Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The zip

It came the time in the making of my Christmas dress to put in the zip. I have put zips in garments before, but had always sort of winged it. This time I decided that I was going to put the zip in properly, which of course meant learning how to do so first. The pattern instructions offered absolutely no help (I'm sorry Burdastyle, but what on earth does "Place sewing foot onto the zip so that the spiral in the notch lies to the right of the needle" actually mean?). So I consulted my Step-by-step Guide to Sewing Techniques book and even my sewing machine instruction manual. It was at this stage that I realised how much information there is in the manual, and how many times I could have referred to it rather than fudging my way through a button hole, slippery fabric or other sewing challenge.

With my new zipper know-how, I got out my zipper foot and, while doing so, realised that I actually have a bunch of other sewing machine feet which I have no idea what they're for (pictured above). Any ideas, stitchy peeps? It was then that I decided that my sewing goal for 2011 would be to actually take time to learn how to use my sewing machine properly. After all, I've only owned it... 9 years! I want to know what all those feet do. I want to read the instruction manual from cover to cover. And I want to use the techniques to make better sewn items.

In the end, I put my zipper in successfully. Ok, so it was probably 80% by the book and 20% fudged, but it looks very neat and proper. More photos to come soon.

BTW, I have continued to post my Christmasy crafts over at the Crafty Christmas Club, but I will do a wrap up here late next week when it's safe to do so (i.e. when it's too late for people to "accidentally" discover their presents).


  1. nice one! i avoid zips, I have a box full from an op-shop and keep meaning to make zippered pouches, but they look HARD. was it hard?
    I have another box full of those feet, they DO look handy. Let us know when you figure them out? maybe a tutorial? (ok I'm just being lazy, I'd rather learn from you than a book!)
    I might make a to-do-list for 2011 and pop some of those things on too!

  2. Hello .... I haven't looked at your site before but will look more often now. I cannot remember what the foot with the roller is for but could be for quilting, foot d is for a rolled edge like on hankies ... these come in different sizes for wider rolled edge (don't know if that's the right name for it) The bigger ones do edges like on a tea towel. This one is a 2mm edge and when you buy he others it says D4 D6 on it .. this is the 4mm and 6mm edge and I'd guess they would have wider available but I only have those three. Foot c is doing overlocking type stitching ... the little barrier on the right is where the fabric lines up with and the machine overlocks it but does not cut obviously. I think you have a janome as my feet are the same. The clear foot is just easy to see through (I have 3 janome machines and they all came with the clear normal foot.

  3. Hello again... just checked my Janome book... the one with the wheel is the blind hem and the wheel adjusts for the hemming. Let me know if you want instructions for these if you don't have an instruction book for your machine.. I can copy mine for you.

  4. oh sick of me yet???... Foot G is also for pin tucking I just read!

  5. Thanks for all this info Sophie! I did manage to dig out my sewing machine manual and had a good read - so much stuff I should have known about all along!