Sewing Circles with Decorative Stitches

We Carry
by Sara Snuggerud in Sewing Tips

We are going in circles…using a circular sewing attachment and a sewing machines built-in decorative stitches. The circular sewing attachment allows users to sew circles and semicircles using straight stitches, decorative stitches and other techniques like applique, couching or pintucks in a wide range of circle diameters.

Most brands of sewing machines offer some version of the circular sewing attachment. Check with your local sewing machine dealer for the correct version for your exact sewing model of sewing machine.

For Bernina users: Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment #83

For current model Husqvarna Viking users: Husqvarna Viking Circular Attachment

Since this is an “attachment” and not a foot, the foot selection can be changed based on the technique desired. For example, to couch yarn in a circle use the a couching or piping foot. Adjust the slide on the Circular Attachment to the desired radius and sew!

It is recommended to always stabilize the base fabric well using 2-3 layers of stabilizer. Select the stabilizer based on the project fabric.

Check out both of Sara’s videos on how the Bernina and Husqvarna Viking circular sewing attachments work as well as a fun included side project she created.

It is best to use this attachment with the some kind of sewing table such as a Sew Steady Table or a sewing cabinet. The support of these tables will keep the project flowing smoothly around.

When using decorative stitches with a circular sewing attachment keep a watchful eye out to be able to match the pattern up to the starting point. Use your fingers to tug or push the fabric as you approach the end of the circle. If the decorative stitch is coming up short, give it a little push. If the decorative stitch is sewing out a bit long, gently stifle the fabric to shorten up the decorative stitch.

One of my favorite uses of a circular sewing attachment is to make perfect machine appliqueable circles backed with woven fusible interfacing. Cut squares (not circles) of the fabric and woven interfacing. Place the woven interfacing with the fusible side next to the pretty side of the fabric. Pin the layers together with four pins. Set the circular sewing attachment to the size of the desired circle. Sew with a straight stitch. Remove the fabric and trim the circle using pinking shears close to the stitching line. Make a small slit in the interfacing to turn the circle right side out and then use your fingers to smoothen the edges.

I have found that sometimes I want to sew circles on something a bit to heavy. To keep the pin from moving while stitching, stabilize it with blue painters tape. Blue painters tape will not leave a residue on the sewing surface or the Husqvarna Viking Circular Attachment.

Did you know Bernina publishes a free eBooks on the Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment? Click here to download the eBook.

At a recent Stitching Cosmos class, we took pictures of some of the student projects while they learned the ins and outs of their circular sewing attachment. Check out these awesome decorative stitch combinations!

If you love sewing circles and curves like I do, may we also recommend the following two online Craftsy classes:

Round out your quilting repertoire! Let Ann Petersen take the fear out of sewing curved seams and open up a new world of piecing.

Reach new quilting heights! Work alongside Cheryl Arkison as she shows you how to incorporate curved elements into your quilts with confidence.