My curiosity into the different methods of producing a hemstitch continues with the Singer Imitation Hemstitcher, Simanco Part Number 120687.
This is a large presser foot which attaches in the normal, low-shank manner to the left hand side of the presser bar, with the bulk of the attachment seated to the right; that is within the harp of the sewing machine. It features a small needle hole through which the needle passes and immediately in front of this a raised metal cushion over which the top layer of fabric is fed and it is the fact that the two layers are then held some 5mm apart from one another when the stitch is formed that forms the ladder stitch.
The first thing which caught my attention was that as the fabric must be fed into place within and around the foot before stitching commences it is not easy to start the hemstitching from the very edge of the fabric and although I may be able to figure this out later it is not immediately obvious how this may be easily accomplished. The Hemstitch Fork by Stoppax is much simpler in this respect.
Stitching with the foot in place was very easy. As is usual with hemstitching I loosened the upper tension right off as the ladder stitch looks much neater without the lockstitch happening half way across the ladder ‘rungs’. It was simple and quick to stitch a long length of hemstitching (simpler than with the Stoppax fork which needs to be moved along periodically) but because it is not so simple to keep the fabric evenly taut as one stitches, I felt that the overall stitch quality was nowhere near as consistent and well-tensioned as that obtained by the hemstitch fork. With the fork, it (the fork) is kept held up taut against the fold in the fabric which makes it very easy to guide the fabric whilst maintaining an even tension but because the imitation hemstitcher parts two layers of fabric the edge of which is open on the right hand side, it is difficult to maintain as even a stitch.
Easy, but I still prefer a hemstitching fork.
All content copyright HA Lewington 2010