Creative articles about sewing

Black Latch Magic

Black Latch Magic

Black Latch Magic

Heavy fabrics needing heavier threads? Topstitching? Sometimes a bit of a challenge? … Over the years that I have owned Bernina Sewing Machines (35+ years !!), some accessories get greater use than others … and one of these is my fabulous Black Latch Bobbin Case – I actually own two!!  More about why two … later on! ** These are for use in CB Hook System machines only, when using heavier threads like Cordonnet/Topstitching and even some yarns. (I currently sew with a Bernina B570QEE – oh the wonderful power of the DC motor!)

See my Black Latch?

See my Black Latch?


If you have a beautiful 7 Series machine you would use a Red Bobbin Case … and when I had my amazing 8 Series machine, I altered the Bobbin tension using my Multi Purpose Tool, or bypassed the tension unit altogether. (More about this in your instruction manual)

Oh my favourite colour!!

Oh my favourite colour!!


I’ve had a lot of fun with Black Latch Bobbin Cases doing Bobbinwork of course, however in this post you will see the ‘magic’ results of this accessory in some more of the ‘practical’ sewing I’ve been doing the last few weeks.  This includes, making canvas awning covers for some fellow travellers/friends Stuart and Nera from Victoria …



… shadecloth awnings, poly tarp storage covers for our own Kimberley Kamper (to keep out the hot sun and wild winds here in Western Australia), bag to hold our water hose, a fishing bag for Joe and two fold up camping chair covers … phew!!!


… little rope baskets/bowls … (here is Marilyn, another lovely new friend I have met on the road, who dropped by to have a ‘play’ on my machine inside the Kamper one windy day, with her first ever little rope bowl!)

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… as well as a little shirt and pair of shorts for my Grandson, Leo. Not all heavy fabrics, but wanted perfect topstitching/feature stitching from both sides! (From a single layer of quilting cotton to 4 layers of denim all without changing any settings!)




I really have been busy ‘solar sewing’ on the road!! Threads used in both top of machine and bobbin were Serafil Size 40 Polyester thread, a strong UV resistant thread – for canvas/poly tarp covers and awnings, YLI Machine Quilting Cotton Size 40 for rope baskets/bowls, and King Tut Quilting Thread also Size 40 for topstitching Leo’s outfit. I lowered the top tension to 3 for each thread … No need to make alterations for the thicker lower threads, just pop in the Black Latch Bobbin case! **I have one Black Latch Bobbin Case left as factory set (marked with red nail polish!) … the other one, I ‘play’ with the tension screw lots!! Amazingly, each of the above threads stitched out beautifully with the ‘factory set’ one!

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Black Latch Bobbin Case Tips …

** If topstitching, it is far easier to swap your bobbin case and heavier top threads, than adjust the regular bobbin case each time you changeover – which was heaps in Leo’s outfit …

** I store my bobbins wound with specialist threads like the Serafil in with these bobbin cases so they don’t get mixed up …

** I have ‘just the right colour’ Jeans thread for hemming Denim in the same container – such a great ‘now where is that thread?’ time saver…

Other factors to consider …

Heavy Fabric = Choose the correct type of needle (Jeans/Denim Needles – for Canvas and Shadecloth, Denim and Cotton Rope)



Heavy thread = Choose the correct size of needle (Size 40+ Thread – I use Size 90 and often go up to Size 110 if combined with very heavy fabrics e.g. canvas)

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(I usually look at fabric weight first)

Multiple layers of fabric to seam = Height Compensation Tool

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It’s always easiest when you have the correct tools or accessories!!

Thank you Bernina for having the best!! … and don’t forget they are currently on sale!!!!


Until next time,

Happy stitching and travelling,

The Sewing Gypsy.

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