Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zipper Foot

"Last week was boring," you're thinking. Who gives a flying... uh... pig... about a foot you already know how to use? Well, in this installment of Better Know a Foot, we'll look at the zipper foot. The Fightin' Zipper!

Every machine should come with a zipper foot attachment. This is one of your best tools, even if you never intend to sew a zipper. This post shows you four different ways to use your zipper foot!
The zipper foot has just enough metal to press down on your seam allowance, but you can move it to the left or the right (or depending on your machine and the foot, move your needle to the left or right).

Think about what that means: you have a foot designed to get out of the way of bulky items on one side. It is smaller in width, so it takes up less space. This can be helpful for more than just zippers!

Use #1: Zippers

The physical design of the foot lets you place the bulky teeth to one side, instead of trying to sew over it, which could potentially ruin your zipper, your needle, your fabric, or worst, your machine.

Use #2: Edge Stitching

While I prefer to use an actual edge stitch foot for this purpose, a zipper foot can do just as well in a pinch, especially if you're edge stitching a zipper like the photo above (the right-hand side has a bit of top stitching).

Having less foot metal in the way means more visibility of the fabric, so you can see exactly where the needle is going.

Use #3: Piping

Adding piping can be a hassle, but like rounded corners on your DOM element, it somehow gives your project just the right amount of finish.

A zipper foot can help you make piping or install piping. The bulk of the foot will be on the bias tape, and out of the way of the bulkier cording, saving you time and frustration.

Use #4: Buckles

If you're making a strap from scratch, you'll be sewing loops onto your buckles, clasps, or adjustable sliders. The zipper foot can help give you more visibility, as with edge stitching, as well as get your needle just a little closer to the bar, so that you have nice, clean loops.

If your machine lets you control needle position, you can move it over a bit more, to get it just a little closer to the bar.

Use #5: Squishable Fabrics
I know I said four uses for the zipper foot, but there is actually a fifth! Actually, there are probably lots more uses for your zipper foot that you may discover, but my fifth is one that I've only recently encountered, and am saving for a much longer blog post for next week. Come back next Tuesday!

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