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Help with zig zag attachment please
fabric bunching up behind needle
cjw22
cjw22
Intermediate
SOUTH AFRICA
Member since 9/6/11
Posts: 36
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Date: 9/9/12 3:40 AM

I am using my zig zag attachment for the first time on my vintage Singer 15 machine. It makes beautiful zig zag stitches but I am sewing with lace and stretch fabric (specifically inserting a gusset into panties) and when I start sewing, the fabric all bunches up at the back of the needle.. SO frustrated. Will I ever be able to use this attachment for lacy or stretchy fabrics??

lisalu
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lisalu
Advanced Beginner
Georgia USA
Member since 10/5/08
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In reply to cjw22 <<


Date: 9/9/12 9:29 AM

Hey, which of the zig zag attachments are you using? I show some of the different types of zz attachments and how they work on vintage machines

HERE

I also show an example of using it to attach lace and some of them work better than others for that which is explained in my post.

Can you be more specific about the problem? Are you saying it works fine with other fabrics, but this only happens with your stretch fabric? Is it getting caught up on something? Do you need to adjust your presser foot pressure? I've never had this happen so I'm not sure what might be going on. ???

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to cjw22 <<


Date: 9/9/12 12:32 PM

I don't think so in a way you are ever going to like all that much. I think it's kind of highly doubtful you could ever use that, in a way you would be happy with, with stretch lace and stretch knit panty fabric. Or to make 4 way stretch knit lycra swim suits, or anything like that on any kind of continual basis. Just the very wrong tool for the job.

Since the sewing machine just has no sideways needle swing and it's attachment is instead trying to swing your 2 or 4 way stretch lace and stretch fabric back an forth sideways under the needle and across your feed dogs instead. There were some good reasons that zig zag sewing machines were invented, afterwards! Just my opinion.

Nothing at all wrong with the machine for just straight stitching (I even have a 1879 one, one of the very early 15 machines) but, it would just be a bad and frustrating tool with with one of those zig zag attachments bolted onto it, for your particular purpose there, and a not being worth even trying to use tool, for sewing a lot swimwear, leotards, stretch lace panties and stuff like that.

Better to even go to the Goodwill Store, and get any real working zig zag machine there, at all, even for $15 or so, and just use that one for just knits instead. Nothing wrong with the Singer 15 for straight stitching at all though.

cjw22
cjw22
Intermediate
SOUTH AFRICA
Member since 9/6/11
Posts: 36
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In reply to lisalu <<


Date: 9/9/12 1:04 PM

Thanks lisalu for that link.. lovely blog! My zig zag attachment is not exactly the same as any of those 3 on your site, but more like the middle one than any of the others. It works fine with a cotton fabric. What is happening is when I start the seam/edge, the fabric does not feed through smoothly at the beginning - it kind of gets bunched up under and behind the needle and makes a horrible mess. It is not possible to gently pull on the fabric from the back to coax it along, as the back of the attachment is in the way. I think I am going to have to forget about using it for stretch fabrics!

cjw22
cjw22
Intermediate
SOUTH AFRICA
Member since 9/6/11
Posts: 36
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In reply to beauturbo <<


Date: 9/9/12 1:08 PM

Thanks for the reply beauturbo - I actually took the project to my mom's to use her machine to do the zig zag. She has a small Elna Lotus which did a great job. Such a cute little machine which my mom doesn't use much anymore - perhaps she will allow me to borrow it from time to time. I will continue to use my Singers 15 and 201 for the straight stitching as well as the attachments on cotton fabrics only as they don't seem to like the stretchy stuff too much!

pknord
pknord
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Texas USA
Member since 9/1/11
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Date: 9/9/12 1:15 PM

Our lovely old vintage machines were made in the days before stretchy fabrics, and really don't do nearly as well on them as newer machines. That's why my sewing machine herd includes one Janome.

------
Pat in Rockport, TX
"As ye sew, so shall ye rip."
http://community.webshots.com/user/pknord
http://www.quiltingthoughts.blogspot.com/

lisalu
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lisalu
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Georgia USA
Member since 10/5/08
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In reply to beauturbo <<


Date: 9/9/12 1:16 PM

I do agree with this ^^^

Even in my blog post I conceded that the zig zag attachment is more a "novelty" item than very useful for most zig zag functions although on some fabrics it works very well. It makes a nice stitch on medium weight woven fabrics, but I have never really used it for stretch fabrics. Maybe that is why you're having issues.

And I also agree with Beauturbo, that if you are going to do this kind of sewing, a $50 used zig zag machine will give you more satisfaction than fighting with the zig zag attachment. (I have a $50 Singer 503 that does most of my zig zag).

However, don't give up on the zz attachment, especially if you have the Automatic Zig Zagger that makes decorative stitches with the cams. It does very nice work on almost any fabric you'd want to embellish with deco stitching (i.e. medium weight woven cotton fabric or lightweight fabrics using a stablizer.)

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

cjw22
cjw22
Intermediate
SOUTH AFRICA
Member since 9/6/11
Posts: 36
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In reply to lisalu <<


Date: 9/9/12 1:35 PM

I have just looked on Gumtree and found an Elna SU free arm sewing machine

http://capetown-westerncape.gumtree.co.za/c-ViewAdLargeImage?AdId=412042511

for $60.. any thoughts on this machine? It has a number of stitches, including zig zag and I think it is a solid machine?? I will have to get rid of one of my vintage Singers and I think the 15 will have to bow out gracefully as I find myself sewing mostly on my 201, which I really love, especially as we share the same birth year!

Scheri
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Scheri  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Alberta CANADA
Member since 7/13/10
Posts: 361
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Date: 9/10/12 1:28 AM

Is it at beginning and staying in one spot? Try bringing up both the needle thread and bobbin thread hold them as you start your seam. This helps grab the fabric and move forward.

------
Scheri Manson
Edmonton, AB CANADA

cjw22
cjw22
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SOUTH AFRICA
Member since 9/6/11
Posts: 36
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In reply to Scheri <<


Date: 9/10/12 6:28 AM

Yes Scheri.. that is exactly what is happening. Will definitely give this a try to see if it helps, thanks for the tip!

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