Thursday, January 20, 2011

Singer Gauge Presser Foot

Gauge Presser Foot making a felled seam.
For those who like to make things, whatever it is, there is a good feeling that comes from finding and using a new tool.  For those that make things like clothing, the possibilities are near endless for tools to improve the process.  Here is a good one.  The Singer Gauge Presser Foot.  I got one for myself as a business need mainly but it has turned out to be generally helpful too.  They are not common or cheap, but in my opinion, they are very useful for low shank strait stitch machines.
Gauge presser foot, unlocked.
The gauge foot comes with metal measures.  I have three parts but this is an incomplete set.  What does it do?  It does several things but one thing really well.  It can make a perfect channeled seam and edge stitch.  When using a zig zag machine that has a movable needle position, a normal edge stitching foot can work.  For edges, a edge stitch guide can work.  When edge stitching on the top of a garment, it gets tricky.  I do this a lot when making corsets as the has to be a channeled seam for the boning to fit inside.  Here is an example of how a seam for a corset looks when made without a  gauge.
Free hand top stitched seam
Here is a seam made with a presser foot gauge:
Top stitched with gauge presser foot
It is much more strait and so looks much better and will wear evenly with time. 
The measures can be used for left or right, another handy feature.  Measuring a seam from the bed is easy with tape or seam guide but not so for the other side.  Here is a photo of it in use:
Left measurement alignment

The lack of adjustable needle position was one thing that kept me from using the old Singer 201 and Pfaff 131 for this type of project.  Despite this one thing, the machines are better as they can handle the heavy fabrics with ease.  Now I can have the best of both worlds.  Yeah!

8 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Very interested to read this post as I make similar items (bras and corsets) and have similar trouble getting really good edge- and topstitching. I'm considering buying a set of these but have a couple of questions. What do you feel these attachments still don't let you do that you'd like to do, and can you think of any other more commonly available attachments that provide a similar ability? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the interest. In answer to your question, these do exactly what I need them to do, an accurate close edge. I have found no other thing that does this, or as easily. Recently I found an old Pfaff presser foot for quilting/piping that came with a open right side toe and guide bar. With the quilt guide bar pulled all the way to the right it may work too. Somehow it seems that presser foot may be just as rare as Singer's, I found mine in a thrift shop by chance.

    If you have a zig-zag machine that lets you change needle position you have more options. You can add a common "stitch in the ditch" foot, and move the needle over using the foot's extension as your guide along the seam edge. That works very well, very accurate. The only problem is I like to use my Pfaff 131 with heavier fabrics (and because it's beautiful). Because it is strait stitch only, there is no way to change the needle position. That makes common stitch in the ditch - edge stitchers out of the question. Singer's edge stitch guide that comes in the accessory kit from what I can tell works for edges like collars not what I needed (channel stitching?). The gauge foot keeps me from having to switch machines thus having to re-thread, change bobbins and take out needles.

    I can post photos of these other presser feet if that would help. Getting a nice edge is really important for looks and wear!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, I just was checking to see if it was possible to find these easily. I thought it was a lot when I bought it (and I won't say or you'll be mad) but it was not 200!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for your reply. Yes, they're expensive now! But sometimes, once you spend the money on a good tool you really don't regret it, and you reap the benefit for years and years. I'm trying some industrial compensating feet on my (high shank) Necchi to see how they work. But knowing me, one day I'll suck it up and shell out for these...

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Comment above by yarndiva removed due to many misspellings...
    I am hoping to find a "penguin" walking foot someday, stashed in some old sewing box in a thrift shop. I can dream, right?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was looking for something like this when I stumbled across compensating feet... so I bought a set of them for (L&R) for too much $ on eBay. After re-reading the supplemental manual for my "new" Necchi Supernova (thrift store find) I found the term "gauge feet" in the listing of "optional" accessories available and found this site. Exactly as the picture looked in the manual. So sad to hear they are rare and you only found them by chance. I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes open.

    ReplyDelete
  8. They are hard to find but not impossible. Another thing to try may be a cording foot. I have one that came with my old Pfaff. It's a presser foot that has a hole for a quilt guide. If you search for "Vintage Pfaff quilting foot" or something to that effect you can possibly see one. I place the guide all way next to the presser foot so you get the same effect as a Gauge Presser foot. A simple high shank adapter will make that low shank foot work with your Necchi.

    ReplyDelete