Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Tools: New Pillowcases!

new toys

pillow cases

The list of UFO's continues to be unchecked as, sparked by an impulsive urge, I continue to add projects like new pillowcases! I could not resist trying out some awesome new tools and thread with this quick project I whipped up in one night.

hemstitch attachment

Bernina is constantly introducing new feet and gadgets. One of the latest is the spanish hemstitch tool #47. (I guess it's so new, it's not on their webpage yet- sorry) This is a not a foot, but an attachment that screws into the free arm of the machine and works in conjunction with foot #20, the open toe embroidery foot. There are 4 acrylic guides that snap into the attachment, 2 guides work with 9mm stitch width machines and 2 work with 5.5mm stitch width (so any machine including 9mm). The profile along the sides of the acrylic guide are high or low, so you can choose if you have delicate thin fabric or bulkier thick fabrics. I chose to use the high profile for the 9mm guide. This gave me lots of space between the cuff and body of my pillowcase. You need to choose a stitch that will secure the thread to both edges and does not do a lot of stitching in the middle because there in no fabric in the center. Take some time and do some samples to make sure the stitch you select will work. The stitch I selected was already 9mm in width and I altered the length a little. You will want to check from time to time to make sure the machine is feeding both sides evenly. My first pillowcase required a little trim to the cuff.

stitch settings

In addition to the cool new tool, I also tried out some awesome new thread. Aurifil makes a 12wt wool/ acrylic blend thread. I have been using the Aurifil 50wt. cotton for a while and it is dreamy, so smooth and light. It is no surprise that I love the 12wt wool too. I used a 90 topstitch needle and ran this through the needle and bobbin of my machine. I was amazed at how well the bernina managed to sew using this thread. I also shocked myself, as I would never recommend (until now) that anyone try to use something so thick in their needle. I had reserved this kind of thing to bobbin work, which is a whole different lesson. I love how this thread looks like crochet using the hemstitch tool. I was having so much fun and I wanted to keep playing with the thread, so I added a "cross stitch" border to the other edge of the cuff. For this part, I did put regular thread back on my bobbin to reduce bulk and help my machine out a little. It looks like hand work to me, and it took no time at all to achieve the look on my machine. Forgive me but I must add a sales pitch: the Bernina 580 ROCKS!! I am so loving my new machine.

detail: pillow cuff

pillow cases
It is always so fun to explore new tools and notions. It's especially great when you can walk away with a successful finished project in an evening. It doesn't always happen this way for me, but I am smitten with my little sewing diversion. Oh, and isn't that Anna Maria Horner fabric perfect for this? Gosh, I kind want all my bedding made from it. I picked it up locally at BonBon

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