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.

Make a strawberry skirt (toddler sized!)

Strawberry skirt

I sell fabric and haberdashery online and recently made use of some of my own fabric to make my little girl a new simple skirt. The fabric is just irresistible and perfect for children’s clothes. I know you shouldn’t get high on your own supply as I believe Michelle Pfeiffer once said but it was just a little bit…..  I sell it and more through my ebay store so if you like it, help yourself to some here.

The skirt itself is simple and only needs around

  • 25cm of fabric (or two fat quarters)
  • a piece of 2cm wide elastic
  • interfacing (the stiff iron on kind) *optional
  • notions to match

Here’s some easy instructions:

1. Measure your toddler from waist to knee. Measure her waist circumference too. Write it down then look back in ten years and marvel at how tiny your kid was then.

2. Cut a piece of fabric  that’s 6cm longer than the waist to knee measurement and around 150cm or 60″ in length (that’s the standard width of a piece of fabric). You should have a nice long rectangle of fabric.

3. Cut a strip off your fabric 5cm in width and 150cm in length-this will be for the waist band. Put that to one side

4. Fold over twice and hem one of the long edges of your skirt. This will be the bottom. If you have a 2mm hemming foot for your sewing machine-fabulous, they make a really nice finish for kids’ clothes.

5. If you have a gathering foot for your sewing machine, get it out and run a gathering stitch along the top edge. If not, make a running stitch that you will be able to pull and gather some ruffles in the skirt. Pull and gather your ruffles until they are around 8cm larger than your kid’s waist measurement.

6. Take the waistband and iron on some interfacing. This will stiffen up the fabric and make it easier to work with.

7. With right sides together, place one of the long edges of the waistband fabric against the gathered edge of the skirt and machine stitch. Fold over and iron the other edge of the waistband down with a 5mm hem. Pin this on the inside of the fabric and sew down.

8. Thread elastic through this waistband casing and adjust to fit your child’s waist.  Stitch the raw ends of the elastic together.

9. Finally, stitch the side hem on the short side of the fabric together-voila!

 

A bit about us

Crafty Baba`Crafty Baba is a Suffolk based crafts school offering a range of courses to inspire and instil confidence. We have a variety of courses from Beginners to Advanced Sewing evening classes to more specialised courses like curtain making, real nappy making or learning to crochet granny squares.
More traditional skills like knitting aren’t neglected and are available as a one-day weekend class.
Crafty Baba was begun in 2012 by Zoe Woods following the birth of her daughter. Zoe had been crafting since her childhood but after a series of City & Guild qualifications, felt it was time to turn her hand to teaching. She has since been joined by Cybele de Jong teaching crochet, and Howard Snow and his green woodworking skills.
New for 2013 are green woodworking courses in rural Suffolk. We start off by sourcing green timber and slowly fashioning it into a stool on our weekend course, or a Windsor chair in the week-long class.
Classes can be booked online at www.craftybaba.co.uk or by calling us on 01473 232 791. We look forward to giving you a warm welcome!
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Felt Christmas cards

Make your own Christmas cards from felt. It’s super easy, and a unique gift for someone special.

Cut an A4 sheet of white card in half.Cut a piece of white felt slightly larger than the A5 card.
Cut out festive shapes in red and green felt – we cut a reindeer, stocking and Christmas trees.

Using contrasting coloured thread, stitch the shapes onto the white felt. For our reindeer, we stitched the body and glued the antlers.

Next, stitch the white felt to the A5 card.

Embellish your cards with bells or other ornaments.

Credit-sweet living magazine

Upcycling clothes part I

Now none of us are that flush at the moment so this is a good time to chat about making do and a bit of mending.

I’ve just got my winter coat out (brrrr…chilly….) the lovely classic felt coat I bought a few years ago and designed to last into my forties (maybe). Well I’m getting a wee bit twitchy about it, it’s a great coat but it’s boring.

With some luck behind me, I happened upon some gorgeous coconut shell enamelled buttons for a rather good price so I’ve whipped off a few of the coat’s buttons and replaced them.

Voila! Not a vast change but it makes me feel just a bit happier which is what it’s all about.