All About the Bernina Sewing Center: repairs, classes and quilting

TAMPA – Technological advances are seen throughout several occupations and hobbies, but the craft of sewing is often overlooked. The couple that owns the largest sewing center in Tampa has managed to remain updated.

Growing up in Switzerland, Gregor Sidler has spent his life around fabrics, spools of thread and sewing machinery. After working for Bernina International and completing an apprenticeship, Sidler moved to the United States where he met his wife, Debra Sidler.

The couple have owned the Bernina Sewing Center since 1997. Sidler is specialized in sewing machine development.

“As a matter of fact, the first electronic sewing machine was born on my table,” Sidler said. “I’m really good at it. I help a lot of other dealers in America doing that.”

The creative center hosts about seven classes each month and has an embroidery club. Updates for classes are on the store’s calendar.

Quilters often meet to digitally stitch and assemble embroidered quilts. Lori Loerch is a frequent class attendee.

“We’re actually doing individual blocks that have different designs on them,” Loerch said. “Then after each individual block, you’ll put them together and stitch them together.”

Examples of quilts and other sewing projects are posted on the store’s Facebook.