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Topic: Interchangeable Buttonhole Flowers using the BERNINA 350PE  (Read 2091 times)
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« on: May 15, 2012 10:32:30 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.

Interchangeable Buttonhole Flowers using the BERNINA 350PE

Originally, I planned on just making a paperbag skirt.  It's a skirt of my own design that is so easy it literally only requires four straight stitches and some elastic.  But after I whipped together one and documented the process, I realized that while the skirt is loads of fun, the tutorial is decidedly not loads of fun.  So instead I decided I'd play around with an idea that I've had for making interchangeable buttonhole flowers to use on dresses, skirts, pillows, purses...well, just about anything that can stand having a button sewn to it.  The only thing that has been holding me back is my distaste for making buttonholes.  Until the BERNINA 350 Patchwork Edition entered my life that is...  If you were hoping for a tutorial for the skirt, you can find it at the end of this post.

All you need is:
  • An item to decorate
  • Something to make the flowers out of (I used vinyl upholstery samples, but you could use leather.  Wool felt would probably work as well.)
  • Buttons

The first thing I did was cut out my flowers and pick out my buttons.

I placed the buttons in the middle of my flowers and used dressmaker's chalk make four marks so I had an idea of where I wanted the buttonholes.

I positioned the flowers on the skirt where I thought I'd like them to go and then sewed the buttons on by hand.  

The BERNINA 350PE comes with these nifty snap on soles.  It's extremely easy to switch them out.  You just hit the little red button behind the foot and the snap on sole comes off. For the buttonhole foot you have to remove the entire foot, though.  Just move this little lever back and pull the entire foot off.  

This is the buttonhole presser foot.  Attach it by simply pushing it up and then repositioning the lever to lock in place.

I prepped the bobbin by pulling the thread through the eye on the little arm on the bobbin.  This adds extra tension and makes the buttonholes much neater.

I then used the little sliding red marker on the buttonhole foot to measure how big my buttonhole needed to be.  

I put the flower under the buttonhole foot, making sure to position it in the center of my markings, and then lowered the foot to hold it into place.  Next, I pushed the "0" on the number pad.  Here you can see that on the screen, the buttonhole symbol pops up.  

I simply pushed the foot pedal and the machine sewed a satin stitch down the left side.  When it reached the end of my desired buttonhole length (as indicated by the red marker), I hit quick reverse (that would be the little "U" symbol with an arrow on one end that I'm pushing in the picture).  On the screen, a 3A presser foot should appear along with the words AUTO inside the buttonhole symbol.

The rest is super easy.  The machine automatically stitches a reverse straight stitch up the right side, the first bar tack, satin stitches down the right side, the second bar tack, and ends with some securing stitches. The entire time on the screen each side of the "virtual buttonhole" blinks as the machine works on that particular side.  When it is finished it returns to buttonhole begin.  In this picture, you can see the bottom bar tack is "missing" on the display screen.  That's because it was blinking at the time of this photo to let me know that the machine was working on the bottom bar tack.

The neat thing is that the machine remembers the length of the buttonhole for as long as the machine is on. So if your buttons are the same size, you don't have to go through the process of measuring the length and using the red marker on the buttonhole foot.  Just put the fabric under the foot and start sewing.  

You can also save your buttonhole in the memory if you want to keep your buttonhole length long term.  The memory will only store one length per buttonhole type, so this is best for standard button sizes or if you have a project that requires a lot of buttonholes of the same size.  To store the length in the memory, simply press the memory button with the arrow pointing right after you have programmed the length.  

I continued sewing buttonholes on my flowers until all six were done. I then used a seam ripper to carefully make a slit down the center of each buttonhole.

All that was left was to slide the flowers onto the buttons I sewed on the skirt.

Aria thought it was a blast that we could switch out the flowers.  

If you're logged in, you can download the JPG tutorial for the skirt below.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012 01:06:01 PM by jungrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012 01:51:03 PM »

What a cute idea! 

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