More on Quarter Inch Seam Footsies…
I just got done writing a post for a Janome 7700 Yahoo group… and it kinda stirred up a bee’s nest, IMO. So I’m here to elaborate (again). Seems I’m always cheerleading the machine and making up for some quirky things about it.
This post was written in a bit of a hurry… and was done as a sort of “damage control”… to try to get a few things illustrated. Sorry in advance for it not being the most organized thing I’ve ever written…
So grab a drink… you’re gonna need it to get through this one.
For starters… let’s get all of the feet on the table here…. ….
From left to right:
1. The dreaded O2 Foot 2. Janome Clear View Foot with Guide 3. Distinctive 1/4″ Foot
Looking carefully at the pic above… please note:
1. See that all feet are lined up in respects to each other according to their position on the ankle of the machine. In other words… see the arrows? All of the feet were lined up with their attachment rods even to each other.
2. Look at the guides on each foot. Each one was lined up to be on a line of this graph paper. This is 1/4″ graph paper.
3. The mind blower: Look at where the first line from the metal guide on each foot (so it’s 1/4″ away from the guide) enters the foot… On the dreaded O2 foot, it’s farther to the right of the opening – so if you stitched with the needle in the center of the foot opening (what a concept!) you’re going to wind up with a fat-ass seam (ask me – I know!) . On the other two, the line is coming up slightly to the left of where your needle probably is (with any luck)… which *would* create a correct, scant 1/4″ seam.
4. There’s a big difference in the guide lengths. More, just like if you were using a ruler to get a straight line – is better. It’s hard to see the end of the guides when looking from the top down – so I made a black line that indicates how far forward each guide extends. The O2 doesn’t give you as much distance to get your fabric straight as the Clear View. And the Distinctive does the best job of this. This is a well thought out feature of the Distinctive/Babylock/Brother.
5. Compare the toes. I truly hate that O2 Foot’s clumsy, fat toes! There’s no reason for that in a foot for this purpose! (It’s like desiring to draw a pretty, straight, and thin line with a chubby, worn out, preschool crayon!) The Clear View is easier on my eyes – no metal glare. And the Distinctive has an added *nice* feature of a gap between the right toe and the guide – you can *easily* see that your fabric is being fed evenly – well in advance of it getting to the needle.
Here’s the same footsies on their sides… the bottoms were all lined up evenly on the graph paper… but the center one doesn’t want to lay perpendicular to the paper. The thing I want to illustrate here is how ***nice*** and low that Distinctive foot is… look how low it is in front compared to the other two! (and look at how obscenely, obnoxiously high that O2 foot’s toes are!)
On my 7700, the Clear View is the only foot that can work with the single hole needle plate and achieve an accurate scant 1/4″ seam. The other two require me to de-center the needle. That said, I would rather have the advantages of the Distinctive foot (longer guide, lower toes, easier to see fabric entering the foot) than the other two – it’s my favorite piecing foot.
Someone responded to a post I wrote … she was all excited (it seemed) about the foot I described in my other post about this topic here. Before a bunch of people jump on this bandwagon.. there are some caveats to using this foot.
So nobody gets lost.. here’s the foot we’re talkin’ about:
The package looks like this:
Somebody asked if it would work on the 7700… and before I ever even saw the responses… a few others seemed to be hot on the trail of buying this foot like it was the Holy Grail for 1/4″ seam creation. (which it very well may be… with caveats!)
So I infused my brain cells with a first cup of coffee this morning before trying to figure out if this Babylock/Brother/Distinctive foot would work on the 7700.
The answer is “Yes”… with a catch. (aaargh… doesn’t it seem this is the way *all*the*time* when dealing with that single hole needle plate ?!?!?)
Here’s the deal: The foot fits fine on the 7700 – it snaps on. The needle will go through it without hitting anything. Yay. But….. the center needle position on the 7700 is not on the center of this foot. So you have to de-center your needle if you buy this foot… and that means no using the APC gizmo. (I’m starting to wonder why Janome even bothered with this single hole needle plate thing – seems I can never use it!)
So here’s the glory of having a blog… we get pics to show everything! … Here’s more detail for those of you that are interested:
Remember, I admit to being a super-lousy photographer! But the pic above *does* show how goofy off-center the ankle is to the center needle position on the 7700. The only two things to look at above are these: 1. See the single needle plate hole? 2. Look directly above it and see how off-center it is to the ankle. Oh… and while we’re at it… see how off center the ankle is to everything else on the machine: the feed dogs, the regular needleplate hole… get it?
This means that you can’t just slap on a foot you buy off the internet or borrow from another machine and think it’s going to line up correctly. It might. But it might not.
Into my second cup of coffee… lol… I tried to really figure out why all of this seems so messed up. Here’s a few of the highlights:
1. Do like I did above. Try this: Take off whatever snap on foot you have on your machine right now – but leave the ankle on the machine (the part with the button on it that attaches to the snap on feet). Lower it down. Have a needle in the machine (it helps for the visual)… Now see *if* the width of the ankle is on center to the single hole needle plate or the needle (if you have your needle in center needle position) ????
On my Janome, this is messed up.
This means that if you take a foot from another machine that ::::gasp::::: actually has every part centered to each other (the ankle, the foot, the center needle position, single hole needle plate, etc) … anyway… take a foot from a common sense machine or footsie manufacturer and right off the bat you’re going to have to compensate for the off-centeredness of the 7700.
2. So I did put that foot on the 7700. Read carefully – I’m choosing my words carefully here: The center of the *hole* in the foot for the needle *IS* set up to create a nice scant 1/4 inch seam – meaning *if* the needle is in the center __of the hole__ in the foot, the space between the needle and the metal guide *is* spaced correctly. (That’s more than I can say for that stinkin’ O2 foot!) Here it is:
BUT… that said… if you put that foot on the 7700 … you have to de-center the needle to get it into the center of this foot because Janome, in their infinite wisdom, for some freaky reason, decided to make their feet off center to the ankle. I know I’m being redundant.. but get it? No using the single-hole APC gizmo.
Important note: The picture above was taken with my needle in the 3.5/center needle position. I put white fabric under the foot so it’s easier to see details. On this foot (because the *&$% ankle is off center on the 7700), the needle is dangerously close to the right side of the opening in the foot – it’s almost rubbing on the foot. It can’t be used this way… so it’s **VERY** important to decenter your needle to the left … to about 2.9 on my machine (instead of 3.5) to get the scant 1/4″ seam. The numbers on your machine will vary if you don’t have a 7mm wide stitch width machine.
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4. My opinion for us 7700 owners: We need a stinkin’ O3 foot. Imagine: A foot that actually has an accurate scant 1/4 inch between the center of the hole of the foot and the metal guide… AND… that the center of the hole of the foot (where the needle *should* go!) is actually set up to use the 3.5 setting on the machine so…. :::::gasp again::::: we could actually use the APC single hole needle plate gizmo. What a concept.
5. I’m only speaking for my 7700 here.. so if you have any other incarnation of Janome (or any brand, for that matter).. hopefully this will give you an insight to why it can be difficult to achieve accurate stitching on your machine if all of this crazy off-centered wonkiness is screwing up what you think your’e lookin’ at when you’re stitchin’.
6. The same problem… (to continue the rant… I’m in the mood) … anyway… the same problem exists with some of the other feet. Seems those Japanese don’t seem to appreciate just keeping things centered to other parts of the machine – which throws the eye off. This situation exists with a few other feet… Here’s the first one:
Just wanted to show two of the standard feet… the one on the left (Janome “A”) bugs the heck out of me! If you look closely.. there is this weird “squiggle” opening just before the needle. That messes me up when I’m trying to make a precision top stitch or something of that nature. (someone tell me why the opening can’t just be straight up the middle?)
So more often than not, if I’m doing something that requires precision on the Janome, I use the foot on the right (Janome “F” – or open toe). At least that one doesn’t have anything distracting about the foot itself. But for me… and this might just be an old-dogs-new-tricks thing… the fact that foot is attached wonky to the ankle still throws my eye off.
One more thing while we’re on this… something to look at carefully when you’re buying feet…. *if* you’re buying a foot that is taking advantage of both sides of feed dogs – look at the foot carefully to see if the mounting rod is centered on the foot… or if it is off-centered. Here’s a pic to show the difference between the Babylock/Brother feet I have and their Janome equivalent:
Again, I lined up the mounting rods on the graph paper. I also lined them up so the center stitching line is represented by a line on the graph paper. See how these feet are not mounted the same? The ones on the left (Janome) have their rods decentered to the left on each foot. The ones on the right (Babylock/Brother/Distinctive) are centered.
In the case of the clear open toe feet… ugh… just think, Janome… would it have killed you to put a center mark on the foot like the Brother/Babylock folks do?
And in the case of the “A” vs “J” standard foot… look how much better the foot is marked/constructed so that your eye isn’t drawn off center from the center needle position line. (That squiggle opening on the A foot is so weird!) . The marking on the “J” foot doesn’t have any distracting qualities.
A light bulb went off while I was writing this post! I think one of the reasons I have such a big appreciation for the DFG (Dual Feed Gizmo… aka: AccuFeed) feet on the Janome is because they attach so high to the post of the machine that it doesn’t throw your eye off as anything being off centered. Look at the picture below….
Look how nice the foot is centered to everything else on the machine… the feed dogs, the *needle* (what a concept!) …
And on my own open toe DFG footsie (shown above) … I actually took a sharpie pen and made a mark on the foot (better than any markings Janome is doing!!!!) so that I could see the actual center of that foot for when I’m doing something precision.
Toodles for now…
Sally aka: RipStitcher. <— known for being a little more detail oriented than the average sewist. LOL