A variety of simple attachments can be added to the basic sewing machine, which will assist the machinist to perform sewing tasks faster and more accurately. These attachments are generally referred to as work aids ; they enable complex sewing tasks to be performed in a less complicated manner, resulting in reduced fatigue.
When stitching has to be located in a certain position or a particular distance from the edge of the fabric, guides can be added to the bed or presser foot of the sewing machine.
Magnetic Edge guide
This magnetic edge guide forms a physical barrier whereby the edge of the fabric is guided along the barrier, giving accuracy in seam widths.
A ‘ T’ guide can be attached to the sewing machine bed with a screw. The distance from the edge of the ‘T’ guide to the presser foot can be adjusted to provide the desired seam width.
A swing guide can be moved into position when a guide is required for straight stitching along the edge of the fabric, and simply moved away from the end of the fabric if a guide is not required.
This edge guide is used for stitching straight lines when quilting. Use the adjustable guide, which is added to the presser foot, as a marker to indicate the distance to be maintained between the seams.
The standard presser foot can be replaced with a compensating presser foot , which also performs the function of edge guiding. The toes on a standard presser foot are fixed, while on a compensating foot the toes move up and down on springs. This foot is used where topstitching on a seam is required and there is a difference in height between the left and right side of the seam. On a seam of this nature, the presser foot toe at the lower level glides along the edge of the seam ridge and a line of stitching that is parallel with the ridge is achieved. This presser foot is used for topstitching on raised seams, attaching patch pockets, and so on. Compensating presser feet are available in a variety of different widths.
The folding device on the hemming foot controls and folds the edge of the fabric and presents the folded fabric to the needle point for stitching.
This type of folder is used for hemming scarves and shirts or hemming any part of a garment made from medium to lightweight fabric.
Hemming feet are available in several types, performing either a single or double turn hem in a variety of widths from 1 mm to 4 mm.
There are a variety of types of zipper feet.
An invisible zip is inserted using the presser foot shown below. The teeth on an invisible zip are turned inwards and they join together on the inside of the garment. The teeth of the zip fit into the grooves in the presser foot and the specialized design of the foot enables the stitching to get close to the teeth of the zip.
When attaching accessories such as piping onto a garment, a presser foot with a single toe enables stitching to get close to the piping, or this presser foot can be used when inserting a concealed or standard zip, enabling the stitching to get close to the zip teeth. See Chapter 8 for details of how to insert a concealed or standard zip.
Many folding attachments are available, from a binder for attaching a strip of binding or braid onto the edge of fabric such as an armhole or neckline, to a folder that will turn in the fabric’s raw edges to create a lapped felled seam.