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41  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Superhero Cape using the BERNINA 330 on: May 15, 2012 10:04:47 AM
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* To see the overview of this Master Craftsters campaign, click here.
* To read more about the machine used in this project, explore BERNINA's website here.

Superhero Cape using the BERNINA 330

My son is a Superhero. He has something called "Green Power," which allows him to turn everything green. Also super speed. Or so he tells me. But he was missing one essential Superhero element: the cape. That is, until now.

I started this project by measuring my Superhero:

I measured across his shoulders for the top width and then from the shoulders to about mid-calf for the length.  My Superhero's measurements were 10'' top width and about 20'' in length.  I added a couple inches to the top width to account for seam allowances (I'm generous with myself) for a total top width of 12''. I doubled this measurement for the bottom width (24''), so the cape would flare out a bit when worn.

The result was a kind of trapezoidal shape. I cut one of my main fabric and one for the lining. Here, they are already sandwiched right sides together for sewing:

Being a Superhero is tough work. To make sure that the cape would be strong enough to withstand super speed and green power, I used stitch #6 on my BERNINA 330, the triple straight stitch and triple zig-zag.

Since I knew that I would be sewing some corners for this project, I set my needle so that it would be in the down position when I took my foot off the pedal. I simply pushed the button below the screen and to the left. The screen display changed to show a downward pointing arrow next to my needle, telling me the new position my needle would stop in.

Looks like a nice, strong triple stitch:

To get the triple zig-zag and REALLY reinforce my stitching, I increased the stitch length (still in stitch #6) to 3. Notice the top bar on the display is now set to 3, and my needle position is still down:

Triple zig-zag:

Those stitches aren't going anywhere!

I left the top width of the cape open so that when I'd completed the other three sides of the cape, I could easily turn it inside out. I top stitched the sides with a basic straight stitch, but decided to add something special to the bottom.  This is a Superhero cape, after all.

My son's initials are DJO, and the BERNINA 330 has this awesome ability to sew letters right into the fabric. I knew I had to put DJ's initials on something...

It was super easy, too.  I just pushed the button for the alphabet, and scrolled through to the letters I needed.

Then just repeated until I made it to the end of the cape. DJO DJO DJO. You can't get that in a store-bought cape. Too cool.

I made the cape a tie-on so we didn't have to worry about lost buttons or snaps. They probably couldn't survive super speed anyway. Superhero capes shouldn't fall off!

A 3-inch wide strip of fabric folded onto itself and top stitched was all we needed:

I attached the strip to the top width of the cape with a zig-zag satin stitch. I just used the basic zig-zag (stitch #2), but increased the stitch width to 4 and decreased the stitch length to 0.5. See how the BERNINA 330 keeps track of the default settings (the missing bar on the top display and the extra bar on the side display). That makes it super easy to return to the original settings.

Looks perfect!

A little freezer paper stencil embellishment, and the cape is good to go!

The finished product:

My Superhero is out saving the world today... one cookie at a time!  Wink
42  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Stuffed James "Sulley" Sullivan using the BERNINA 330 on: May 15, 2012 10:03:53 AM
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* To see the overview of this Master Craftsters campaign, click here.
* To read more about the machine used in this project, explore BERNINA's website here.

Stuffed James "Sulley" Sullivan using the BERNINA 330

My son will be three this May and he LOVES the movie Monsters, Inc. We are even planning a monster themed birthday party.  His favorite character is actually Mike Wazowski, but when I made a stuffed Mike a few weeks ago, the first words out of his mouth were, "Can you make Sulley, too?"  What else could I say but, "Of course"?

This guy is made from a modified version of Draw! Pilgrim's Chewbacca pattern.  I added the horns, shortened the legs, and altered the face to look like Sulley.

I found some awesome turquoise fleece in the fabric store that was the perfect color for Sulley, but I needed to add some purple spots.  A little bit of paint fixed that problem.  I had a helper for this part:

Once the paint dried, it was time to start sewing.  I was a little nervous because my old machine hated sewing fleece.  I would have skipped stitches all over the place and always had to decrease the stitch length to compensate.  So I tested the fleece by sewing each of the arms and legs right sides together with an opening at the top for stuffing.  To be even more daring, I decided to use stitch #8, the overlocking stitch, since my son will likely be a little rough on the finished product, and I wanted the seams to be able to take a beating.  I set my BERNINA 330 to the desired stitch:

Oh - it looks like I need presser foot number two for this stitch (see the #2 down by the foot icon?).  A quick switch and I'm ready!

The BERNINA 330 flew through the fleece without any problems!  No stitch length adjustment necessary!  And I love how I can see the layers on the right side of the overlock foot, which ensures that I catch all my layers.

All that thread burned through my bobbin pretty quickly.  Since the machine came with a fully wound bobbin out of the box, I had yet to wind my own bobbin.  Once I pushed the engaging lever against the bobbin, the thread started winding all on its own!  I didn't even need to use my foot!

The bobbin stopped winding automatically, too.  Once it was safely back in its casing, I was ready for some detail work on Sulley.  I really needed some extra space here, so I was glad that I had the slide-on table for the BERNINA 330.  It gave me a nice flat surface to work on.  

Another great feature of this machine is that the foot control pedal is so wide.  It really helped me gain the level of control I needed.  With the wide pedal, it was easy to adjust from going fast for those straight stitches, to slow for the details and curves.

Once I had the details of Sulley's face completed, I placed his front and back pieces together, with his arms and horns tucked in between, making a nice monster sandwich:

Again, I got a little nervous when It came time to sew all those layers together, but the BERNINA 330 didn't even notice.

By the way, all this sewing took place during nap time, and my son didn't even stir.  This machine is quiet!!

I flipped Sulley right side out, stuffed his body with poly-fill, attached his legs with an overlock stitch along the bottom seam of the body, and he was done!

And of course, where would Sulley be without Mike?

43  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Not-So-Basic Tanktop using the BERNINA 330 on: May 15, 2012 10:02:55 AM
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* To see the overview of this Master Craftsters campaign, click here.
* To read more about the machine used in this project, explore BERNINA's website here.

Not-So-Basic Tanktop using the BERNINA 330

Spring is in the air! With the weather getting warmer, I found myself in need of some seasonal attire, so I set to work on a new tank top!

For this project, I started with a basic white t-shirt.

I cut off the sleeves and the neck to turn it into a basic tank.

Instead of simply hemming the raw edges, I decided to try my hand at a blindstitch.  First, I basted my hems by setting my BERNINA 330 to the straight stitch and maxing out my stitch length.  Then, I set my BERNINA 330 to stitch #7 for the blindstitch.  The little foot icon told me that I needed the #5 presser foot for this stitch.

Each presser foot was stamped with its number, too.  See the number five on the bottom left?  This machine is fool proof!

Let's do this.


I repeated this procedure with the arm holes, bouncing back and forth between the basting stitch with presser foot 1, and the blindstitch with presser foot 5.  Good thing those feet are a cinch to pop on and off!!  The BERNINA 330 made the switch even easier by remembering my settings for the straight stitch every time I returned to basting.  I simply pushed the button for stitch #1, and the settings were just as I had left them.

See how the bars on the right side of the screen are all the way up to five?  That's exactly where I wanted them to be!

And of course, presser foot #1 was also conveniently labeled:

Accessing the sleeves was super easy thanks to the extra space below the base.

I picked out some fancy patterned fabric and sewed it to the center of my now tank with a simple straight stitch.  I added a decorative flair to the bottom hem of my shirt by using one of the BERNINA 330's awesome decorative stitches (#32).

Now I'm ready to show it off!

44  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Quilted Fabric Cuff using the BERNINA 330 on: May 15, 2012 10:01:44 AM
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* To see the overview of this Master Craftsters campaign, click here.
* To read more about the machine used in this project, explore BERNINA's website here.

Quilted Fabric Cuff using the BERNINA 330

Looking for a project to help you use all those odds and ends left over from other projects?  How about a fabric cuff?

I used a selection of green fabrics from my scrap pile for this project, and one subtly patterned white piece for accent.  I cut each piece into rectangles 2 inches wide and 4 inches long.

Then it was time to sew.  This was my first project on my BERNINA 330, so I had to set up my thread, including my bobbin.  This part always gives me anxiety with a new machine because I used my first machine for years with a bobbin tension problem I couldn't seem to fix.  With the BERNINA, a thread cutter next to the bobbin housing cuts the bobbin thread to just the right length, so you don't even have to pull the thread through!  No anxiety here!

The BERNINA 330 has this flashy computer screen that tells you what stitch you've selected, the needle position, stitch width and length, and even the number of the presser foot you should be using.  These were the default settings for stitch #1, the straight stitch:

I just kept it here and started sewing!  Super simple - the machine does all the work!  To secure my stitches, I used the quick reverse button, conveniently located right where my hand happened to be every time I needed it.

Once I had all my scraps stitched together, I folded the new patched piece of fabric in half and ironed all my seams.

Then, I sewed a piece of batting (also in my scrap bin!) to the fabric side of one end of my cuff.  The BERNINA 330 came with so many tools and accessories, I didn't know what half of them were for!  The height compensating tool sure came in handy for this project.  I placed it next to my cuff to help the feed dogs catch my fabric.  Perfect for a close-to-the-edge seam!

I folded the cuff back on itself with the batting sandwiched in the middle, and top stitched the two sides.  For the ends, I rolled the fabric and batting over and sewed in place.  Here's another spot where the height compensating tool came in handy:

See how without it, the foot sits at a slant?

Problem solved!

I then had the difficult task of choosing one of the 40 stitches to add some decorative embellishments to my seams.

I went with #40.  Again, all the details were taken care of by the BERNINA, I just started sewing!

Lastly, I added the button hole.  The BERNINA 330 came with an automatic button hole foot.  I chose stitch #10 for the button hole, chose my location and started sewing.  When the left side of the button hole reached the length I needed for my button, I hit the quick reverse button once and the machine took over from there, completing the rest of the button hole with just a press of my foot!

Perfect button hole:

A few hand-sewn attachments, and your cuff is ready to be worn!

45  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Intro to the BERNINA 330 or Girl Meets Machine on: May 15, 2012 10:00:24 AM
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* To see the overview of this Master Craftsters campaign, click here.
* To read more about the machine used in this project, explore BERNINA's website here.

Intro to the BERNINA 330 or Girl Meets Machine

Hello everyone! Im Abbeeroad, or just Abbee for short, and this is how youll find me for the next six months or so:

Let me just say this up front: I am not a perfectionist. Nothing that I do comes out perfect. I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of crafter, and my projects are always an adventure. So, needless to say, I was shocked when I was given the opportunity to test-drive a BERNINA 330 Sewing Machine by Craftster. Shocked and ecstatic!! Me? Really? YES!

Now, don't get me wrong. I am a crafter at heart. I've had a craft box for as long as I can remember, and I started hand sewing pouches for friends in college. One Christmas, my grandmother took me shopping for a stand mixer and instead, we left the store with a basic Kenmore sewing machine. That was about seven years ago now. I've been slowly improving and trying new things ever since. About two years ago, I discovered Craftster, and I think I've grown more in those two years than in all the previous years combined. Being a part of such an encouraging environment surrounded by inspiration really cultivates creativity!

But still, I have so much to learn. And that's one reason why I love to sew. There is always something to learn. No getting bored with this hobby! You can always grow a little bit taller and bloom a little bit wider. And now, with this opportunity, I've stretched myself even further! How could I not push myself to the absolute limit with such an awesome piece of machinery? I just couldn't help it. Once I met my BERNINA 330, I was smitten. Here, let me introduce you, and then you will be, too!

I was actually driving when my husband sent me a text telling me a sewing machine shaped package arrived for me. Eeep! I think I developed a case of lead foot after that, and sure enough, there was a large box with BERNINA printed on the side waiting for me:

I immediately tore into it and gave it a place of honor on my sewing table.

I was so impressed with all the accessories that came with the machine (and check out the cool accessory case!).

There were:

  • 5 bobbins (one pre-wound already in the bobbin case)
  • A height compensating tool (Ive never used one of these before!)
  • A seam ripper (girls best friend or is it worst enemy?), a screwdriver (hopefully wont need that!), and a brush (I can change my messy ways!)
  • Some foam pads and spool discs (I never use these, but theres always a first time)
  • Several universal needles (good I might need um!)
  • An allen wrench-type tool (hope to not use this as well) and a seam guide (hmminteresting)
  • Some oil (I don't have a comment for this one Wink)
  • And a presser foot with four different snap-on soles a standard sole, an overlock sole, a zipper sole, and a blindstitch sole (cant wait to try all these!)

Additionally, there was this funky looking foot that turned out to be the automatic buttonhole foot. This I really cant wait to try! I really want to achieve that professional buttonhole look!

There was even a machine cover (cross that off my to-make list!).

One thing I thought was really cool was the way the cord for the pedal wrapped up inside the pedal itself:

And there it is in all its glory. The BERNINA 330.

The computer screen, stitches, and all those fancy buttons will have to wait for another day. First, I have a date with the instruction manual

Thank you BERNINA, Craftster, jungrrl, and sweets4ever for this amazing opportunity!
46  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Fish Tacos with Green Sauce on: May 01, 2012 05:57:18 PM
This is a staple in our house. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Let's start with the fish. I usually use tilapia or flounder, but any white fish will do:

I cut these fillets in half lengthwise and horizontally, so I end up with 8 pieces of fish per fillet. I find this is easier to fit into the tortilla later.

For the batter you will need the following ingredients:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup seltzer water (or club soda would work, too)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a dash (or two) of hot sauce

You may need to add more seltzer if your batter is too thick. Dip each piece of fish into the batter and then into panko breadcrumbs. You want a nice, tick coating.

Heat about 1-1 1/2 inches of oil in a pan. I re-use my oil, so that's why it looks so dark.

I don't really test the temperature of my oil, but I do test it by dropping pieces of batter and breadcrumbs into the oil. When they sizzle on the surface, it's ready!

Fry your fish in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.

Now for the sauce.  This is my favorite part!

You will need:

4 tomatillos
2 jalapenos (less or more to taste)
half an onion
1 ripe avocado
a bunch of cilantro
2 garlic cloves
about 1 tablespoon olive oil

Optional (not pictured):
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of salt

Puree all ingredients together in a blender. Things will go a little easier if you start with the tomatillos and onion and end with the cilantro (and your blender will probably thank you - we learned this the hard way).

It should look something like this:

Keeping the avocado pit in the sauce helps keep it nice and green (a little bit of lime juice helps, too). This is also great on eggs!

Lastly, let's fry up some corn tortillas.

I dip them in the leftover fry oil (healthy!) and then fry them in a shallow pan.

Lay the fried tortillas over an old paper towel tube covered in foil to help get the folded shape.

And that's it! Garnish with chopped cilantro, lettuce, diced onions, and plenty of green sauce. Enjoy!
47  COOKING / Dessert / "Popless" Cake Pops on: March 11, 2012 06:07:02 PM
Or cake truffles?  Or Un-cake pops?

Basically, I used the cake pop recipe (box cake crumbled with 1/2 container frosting, dipped in melted chocolate), but just left out the stick.  I've never made truffles before, so maybe this is exactly how you make a cake-like truffle?  I'm not sure.

Anyway, I was commissioned to make these for a St. Patty's Day party (in case you couldn't tell!) and they were a huge hit!  I finally managed to melt chocolate successfully, after at least two previous failed attempts, so I'm pretty happy with how these came out.  The angle of the photo even covers the dipping fork marks nicely!  Wink

Thanks for looking!  Have a Happy Shamrock Day!

48  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / JEEP Bag/Pouch - My first self-drafted creation! on: January 03, 2012 08:28:38 AM
This was commissioned by my BIL, who gave me the fabric, the JEEP patch, and the dimensions, and said, "You can do that, right?"  I love that my family has so much confidence in me, but I really wasn't sure that I could do what he wanted without a pattern.  After searching for a tutorial or pattern that was even close to what he wanted, I resigned to the fact that I was going to have to wing it.  Luckily, there was plenty of excess fabric so I could mess up once or twice.  It turns out that with a little pre-planning and some spatial rotation exercises, all that excess fabric was unnecessary.  The final product is a little bit smaller than the dimensions originally requested, but not by much:

With the flap open:

Showing the inside pouch:

And the back pouch that I split with the strap to make two smaller pouches (yes it was intentional, haha):

And the proof that this came from my head (not quite a pattern anyone else could really follow, but maybe as organized as my thoughts really get):

Thanks so much for looking!
49  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Silhouette Ornaments on: December 28, 2011 06:49:09 AM
These are based off this tutorial I came across on Pinterest.  I decided to go with a pic of my son with his spiked mohawk for maximum controversy  Tongue and cuteness  Grin

I also went with mini canvases I found at JoAnn's instead of the wooden pieces in the tute:

I wrapped some race car ribbon around the outer edge since my son is into anything car related at the moment.

And used a button to finish off the string connection on the back:

Thanks for looking!  Smiley
50  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Quilted Coasters on: December 24, 2011 01:02:25 PM
These started out as mug rugs based on this tutorial:  http://www.pleasant-home.com/2010/11/scrappy-tree-mug-rugs.html, but I soon discovered that my quilting skills were not up to par, and these coasters were born.

Here they are all ready to give with some Adirondack coffee (and the one mug rug I did complete before realizing more were not going to happen):

And for fun, the matching "quilted" card:

Be Merry!   Grin
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