Tools: Sewing machine feet

Buton foot
Stitch in the Ditch foot

I sew with a Janome 5024. It came into my life when Oma’s sewing machine broke five years ago and I think it’s just dandy. It’s a hard working machine. No computers, not a lot of fancy stitches, just a reliable mechanical sewing machine that can sew and sew and sew. Based a bit on need (sheets I want to darn) and a bit of blog inspiration (this post over at Badskirt that’s been brewing. Last week I bought three new presser feet, a darning foot, a stitch-in-the ditch foot, and a button sewing foot. There is a great sewing machine shop near my home and the owner walked me through choosing feet and how to use. I was a bit skeptical of how much I might use them and if it would be worth the investment. The darning foot is still in the package, but let me tell you about my first experiences with the other two.

On Tuesday, my sewing day, I used both the stitch-in-the-ditch and the button sewing feet for the first time. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually laughed out loud with delight. The stitch-in-the-ditch foot essentially has a metal guide that protrudes from the center front of the foot. Put the guide along the side of your fabric, slide the needle over to the left and sew a top stitch almost without thinking. Put the guide on a seam, switch to a double needle, and sew a double top stitch almost without thinking! It was so much fun and the results were just gorgeous. I’m completely delighted.

The button sewing foot was almost as fun. No giggling for that one, but certainly amazement. Consider that I didn’t event think a sewing machine (or at least mine) could sew a button on and you might appreciate my awe. It took me a bit of fiddling to attach the foot. The feet click into place, but this one has to kind of slide behind and then click into place. The button goes under the silicon pad and then it’s a bit of careful fiddling to set the width of the zipper foot. After that, it’s a piece of cake! A few stitches back and forth followed by a few in one hole to secure the button and you’re done. It would have taken me nearly as long to get to having my needle and thread out and ready to use for hand sewing a button. Plus this one is more secure and neater as well.

So there you go, analog technology wins the day. I will be using both of these new feet a lot. In fact, I think they’ll be out nearly every time I sew. The only remaining question is why did I go so long without them?

Update 14 November 2013: added pictures

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