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In this post I want to talk a little about the walking foot and then I wanted to update everyone on my feelings and experience with my Bernina 330.

Walking Foot

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Lately, I have been using my walking foot for pretty much every project.  So I thought I would talk about it a little bit.  Before going into the details I do want to mention that it’s not a standard foot that comes with the machine and it’s probably one of the most expensive feet for your machine but it’s definitely worth the money and I haven’t even quilted anything yet!

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For those of you that don’t know what a walking foot is, it is a foot that allows both the top and bottom of the fabric to feed together. The actual foot part has two pieces that go up and down with the needle which allows the fabric to easily move.  It’s really helpful if you are sewing multiple layers because then the fabric doesn’t shift like it does with a standard foot.

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My walking foot came with three plates, one of which is pictured above.  It is an edge plate which I tend to use all of the time when I am stitching along the edge.  I just move my needle over and keep the edge of the fabric even with the center piece.

Bernina 330

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Now on to the Bernina 330…I still LOVE my machine!  You can see my original post about it here.  There really aren’t enough good things I can say about it.  First of all, look at it…it’s sexy, sleek, modern…I am definitely not embarrassed to show it off.

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It has plenty of stitch options…I have only probably used a handful of them anyway.

The screen shows me which stitch number I am using, where my needle is positioned, whether my needle is going to stop up or down, whether I turned on the feature that ends the stitch at the end of a pattern (not shown right now because the feature was off at the time of the picture), the width of the stitch,  and which foot is the recommended foot for the stitch that I chose.

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The LED light is bright and allows me to easily see what I am doing.  The reverse stitch button is in a convenient place which allows me to still be able to control my project while locking in a stitch.  The needle threader is really helpful, but I will be honest that it does take a few tries sometimes and takes some getting used to.

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It has excellent stitch quality and rarely skips a stitch.  It pulls the fabric through very straight so I don’t feel like I am fighting with the machine to get a straight stitch.  It has had no problem sewing through thick layers.

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Really, the only issue I have had is that the bobbin case has fallen out a few times.  But before you get scared away, I am about 99% sure it was my fault.  After oiling the bobbin case, you have to shut the holder, well, it doesn’t really make a clicking sound and I don’t think that I was getting it closed all of the way.

I now know that I have to be extra careful and haven’t had it fall out in months.  Actually, I pulled out the latch a tad so that it has more room for the latch to actually attach.  So either my experience with it has helped or this slight adjustment did the trick.

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To sum it up, I would still recommend this machine to anyone that needs a sewing machine.  If you don’t need anything extra this is the machine for you.  I wouldn’t get sucked into all of the extra stitches and embroidery and this and that.  I feel that if one machine does too much it’s going to do an ok job at everything, whereas if you have a machine that is more geared toward just one thing it’s going to do a great job at that one thing.

If you have any specific questions just let me know and I would be more than happy to help you out!

I have no affiliation and am not receiving any sort of compensation by Bernina or any one else for this post.  All opinions are written solely by me to help out others interested in getting a new sewing machine.

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Lillian was invited to her first birthday party a few weeks ago, which was for our neighbor boy who turned 5.  I asked his mom what he liked and one of the things was matchbox cars.  I remembered seeing a car cozy tutorial awhile ago on a blog so I thought that would be perfect to make for him.

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I based this car cozy off of two different tutorials.  One from Homemade by Jill and the other from My Little Gems.  It’s actually very similar to the crayon roll except it’s folded in half before rolling, and of course the obvious….larger size and less pockets which are also larger.

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Because I was making this as a birthday gift, I wanted to personalize it a little more.  So I thought, what better way than to add the recipient’s name!  My machine only has one alphabet stitch so I didn’t have any choices there, but I was able to use a fun stitch for the top and bottom edge of the name tag.

I made this tag the same way that I made the tag for Lillian’s towel.

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The outside fabric is 18 x 12, the green fabric is also 18 x 12, the pocket (monster fabric) is 18 x 9, and the road is 18 x 6 1/2.  I think the road lines were 1/2 x 1, and I made the ribbon 1 yard which is 36 inches.

I wanted the end size to be 18 x 11 1/2 with each “car port” 3 inches wide but messed up one of my pieces and accidentally cut it 18 inches instead of 18 1/2. This of course didn’t leave room for a seam allowance, so I compromised and cut the pieces down to 18 which made my “car ports” a little less than 3 inches wide.  So my final project was 17 1/2 x 11 1/2.

It worked out fine this way but I suggest cutting the pieces 18 1/2 x 12 so that there is less thinking when making the “car ports.”

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In order to attach the road lines, I just treated them as if they were applique.  I debated about using yellow or black thread to attach them but I’m glad I chose black, even though it was mainly based on the fact that I didn’t have enough yellow thread.  (Don’t you love how black cotton shows everything!?!)

I then attached the road to the inner piece of fabric (green stripes) at the very top.  So that the edge of the road that wouldn’t be in the seam didn’t fray I just ironed it under by 1/4 of an inch.  This way, when I sewed the road to the inner fabric I was able to catch the folded area in the seam.

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To attach the pocket and make each opening even I used the above tool (which I think is called a seam guide).  I attached it to my walking foot (because I tend to use my walking foot for everything) and set it for a little less than 3 inches.

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From there I sewed my first line a little less than 1/4 inch from the edge. For the next line, all I had to do was keep my first stitch line under the seam guide and I knew the next line would be evenly spaced from the first line. Then I repeated for all of the additional lines.  (wow, that’s a lot of lines in one paragraph!)

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After attaching the pocket, I then attached the ribbon to the middle of the road. When buying my ribbon I didn’t notice that it was one sided. When sewing it to the road, I should have made the unfinished side facing outward because when this is closed it’s not the striped side that shows. Lesson learned for next time I guess!DSC_7191.jpg

Here is how it looks folded….except there are no cars in it above.  I am happy with the way this turned out other than the ribbon.  But I’m sure 5 year old Jimmy didn’t even notice.  Actually, when he took it out of the gift bag he asked his mom what it was.  haha  It had cars in it already, but you know how kids are when getting new things…just too excited to really look at what it is.

Linked to Made by You Monday, Kim’s Kandy Kreations, {Sew} Modern Monday, Show Me What Ya Got, Serenity Now, Kojodesigns, Sundae Scoop, Make Yourself Monday

Featured At Serenity Now

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Lillian’s daycare asked us to bring in a swimming suit and towel for her so she could play in the sprinkler on warm days.  (I would not want to get 11 two year olds ready to go swimming but that is a whole other topic!)  Anyway, as you probably know everything has to be labeled when it’s going to be kept at daycare.  I normally just put her name or initials on the regular tag but the one on this towel was dark  and I didn’t have a light permanent marker.

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So instead, I decided to use the alphabet stitch on my machine.  I originally used the light pink thread on the towel but because of the thickness you couldn’t read her name.  So I decided to make a name tag.

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I just took a piece of brown fabric and folded it like I would for a strap, you could probably just fold in the edges or even use raw edges if you like that look.  I just thought the extra thickness would help with the stitch in order to not pull through so much.  I then stitched her name on it leaving enough room around the edge so that when I attached it to the towel it wouldn’t overlap her name.  Then I attached it to the towel.  Now she has a towel that daycare will know is hers.

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I was making a few skirts for a coworker’s daughter and thought I would take pictures of the process of making an elastic waistband.

Elastic Tutorial

To start out, fold and iron the edge in by about a 1/4 of an inch.  If you have a serger you can also serge the edge.

Elastic Tutorial

Next, fold and iron in again a 1/4 inch wider than your elastic.  So if you are using 3/4 inch elastic this piece should be folded at about an inch.

Elastic Tutorial

I then mark the center of the back so I know where to leave my opening.  You could leave the opening anywhere but I like to add a “tag” to mark the back.

Elastic Tutorial

Now sew very close to the open edge.  I have been using my edging plate that came with my walking foot.  You can use a regular foot as well, I just find it easier to use the edging plate because then I know I’m sewing in a straighter line.

It’s important to stay close to the edge because if you don’t then the elastic won’t fit.

Elastic Tutorial

Don’t forget to leave an opening to insert the elastic!

Elastic Tutorial

Prepare your elastic.  I cut the elastic an inch shorter than the waist measurement.  (keep reading for another option) Then insert a safety pin into one end.  The safety pin is so that you have something to grip onto when trying to get your elastic through the casing that you just made.

Elastic Tutorial

Push the end of elastic with the safety pin through the opening…

Elastic Tutorial

Scrunch the fabric onto the elastic…

Elastic Tutorial

Then pull the elastic into the casing…

Elastic Tutorial

Continue until the elastic is all the way through and can come out the other side of the opening.

Elastic Tutorial

Using a piece of scrap fabric, cut out a small rectangle, about 2 inches long and a little wider than your elastic.  I usually fold mine in half just so there is a little more fabric to hold the elastic together.

Elastic Tutorial

The fabric is going to be used to connect your elastic together.

You can also cut your elastic an inch longer than the waist and then just overlap the elastic to connect it but this causes a bump in the elastic which can be uncomfortable.

Elastic Tutorial

Instead, I attach each end of the elastic to the fabric.  Be sure that the elastic is not twisted.

Elastic Tutorial

Trim the edges of the fabric so that it is smaller than the elastic.  This is so that it fits perfectly inside the elastic casing.

Elastic Tutorial

Pull the elastic into the opening.

Elastic Tutorial

Prepare your tag or use a regular tag…cut out a small piece of fabric.

Elastic Tutorial

Sew right sides together on the very edge…don’t forget to back stitch so that when you turn the thread doesn’t come out.

Elastic Tutorial

Turn inside out and iron if you want.  I don’t usually iron it because it doesn’t really matter if it’s flat or not.

Elastic Tutorial

Insert into the opening….

Elastic Tutorial

Sew closed.

Now you have finished inserting elastic to make an elastic waistband.  You can try out the basic skirt in order to practice using elastic.

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I found the Front Tie Spring Dress on Make It and Love It and knew that I wanted to try to make one for Lillian.  It was easier to make than it looks but was very difficult to get measurements since Lillian is an active two year old!

Lillian in her sun dress

Overall it fits her decently but it’s not my favorite thing I have made for her.  I think it’s the fabric that I’m not a huge fan of but I struggled finding one that I liked for a dress.  I found many that would make cute skirts but not necessarily a dress.

Front Tie Spring Dress

I kind of slacked on taking pictures for this dress because I wanted to have it finished for our family reunion.  Plus, Ashley has fantastic tutorials so I don’t really need to show my steps.

Anyway, the picture above shows the buttonholes that hold the front tie.  I used my automatic buttonhole feature on my machine which made it easy to get the holes the same size.  It did take me a little while to figure out how to save the settings on my machine though.  I also don’t really know how to line it up to get the buttonholes in the exact spot that I want them.

Front Tie Spring Dress

This is the area around the waist.  I know it looks like it would be pretty difficult but really all you are doing is inserting three pieces of elastic.  Each piece goes into it’s own casing but you work from the top down so it’s not an issue of getting them mixed up.

I wasn’t really sure where to measure on Lillian’s waist because she still has a baby belly.  You know, the one that sticks out but is oh so cute!  I kind of just measured where her waist should be even though there is no definition.

Front Tie Spring Dress

Here is the final dress.  As you can sort of see on the top left of the dress (well, left since we are looking at the dress) it’s a tad crooked.  I apparently didn’t get the gathering even before I attached the straps so it kind of looks twisted.  I’m not sure if that makes sense or not but I don’t know how else to describe it.

Front Tie Spring Dress

A closer shot of the top so you can see more detail.  I think the bow ends might look nice angled instead of straight across.  What do you think?

Lillian in her sun dress

Here is Lillian wearing the dress (with daddy behind her).  I should probably make it a tad shorter but this way it will fit longer, plus I don’t feel like I have to make a diaper cover because it’s so long.

Lillian in her sun dress

I made the straps a little long but not long enough to warrant redoing them.  Maybe I’m just lazy, but it’s only one of them that seems to fall down and again, maybe she can wear it longer this way.

Lillian in her sun dress

My silly girl showing off since I told her to stand against the couch.  She thought she had lean against the couch and act like she was falling.  We never have a dull moment!

Lillian in her sun dress

haha….I have no idea what this look is for, but I do know that the bow kept ending up in her mouth when we had it tied.  It was in the perfect spot for her to chew on so I untied it and think that it looks decent that way as well.

My overall opinion about this dress is that I think it’s cute but I don’t love it.  Again, I think that is because of my fabric choice.  The dress was not difficult to make at all other than getting the proper measurements.