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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Scant 1/4 inch seams and 9mm machines ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Scant 1/4 inch seams and 9mm machines
... is this a dangerous combo or is it just me?
Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Date: 11/23/12 1:22 PM

On another thread talking about the Janome 8900, the issue came up of 1/4 inch seam vs a scant 1/4 inch machine. One poster, Ripstitcher, was saying how her Janmome 7700 had one 1/4 foot that was scant, but another one that wasn't - both Janome feet.

Now that is a scary thought because I sure wouldn't have thought to check that out. I would assume a foot made by the same company would sew the same seam width.

There was also discussion about the 9mm conundrum. Yes, you get those those lovely large deco stitches but that much larger hole may also impact your machine's ability to sew a straight line.

So.... I tested my Pfaff QE4 for both these things. I have one 1/4 foot with a guide that I purchased separately, before I purchased the QE4. The other came with the machine when I bought it.

I tested it on plain 8 x 11 paper with an unthreaded needle. I wanted a nice crisp edge that wasn't frayed or warped to see the stitch line. I drew a 1/4 inch line from the edge of the paper and lined the edge of my paper with either the guide or the edge of the foot. I repeated the experiment several times to ensure my result were consistent.

Both did sew a scant 1/4 inch seam. That is the good news.

The foot with the quide sewed a perfectly straight seam regardless of whether I used the straight stitch hole, the 9mm hole with or without the IDT. Absolutely no variation.

The other foot, without the guide, did NOT sew a perfectly straight straight seam. It jiggled/curved ever so slightly - just a hair and towards the right. It was a bit better with the single hole needle plate and better still with the IDT engaged using the straight stitch needle plate. But still not perfectly straight.

I would be interested in hearing your feedback on this.

Is it me needing the guide, the 9mm opening, the machine, some combo that makes the line less than perfectly straight? Would 7 feed dogs vs Pfaff's 5 (without IDT) make a difference I wonder?

What does your machine do? Also, do you sew 1/4 seams, scant or otherwise with a walking foot/IDT. Do you use a single hole needle plate?

Thanks!

------
Forgiveness does not excuse the behaviour. It prevents the behaviour from breaking your heart over and over again.

Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
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Date: 11/23/12 4:21 PM

I find it extremely difficult to sew a straight seam, particularly on fine fabrics, with 9mm feed dogs. Luckily, my Singer 20U has a separate set of feed dogs, as well as a single hole needle plate, to use for such straight sewing. It takes 5 minutes to switch them over, but soooooo worth it. Industrials rock!

Jennifer in Calgary

sings2high
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sings2high  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/23/12 4:31 PM

No surprise here and this is where people start looking sideways at the sewing machine nut. :-)
It is not your imagination. Different feet by the same manufacturer are usually different widths, they were designed for different purposes. No matter what you use, measure the feet and know exactly what you are stitching.

Just like a carpenter has more than a few saws because she uses "the right tool for the job" -- I have no difficulty justifying having more than one sewing machine. Since 95% of my sewing is in a straight line, I want the best. And the best is usually a vintage or antique Singer or White that only sews a straight line and only comes with a single hole needle plate. I have sewn with hundreds of machines and most of the newer machines don't cut it for a reliable, elegant and perfectly straight line of stitches. I sew scant 1/4 seams much of the time, and for quilting I use a walking foot that fits the Singer short shank machines, including the Featherweight. It is designed to work with the narrow different-length feed-dogs on those machines. And here's the great news - I've never paid more than $60 for any of my vintage machines (lol, obviously I don't have a Featherweight). They almost NEVER go out of adjustment and all fixes are inexpensive with the Singer parts still readily available.

Naturally, I also have several machines that do specialty stitches and zigzag - and that's why I keep them and I don't use them for straight sewing.

But if you only have room for one machine (honestly, I would have room for two even if I lived in an RV!), then you will need to maximize your stitch with what you have. Definitely use the foot with the guide whenever you can. If you must use the other, use a single hole needle plate and the walking foot. It sounds like the foot that came with the machine is also slightly thinner than the guide-foot. It may be wandering because its contact with the feed-dogs is uneven or less than 100%. This could also happen because paper is so much thinner than fabric. If the stitching line wavers on fabric, first try increasing the presser foot pressure very slightly. If that does not help, try stitching with a layer of tissue paper included in the sandwich, for extra depth. It tears away easily and this also helps greatly when stitching very fine fabrics.
Another trick for judging foot width is to keep some gingham with 1/8" squares in your stash. Easy to stitch on the line and judge the distance with that.

------
Measure twice, cut once. While this saying is useful in many ways, I have no qualms about editing my posts.

UFOs completed in 2014: 0
Projects started recently completed in 2014: 1
New Projects started in 2014: 2
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Hey, gotta start somewhere!

Canadian Jane
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In reply to sings2high <<


Date: 11/23/12 5:58 PM

Wow - you are giving me reason to keep my MIL's Elna Supermatic just for straight stitching! I would NEVER hear the end of that!

I really don't like 9mm machines because of issues like this, but perhaps 7mm machines have the similar issues.

What is weird is the 1/4 inch foot without the guide is the one that came with the 9mm machine. It is hard to accruately measure them but I will swear it is slightly wider than the foot with the guide but just at the back end. Since this is the last part to touch the feed dogs, I am thinking this should not cause the "wavering issue".

Hummm... two machines?? You have given me a lot to think about here.

------
Forgiveness does not excuse the behaviour. It prevents the behaviour from breaking your heart over and over again.

Artsewer
Artsewer  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/23/12 6:11 PM

I had a 7mm and a 9mm they have similar issues. I don't one is significantly different then the other. The advantages of the 9mm for me are preferred. On either one sometimes will need to use a 5.5 or SSplate.

------
Bernina 750Q, 635E, 380, Serger 1100DC

Warbler
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<
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Date: 11/23/12 6:55 PM

Quote:
On another thread talking about the Janome 8900, the issue came up of 1/4 inch seam vs a scant 1/4 inch machine. One poster, Ripstitcher, was saying how her Janmome 7700 had one 1/4 foot that was scant, but another one that wasn't - both Janome feet.

Now that is a scary thought because I sure wouldn't have thought to check that out. I would assume a foot made by the same company would sew the same seam width


I can explain why Janome has two different 1/4 inch feet... The O foot is Janome's original 1/4 inch pressure foot. It has a love hate following because with many Janome machines, one must change needle positions to get a true or even scant 1/4 seam allowance. When the 7700 Horizon was release, there was much complaint the machine did not sew well over 1/4 seam allowances and so Janome redesigned the O foot, now called the O2 1/4 inch foot. The new foot has the bottom notched out so the machine will go over 1/4 seams more easily. They also tightened the fit of the guide so it sits more closely to the edge of the foot.. I have both feet and yes they are different. I like the O2 foot because it sews a true scant 1/4 inch without having to reset the needle position. which I have to do with my standard O foot. I hope this helps. Talk to any good Janome dealer who knows.

------
Janome MC6600 Bernina 240 Juki MO735 Singer 201-2 Singer 221-1

RipStitcher
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<
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Date: 11/23/12 6:58 PM

Oh, you sooooooo have to keep the SU around!

I still have mine! (Haven't used it lately, tho!

After I get a few more things taken care of around here, I'm thinking of sending my SU to the body shop for a paint job! I think she deserves some white pearl paint, a metallic red top (to match the ElnaPress & 7700... with just a classy little gold pinstriping done to keep her fashionably in par with the EG.

Seriously... there are things to be said for those 5mm feed dogs!

------
My projects (and life and times!) are on www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger
APQS George ... oh heck... go Millie!

2014: Sold the 7700 to make room for a 5.5mm machine alongside side my Ellie.
2013: Wow.. no real new toys - too much family drama!!!!
2012: New Elna Lotus for granddaughter, Red Elna Press, Horizon 7700, Gidget 2 Table, Babylock Ellisimo Gold
1970's: Elna SU62 & ElnaPress

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Warbler <<


Date: 11/23/12 8:24 PM

(bowing before Warbler in total humility..) Wow! Thank you for explaining this! I have two O feet and I could never understand why Janome made two. But thanks to you now I know!

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

SEE MY ETSY SHOP HERE: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AuntMaymesAttic
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LynnRowe
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<
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Date: 11/23/12 8:29 PM

This was something I was concerned about when looking into getting my Pfaff Creative Performance, a 9mm machine.

Turned out there was no need to worry; even without using the straight stitch needle plate and foot, and without the IDT, this machine sews a beautifully straight seam, even at 1/16", and even on knits, with no pulling to either side.

So while it could be a problem with some or even most 9mm machines, it definitely is not a problem with all 9mm machines!

------
I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

PortlandMaine
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Date: 11/23/12 8:34 PM

For all of the things that the Smarter did not do well -- the straight stitches were great and I dont know if I ever had any fabric get ate by the 9mm hole.

The feed was great and straight.

------
Quilting up a storm!

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