinet. I have other bobbin accessory boxes that I prefer to use. (I have a lot of bobbins!)

The drawers are narrow. While I can place my Walking Foot in the larger drawer, I cannot fit the metal rod, which is L-shaped, that acts as a line guide.

The presser foot racks are specifically designed to hold Bernina presser feet -- other makes of presser feet will not fit into the racks. Also, make sure you buy the correct cabinet since it comes in two styles -- one style for Activa sewing machine supplies; one style for older Bernina sewing machine accessories.

Bernina says this cabinet can attach to the back of the Activa 125, 135PE, 145 sewing machine models.

Bernina also states that the cabinet can be hung on a wall. I looked at the back of my Bernina Accessory Cabinet, and I see nothing that would allow the cabinet to attach to a wall. Perhaps the Activa version of this cabinet is styled differently on the back. If you plan to wall-mount this cabinet, double-check with your Bernina dealer to make sure it is possible.


This cabinet is a luxury item. It not only holds all my sewing machine presser feet, but it also offers space for other sewing accessories. The cabinet is attractive and looks great on my sewing table. It is sturdy, well-constructed, and does not tip over or easily shift on the table surface. I highly recommend this cabinet to Bernina sewing machine owners.

I hope you have found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,

Additional Information

Bernina of America, Inc.
3702 Prairie Lake Court
Aurora, IL 60504
Phone: 630-978-2500

Please read my other reviews.

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Quotations for Quilt Lovers (book)

Betty Crocker Online Store

Keepsake Quilting Online Store

Joann .com Fabric & Craft Store

Copyright 2004 Dawn L. Stewart

Recommend this product? Yes

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