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Thread: How do you get an accurate 1/4" seam allowance on a FW?

  1. #1
    Junior Member conniemaried's Avatar
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    How do you get an accurate 1/4" seam allowance on a FW?

    I've inherited my mother's FW (yes, the one I learned to sew on!) and would like to use it, but haven't figured out how to get an accurate 1/4" seam allowance on it. I ordered a seam gauge that screws on, but it sits over a round head screw that lifts the gauge up off the bed of the machine, and the fabric can get under it. I also know that there's an engraved replacement plate that you can get, but it's a little pricey for me right now. I don't want anything sticky. Can't find a quarter inch foot. So what's left? There's got to be a way, with so many quilters using the FW, so please share with me how you gauge your seams. Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    Bonnie Hunter does a seam guide out of a 3M command strip and a hotel key card. Go to her site www.quiltville.blogspot.com and look in the tip section. I think it is under Best Seam Guide Ever.

  3. #3
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conniemaried View Post
    I've inherited my mother's FW (yes, the one I learned to sew on!) and would like to use it, but haven't figured out how to get an accurate 1/4" seam allowance on it. I ordered a seam gauge that screws on, but it sits over a round head screw that lifts the gauge up off the bed of the machine, and the fabric can get under it. I also know that there's an engraved replacement plate that you can get, but it's a little pricey for me right now. I don't want anything sticky. Can't find a quarter inch foot. So what's left? There's got to be a way, with so many quilters using the FW, so please share with me how you gauge your seams. Thanks.
    I'd keep looking out for the right foot as that's the easiest way. Otherwise there's always tape, but you'll need some advice on what's appropriate to use on your featherweight's finish.

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Sew-Classic has 4 1/4" feet with guides. { http://www.shop.sew-classic.com/Low-Shank-Feet_c5.htm }.
    They are not hard to find.

    There is also several different shapes of fabric guides and some of them have notches where the needle plate screw heads are. Matter of fact you could take a file and make a small notch on the one you have so the fabric wouldn't get under it.

    Joe

  5. #5
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    JoAnns also sells a magnetic seam guide. Really just a chunk of magnet wrapped w/stainless steel. Measure your seam allowance and plop it on there. No sticky residue; no special feet. I think they are around $5.00 and you can use it for any measurement you need. Sits flat to machine so no fabric getting underneath. Will keep your seams straight until your budget allows a more favored method.

  6. #6
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    http://www.april1930s.com/html/quilt...tachments.html Any short shank 1/4 foot should work, but April specializes in FWs and 301s. The magnetic guide won't stick on an aluminum machine (301 and FW) and actually shifts over time on a steel machine.

    I have a 1/4" foot for my 301, but prefer the screw on metal guide. Mine has to sit on a screw head, but the head is flush with the bed of the machine so it doesn't matter.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    Get a short shank 1/4" foot with a guide attached to it. Get them at SewClassic.Com

  8. #8
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    Bought 1/4" foot for all my FW's.

  9. #9
    Super Member CherryPie's Avatar
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    I use a "Perfect Piecing Seam Guide". Put that down under your presser foot and put your needle down thru the little hole. Lay some post-it notes along side it. I have never had a problem with post-it notes leaving any residue. You'll the have a perfect 1/4" seam.
    There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness. - Dave Barry

  10. #10
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I've been using the walking foot on my FW for everything and I'm having trouble with the 1/4" seam as well since the foot itself is wider than 1/4".

  11. #11
    Senior Member Betty J's Avatar
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    1/4 inch seam guide

    Quote Originally Posted by conniemaried View Post
    I've inherited my mother's FW (yes, the one I learned to sew on!) and would like to use it, but haven't figured out how to get an accurate 1/4" seam allowance on it. I ordered a seam gauge that screws on, but it sits over a round head screw that lifts the gauge up off the bed of the machine, and the fabric can get under it. I also know that there's an engraved replacement plate that you can get, but it's a little pricey for me right now. I don't want anything sticky. Can't find a quarter inch foot. So what's left? There's got to be a way, with so many quilters using the FW, so please share with me how you gauge your seams. Thanks.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Singer-221-F...-/181157590216

    Here is a link for a 1/4 inch seam guide foot for your machine.

  12. #12
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    in a pinch I use the blue painter's tape - works like a charm!

  13. #13
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    The blue or green tape but I like the idea of the post its, the pad gives you some height.

  14. #14
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    I think the easiest thing would be to get a piece of paper - draw a line on it 1/4 inch from the edge - set it under the presser foot and see how far from the edge of the paper the edge of your presser foot is when the needle touches the line you drew.

    One can learn to 'eyeball' where the edge of the fabric is after you have figured out 'exactly' where it needs to be in relation to the presser foot you are using.

    It may barely stick out - it may stick out 1/8 of an inch - it might be 'inside' the presser foot by 1/16 of an inch. After you figure out 'where' that 1/4 inch is, that is half the battle.

  15. #15
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    I know this will get gasps but I just draw on my stitch plate with a Sharpie. I have to redo it occasionally but it works fine. The other thing I have is the seam guide that came with my Janome 6600. It works fine on the FW and the 301. Screws down tight on the bed.

  16. #16
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    I use the 1/4" foot that I bought for my 70's Sears Kenmore machine. I also use my "Little Foot" that I bought for the featherweight. The featherweight is a short shank machine and most short shank feet will fit it. My 70's Sears Kenmore is a short shank and the feet from it are interchangeable with my featherweight. Haven't tried it, but I think the walking foot that I bought for my Kenmore will work on the featherweight. See www.littlefoot.net

  17. #17
    Senior Member haylillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Bonnie Hunter does a seam guide out of a 3M command strip and a hotel key card. Go to her site www.quiltville.blogspot.com and look in the tip section. I think it is under Best Seam Guide Ever.
    this really works its what i use
    esther

  18. #18
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    This is the one most of the ladies in our sewing circle (turning into a quilting group) use:
    http://shop.sew-classic.com/Low-Shan...ade-P60610.htm

  19. #19
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    This is the one most of the ladies in our sewing circle (turning into a quilting group) use:
    http://shop.sew-classic.com/Low-Shan...ade-P60610.htm
    I have bought 7 of those feet 1/4" feet for my Singer treadles and featherweights, it works with all my machines.
    Sharon

  20. #20
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    I use blue painter's tape and put the edge along where 1/4" in. I actually also measured other commonly used measurements such as 1/2 and 5/8 and drew them on the tape. I've never had any problem with painter's tape taking the finish off anything or leaving goo of any kind.
    As far as the walking foot goes - the outside of the foot is 3/8". Mine has some cut outs on the presser foot and the edge of one of the cutouts is 1/4". I only use my walking foot for quilting layers. For piecing I use a regular foot so it is rare that I need a 1/4" seam when using my walking foot. If I'm quilting with the walking foot I just use the edge of my presser foot (which is 3/8) as a guide or use the longer guide which fits into the back of it if I want a wider distance between rows.

  21. #21
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    I just use 1/4" painter's tape. You can always use it later to mark for quilting guides. Saw that here on the board.

  22. #22
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    This is the one most of the ladies in our sewing circle (turning into a quilting group) use:
    http://shop.sew-classic.com/Low-Shan...ade-P60610.htm
    That's the one I use too. Works like a charm. I've used it so much the plating is wearing off the bottom.
    I'm gonna buy one of the narrower ones for the old straight stitch machines as well.

    I don't use any tape or sticky stuff on any of my machines. I once tried the graduated stick on thing that Sew-Classic sells and it lasted maybe a week or two. It started pealing off and curling at the place it met the fabric. Off it came. I use the foot with the guide or the screw on fabric guides now.

    Joe
    Last edited by J Miller; 07-01-2013 at 01:23 PM.

  23. #23
    Junior Member conniemaried's Avatar
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    Thank you, everybody. I'm sure I can find something from this thread that will work for me. Again, thanks so much!!! ConniemarieD
    Please meet my avatar quilting buddy, Myrtle McQuilter

  24. #24
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    I have been using the 3M picture hanging strips on my FW. When my 6y old GD is sewing, I can move them over and give her a wider seam allowance than I would use, and move them back when needed. They are high enough that the material hits against it and doesn't go over it.
    Also when using pins, I use the l-o-n-g flat head pins and pin from the LEFT side. That way they don't get in the way of any thing and get caught by seam guides. It takes a little practice to pin from the left but the pin is in more material that way and they don't fall out.

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