Feet · Sewing Projects

Free hand monogramming with zig-zag

Why do we need so many different plug types for sewing machine motors and their pedals? Why not to have one standard for all so that any pedal would fit any machine? Because that would be useful, and it would not force you to have half a dozen pedals and yards of spaghettified cables under the table, and it would not require you to spend half an hour unpicking the spaghetti every time you switch machines. Yes, it would be good, and that’s why we don’t have it.

I had so enough of this mess, that came up with a tidy for it: stick each pedal into its own drawstring bag, with cables and all, and pull up the string. A pile of closed bags is better than a mess of cables. The finishing touch however would be to label the bags so you wouldn’t have to open each one in the search for the right pedal, which is of course always found in the last bag.

Ah, labels. I decided to embroider them, or rather to monogram them with zig-zag. The task is simple enough: take some ribbon, strengthen it with interfacing on the reverse, pencil your text and monogram it.

Actually, it wasn’t that hard to do either. I set zig-zag width to 2.5mm and stitch length to very short, used an open toe satin stitch foot, and there you are!

Ok, it’s a bit wobbly. Straight lines work better than curved ones. So I figured I’d outline the letters with a short straight stitch.

Again, I used the open toe satin stitch foot for straight lines, and kept the feed dogs engaged.

It does make the letters better defined.

When it comes to wiggly lines, the feed dogs get in the way, so I drop them and switch to a “hopping mad” darning foot. This requires a steady hand because it is now up to me to move the material under the needle!

The photo above shows the moment when you need to move the fabric: the needle is up, and the foot is lifted too. When the needle is down, the foot presses down on the fabric so that the machine could form a stitch.

The foot has a spring in it and is actually hopping.

So here is the result of outlining:

Now to sew the labels onto the bags. I use a blind hem foot for this and set the guide so that the edge of the label falls just inside the right edge of the zig-zag.

The zig-zag is again 2.5mm wide with a very short stitch length, feed dogs back in operation. This makes for a neat border around the label.​

And the pedals are finally sorted, and no more spaghetti mess under the table!

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