Let me introduce my old Singer. I inherited this machine from my great aunt. It is quite a basic machine, but it does do zig-zag. Interestingly, I’m unable to date the machine accurately. It’s a 348, but the serial number doesn’t tally with any UK models. It was made for the Swiss market, I assume (my great aunt lived for many years in Switzerland).
Recently, my mum dug out from the back of her wardrobe, a box of assorted bits that apparently came with my machine. After a little investigation on the internet, I found that the nameless contraption she gave me, is known as a “Swiss zig-zagger”. So this last weekend I plucked up courage to try it out. Fortunately, the internet also supplied me with a manual otherwise I would have got nowhere with it.
I did wonder, given that my machine already does a zig-zag, why my aunt had bought this extra contraption. She was very prone to buying gadgets; she definitely was a lady who moved with the times, even in her seventies! But a brief play with it has really made me realise its beauty. I had noticed that my “on-machine” zig-zag creates rather bad tunnelling on light fabrics. A recommendation on the internet is to change the bobbin-thread tension or sew with tissue, but somehow I never managed to stop the tunnelling completely. This Swiss zig-zagger does have its own feed mechanism and therefore is also a walking foot. It produces zig-zag loveliness with no tunnelling!
I haven’t experimented much so far, but according to the manual it will do a range of decorative stitches including over-edging a seam (the old-fashioned way) and a blind-hem stitch. This article here gives some great photos of just what the zig-zagger can do. I’m planning to tackle some knit fabrics and with no overlocker yet, I’m going to do a lot more zig-zagging. I think the zig-zagger will serve me well.