* To see the overview of this Master Crafters campaign click here
* To read more about the Brother SE-350 Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here
.Brother SE-350 - Embroidered Buttons that live on cardigans (or will!)
When I first got the machine, I was a little scared of positioning things properly. There just seemed like there was so much margin of error (there's not really!) and I was totally intimidated by the idea of embroidering on purchased items that weren't re-creatable like things I made myself would be (silly!).
So I started thinking about things to make that were more flexible, and by the time I got over my fears (like a whole day later, it didn't take long!), I was already determine to make covered buttons!
Covered buttons are a fabulous sewing accessory that we just don't use often enough anymore to suit me. You can use them to blend the buttons into fabric, by covering them in the same fabric as a garment, or you can use them to really be a feature of the garment. A few years ago I went through a phase of using iron on transfers to make buttons (I think there are still pics of vintage pin up buttons in one of the swap galleries!), so I've got a bunch of covered button kits stashed with my notions.
I decided to use the little flower design from Memory Card No. 67 - Home Decor
to make some of my buttons.
It was little enough to fit on the buttons, and it also appealed to my kitsch sensibilities, because it totally reminds me of those little flowers that were on undershirts and nightgowns when we were kids. Remember these?
Again, I wasn't super keen on the suggested colours, since they were slightly pastel (mint green, pink and light blue). I did a sample using cherry red (from another manufacturer), moss green (Brother 515) and sky blue (Brother 019) -
But I thought the blue was a little too pale for the other shades, so I switched it out for prussian blue (Brother 007), and that was perfect.
When I made my buttons, the first one I did was the rose from Memory Card No 74 - Scrapbooking
. After I finished the largest piece I was planning on embroidering, I removed the hoop from the machine and traced the button size guide around the rose. Then I looked at the fabric left in the hoop, and traced as many little button guides as I could fit. Then I centred the embroidery foot in each circle and embroidered the small flowers.
After embroidering, I cut out the circles. I dabbed a little glue onto the back of each embroidery and pressed the front button piece onto them and let them dry. This made sure that the embroidery stayed centred on the button, even when pushed into the little button thingy in the next step (I learned this the hard way!).
After the glue was dry, I carefully pressed the button rounded side down into the little rubber tool that came in the kit. I pressed the edges towards the middle, and set the button back on top.
Using the little tool that came in the kit, use the hammer to secure the button front and back together. (And really, don't bother buying the "no hammer needed" kits, I've never been able to get them to stay together for long - again, learn from my mistakes!)
The completed button!!
Now gently bend the rubber tool and pop the button out!
The buttons are going to go on a red jersey cardigan. The fabric beneath them is actually one of the pattern pieces.
After the flowers, I started thinking about how fun it would be if the buttons spelled something and realized that letters were the perfect size for the smaller buttons in my stash.
I used a font from Memory Card No 1 - Alphabet
to embroider all the letters to spell out "crafty dame".
This is what the buttons WILL look like on the cardigan; the pre-existing buttons were so tiny that I have to redo the button holes before I can sew them on (luckily, the SE-350 comes with 10 different buttonhole stitches!)
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to play around with the buttonholes as much as I would have liked because I was too busy trying to dye the sweater (that's a story for another day, though