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Fancy Stitches 6

Have you heard about the 80/20 rule? In this case it means that you use 20% of your sewing machine 80% of the time. In our Fancy Stitches are some suggestions to use some of the 80% with the ZIGZAG function of your sewing machine.

A wide variety of fancy stitches may be obtained on your sewing machine, particularly with the zigzag function of your electronic sewing machine. On the zigzag function of your machine the needle can be made to move from side to side, creating a stitch which resembles hand embroidery. The width of this stitch is controlled by a lever or dial; the length of the stitch is controlled by the ordinary stitch regulator. Both the width of the stitch and the position of the needle bar can be changed while the machine is in motion. This permits the operator to create many types of stitches.   


With the majority of electronic sewing machines you can change the design of the zigzag function with the press of a button. Below are a variety of fancy stitches using zigzag



fancy stitches using zigzagFigure A (1) shows a short zigzag stitch and A (2) shows a wider stitch. These are used for border decorations, seam finishing, appliqué, sewing on lace, joining bands, etc. 


In B (1) the zigzag is stitched over a cord or strand of yarn which may be of contrasting color. In B (2) the cord or gimp, as it is sometimes called, is wound on the bobbin and the design is make on the right side of the fabric by placing the material wrong side up under the presser foot. 


Adjust your stitch regulator so that you make the shortest possible length stitch to produce the satin stitch shown in C (1). The lever which controls the width of the stitch may be regulated to produce a wide satin stitch for use on coarse linen, for example, or a very narrow stitch for dainty designs or edges, as on flowers, where the fabric is cut close to the stitching. In C (2) a narrow satin stitch is made on the sides of a wide zigzag stitch to give a braid effect trimming. Satin stitch can be made over cord or gimp to give a raised or padded effect. 


The scalloped edge shown in D (1) is made by adjusting the width of the stitch while the machine is in motion. Cut the material away close to the stitching for a scalloped edge. A variation of the scallop is shown in d (2) where straight satin stitches are inserted between scallops as they are made. This makes an attractive border trimming. 



In E (1) wide satin stitches are blocked in little squares by making a few regular machine stitches between sets of satin stitches. In e (20 the satin stitches are shaped to a point by adjusting the width of the stitch as you sew. These trimming stitches are effective placed between rows of tucks, or used to decorate blouse fronts, children’s yokes, table linens, etc. 


Coronation braid design shown in F (1) is made with the satin stitch by controlling the zigzag lever so that it moves from narrowest stitch to widest and back again. In F (2) the design is varied by making a few wide stitched between designs. 


Another series of designs is possible by changing the position of the needle bar so that stitching will be either to the right of left of a central position line. In G (1) a series of satin stitches is made alternating from extreme left position to extreme right position. Speed of the adjustment of the needle position, left, middle and right are made to produce the rickrack type of embroidery. An endless number of designs is made possible by the skill with which you can master the operation of the three adjustments, namely the width of the stitch, the length of the stitch and the position of the needle bar. With a little practice you will be able to design other variations of you own. 

Most modern sewing machines have a variety of different zigzag stitches, which may not always be identical to the ones outlined above, but will have similarities. . . . And of course then there are the computerised sewing machines with multiple embroidery functions which are often automated depending on the machine.

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