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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Felled Seams with the Adjustable Hemmer ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Felled Seams with the Adjustable Hemmer
How to make seams on men's shirts on a vintage sewing machine
Soolip
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Soolip
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 6/17/09 1:26 PM

If anyone uses a vintage, straight-stitch-only machine, you may know that it is difficult, if not impossible, to find felling feet in the requisite sizes to sew men's shirts. The low-shank fellers made today require that you move your needle position, which is not an option on a vintage, pre-zigzag machine.

I devloped a method for making a very attractive felled seam with the adjustable hemmer, perfect for the side/underarm seam of shirts. The resulting seam is also less bulky than that produced by a traditional felling foot.

1) Sew the first row of stitching using the regular straight-stitch foot (I have a Singer 201). Line the top fabric up with the outside of the foot (1/8"), and the bottom fabric should be 3/8". Depending on how you want the seam to look from the outside, you will sew either the right or wrong sides together in this first step. Also, needless to say, you will have adjusted and cut your seam allowances to these widths before proceeding.

2) Press the seam to one side, so that only the 3/8" seam allowance shows. Fold the first 2" of this allowance over the 1/8" allowance, encasing it. Press lightly.

3) Attach the adjustable hemmer and set it to "1". Place the rolled-over beginning of the seam under the foot, take a few stitches. Raise the foot and roll the seam into it, lining up the first row of stitches with the inside "toe" of the foot. Complete the seam

I got the best results from this method by sewing tautly -- holding the fabric in front and back, and stretching it slightly. I wanted to experiment with a 1/2" allowance on the bottom layers, but it was getting late and I was sleepy.

BTW, I cannot sing the praises of the adjustable hemmer loudly enough. It is a fail-safe attachment that produces flawless hems every time. And now we know it also produces flawless felled seams. I am astonished that these are no longer considered standard equipment, or even made anymore.
-- Edited on 6/17/09 1:44 PM --

CM_Sews
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Date: 6/17/09 8:37 PM

As someone who learned to sew on machines with zig-zag and other capabilities, you made me curious about the adjustable hemmer foot, so I did some Googling:
Photo of an adjustable hemmer foot
Another photo of an adjustable hemmer foot.
From this web page of Singer Model 99-23 and 99-24 manual page scans the page explaining How to use the adjustable hemmer.

I've got my Great-Grandmother's treadle machine, with an entire assortment of attachments. I wonder if there is one of these feet in the attachment case?

Thank you for the education!

CMC

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In reply to CM_Sews


Date: 6/17/09 8:48 PM

That is it! It is an awesome device and a real time saver. It's probably in your grandmother's sewing box, to be sure. I don't know when Singer/Greist stopped making these, but it's a real shame they did.

-- Edited on 6/17/09 8:48 PM --

delirium
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Date: 10/29/09 5:46 AM

Interesting! I used mine regularly for narrow hems. It's far more reliable than any other option. But I never thought of using for a felled seam. I make corsets, so this is something I'll certainly be trying. Thanks!

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 10/29/09 8:12 AM

I wonder if you could sew bias tape on with this foot too. I have an old bias tape foot (looks like a strange flute), but the size of the tape is limited.

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Rhoda K
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Date: 10/29/09 10:44 AM

I just checked ebay and there are some adjustable hemmers there. I hadn't heard of these before, so it definitely warrants further investigation.

Annie- oh
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In reply to CM_Sews


Date: 10/29/09 6:55 PM

CMC - thank you for your links! I've downloaded several needed pages of the manual for the Singer and look forward now to finding more.

Annie

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KempCorr
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Date: 10/30/09 3:11 PM

Excellent instructions. Thank you !

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Kathryn

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lisalu
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Date: 7/17/12 10:46 AM

I know this is an old thread but its the only one that came up under "Adjustable Hemmer".

I understand in theory how these work. I have at least four of them - one for each machine. But I have NEVER been able to use this attachment.



I get how you insert the fabric and make the main fold. But I DON'T get how you get the fabric under the scroll properly to make the second, smaller fold. My fabric rolls up and over or not at all.

I really want to use this thing! HELP!
-- Edited on 7/17/12 10:48 AM --

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Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
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PeppermintPam

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In reply to lisalu <<


Date: 3/12/13 10:04 AM

I needed help too. I found this tutorial helpful. Sorry I don't know how to make a clickable link. http://www.scribd.com/doc/27062583/Adjustable-Hemmer

For me, this tutorial was more helpful than the Threads article from June/July 2010. HTH.

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