Recently I posted about my new to me vintage Singer Rocketeer machine, and asked if anyone could identify this sewing machine foot which came with it. A few people asked me to post a follow up if I found out what it was, and I am happy to report . . .
I sent an e-mail to Charlene Phillips of The Sew Box, who replied with the identification as well as some instruction on how to use it. She has written a very useful book about vintage sewing machine attachments and has a great website. Here is my original post about the book and using the gathering foot.
The answer is an Overcasting foot, and it creates a stitch along the edge of the fabric to finish the edge. In some respects it is the overlock stitch of a previous era. The only problem with this is that my machine does not seem to have any stitch or cam that creates the overcast stitch. So how to use it is still a mystery. She sent me a photo and the stitch is creates looks a lot like a blanket stitch on the edge of the fabric. I am sure those of you with those snazzy new electronic machines know all about this stitch - but we of the non-electronic era
must make do with our lovely steel attachments to get these fancy (useful) stitches.
Searching around the sewing blog world, I found this blog, Brian Sews, which has tons of great info on vintage sewing machines and attachments. I have been trying without any success to use the narrow hem foot. It could be incredibly useful for hemming silks, making dinner napkins and other items that have a very narrow hem however I could not get the hang of it. Thankfully, Brian has a great post with video on his blog showing how to use it.
So I have been practicing. The key to consistent hemming is how you hold the fabric feeding into the foot.
Here is the narrow hem foot in action.
Not yet ready for prime time, if I actually used it on a garment, I would be doing a lot of picking out stitches and re-doing which does not seem like fun. Example of my wobbly sttiching.
I see great potential for this foot - so useful, especially on children's clothes, sheer fabrics etc.
But not quite yet. I am seriously thinking about ordering the next size up, which I think is 1/4" narrow hem. Probably just as useful but not quite so tricky. I will let you know.
And today's SunnyGal Garden photo - my neighbor gave me this plant several years ago. I just stuck it in the ground and now it is about 4 feet across. Aloe, so I am told.