Saturday, November 13, 2010

What is this Odd Little Thing? A Zig Zagger

If you have a strait stitch only sewing machine but wish it would do a zigzag stitch, you're not alone.  I feel the same.  There is something you can use to make your machine more versatile that is easy and inexpensive.  I love my vintage beauties but also like clean seam finishes and making bathing suits.  Both are best with a zigzag stitch.  To solve this I tried a little gadget called a Chadwick Zig Zagger.   The Chadwick works like a ruffler and does indeed make a decent zig zag stitch.  That said, it has limitations.  The stitch isn't as good as a built in one nor is it as easy to adjust.    Here's a picture of it:

Chadwick Zigzagger
Zigzagger with 1889 Singer VS27
The one I have is for low shank machines so that includes several models.  Older Singers like the 27 shown here, 127 and 128, 99's, 66's  (except the back clamper Model 66), the featherweight, 201 and class 15's.  My Pfaff 131 works really well with this and so does the Elna #1 Grasshopper.  

Singer made their famous zig zagger but I have not used one.  If some one has one and would like to comment that would be helpful.
The Singer Zigzagger Attachment.  By the way, this is bait for a Singer 301.  Maybe if I have this this around the Singer 301 Machine will be along soon.
How to use it
The beauty of this little Chadwick is that it fits on quick and easy.  It is sort of like a ruffler.  Remove the presser foot.  The hook fits over the needle bar screw as you fit the zigzagger to the presser bar.  Replace the thumb screw.  Start sewing.....That's it. 

Zigzagger fits nicely on the Elna "Grasshopper"

Example of stitches made with the attachment on strait stitch machine.
There is a tiny screw on the back that adjusts the width of the zig zag.  It also comes with a guide to use a zig zag for lace insertion or edging. 

For the limitations they have, Chadwick and other zigzaggers really make using an older machine so much more practical.  They are small and fast to put on.  If you see one,  Get it!

12 comments:

  1. Great blog! I saw your link on TreadleOn. Loved looking at your machines, and hope a Grsshopper and a chainstitch machine find me some day!

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  2. I have a few treadles and hand cranks plus others.....guilty. There is a link to my website and I have a page devoted to them! I do see the Grasshopper for sale on occasion as well as the Willcox Gibbs. Both are wonderful to own. The Elna is very light as has a cool case so you travel with it. The WG is just too cool.

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  3. I got the link from TreadleOn and have this attachment as well. Nice to see someone putting theirs to use and seeing the actual stitching from it.

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  4. I want a little chadwick. I never knew they could be so small.

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    1. The small size makes it so they can fit it into most any sewing machine case. I see them once in a while in thrift shops and eBay.

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  5. Hi I just got a Grasshopper without power cord. But I am very excited to read about this Chadwick Zigzagger found one eBAY but need power cord first. Greetings from Vancouver Canada. Got hocked on vintage machine since my modern Brother died and I did not want to spend $500 up on a German or Swiss machine. Got a Rocketeer that runs like a Rolls Royce then a Singer 401 and now this Elna beauty.. I just love how they made the box into a working platform. Can't wait to make it work. Lovely blog you have Costume Designer here also.

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  6. THanks for stopping by, I was just in Vancouver BC CA a few weeks ago as part of a sewing team with Patagoinia Worn Wear. Beautiful! If needed, you may find a cord for your Elna through Ray White -White Sewing Center. Best wishes to you and I always admire the creative field of costume design.

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  7. You are missing a piece. The Chadwick has 2 parts. The one in your post and a piece that snaps on top of that that adds a weird shaped part for running your fabric through

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  8. You are missing a piece. The Chadwick has 2 parts. The one in your post and a piece that snaps on top of that that adds a weird shaped part for running your fabric through

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    1. It may indeed be missing something, I do not have any oters or a manual. It works fine this way though. If I see another and can get a picture of it complete will do so.

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  9. Hi Yarndiva,

    I have a Chadwick Zigzagger and have scanned the instructions if you'd like a copy. You are missing a piece. It's a little piece that attaches to the front. I can send you a picture of what that looks like as well. It looks like you've figured out how to use it anyway (it's not rocket science) so you may not need it. Cheers, Paula

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    1. If you send me a copy of the manual, I can make a way for it to be used by people who come here. I made this page because I could not find any information about it so help like this is rare. Thank you! I am out of town for a few weeks.

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