Happy New Year! Over the Holidays I got busy and reviewed a whopping 8 (!) sewing machines. I will post the results on our new main website at http://www.seeitandsewit.com once it is up and running (hopefully over the next two weeks). In the meanwhile, as I was messing about, I decided to push the limits of the Brother Laura Ashley CX-155, to see how many of the great features, found on it’s bigger (read: much more expensive) cousins; NX2000, NX5000 Isadore and the NX800, I could emulate. One of the features that I really love about the Laura Ashley line is the ability to create perfect circular sewing. So, I made myself a little circular sewing attachment and gave it a whirl. Here is how I made it, and the results. Happy Sewing!
For this project you will need: a thin flat ruler, sticky Velcro, a fine tip marker, a utility knife and cutting mat, some 1″ tape (I used the double fold kind for strength and because the package I had happened to be pink!) the extension table for your machine and a glossy plastic accordion file folder. It needs to be made of heavy plastic so it can hold at the fulcrum point and glossy so the fabric does not drag on the surface.
You will also need a good pair of scissors, needle nose pliers, an awl or push pin (both pictured) and a commemorative pin that is completely flat or a heavy duty office tack such as those pictured below. I found these on Etsy.com. If the shaft on the pin is long, an earring backing, placed between the pin keeper and the fabric surface, can help keep the fabric from shifting. I just used one from an old earring that had lost it’s mate.
Step 1: Tear or cut the plastic file folder open. Lay it flat and place your extension table upside down on it. Trace around the outer perimeter of your extension table and cut the plastic to shape. This forms the Attachment Base.
Step 2: Attach your extension table to your machine and place the Attachment Base on it, taking note of the location of the two small sew holes on either side if the presser foot. Carefully line up the edges. Lower the presser foot and use your needle to poke a hole in the plastic. Trace around the presser foot. Then, using the push pin poke two more holes to indicate where the two screw hole are. This forms the outmost limit of the opening to be cut.
Step 3: Cut a rectangle opening for the presser foot and feed dogs. Use the two push pin hole to make sure that the opening is slightly larger than the presser foot are but not so large as to cause drag on your fabric.
Step 4: Line your ruler up with center of the feed dog opening and mark a straight line with hash marks every 1/2″ beginning at 2″ away from the center of your opening. The first photo was a bit blurry so I retook it – it’s a little off with the ruler placement (sorry!:)) Use your awl or push pin to poke holes at each of the half inch hash marks. TIP: If you are using a push pin and the plastic is too thick, try to use needle nose pliers to hold the push pin and gently heat the tip with your iron. Then, use the warmed push pin to make the hole. This will melt the plastic, hopefully preventing any cracking.
Step 5: Place the Attachment Base upside down on a flat surface. Cut 4 pieces of Sticky Velcro (both parts) I made my pieces about 1 1/4″ long (pictured below) but wish that I had made it longer. After testing this prototype, I found that 2 1/2″ is a lot better because it allows me to use the Circular Sewing Attachment with more that one machine and also accommodates any stretching by the bias tape.
Step 6: Reinforce the Velcro with stitching.
That’s it! You’re done! Just insert the commemorative pin and cap or your push pin/earring backing combo into any one of the holes and strap the attachment to your machine. You will need to lift your machine so the right strap can pass underneath. The weight of your machine adds stability to the Circular Sewing Attachment. After that, just add your fabric. Have fun!
If you would to see a step by step tutorial showing how I made the pillow shown in the photo above, feel free to leave me a comment and I will post the details.
Happy Sewing! Natalie