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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Making Room for Baby

This past weekend my supportive, wonderful husband extended my work table for my Bernina 830LE.  It was fine for all the standard hoops, but not deep enough to use my mega or jumbo hoop (just got an email that it's in!)
We added 6" to the front, reinforced with dowels and high impact plastic panels that were left over from another project. We also added "desk grommets"--those capped holes in most modular office furniture. Since my work table is at bar height, I had to put my machines right up on the front edge of the table. The desk grommets let me set the machine a little further back and gets all the cords off the work table. Finally, I covered the tables with a black leather texture contact paper. It's not perfectly smooth, but it does cover up all the snags and rough areas and saved me from a few days of painting.

Here's a pic of the new work table. Hopefully you get the idea...
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

More 830 Awesomeness

I only got about half a day in the studio yesterday--too many other things to wrap up before I start my new job on Monday.

I'm working on a KitchenAid mixer cover for my mom, and of course, *had* to do embroidery on it.
Here are some of the really cool features for embroidery on the 830:

  •  The machine stops immediately when a thread breaks or runs out, so no need to back up and much less time lost from "threadless sewing".
  • When you combine designs onscreen, you can combine colors with the touch of a button. Ex: you choose two designs, both use 3 colors. Click the reduce colors button and the machine combines the similar colors so you have half as many thread changes and faster stitchout.
  • The start button does everything: If you need to raise the presser foot to clean out the bobbin case or rethread, you don't have to lower it to get going again. Just hold the start button, and the machine lowers the presser foot and resume stitching.
Here are a couple of pictures of the embroidery. I'll post more pics when the cover is done.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 3 and still in Heaven....

My good friend Mimi came over today so we could "play" in my studio. She wanted to embroidery a large tablecloth she's making. After catching up and showing her some of the awesomeness of the new machine, we picked 3 Shashiko designs from the LE embroidery CD.

Here's the final product (well, part of it, anyway):
One of the advantages of keeping my 730, is that I have now 2 each of the standard hoops, so I could hoop the next section while the last one was stitching out.

Here's a shot of the machine's screen while it was stitching:

I was hoping to get my jeans done (I only have the belt loops, waistband and hems to do), but didn't, so here's a shot of the back.
I used the dual feed quite a bit--it is so easy to engage. You just pull down a lever in the back of the machine, and swing under the foot. SO much easier than trying to attach a walking foot, and more options for presser feet, too.

Finally, I thought I'd show you some more coolness on the machine. When you do something like open the bobbin door or start to thread the machine, animations are displayed on the screen to show you what to do. It's really handy since it keeps you from having the pull out the manual so much. Here's what the screen looks like when you start to thread the machine.

And when you've threaded the machine, the needle threader button lights up (lower left corner). Yeah, this machine threads the needle for you, too. (does not work on double & triple needles and needles size 8 and smaller, but come on, this is still a really awesome feature)

Tomorrow I plan to do some machine embroidery/applique.

Happy Sewing,

Bernina 830 Dual Feed

Yesterday was my second full day with my new 830LE. I don't have any photos I can share since I was finishing up two challenge entries and cannot post any photos until after the judging has been done.
I did start on a pair of jeans, and will post photos when they're done.

I used the dual feed for the first time yesterday, and anyone who has worked on stretch denim will appreciate this feature. If you aren't familiar with dual feed, it is essentially a built-in walking foot. You need to use special feet (D) since the dual feed pops down right behind the needle. Yeah, I know, more feet and Bernina feet are so expensive, but hey, they work really, really well, and most dealers have regular sales, so you can save if you plan well. Sure the feet for my older Elna were a fraction of the cost, but they didn't work anywhere near as well. It always took 2 passes to insert an invisible zipper, and I could never get a rolled hem right. This just isn't the case with my Berninas.
The 830 does come with 2 dual feed feet, 1D and 4D(zipper foot) and I purchased the D version of my favorite foot, the 10D, edge stitch.
I ended up using the dual feed for most of the sewing on these jeans since it really helped minimize distortion when edge and top stitching, and even seemed to help on the seams.
The machine was a little fussy with jean thread in the needle, but slowed down and was careful when starting seams, and we got along fine.

I embroidered the pockets, and though I think I've already mentioned it, the auto-stop when a thread breaks is really nice. My 730E just keeps going for a bit, so I always have to roll back to where the thread broke. The speed control on the front of the machine is nice, too.

My dear friend Mimi is coming over today to work on a table cloth, so I'll have more to report later today.

Happy Sewing!