When using large pieces of denim, first make a sort of layout, i.e. place the pieces side by side and move around until you hit on a design you like. Then take a photo before roughly cutting out the pieces.
Pieces from old pairs of jeans never lie entirely flat. Old seams sometimes need to be unpicked and resewn. Slight bulges can be evened out quite authentically by adding to them or taking them in. This is best done with the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR). Simply free-motion-embroider over the fold.
Because the pieces have often been washed quite a few times, the fabric and thread may have become brittle, making it hard for the needle to pierce the fabric. Placing the fabrics overnight in a vinegar solution (take care with any metal bits!) or softener will help, as the vinegar eats at the lime
Where possible, clip and grade thick places on the back. Take care with the placemat in particular that the surface under the plate or glass is not too uneven.
Cut out pieces in such a way that it’s not difficult to sew around buttons, studs or zips.
For easy topstitching, use an extra-strong sewing thread such as Metrosene Extra Strong by Mettler, and a size 90 or 100 jeans needle.
Use simple decorative stitches. The feed over thick and thin as well as over cross seams can be a bit uneven! We’ve made frequent use of the 780’s new quilting stitches, which look as if they were hand-sewn.
A cotton melange thread such as Mettler Metrosene Silk Finish is suitable for decorative stitches
Use the height-compensation plates to sew up or down ‘hills’.
Waistbands are ideal for handles or edge finishes.
Sewn-on badges or old labels complete the look – and they can also cover any unsightly bits.
Do not sew pockets shut – that way they can still be used.