Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A Tale of Two Footies

Get ready, it's sewing geek time!

I like narrow hems. I hate sewing narrow hems. I like bias tape. I hate basting/sewing bias tape. Specialty foots* to the rescue!

I have a Husqvarna Lily 550, a beauty little quilting machine I've mentioned before, officially named Nigel. ("We're only making plans for Nigel. We only want what's best for him." He likes being sung to.) Being the schmancy machine that it is, I knew there would have to be some awesome life-affirming options available to spare me the infernal drudgery. The company website confirmed this. And ebay informed me that a Husqvarna-approved narrow rolled-foot hem could be had for the low low price of... glurk $25! Plus shipping!

Upon learning this, I did what I usually do -- put it off and continued to suffer. And suffer. And suffer some more. Then, while making the foresty party dress, I was stricken with the dread realization that not only did I have all those hems to roll, but I was going to apply bias tape to the neck edge as well. Oh the tedium. But wait! This is an opportunity for research!

Nigel is the only sewing machine I've ever owned, and it seemed perfectly reasonable to me that each manufacturer would have proprietary foots. Turns out... not the case. There are essentially four different attachment methods and basically any machine since 1980 uses the same snap-on method. Well, that's good news! It means that someone else probably makes the foot I want for a less twitch-making cost (especially since I ultimately wanted two). Enter Ultimate Sew and Vac!

Turns out I could get a 6mm rolled hem foot and the adjustable bias tape foot of my dreams for $25 total. With shipping! I ordered them right away (too late for that dress, of course).

They arrived today and I was so excited. And such a dork. I wanted to try the rolled hem first and huzzah it snapped right into the ankle, just as I expected it to. I grabbed a scrap for a quick test and klonk the machine stuttered, startling me. The heck? It's not complicated, and the foot is on... I turned the wheel by hand and discovered that the needle was colliding with my sweet new foot. Dammit dammit dammit! I snapped on the bias tape foot and... that one, too! What the hell! Okay, so, do I send them back or try to sell them on ebay or maybe someone I know wants -- no, wait. Eh, what have I got to lose? I grabbed a small file and went to town.

It actually seemed like a long shot because those little footsies are surprisingly heavy and the metal seems pretty hard. But "Project Runway" was on, so I wasn't going anywhere for the next hour anyway. After a few moments I noticed the shavings and knew I was on my way. Had to move quite a bit of metal, but eventually, clean, snap, test... success!

6mm rolled hem is going to be great for most medium weight purposes. Which, for me, means pretty much all the time. I also tested the adjustable bias tape foot with the skinny and the wide purchased tape and it worked great with both (after the filing, of course). This, I believe, is a foot that is going to get much usage.

Oh geez. I just realized I now have 13 machine foots. Granted, about 8 of those came with the machine, but... I have a sickness, verily.

*We can have the discussion later whether the plural of foot in this context is foots or feet. Actually, no, let's not -- "foots" amuses me, end of discussion!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know when I have seen so many exclamation points outside of MAD Magazine.


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