… especially gadgets that work! (Blogger's photo uploading over the last few days, on the other hand, not so much. Grrrr.)
This is one of Babylock's single downturn fellers. The 1/4" version, to be exact. I have all three — 1/4", 5/8", and 1". I bought these from my Babylock dealer before I ever stumbled on "the Ebay guy" and his industrial generics. (And those of you with coverstitch machines know what an enabler I've been for him ever since!)
Every so often I consider selling these fellers on Ebay or the PR Classifieds because I really don't use them. But I always stop myself and start thinking, "What if …?" Yesterday, I was very glad I've held onto them.
I was helping DS' girlfriend with some costume sewing (which explains the pink and the pacifier fabric you'll see below). We needed to make ruffles. Miles of ruffles. OK, not miles, but almost 10 yards and the thought of hemming nearly 10 yards of strips made it seem like miles. Usually I take the easy way out when making ruffles and just fold over the strip so it's doubled and no hemming is necessary. But GF had a limited amount of fabric and to get all the ruffles we needed meant we had to cut single layers of strips. And then finish the raw edge. Urgh.
Enter 1/4" downturn feller (with a chorus of Hallelujah in the background). Now I know some of you probably own and have tried various hemmer feet for your sewing machines. And most of you have cursed the day you ever bought it/them. They do work, but they are fiddly and then in the middle of a long hem, you blink, and it goes off track. I feel your pain. ;-) Not so with these fellers. They just plain work and you can blink all you want.
The feller is attached to the bed of the coverstitch machine (here, it's just laying on my sewing table, but you get the idea). The fabric is fed into the turning-under-thingie and the feed dogs move the folded edge under the needles where it gets stitched.
This is the back side, where you can see the turning under happening. (And if you look closely, you can also see the reflection of the vent on my sewing room ceiling!)
This is what the finished ruffle looks like from the top. Yes, there are two rows of stitching at the hem and it's probably not something you'd want on your finest silk blouse, but this is cheap cotton and a costume so I think it looks just fab! And really, it's not like the hem police will ever stop me to issue a citation.
And this is the underside. The raw edge is perfectly and evenly covered by the (ahem) coverstitch. 'Tis a thing o' beauty, ain't she?
After the long strip was hemmed, I ran it through my serger with its gathering foot (another gadget I love) and voila! Perfectly gathered and hemmed ruffles. Minimal effort. And one happy GF.