Sewing Machine Feet

IMG_20160626_110700The Zipper Foot

These are an essential foot in my humble opinion. It allows you to get the sewing machine needle up and close to the teeth of your zip. That gives you more control of the end result of your project.

The foot has two sides to it, a left and a right. You need a clip on adaptor to fit the foot in the photo. You then clip it on to either side, depending on which side of the teeth you are sewing.  If you’re not sure which side you need, clip the foot on to one side and then put your project underneath. If you’re not as close as you want to be, move the foot to the other side.

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What else can I use it for?

The zipper foot is also great for sewing in piping cord trim. It means you can get close to the cord itself, leaving less of the flange visible.

Variations on the Foot

The foot can also come as a screw on version, meaning you don’t need the clip on adaptor.

A further variation is the invisible zipper foot.

Tips for Use

Make sure your machine needle is in the right position before you sew. To check, fit the foot and then slowly lower the needle using the fly wheel on the right hand side of the machine (that’s the wheel on the end). If the needle hots the foot, adjust the position before you start sewing. On some machines you can move the needle with a button marked L, M & R (left, middle and right).

Check the machine is set for a straight stitch. This foot can’t be used with a zig zag stitch-the needle will hit the foot and break.

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Sewing Machine Feet-Walking Foot

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Walking Foot

Popular with quilters, this foot can be a little daunting to approach. Fear not, it is a very simple piece of engineering and a must have foot.

The foot is ideal for thick, quilt sandwiches but also favoured by sewists using jersey fabrics to minimise stretch as they sew.

The premise of the foot is simple, it have a second set of feed dogs to compliment the lower feed dogs, helping to pull bulkier fabrics through your machine. The upper feed dogs are moved by a lever that you connect to the top of the needle bar. As the needle moves up and down, it moves the feed dogs at the same time.

How do I fit it?

If you have a clip on adaptor-this needs to be removed before you can fit the walking foot. You need to wrap the foot around the screw hole on the presser foot bar. Before you screw it together, make sure the lever on the right of the foot is resting on the needle bar screw. Then you can attach the screw.

Tips for Use

If you find that you are getting very small stitches despite having selected a longer stitch length,  you may find the walking foot of use. Small stitches are indicative of the fabric not being able to progress under the presser foot as quickly as you may wish.

Swishing!

fabrics-001We’re all a bit guilty of hoarding a bit more fabric and yarn than perhaps we ought to, I know a few ladies who can scarcely confess to their partners the extent of their stash (but will gladly give you a guided tour!). To try and alleviate the guilt, we will be holding another one of our glorious SWISHING! afternoons and you are cordially invited.

Swishing is when you bring a few items you can bear to part with, be they fabric, yarn or haberdashery, and swap it for something you do want. Don’t have anything to bring? That’s fine, just pop a modest donation in the charity jar (this year we are supporting Papworth Hospital Trust).

The date is Sunday 23rd March

Place is 41 North Hill Road, Ipswich

Time is 2-4pm

Yay!

xxx

The Great London Sewing Crawl-26th October

One thing lacking in Suffolk  (only one for a blog should be brief) is a really good place to buy fabric and haberdashery, by which i mean somewhere with a mixture of good quality with bargains with fun fabrics and a really excellent range of haberdashery. It is with this in mind we are holding our first Great London Sewing Crawl to plug the gap.

You are cordially invited to board the sewing bus and come on a magical mystery tour of my favourite London haunts. Those places that sell fabric for 50p a metre and where they pile the ribbons high. We will also be stepping out into some of the more discerning emporiums before finishing with a cheeky drink by the Thames to compare bargains before heading home.

Want to come with? It’s £25 for a seat on the bus and no obligation to buy. Strictly no little people, this is an adult only affair. Sign up here

Just 15 seats available.

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Making baby slippers

baby slippers

Today’s task has been to make some slippers to show what you can do with the felt I’ve just got in stock. I used the pattern here which was very simple and quick. Although there’s only one size available, it wouldn’t take much common sense to grade them up to a toddler size.

Felt available from our online shop here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=231004056999&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

Top Sewing tips chapter I

The Sewing Hub

I spend a lot of time dispensing sewing and dressmaking tips so I thought I’d collate a few into a list to share… here goes

  1. Always read through all of the instructions first and measure twice….or even three times and cut once.
  2. Position yourself in front of the sewing machine so the needle lines up to your tummy button, no more backaches.
  3. Sew for 20 mins. then get up walk or do something different then back to sewing.
  4. There’s no sewing police so cut and style as you see fit.
  5. If you’re angry, cross or tired, put the sewing down and do something else otherwise it will come out in your sewing.
  6. Walk away if things start to go wrong and go back to it later.
  7. Don’t bite thread, use scissors, it’s tougher that you think.
  8. Wash your hands before you handle the fabric.
  9. Before you sew on a machine, do a tester to check the tension.
  10. Learn how to set the tension on your machine! Not sure how to do that? Read this https://craftybaba.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/understanding-sewing-machine-tension/

More tips coming soon!

 

Leftover ribbons project

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Left over ribbon cushion cover

Christmas often leaves me with a pile of pretty bits of ribbon from nicely wrapped presents. It’s too nice to throw away but you’re struggling for a use for it. We often tie ours to a door handle and leave it there forever…..

So I’m making some new cushions for my daughter’s den (more about that later) and thinking, why don’t I sew some ribbons onto a cover? So I did! Here’s how it’s done….

1. measure your cushion pad and cut a piece of fabric the same size. Slightly smaller if the cushion is flat and needs plumping up a bit.

2. with french chalk or a water soluble pen, draw several guiding lines across one half of the fabric on which to pin the ribbon.

3. pin the ribbons to the fabric and sew them on.

4. add in a few decorative stitches that you might find on your sewing machine. Wash or brush off any guiding lines made.

5. cut a piece of fabric for the back of the cushion, 1.5 times the size of the cushion pad. Cut it in to two even pieces and hem one long edge on each piece.

6. sew the back to the front by firstly lying the two back pieces on top of the front of the cushion with right sides together. Overlap the two hemmed edges of the back and sew the back to the front (as in the picture). This is called a pillow back.

pillow back

7. clip the seams and any excess ribbon and turn right sides out. Finished!

Ribbon cushion cover

Ribbon cushion cover