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71  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Reusable Notebook Cover using the BERNINA 380 on: May 15, 2012 10:43:10 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.

Reusable Notebook Cover using the BERNINA 380

I needed a small gift for a friend, something that was cute and easy to mail.  After MUCH thought, the lightbulb came on over my head, and I whipped up this cute little notebook cover!  I will send a couple of refill notebooks with it, so she can switch the cover to a fresh book when the first one is full.

I started with one of these Moleskine notebooks, in the 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" size. Moleskine notebooks are really good quality, which enhances my gift!

I opened the covers and traced the outline onto cardstock, then added 1/8" to the width and length (so the cover will have a little wiggle room to ease it onto the notebook) and then traced the cardstock shape onto a piece of linen.  This will be the front of the cover.

Next, I prepared the decorations for the front.  I have used the alphabet program on the BERNINA 380 in another project, but this machine has TWO alphabet fonts, and I wanted to try the second one, which produces larger, outlined letters.

I programmed the words "happy" and "notes" into the BERNINA, then stepped on the pedal and watched as the machine sewed them onto pieces of white felt.  I really like the way these words look!  I will save "notes" to use later.

I trimmed the felt so there was a 1/4" margin around the words, then used the pinking shears to give them a decorative edge.

I sewed the word "happy" onto a piece of dark blue felt, cut just a little larger than the white felt.

I'm not including a pattern for the cloud, because I know you can draw a cloud!  I cut out my cloud drawing and traced around it onto white felt.  Then I stitched the eyes (French knots) and the mouth with black embroidery thread.

I cut out two ovals of different shades of blue felt, and stitched them together as you see in the picture.  The BERNINA 380 can sew through several layers of thick canvas, so these three layers of felt were a piece of cake for this awesome machine!

I wanted to center my cloud and word decorations on the front of the cover, but my sewing line (which I wanted to use as a guide) was traced onto the BACK of the front cover; so I marked the four sides with pins and flipped it over.  Using the pins as a guide, I centered the decorations, pinned them down and sewed them in place.

To finish the cover, I trimmed the cover fabric so there was 1/4" seam allowance all around.  Then I cut two pieces of linen for the flaps (which hold the cover onto the notebook) 6" x 6", folded them in half, and laid one along each outer edge of the front cover, with the fold toward the middle, as in the picture below.

On top of that I placed a piece of linen (for the lining), cut 1/2" larger than the cover fabric, and pinned them all together.

I sewed all around the edges, leaving an opening at the bottom.  I trimmed the excess fabric, and turned it right-side-out with the help of a pair of hemostats.  I pressed the cover, topstitched the opening closed, and I was done!

To get the cover onto the notebook, it's easiest to bend the book covers back like in the picture below.

This is so cute, I can't wait to try a few more!  

72  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Storage Jar Labels using the BERNINA 380 on: May 15, 2012 10:41:42 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.

Storage Jar Labels using the BERNINA 380

I have a new cubby-hole shelf in my sewing room, and I'm using pint-size canning jars for storage there.  I wanted some labels for the jars, and the BERNINA 380 just happens to be able to sew letters and words--this is a perfect project to experiment with that!

For 12 jars with a 10" circumference, you need 12 fabric strips cut 1 1/2" x 11", 12 pieces of 1/4" wide elastic cut 10" long, and wool felt in two colors.

Start by making the straps to hold the labels in place: using a 1/4" seam, sew the fabric strips in half lengthwise, right sides together, then turn them right-side-out.  Thread one piece of elastic through each fabric tube.  (I used the turning tool in the picture above to do both.) Then overlap the ends of the elastic 1/2" and sew the overlapped area securely on the machine.

You don't have to finish the ends of the fabric, since they will be covered by the label.

Now it's time to make the label!  The manual for the BERNINA 380 gives easy-to-follow instructions for selecting the letters you want to sew.  You scroll through the alphabet and make your selection.  

The letter you choose is displayed on the screen--see, in the picture above, I've chosen the letter "N".

Then you step on the pedal and the machine sews the word!  It's so cool!

I sewed my words onto white wool felt, leaving spaces in between for cutting.

Carefully cut the words apart, leaving 1/4" of the felt on each side.  Then, cut along each edge with pinking shears.

Measure and cut the gray felt 1/4" wider and longer than the white felt.  Pin the word to the gray felt, and sew it on the BERNINA.


Cut a second piece of gray felt (for backing) the same size as the one on the label, and layer a strap between the backing and the label.  Pin them together and sew close to the edge of the gray felt, all the way around all four sides with the machine.

This is how the finished labels look, front and back.

Slip a label onto each jar and you are done!

Here are my jars, all neatly labeled.  This was a fast and fun and practical project--I love it!
73  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Button-Down iPad Sleeve using the BERNINA 380 on: May 15, 2012 10:40:40 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.

Button-Down iPad Sleeve using the BERNINA 380

You might be shocked to hear this, but in all my years of sewing, I've never made a buttonhole on a sewing machine...until today!  I expected it to be hard to master, but I discovered that making a buttonhole on the BERNINA 380 isn't just easy, it is RIDICULOUSLY EASY!!

I decided to make a sleeve for my iPad that closes with a button-down flap.  I started the flap by cutting a piece of striped fabric approximately 5" x 6".  I added two layers of iron-on interfacing to it so the flap would be nice and firm.  To make a template for the curve at the end of the flap, I folded a piece of paper, measuring 4" x 2", in half lengthwise, and rounded the end.  Then I trace it once onto the interfacing, near the edge, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.  I folded the fabric in half, right sides together, and then sewed on my drawn line.

I used presser foot #20, the embroidery foot, because the front of the foot is completely open, making it easy to sew exactly on the line I had drawn.  After sewing the entire line, I trimmed away excess fabric, turned the flap right-side-out, pressed it, and topstitched 1/4" from the edge all the way around.

Now for the exciting part: the buttonhole!!  The BERNINA 380 has numbered buttons with pictures of the stitches above them.  I pressed "0", which the machine calls "10", as you can see in the picture below.  It also tells me to use foot #3 (which has a big buttonhole attachment, it's a few pictures down...we'll get to it!)

There's one more thing to do to prepare for a buttonhole: when loading the bobbin, you have to run the thread through this little eye in the bobbin case.  It adds a little more tension and makes for a prettier buttonhole!

Next, position your button on your fabric, and make a small mark at the top and bottom of the button.

Position the fabric so that the top mark is directly under the needle.  (Here's the buttonhole foot I mentioned earlier!)  Now all you do is step on the pedal and sew down to the second mark you made on the fabric.  Stop, and press the "quick reverse" button one time.  That tells the machine the length of your buttonhole.  Now just step on the pedal and watch as the machine sews the other side and the top and bottom tacks of the buttonhole.  Cool!!

It was easy to use an X-Acto knife to cut the buttonhole open.

Perfect fit!  I love it!!  I'm going to use buttonholes on everything from now on!  But first, let's finish this iPad sleeve!

All seams are 1/4", unless otherwise specified.

For the outside front and back, cut 2 green pieces 8" x 9 1/2", and two striped pieces 4" x 9 1/2".  Sew one striped piece to the top (9 1/2") side of each green piece; these finished outer pieces will measure 11 1/2" x 9 1/2".  Press, and apply iron-on batting, cut slightly smaller than the finished outside pieces.

If you want to make a pocket on the front like I did, cut two pieces of the green fabric 8" x 9 1/2".  Apply fusible interfacing to both pieces, then sew the top seam ONLY, right-sides together.  Turn right-side-out, press, and top stitch 1/4" away from the top edge.

For the lining, cut two pieces of the striped fabric 11 1/4" x 9 1/2" (yes, the lining is slightly shorter than the outside, to make a better fit).  I love to use interfacing, so I applied light-weight fusible interfacing to both lining pieces.

To assemble the sleeve, start by machine-basting the pocket onto the lower edge of the front piece, and machine-baste the buttonhole flap onto top center of the back piece.

Now, layer one piece of lining on top of each outer piece.  Sew the piece together along the top edge ONLY.  Flip the lining up, and press the seam flat.  Your fabrics should now look like the picture below.  The front is on the left, the back is on the right.

Now flip the back section onto the top section, right sides together, and pin them together.  Sew all around all four sides, leaving a 4" section unsewn in the bottom of the lining, for turning.  After sewing, trim off excess fabric from the corners, and turn the sleeve right-side-out.

Fold in the raw edges of the opening and press.  Sew the opening closed, very close to the edge of the fabric.

Now just push the lining into the sleeve and smooth it out.  Press the whole thing well, then top-stitch 1/4" from the edge.  Sew on your button, and you are DONE!!  Great job!

74  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Zippered Tote Test using the BERNINA 380 on: May 15, 2012 10:39:49 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.

Zippered Tote Test using the BERNINA 380

I decided to test the BERNINA 380 on the project I know best: a zippered purse that I designed a number of years ago.  I've made a ton of them since then, so I could really compare this sewing machine to the one I've been using.  I also got to try several new features of the machine and a new stitch.

Here, I've chosen and prepared all my fabrics: the front panel with horses, two horse pockets (one inside and one outside), canvas for the back and bottom of the bag, and a lining fabric.

Before I tried the BERNINA 380, I read that it has a presser foot lifter that you operate with your knee--of all the features on this machine, the "knee lifter" is my favorite thing!!  As I sewed the lining onto the pocket fabric, at each corner I used the knee lifter to make the turn, so I never had to take my hands off the fabric.  In the picture below, I am actually lifting the presser foot with my knee!  Awesome!  It did take some getting used to though, rather like learning to drive a stick shift, because you operate the knee lifter and the foot pedal with the same leg. (Yes, many times I lifted the presser foot when I meant to start sewing the seam!)

I reinforced the seams of the bag with a zigzag stitch.  The computerized stitch selector is very easy to use, and going back and forth between the straight stitch and the zigzag stitch required only one push of a button.  Amazingly, this BERNINA remembered the settings of the previous stitch as I had adjusted them (length, width, and needle position) and returned to my settings when I returned to that stitch!  I love that!

It was when I was almost done with the bag, and turned it right-side-out for topstitching, that the true test began.  The first question was: does this machine have good clearance under the sewing arm?  The answer is YES!  The bag easily slid under the arm and was easy to maneuver as I sewed.

The next and biggest question was, would this machine sew over the thick side seams easily, without skipping stitches?  (My other machine always skips stitches in that area, which drives me crazy!)  I held my breath as the side seam came closer and closer to the needle, and... YES!  Bernie (as I call her now) did it!  She sewed the seam evenly, without hesitation, and without skipping a stitch!  Honestly, I almost felt like crying with happiness!  The BERNINA 380 passed my toughest test.

It worked so well on the first bag that I made a few more!

75  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / Fun Pillowcase using the BERNINA 380 on: May 15, 2012 10:38:23 AM
Sponsored Content
* 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.

Fun Pillowcase using the BERNINA 380

A pillowcase made of special fabrics can be a great gift, especially for kids and teenagers. Who cares if it doesn't match the sheets?  Pillowcases are fun!

I made this pillowcase with French seams and a double layer of the blue fabric, so all the seams are enclosed, and it has a nice substantial feel.

Here's how to make it: start by washing and ironing your fabric.  Then, cut two pieces of the main fabric 24" x 21", and two pieces of the contrast fabric 13" x 21".  Using a 1/4" seam, sew one piece of contrast fabric onto one end of each of the main fabric pieces, as in the picture above.

Next, iron under about 1/4" of the contrast fabric, then fold it down to cover the seam, as in the picture above.  Pin the fabric in place over the seam, and iron the top edge of the contrast fabric.

At this point you could just sew a straight stitch near the lower edge of the contrast fabric to hold it in place, but I wanted to try out a decorative stitch on my BERNINA 380.  I had 115 stitches to choose from!!  After much deliberation, I finally decided on number 79, a row of hearts; I entered the stitch into the machine, and you can see the number on the display in the picture above.

Once the number was displayed on the screen, all I had to do was step on the pedal and guide the fabric.  Easy!

The row of hearts looks equally good on the front and the back of the fabric (that's the front on the left, and the back on the right.)  Next time I will use a different thread color so there is more contrast.

Now, to sew the French seams, layer the two pieces of the pillowcase WRONG sides together.  (It seems so wrong, but it is so right!!)  Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew around the three raw edges of the pillowcase.

Then turn the pillowcase inside out and press the seams flat.  Using a 3/8" seam, sew along the three sides you just sewed. This will enclose your seams.

Turn the pillowcase right-side out and press.  Ta-da!  It looks so professional!  It's ready for gift-giving!

76  MASTER CRAFTSTERS / BERNINA 3 Series / I Love the BERNINA 380! on: May 15, 2012 10:37:29 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.

I Love the BERNINA 380!

Hi, I'm Leslie, and I am so excited to have been given the opportunity to test out the BERNINA 380!

I learned to sew in junior high school, when I took a Home Economics class.  A couple of years later I saw a handmade quilt, up close, and I became obsessed with quilting--I taught myself to quilt from a book, and I started collecting fabric scraps from my friends' mothers!  I was 14 when I made my first quilt, and I sewed nothing but quilts or quilted things (like pillows and wall hangings) until about ten years ago, when I suddenly wanted to make a purse.  Since then I've made over 2000 purses (!), and a lot of other things, too.  I just love to sew!

I was thrilled to hear I had been chosen as a Master Craftster, and to learn that I would be given the loan of a BERNINA 380 for six months!  I have never used a BERNINA before, and it is SO much better than the cheap-o sewing machines I have been using (I think I know what I'm going to ask for, for Christmas this year!).

The BERNINA 380 comes with everything you need to get started sewing right away, including eight presser feet, extra needles, two spools of thread, and a pre-wound bobbin.  The accessories case holds all the presser feet and small things like oil, a seam ripper, and a tiny brush for cleaning; there is space left over for extra presser feet that you might want to purchase.

I prefer not to read instructions, but I felt that I might be missing something if I didn't read the instruction book that comes with the machine.  It really was helpful as I got started, and it was essential for learning to program the stitches and to spell out words with the alphabet stitches.

The BERNINA 380 also comes with this wide, slide-on table, which I love because the fabric doesn't slide off the back or start pulling off to the side.  The bar coming out of the lower right corner of the machine one of my favorite features:  the "Free-Hand System", which is the fancy term for what I call the "knee-lifter"--you push the bar with your knee, and the presser foot is raised, so you don't have to take your hands off your project to turn a corner while you are sewing!  Sweet!

I am a perfectionist, so I really appreciate the beautiful, even stitches this machine produces, as well as the powerful motor that doesn't balk when sewing over bulky seams.  I was hoping for a lot when I got this machine, and it has surpassed my expectations.  I'm looking forward to sewing everything I can think of on this BERNINA 380!
77  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidered Keys Cushion Cover on: May 09, 2012 04:22:41 PM
I made this pillow for my partner Maimy in the Cushion Cover Swap, after seeing how much she loved keys (they are in her avatar, so that says a lot!)

I found fabric with keys on it, but the colors weren't right for her, so I traced the key shapes onto paper, then transfered them to linen with pencil.  I outline stitched all ten keys, and they looked nice...but not quite nice enough...so after giving a lot of thought to how long it was going to take, I resoved to fill in all the keys with embroidery!  It took about 2 hours per key, and I loved every minute of it!  This is the first big embroidery project I've done, and I plan to do more.

I'm happy to report that Maimy loves her cushion cover!

78  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Sewing Accessories Swap, send by May 29 on: April 30, 2012 05:09:23 AM

All you sewists, this swap is for YOU!  

This GALLERY is for you too!!!

Lets have fun crafting some sewing accessories for each other!  Pincushions, needlebooks, scissors fobs, thread catchers, sewing caddieswe all love them, and we all want MORE!  We will keep it small and easy:  two points-worth of goodies is all you have to makethats two smalls (two hours or less to make each one) or one medium (around three hours to make one).

Here are some examples of things you could make, but you are not limited to this list:

needle book
scissors fob
chatelaine  http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/Other/Quilters-Chatelaine/5611
sewing machine cover
project bag/organizer
thread catcher
free sewing accessories patterns
weighted pincushion organizer
sewing caddy and thread catcher patterns

Details of swap:
--You will craft 2 points-worth ofsewing accessories, keeping your partners preferences in mind.
--You will have three full weeks to craft and send, from May 7th to May29th.
-- Please post in this thread (or the gallery thread) at least once a week so we know you are still crafting with us.


- No one like to be flaked on, so if you aren't sure if you can do this swap, don't sign up.
- You must get delivery confirmation if sending within the U.S., or a mailing receipt if sending elsewhere.
- If you must send late, let the organizers and your partner know ASAP.
- Good communication is very important. Please stay in touch by posting weekly in the swap thread.
- Please post photos of the package you receive in the gallery, and take pictures of what you make before you send it.

Limited to a certain number of people? Yes, 40
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? No
Additional age requirement? No

Craftster members who are organizing this swap: Leslieshappyheart and susanab
Sign-up date range:  April 30-May 7, 2012
Date to send item by: May 29, 2012

Swap Co-organizers themselves meet these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: Yes
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: Yes
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: Yes
- Is at least 18 years old: Yes

Swap Co-organizers will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: Yes
- Has posted at least 15 times: Yes
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: Yes
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: Yes
- Does not have any negative feedback: Yes
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: Yes
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: Yes
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: Yes

If you have any questions about this or anything else, please ask your co-organizers .
If you want to participate, send the questionnaire below to both "susanab", and "Leslieshappyheart"


Name of swap: Sewing Accessories Swap
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country in correct shipping format:

Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that you are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval (YES/NO)

1. Do you have any allergies that are strong enough to prevent you from being partnered with certain people?
2. Do you have any other allergies or things to avoid (such as nickel or animal products)?
3. Do you have any allergens (pets, smoke) in your house?
4. Are there any sewing accessories that you would especially love to receive?
5. Are there any sewing accessories you do not wish to receive?
6. What are you favorite colors/color combinations?
7. Least favorite colors/combinations?
8. What sort of fabric patterns/designs do you especially like?
9. Are there any fabric patterns/designs that you DO NOT like?
10. Please list a few themes and/or styles that you like (such as robots, nature, kawaii; or vintage, modern, shabby):
11. Please mention any themes/styles you DO NOT like:
12. Please give a link to your Wists, Pinterest, Etsy Favorites, etc (if you don't have one, please start one today!):
13. Please add a few more details about yourself and your tastes to help your partner get an idea of who you are. The more information you give, the better she can craft for you:


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap

1.  susanab
2.  Leslieshappyheart
3.  silentblair
4.  fiddlegirl8
5.  Mod35tBabe
6.  Craftsunderground
7.  thehappycrochetchic
8.  mandys_momma
9.  camezzo
10. CraftyMamaBee
11. wendiek
12. texscrapper
13. EllaRain
14. trisarose
15. MissingWillow
16. thisbirdsabsurd
17. DoveVazo
18. Sharalee
19. HippieNation--Welcome first-time swapper!!
20. RachelStitches--Welcome first-time swapper!!
21. louw
22. banana731
23. adrienne_bowers

susanab's group:
susanab <--> HippieNation
Craftsunderground <--> fiddlegirl8
silentblair <--> EllaRain
camezzo <--> Sharalee
thehappycrochetchic <--> Mod35tBabe
trisarose <--> mandys_momma

Leslieshappyheart's group:
texscrapper <--> Leslieshappyheart
Leslieshappyheart <--> adrienne_bowers
banana731 <--> DoveVazo
louw <--> RachelStitches
wendiek <--> CraftyMamaBee
thisbirdsabsurd <--> MissingWillow
79  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Sewing Accessories Swap Idea (THIS SWAP IS NOW OPEN, LINK BELOW) on: April 26, 2012 04:47:40 AM

This swap is open:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=407908.new

A month or two ago, there was a lot of interest in a pin cushion swap and it was decided that susanab and I would organize it, and expand it to include all sorts of sewing accessories.  We are ready to get moving on this now, who's with us??

I would like to start sign-ups in a few days, with partners given a week later, and a 3-week crafting time, putting send-outs near the end of May.

We're thinking of a small, 2-point swap, so you will have your choice of making 2 smalls, or a medium item.  Here's my list of things I can think of that would fall into the category of "sewing accessories"--please help me out, I will add your suggestions to this list.  I've indicated the point value of each item just in case anyone is wondering about that:

pincushion (1 pt.)
needle book (1 pt.)
scissor's fob (1 pt.)
chatelaine (1-2 pt.) http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/Other/Quilters-Chatelaine/5611
sewing machine cover (2 pt.)
project bag/organizer (2 pt.)
thread catcher
free sewing accessories patterns
weighted pincushion organizer
sewing caddy and thread catcher patterns
I will include a spot on the questionnaire for you to list the item(s) you really want to receive, so all you pin cushion lovers can indicate your wish!
80  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Pride and Prejudice Pincushion on: April 02, 2012 05:21:31 PM
I volunteered to help susanab put together an angel package for a swapper in the Old Fashioned Romance swap.  My contribution was a pincushion featuring the swapper's favorite quote from "Pride and Prejudice".

I started by printing the quote off the computer, then sketching my idea around it, and gathering the things I thought I would use in making it.  I traced the quote onto muslin with a light box and Sakura Micron markers.

The pin with the polymer clay bird on the end was left over from another swap, and it was just the right color for this pincushion.  I think it came out looking perfectly romantic!
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