Wednesday, 1 September 2010

No zipper love

Quite a few of the patterns I've been looking at call for an invisible zip. Unfortunately the machine that I'm using didn't come with one so I decided to mosey on down to the shops to buy a invisible zipper foot. I saw a couple in stock and they all pretty much looked like the same assortment of bright plastic bits so I decided to buy the Birch branded ones since I was buying a few machine needles of the same brand.

I got home, opened up the packet and seriously could not make head or tail on how it all worked.

Contents of the packet

The instructions were highly useless. They listed what type of machine each adaptor (blue bit) was for but that didn't help since I had no idea which category (options were short shank, long shank, slant needle and low front) my machine fit in.

Looking at this sure didn't help me work anything out

Thanks to the interwebs, I found a really helpful post from Kim of the All Things Mum blog that had a clear picture of how the foot is supposed to look when it's on the machine. Adaptor B for me - Hurrah!

It actually fits!
It wasn't really all that hurrah though as I soon discovered. As you can see from the photo below, the foot fits well on the shank and the screwhole is visible on the right side of the foot.

Yup  that's where the screw goes

On the left side of the foot is a whole other story.

Something isn't quite right here...

That's right - the screw needs to be screwed into the hole that just isn't there! I tried to slide the adaptor section up or down but there was no way possible it was going to budge. I thought that maybe, just maaaayyybe, I would be able to use the foot without having to screw it in but I learnt pretty quickly that that wasn't going to work.

Looks like for now I'll continue using my normal zipper foot like I did for the Macaron dress - the result for that wasn't quite as 'invisible' as I'd like it to be but at least it gets the zip in.

I'd really like to use a proper invisible zipper foot though - without having to fork out to get an exorbitant fee on a metal foot specific to my machine (a Janome Decor Excel 5018). Why waste the moolah when there is a chance that I might be able to use a cheap ugly plastic one? ;D

Anyone have any ideas or come across the same problem?


Antoinette said...

Sorry if I'm leaving a vague comment and running, but if you have more q's please feel free to send me an email. I have an older Kenmore (made by Janome) and I tried one of the universal invisible zip feet like the one you got. I did not get good results. I suffered with centered zips until I saw an online tutorial that showed to press open the curl on the invisible zipper so you can use a regular zipper foot. And the application was flawless! I've been using it since. (Are you doing this?) Anyway, the instructions just so happen to come in the packages of Coats & Clarks invisible zippers, but if you want me to try to find that great photo tutorial I will. It's not complicated -- it's so simple I needed photo evidence. Let me know.

SEW RED HOT said...

how did I find you ? I don't know! But I do know I have tried those multifunctional feet and they are hopeless and make for invisible zip misery. You need a foot that just has one channel. I bought mine off ebay (are you in Australia?)because there is a current listing for one like I got

Its much better and I can't imagine why Birch sell those rubbish ones.

Good luck.

SuBoo said...

@Antoinette - email coming your way! :)

@SRH - Interesting, I've never seen one of those before. From the eBay listing it looks like it works just like the feet that come with the machine, with no need to change the shank attachment? I'll be looking into this one for sure. Thanks :)