Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Greist Decorative Zigzagger

Greist Zigzagger

Here I go with yet another zigzagger attachment.  This one goes up against my little Chadwicke's that I reviewed earlier.  I found this one and thought it deserved a bit of a test as they are fairly common and Greist makes very good accessories for many models of machines.  The one drawback to older strait stitch only machines is, well, they are strait stitch only.  There are times a zig zag stitch is handy to have such as with edge finishes on exposed inner seams.  Because of this I like to have a zig zag attachmentclose at hand even for this limited use.  Here's another one I've found. How does it work?  Does it work?
Background Information
These are made for strait stitch machines, I used a low shank Singer 221 (Featherweight) but this would be good for any low shank strait stitcher.  Some examples would be the Singer models 201, 15-91, 27, 28,127, 128, 66 (not the back clampers), Pfaff 131.
Greist Zigzagger with Templates

The Zigzagger comes with a permanent template for making a basic zig zag stitch and has some additional ones for embroidery type designs to add if you want to change the look.  There is a thumb screw for hooking it up to your machine.   The red colored part is a removable snap to hold the extra templates in place.

Attaching the Zigzagger

How to Use:
*Remove presser foot, keep presser bar up.
*Hook the Zig Zagger to the presser bar and at the same time make sure the "arm" hook is on the needle scew.  This is just like a buttonholer.

Note: I was having some trouble with adjustments on this at first, only to find my machine's thread cutter was in the way of the zigzagger's movement.  You can simply turn the needle threader to the back by pushing it .

Adjust Width of Zigzag with This
* Adjust the width of the Zig Zag stitch by making loosening the screw then moving the metal bar.  The #1 is the most narrow zig zag stitch.  Adjustment of the spacing of the zig zag stitch is done by your machine's stitch length lever.

Template Snap

 If you want to change a template, remove this snap.
It comes off just like this....
Adding the little template.
Changing the template is easy, I do it right on the machine.  The snap is just like a clothing snap, works great for this.  The template goes on right over the permanent one.

*When ready, lower presser bar and start slowly with stitches.  That's all!  It moves all over, don't worry.

Here is what the zig zag looks like on fabric:
Zigzagger Samples
 Does it work?  Yes, but the quality is not that great with the simple zig zag but it is OK.  The patterned decorative stitches are better.  I find it difficult to get a significant change in the width of the stitch in the simple zigzag setting.  Strangely, I have the same problem with my other one, the Chadwicks Zizagger.  The extra templates make some good stitches like the ones shown above.  They might be handy if using knits or you want to hem with a simple blind stitch.  Because it can do both, it might be  a nice addition to a traveling sewing tool kit.
As a final note, I suggest making up a sample with the number of the template written in ink for each setting.  They all look alike and this will save you a lot of testing later.  Do the same for the zig zag  and it's settings. 


  1. I would love to find one of these. All of my straight stitch machines are low shank (5 sew far). I've never come across one in my thrift shop hunts.

    1. Did you find one, because I have one to sell. I found it in my mom's sewing kit in the original box with the instructions and accessories. It looks like it may not have ever been used.

  2. Try Ebay, they are not expensive and if I see one again I'll send it your way.

  3. Found this by googling. Its a great help, thanks. I'm putting you in my favorites!

  4. The width might swing more if you oil it.

  5. I will try oil, but width seems to be determined by the size of the opening the needle goes through. I do find oiling the buttonholer makes it work better especially in the dry climate of Nevada.

  6. Hi!
    I just found your blog and Im so excited! I just bought my first vintage machine.It was love at first sight it came with a slew of attachments and a case! this zigzager was one of them .I just couldnt figure out what it was for !
    I was already on the prowl for a zig zag machine when I ggogled it.maybe ill hold off on getting another machine for now ( easier said than done lol ) thanks for sharing for the rest of us im glad I know what its for and because of you how to use it ! thank you !

  7. Good luck with your machine. I do think a zig zag machine does a better job of zig zagging but every sewing space needs a solid strait stitch machine. They just do a great job of very light fabric work and heavy work. Good luck also with resisting vintage machines, That has not gone well for me, obviously.

  8. The thread keeps breaking when I am stitching. What is the problem?

  9. It is hard to say from here. I have had tight stitching with one of my machines but never broken thread. Decribe what your machine is, what thread and fabric you are using. For example, thread that is in too small a needle may shred with the strain from the motion. Does it work for a few stitches then break or after a 3-4"? What does the bottom stitching look like?

  10. Hello, I am happy to have found this link and am hoping for any info...
    I just found a Greist Decorative ZigZagger but it did not come with any instructions. Also the small snap is gone. I have found a snap that stays on and may just hold the template in place. Would it be possible to get a copy of the instructions?

    1. Sorry I just saw this note-yes I will make a copy for you. Send me your email address so I can then get your mailing address. I saw a pdf file on eBay if you don't want to wait.

  11. Yarndiva,
    I've just found and linked to your review on my blog

    I put a link to download the instructions from ones I scanned. Hope you don't mind.
    Dan H

    1. No and thank you very much for making it available.

  12. Many thanks - for both your permission and your blog.
    Dan H

  13. First let me say thank you to both Yarndiva and Dan Hopgood for the instruction manual... You have NO idea how long I have been looking for this!..
    So.. here is the funny part about this... I posted the comment searching for the manual back in September of last year.. and for some reason when I would go and check to see if there was any reply - my computer must somehow have been taking me to the same (old?!?) page and no and replies were registered... I wasn't very hopeful as the most recent comment before mine was 2014 - so I though it was an old thread.
    Now fast-forward to 1 week ago... Edie, a good friend of mine who lives 525 km from me recently acquired a Singer 201K-3 and we have been emailing about our "gems". She has a Singer Decorative foot.. and I emailed her about my story of the Greist manual search..
    I come home from work today.. and she has emailed your blog.. and I recognize the site... and WOW!!!!! there are 2 replies!!!!!
    So thanks again to you all! The world truly is "small"!!! Amazing!
    with many thanks!
    Mary G

    1. Glad it worked out, exactly why I write these posts.