Sunday, February 21, 2016

Zig Zagging Along

A recent post on a Facebook sewing page showed a zig zag attachment for a Kenmore sewing machine and I became intrigued. So those straight stitch models can zig zag after all? Well, that depends. Singer came out with a zig zag attachment years ago and one came with my own beloved Singer 99 gifted to me by my next door neighbors. I did try it out at the time but memory grows dim over time so maybe it was a good substitute for a full zig zag sewing machine? After all, the buttonhole attachment kits are wonderful so why not the zig zag attachments?

Checking Ebay for said Kenmore zig zag attachments, I found several that were going to be under $15 with S&H included so maybe I should try one! In the listing was also the Chadwick zig zagger and I remembered I had one already, part of a group of supplies that came in a machine this past year. I set up a Singer 99 in crinkle finish and got it installed:

Chadwick model in a pretty small box
It's not too much to look at, installing like a buttonholer or a ruffler (but it's so shiny!)
Back screw adjusts for width, only adjustment available.
As you can see by the sample above and below, it's not a great zig zag stitch:

Widest width and closest stitch
Not too great is it?  The way it works is to move the fabric left and right since the needle cannot move in those directions to form the typical zig zag. This means it's not going to work too well on a variety of fabrics but the firm woven should be ideal. So on to the Singer zig zagger attachment. Here it is in the original box with 4 cams for the different styles of stitches:

Singer Zig Zagger
With this model you have choices, which is nice but still not a great improvement:
Singer Zig zagger in action
Cams lined up with the stitches they made
The gold stitching is brighter in person so I apologize for the faintness of the stitches but they are uneven at best and these were the best it could do with a lot of adjusting. It's a far cry from the Singer 401 models and their fine zig zag and we won't even get into Bernina and its superb stitching. Would I use this with a straight stitch model? Maybe if that was all I had and needed to use a zig zag stitch to do some mending but at one time this probably was all some women had and were excited and grateful to have even this much.

Am I going to order one of those Kenmore zig zag attachments? I don't think so...but if one comes with a sewing machine one day I will give it a whirl to see if it's worth it's salt. Until then, I'll stitch with built in stitches or learn to mend without a zig zag stitch. See how spoiled I am?

1 comment:

Thin Man Sewing said...

Those zigzaggers are interesting. I have several and think they are more of a novelty. They are fun to play with. I will say I think the buttonhole attachments of the same era do beautiful work.