Sunday, November 16, 2014

Let's Take a Walk

I'm getting craft items ready for this last craft fair coming up next weekend. That got me thinking about some of the items I'm sewing and how I might make this whole project better. I have been using a Pfaff 1222 with the IDT, a really cool built-in walking foot system they have. I've been more than satisfied with the results but there are some strange noises coming out of the Pfaff this last week and I fear I might be working it just a bit too hard with all of the layers. Since I've said I need to sew on the Bernina Record 730 more, I went ahead and attached the walking foot and let her prove herself:

Walking foot is the white plastic protrusion behind the needle
It worked really well, keeping all of the layers together since the walking foot moves at the same pace as the regular feed dogs, not less as a regular presser foot would. The results were quite good!

Front and back with walking foot

 Now for the next test: sewing all ten (10!) layers when attaching the bias binding. I used 4 different machines, one potholder on each: Bernina Record 730, Singer 201, Singer 15-91, and Bernette Funlock 004 serger. All three of the regular sewing machines could sew all those layers but the Bernina did more pausing and needed assistance from the handwheel. The Singer 15-91 probably worked the best, yet the Singer 201 had absolutely no problem but I had a heavier needle so it wasn't exactly apples to apples.

Bottom right was serged
It's the serged sample that was the most unsatisfactory. I love how it binds the edge and cuts the fabric all at the same time but look at the edge:

Serged edge with 10 layers
Stitches are skipped, missing areas, just a terrible example! I had to stitch the entire inner edge again so it would be strong enough. This serger is not happy with 10 layers but who would be? That's an extreme that I probably shouldn't be doing anyway. Since I liked the Singer 15 and 201 better, that might be the direction I need to go in. I already was using two sewing machines to make the potholders but maybe now it will be the Bernina with a walking foot and the Singer 15-91 for the binding. Here's the finished product:

Two hot mitts with coordinating towel
It's fun to experiment but sad when it doesn't go the way you predict but I think this will give me a better product and not overtax some very nice sewing machines. Should I tell the Pfaff 1222 and the Bernette Funlock 004 that they are still needed but I'm going to choose projects that are just a bit easier? Nah: I think they already know.


John Thomas said...

An interesting comparison test. I have a number of 201's that I enjoy sewing on because they never give me any problems or hesitation in doing the job. I have a Model 15 waiting on a treadle cabinet, so I look forward to comparing the two models - but a treadle vs electric may be an unfair comparison. I don't have any Bernina sm models, just a Bernina 334ds serger. I am not sure how it compares to yours used in the comparison. Thanks for the comparison!

Karen said...

John, I think you need to amend your statement to "I don't have any Bernina sm Models YET..." because now you will be on the lookout for one!