Katharina Ueltschi & Lee Yan Ting

Directors of sewing machine brand bernina Singapore

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Directors of sewing machine brand bernina Singapore


According to Katharina, a third-generation member of the family-run Swiss sewing machine manufacturer Bernina, knowing your way around a sewing machine is not only helpful in times of a wardrobe malfunction, but can also be a hobby that allows you to express your creativity. 

That became the impetus for Katharina to revive the craft and encourage renewed interest in sewing among the young generation here. Together with her business partner, Yan Ting, they jumped on the do-it-yourself bandwagon to reintroduce this traditional skill in a fun and creative way. 

Why is sewing a relevant skill today?
K: In the past, sewing was a need, but now the interest in this skill is waning due to increased accessibility to retail options. We want to create communities where people can pick up sewing as a hobby. By bringing back skills that were once popular, and their heritage, we are also passing down valuable historical knowledge and making it relevant for today’s needs and interests.
YT: By building such communities, we aim to offer more opportunities where people can engage and interact with one another, combating the lack of face-to-face communication in our fast-paced society.

We designed our very own totes using Bernina machines. See page 22. 

My Reading Room
My Reading Room

Learn about various tools that’ll help you personalise your belongings using Bernina’s sewing machines.

Bernina carries a range of sewing machines suitable for novices to experts. Some features include digital screens and embroidery functions.
Bernina carries a range of sewing machines suitable for novices to experts. Some features include digital screens and embroidery functions.

How can sewing machines support the drive for creativity in Singapore?
YT: We want to instil a better appreciation for the things people make and own, especially with the increasing convenience to shop for ready-made items in stores and online. There is a need to create a new sense of ownership through the process of making, and that can be fulfilled with this craft.

As a third-generation family member of the company, what are some of your fondest memories of Bernina’s machines?
K: At our family home in Switzerland, where I used to live with my parents, everything is made using a Bernina sewing machine, such as curtains, napkins, bed linen and towels. My mother will even personalise accessories like napkins — by embroidering initials or icons — when we have a dinner party! That definitely left a very deep impression in my mind, and I hope local owners of Bernina’s sewing machines can enjoy similar experiences. 

How can Bernina help sewing novices pick up the skill?
K: When purchasing a machine, a starter kit helps to kick-start the learning process. It comes with a guide, fabric and a “mini project”, such as instructions on how to make a tote, pencil case or even oven mitts. Bernina hopes to inspire people to make simple yet functional and cool everyday objects. There are also home interiors- and fashion-related workshops you can attend to try out Bernina’s range of sewing machines. 


Text: DOMENICA TAN / Portrait: ANGELA GUO / Art direction: YEW XIN YI

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