Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fifty dollar presser foot

I started work on my shirt. My pattern calls for ¼ inch seam allowances. I think the 5/8 inch seam allowances on most commercial patterns are too big, but ¼ inch seems awfully small. Half inch seam allowances are better. Where I will be making flat felled seams I increased the size of my pattern to allow for ½ inch seam allowances, but for the rest of the shirt I want to try making the ¼ inch ones.

On home machines the edge of the presser foot is 3/8 inch from the needle. I can sew ¼ inch seams like this, but it is easier with a ¼ inch foot. I remembered seeing a ¼ inch foot at Jo Ann Fabrics, so I hopped in my car and drove 30 miles to Eau Claire.

Only one ¼ inch foot was in stock, but one was all I needed. The foot cost $4.99. I did not need any fabric or notions, but I am unable to enter a fabric store without buying lots of stuff. On a sales rack I found two bolts of dupioni silk marked down 75%. I did not need dupioni silk, but at $4.00 per yard I felt I could not afford to not buy some. Two colors were available, green and gold. I am not too fond of either color, and there was not enough of each for a single color garment, but how often do I get an opportunity to work with silk? After I make a few cotton shirts to become comfortable with my pattern, I will make a silk shirt.

I bought a few other pieces of fabric from the sales rack along with some thread that was on sale. I had a 40% off coupon, but the coupon could not be used for sales items or machine accessories. I did not want to waste the coupon that cost $0.10 to print in the library, so I bought a bolt of interfacing. You can never have too much interfacing. The presser foot was the only thing on my shopping list, but I ended up spending more than fifty dollars.

The presser foot does not work!

It is labeled a universal foot. The package states it can be used with both Brother and Elna machines, but it does not fit on my Brother or either type of Elna at school. It is a snap-on foot, which both Brother and Elna machines use, but the back end of the foot is too close to the presser foot holder. The foot cannot move freely, and it does not rest flat against the feed dogs. With the foot at an odd angle it does not hold fabric in place. Stupid foot. At least I got some silk.

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