Evil Sewing Machine Attachments


In preparing to teach my Sewing Lab class at Art Center College of Design, I was looking at some of the attachments that came with the machines.  I know many of us just roll our eyes and throw them in a plastic bag intending to figure them out…later.   But to people who are new to sewing, new to sewing machines and terrified in general of machines, these tiny metal parts look more like instruments of torture possibly from a dental office.

The photo shown here to the left is a perfect example, and if you know what it is you are probably dating yourself.  Like many designers I tend to collect machines for the special things they do.  This machine is a 60 year old Singer which means it has metal parts, has a very smooth straight stitch and is a gold mine.  I will never sell it.  This attachment is for gathering or sheering.  It is similar to the industrial attachments used to make petticoats with layers of ruffles.


The attachment to the right is for the same 60 year old machine.  It is to make buttonholes.  The really cool thing about it is that it makes “keyhole” buttonholes.   It actually attaches to the needle shaft of the machine, clamps down on the fabric and moves the fabric around under the needle.  The only problem is that prolonged use of this attachment weakens the shaft.

And finally, we have more modern attachments.  These are an assortment of feet for one of my Bernina machines.  Some years ago I bought 3 from a retired home economics teacher who had them in her garage.  They are identical so I keep one for emergency spare parts for the other two.  For those of you that like free-motion embroidery, the foot in the middle that looks like a little donut is for that purpose. 

One of the my newest favorites is the tefflon foot for sewing leather and vinyl.  You can get these to fit most home sewing machines and they prevent the surface from sticking to the foot.  If you have interesting stories about sewing to share also go to the new KPCC online community Forum.  http://apps.facebook.com/kpccfreeway and click on FORUMS>CRAFTS for sewing, needlework and DIY.


About Justine Limpus Parish

Associate Professor - Art Center College of Design apparel design - Product Design Dept. costume design - Entertainment Design Dept Fashion Instructor: Mt San Antonio College Workshop instructor: Disney Consumer Products
This entry was posted in SEWING and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Evil Sewing Machine Attachments

  1. cassymuronaka says:

    My mother was just singing the praises of her old Singer the other day.

  2. Suella Postles says:

    Not evil, but angelic I feel. I collect such things when on offer locally. Sometimes it takes some doing to find out what they are for.

    I’m glad to see that you have older machines in your armory of sewing equipment. I feel that they are as good as if not better than some of the low end new machines for sale.


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