Thursday, February 21, 2013

Helping Feet

This morning I decided to ignore the things I ought to be doing, and complete a couple little tasks on my coat to prepare it for finishing.

I'm at the point where I need to hand-stitch the hem.  I decided that I'd like a really nice finish on the raw edges of the front facing, which will remain exposed for a few inches below the lining.  So I cut some bias strips of lining to do a Hong Kong finish.  To make that easier for me, I used my new Edge-Joining Foot (a.k.a. "stitch-in-the-ditch foot").


I moved my needle over just far enough to stitch close to the ditch, but not in it:


And since I didn't mess that up, I decided to go ahead and edgestitch the pockets on. 

One of the books I've been reading lately is The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible by Wendy Gardiner and Lorna Knight.  This is a great little reference book which explains how to use each of the many sewing machine feet available, both in their standard uses and also in novel applications.  I had read a while ago that the Blind Hem Foot can also be used for edgestitching.  I decided to try it out on my pockets, and it really worked well.


The blind hem foot has a nice hefty guide on the right side for the fabric to butt up against.  Because of the bulk of my pockets, I felt this would help me keep my edge lined up better than the smaller guide on the edge-joining foot.  The blind hem foot also has a little "finger" that goes over the fabric to hold it down.  Even though my pockets were basted on, I felt this helped a lot to keep everything in place.  Here's how it looks while sewing:



You might need to click those to make it a little bigger - it was still pretty early when I did this, so there wasn't a whole lot of light!

In order for this to work as an edgestitcher, I had to move my needle all the way to the left, which is a 0.0 stitch width on my machine:


Here's the result:



I've said before that one of the reasons I bought the Janome is for the snap-on feet.  Since purchasing the machine, I've been adding to my library of feet - I think I've got 8 or 9 specialty feet now.  I admit that some of them I bought just because I though they were cool.  Once I had them in hand, I wasn't quite sure how to use them!  This little book is a real help - I'd definitely recommend it as part of a sewing reference library.


How about you guys?  Do any of you also have a "foot fetish?"  Which are your favorite feet to use?

28 comments:

  1. My overcasting foot is my crack. It's my method of choice for finishing my seams and I'm even figured out a way to create a rolled hem with it for charmeuses and chiffons, which is delightfully handy when I'm making scarves.

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    1. (This is ridiculous. I left a reply to your comment yesterday, Mary, and somehow Blogger ate it! So sorry!)

      I thought about buying an overcast foot, but then decided not to, since I have a serger. Now I'm wondering if I should reconsider?

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  2. OOOH looks great, I really need to invest in some more feet

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    1. They're so inexpensive on Amazon, I just keep picking them up! I really like that Distinctive brand - they are perfect for my Janome.

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  3. I have a ruffling foot that I got after purchasing the book "Sew Serendipity" because I got it in my head that I was making lots of ruffled thingies. I made one. The foot sits in a little box in my sewing desk and even though I have not used it much (ha!) I'm glad I have it, just in case. In retrospect I should probably have bought something more practical, like a blind hem foot and that book you have. Oh well.

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    1. Haha! The ruffler is one of the feet I haven't been tempted to buy! Somehow, I feel like I'd have more control over the volume of the gathers if I do it by hand. But I've never tried the foot, so I really don't know if that's true!

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  4. Hands down it's my walking foot. Since I've been on a knit kick these days it's on my machine maybe 70% of the time because it makes sewing knits so much easier.

    My button hole foot gets some sweet action, too because of my automatic buttonhole maker my machine has. I'd be lost without that one.

    And PS I can't wait to see the jacket completed!

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    1. That doesn't surprise me at all! I don't actually use my walking foot all that much, although I'm glad I have it. I'd say the two I used most (other than the straight stitch foot) are the invisible zipper foot and the blind hem foot, as that's my preferred way to do hems.

      My old machine has a 4-step buttonholer, and this one is a one-step. It seems so foreign to me!

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  5. my blind hem foot i use for just about everything but blind hemming! i use it for edge stitching, stitching in the ditch, and just about any time i need a guide. love it!

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    1. Interesting! I'm terrible at stitching in the ditch, so I got the foot for that, but I do wish there were a way to reduce the tension on it. (Maybe there is - I haven't checked!)

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  6. Oh I'm squealing with excitement - Janome (tick), snap on feet (tick), want that book (tick).

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    1. Ooooh, I think I heard that squeal all the way over here, LOL!

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  7. Interesting. I've got a basic sewing machine but I'm already thinking of upgrading. Janome is definitely on my list now! Which type of Janome do you have? Thanks for the post!

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    1. Hi Jenny! I got the Magnolia 7330, and I really love it. I did a lot of research before I bought, and this one had all the features I wanted at a price I liked, as well as great reviews from other users. It was definitely helpful to me to have a list of what I wanted in a new machine before I started researching.

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    2. Oh, I should also say, the one foot I really hate is the standard Janome zipper foot. BUT, I've found that I can unscrew the part the feet snap onto from the shank, and screw on my Kenmore zipper foot which I love! It's a little tedious, but I get a much better result, and it's nice to know I can still use some of my Kenmore feet with my newer machine.

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  8. Ohh i really want more feet, but unsure if i will buy a new machine shortly.. i currently use an old singer 7105, but not sure they will fit like the new ones.. so might wait it out till xmas ;)

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    1. Yes, I agree - probably better to wait until you know for sure what your new machine will be. I went along just fine for two years not having this selection. Then I decided I was serious and wanted to up my game!

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  9. Oh, what a timely question! I renewed my search for feet (particularly the buttonhole foot - not having this is driving me crazy!) for my 1970-ish Pfaff 1222se. Pfaff doesn't sell feet for these machines anymore so it's a matter of getting lucky on Ebay or the Yahoo group SewItsForSale (I just discovered this group and I'm so glad that I did!). I WILL FIND THAT FOOT! I do have a blind hem foot so I'll be trying out your technique soon!

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    1. Oh no! Not having a buttonhole foot is serious! I hope you at least have a second machine so you can make buttonholes?

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  10. I am not using my sewing machine often enough to warrant buying lots of fancy feet, but I agree with you, the right foot certainly makes the job a lot easier. In my old machine that is up in the attic, I had the perfect ruffler. It won't fit on my new machine and I miss it so much. It ruffled beautifully, my new one pleats and pretends it's ruffling. I love my buttonhole foot and zipper foot, I guess I use those the most beside the standard foot. I'm going to start looking around to see what is available in the feet department!

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    1. I'm surprised at how many people are loving the ruffler. I wonder if I should reconsider on that one too? I don't really wear many ruffled things though!

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  11. And forgot to say, your pocket is amazing!

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  12. Whoa, that looks amazing! What neat, gorgeous edgestitching!

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    1. Thank you! It really does make a difference - yesterday I tried it without this foot, and it was all over the place even though I thought I was doing pretty well while stitching!

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  13. I will understand this one day.

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