It’s one thing to create something with beautifully designed fabric, it’s a totally different adventure to create the design yourself!
One of the ways I enjoy designing fabric is experimenting with the stitches on PFAFF’s passport 3.0.
There are 100 stitches built into the passport 3.0 with most having the option to adjust the length, width, or position of the stitch.
This week I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my stitch play. My go-to playground for stitch play? Selvages!
I have a tutorial on my blog for making fabric from selvages and that’s the basic method I used to create my selvage piece. I made my piece 8″ tall x 9″ wide. However, instead of using the machine’s straight stitch and thread that blends with the selvages, I’m changing my stitch with each selvage I join and I’m going bold in my thread choice!
I took this opportunity to use up some of my selvages that don’t have the white line or dots on them. In this way the stitches will be the main feature of the fabric.
There are different categories of stitches to choose from on the passport 3.0: utility stitches, quilt stitches, needle art stitches, satin stitches, and decorative stitches.
Several of the utility stitches and the quilt stitches engage the IDT system with the presser foot to ensure even feed of the fabric under the needle. It’s recommended to use stabilizer under your fabric when using the decorative stitches; I usually don’t when I’m sewing selvages as there are already two layers of material. This time I’m making a second stitch sampler with stabilizer to see how the stitches compare when I make adjustments to their length or width.
I started with stitches at the top of the pullout card and went down. To select a stitch I pressed the number keys to the left of the LED display. Then I pushed the “i” button beneath the display to find out the recommended presser foot to use with the stitch.
Changing the presser foot
There are several presser feet included with the passport 3.0. To change the presser foot you push down on the foot to release it from the presser foot holder. Pick the presser foot that you need and once it is lined up with the holder you just push up – you’ll hear and feel it pop into place.
Stitching the samplers
Before stitching, I pressed the needle down button to keep the needle in the fabric whenever I stopped sewing.
I also used the Start/stop button to sew the stitches instead of using the foot peddle. I like doing this for this type of project because for several of the stitches, the needle goes in different directions to stitch. By using the stop/start button I can focus on feeding the fabric straight under the guide and leave the actual stitching to the machine.
I also lowered the speed of the machine which is easy to do by sliding the speed control down to about halfway. The machine is much better at stitching at a consistent speed than I am!
All of these buttons are easily accessible right on the front of the passport 3.0. I find I get into a rhythm and really enjoy trying out different stitches because the machine is doing most of the work and I just get to play!
Picking the stitches is easy and they’re all ready with automatic preset sizes – which you can change! You can adjust the stitch width or position, and the stitch length. A yellow light goes on to show you that you’re changing one of the presets; if you go too far one way or the other, the machine beeps and prevents you from adjusting any further. I like this feature because it lets me know that the passport 3.0 has built in safeguards so I can’t get into trouble by making the machine do something it just can’t do. This makes it safe for someone like me to play and try new things.
I got so into my stitches that I didn’t take photos of the process! Instead, I was taking notes of which stitches I picked and what I adjusted.
Take a look at my two stitch samplers below.
I used the preset stitch sizes on the selvage sample, but I adjusted the sizes of the different stitches that were done on the fabric with the stabilizer. By making those adjustments, the same stitches can really look different!
Here they are again with the notes that I took:
You can see that I went systematically through the stitches and took note of what kind of adjustments I made. I selected stitches that went in a fairly straight line to make sure that I covered the edge of the selvages when I was sewing. For the most part, I pushed the limit when I adjusted the stitches. You can see that the heart stitch – number 97 – ended up looking nothing like a heart with the adjustments made. I thought others, like stitches 40 and 45, still looked quite nice with the adjustments that were made.
If you like, you can write your stitch notes directly on the sampler and keep it for reference. I’m going to keep this photo for reference as I have plans for these samplers! Stay tuned ;)
Experimenting with the stitch selection on the passport 3.0 has given me even more ideas. I hope it’s inspired you to play too!
This is part 1 of 5 in this series.