Sunday, January 19, 2014

My first sewing video

Is up on youtube, the adjustable hemmer foot.  We spent some quality time together, this foot and I, while getting ready and shooting the tutorial.  I'm almost convinced that with the low volume of fine heirloom sewing that I do it MIGHT be a waste of time to invest the hours it would take to become expert at the use of this foot. Then again, as fumbly as I am with it, I can look at a couple inches of success and see how marvelous it would be on some keepsake baby things, or any special thing. 

I can topstitch pretty well, but the way this foot gets right to the edge of the hem and then runs so perfectly distanced from the's just so darn FINE.  I don't know why this foot isn't made anymore.  I don't.  I'm still working on technique- it's not the easiest attachment I've ever used.I thought I'd give a little rundown on use here, for someone who may be searching but unable to view a streaming video.
This foot actually has a foot within the foot- there is a little scroll of a rolled hem foot at the end of this yellow arrowed metal piece in the photo here:
So, yes, this does take that hellish little foot up to another level.  In the video I said it wasn't an attachment for the faint of heart.  I was never a rolled hem ninja either, but I kept going with this sucker anyway.

For best results, a little prep helps. Use the iron and press over a very narrow hem, and then fold again, a less narrow one to enclose all raw edges.  The foot is designed to do 1/4 to maybe 2" hems, but I've been practicing on 1/2". You only need to prep/iron the first two inches or so, to help start it.

You then want to insert it under the pressor foot. Take 2 or 3 stitches to anchor the beginning of the hem, then lift the foot (I have the needle up too, so I can really move the fabric around) and manipulate the fabric between those two yellow arrows pictured above. 
After you've worked it into this area between the arrows, aim for getting it to flip into the scroll of that little rolled foot closer to the needle as well.  Start off sewing slowly, and watch that needle to ensure it's piercing through the fold and not beside it.
There is one other video other than mine on youtube, and she wasn't much better skilled at this foot than I am.  I think I'll keep it out and keep working on it, and post an update.  I wonder how many people still have mad skills with it. I want to be one! 


Friday, January 10, 2014

Plodding along, and new toys!

MMMM. Espresso and snow and sewing.  The syringe is how I oil this oil hungry machine.

I am still working on my sampler quilt from the sewn by Leila blog.  I think  block number 5 is pretty darn good for me.  I like that it's something different every block.  Although it does feel like a heck of a lot of half square triangles.  How come I'm not a master yet????
Well, shoot, I haven't mastered this blogger thing yet either.  It WILL NOT align on the right for me now.  Anyway, by the time I got as far as pictured above, I had a pretty firm suspicion that the minty fabric was a poly blend.  Darnit.  Bought it at Joanne's to back some quilt sometime so I have a fairly large chunk of yardage  I thought I had 100% cotton. As soon as I started pressing, it was obvious that I was using a blend.  It kept melting on the cotton setting.

I kind of doubt it will make it into the final quilt, but I really like the block  Maybe it will find it's way into something else of use.  Those corners still need work anyway  The Arizona block will be done over. I can stand one more time around.
OK, toys!  I purchased a zigzagger and a "box of accessories" for the Singer 201.  It took a little while to figure some of them out, most specifically this one:
Turns out this is an adjustable hemmer.  It keeps a precise fold in fabric for a nice hemline.  Not a great thriller, though I can see where it might be helpful with a fussy fabric or something.
I was very thrilled to see a ruffler.  It does tucks too.  Please keep in mind this was just sticking them on to see if I could make them function, without adjusting tension and working on the icky poly-blend fabric.
This one folds and applies binding in one step.  It does not work well with pre folded bias strips.  I didn't feel like cutting some bias to try it out, but I did a later run with this pink bias pressed open.  It worked pretty well.
I liked both of these very much.  In the back, a foot called a shirrer, because it shirrs fabric.  In front is an edging foot and it is handy.  It will keep two fabric pieces, or fabric and trim (or I guess 5 layers of things if you pushed it)slightly and consistently overlapped for very neat edgestitching.  The slot is nice for feeding a trim through for perfectly spaced decoration.  It's a low shank and will fit my vintage Kenmore too.  I think I'll use the heck out of this one.

The zigzagger, my primary reason for purchase, gave me fits at first.  After I found the little part that had snapped off and was under the cardboard packing in the box, I was satisfied with the result.  I can't believe I don't have a photo of the foot, but it's by Greist.  I've already stripped the screw that held on the cams for "decorative" stitches, but they weren't all that extraordinary anyway.  I do have specialty stitches on the Kenmore  model 90. And the zigzagger still zigzags, nicely. 
I had to play with tension as I progressed working with these feet, and it became apparent that I really needed to take the top tension down and apart.  I had been avoiding that part.  When I did, a big chunk of pencil lead fell out  Along with some fuzzies.  I cleaned it all out well and then it took 24 hours to figure out how to get it back together.  It's perfect now.  Made me feel good, since it was attempting to disassemble my top tension that caused me to kill the motherboard on my computerized Kenmore and started this whole vintage adventure  They didn't use to set you up for failure if you wanted to service your own machine.