Friday, June 1, 2012

Zippered Tote Test

I have a couple of new things I'm working on right now, but neither is quite ready to blog about, so today I will share another one of the articles I wrote about the Bernina 380 for the Master Craftsters series on Craftster.   Rather than being a tutorial, this one is a recounting of my initial experience with , and reaction to, the Bernina 380 I had on loan for this series.  I really love this sewing machine, and I think it shows in this post!

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!

1 comment:

wendiek said...

Your bags are all so gorgeous!

I really can tell that you fell in love with the Bernina, Leslie!

Let me tell you that a good machine is money well spent! I LOVE my machine to pieces, don't want to do without any more.