Sorry I haven’t posted anything for awhile. You see, I’ve been doing a lot of teaching, and that’s actually how this post developed.
My two teenage nieces wanted to have a sewing lesson with a couple of their friends over Spring break. I’ve been working on some sewing kits with cute little dog and cat motifs and made up a pattern for a small tote bag. They’ll be up on my Etsy store soon.
I needed another sewing machine for the 4 girls that were going to participate. I already had a basic Singer “Tradition” machine that I had bought from the JoAnn store last year to travel with for classes. Just your basic $100 machine.
Then, I found another Singer machine, “Brilliance” model on Craig’s List for $100 stating it had hardly been used. It was a better model retailing for about $250. Great. With my old Kenmore machine and a machine of the girls’ grandmother we were set. We had our tote bag class and everyone had fun making them. Here’s my sample.
So, back to zipper feet. When I first got the Singer model “Tradition”, I went through what was included with it. The sewing machine has a shank with feet that release and snap on. That’s nice (I thought) because my old Sears Kenmore machine has the ones you have to unscrew the shank and change the whole thing. That’s worked fine for 40 years with this old “workhorse” machine of mine. Right now, I’m feeling really lucky that I ended up getting this right from the very beginning of my sewing career. This is the right one.
Sorry about the dark pictures. Here’s the zipper foot (below) from the Singer “Tradition” machine. Do you see anything that doesn’t work? This is a “design flaw” in my mind. And, they didn’t correct it with the better machine, the “Brilliance” model (second picture below). The screw’s a little bigger, but nothing else changed.
My biggest issue with these feet is that when you go to sew around the zipper tab, the foot has an edge that’s in the way of doing that. So I thought I could buy a better zipper foot that would work with the Singer models. Nope. Here’s what I could find.
What the heck is a “vertical needle” zipper foot? I’ve heard of a slanted shank. Maybe that’s what they were comparing it to. Anyway, this didn’t work either. When I finally was able to screw it onto the shank, it wobbled all over and wouldn’t hold the fabric and zipper together. The screw on the shank of the machine had to be unscrewed in order to attach this foot. The screw is so small that getting it back into the right place was very difficult. I must have dropped the screw 6 or 8 times before my fingers could hold it just right to screw back in. The screw with my Kenmore machine at least has a large enough head on it to hold onto. I’ve never had any problems changing the feet on the machine. Here’s all four of the feet and their screws to show you.
Let me show you the problem with the Singer model feet. When you go to stitch around the tab, the edge of the foot is in the way. When I went to JoAnn’s Fabric Store to look for a different foot (since they sell the Singer models), I asked the clerk there about the zipper foot not going around the zipper tab. Her comment was, “well no, you have to pull the tab out of the way in order to stitch there.” What? Look at this.
The back end of the Singer models’ foot is hitting the tab and unable to go around it.
This Kenmore foot can be adjusted to sew on either side of the zipper and you don’t need to do anything about opening the zipper to do it. I really feel badly about all the people that ended up with this situation, and probably unknowingly, have had difficulties learning how to install a zipper. What a shame. Sewing should be fun, not difficult for something as simple as this. Singer people, get your act together!