Singer Stocking Darner 35776 used with Simanco 171071 Darning Foot

One of the best parts about collecting Singer attachments is that with the odd exception (the Hemstitch & Picot Edger) they are all utterly practical.  So, in harmony with the resurgence of interest in make-do-and-mend necessitated by the ongoing financial squeeze my most recent acquisition is a Singer Stocking Darner.  Yes, I can do it by hand but unless I take tremendous time and effort (which is above the worth of the article being darned) the result is not as smooth and comfortable as a machine-made darn.  I have, up until now, used my Singer Featherweight 222k with its own darning hoop and foot (Simanco 171074 and 171071 respectively) or else a normal, wooden hand-embroidery hoop and foot 171071 on my 201k.

The trouble with a normal hoop is that it is almost impossible to keep the rest of the sock from contracting back over the area one is trying to sew so in addition to trying to lightly move the hoop around the darn area ones fingers must also splay apart and keep the offending fabric at bay…so my attention turned to a Stocking Darner.

What a joy!  It is effortless in use. 

Before you start, make sure that the bobbin thread is up through the needle plate and then take off the presser foot.  You might find it easier to get the hoop into position if you also take the needle out.  Drop or cover the feed dogs (although to be honest on my 201k I just turn the stitch length to 0 and leave them up).

Now take the spring off the external rim of the darner, turn all the hooks inwards and with your left hand inside your sock, hole over the palm, grasp the darner through the sock, centralize the hole to be darned and then attach the spring to hold the fabric taut.  Once this is done, turn the rest of the sock down off your hand and onto the darner and turn the hoops outwards over the rim so that they pull the rest of the sock upwards and outwards, beyond and well out of the way of the stitching area.  If it proves awkward getting the hoop under the needle you may find it easier to turn one or two of them back in again to avoid scratching your machine bed.

Once the hoop is in place on the machine, attach the darning foot and if you took the needle out earlier, put it back in again now.

Place both hands lightly on the darner and move it gently, darning just as you would with a normal hoop.  That’s really all there is to it.  When you’ve finished, cut the threads and you’re done.  You might need to remove the foot and the needle again before removing the hoop but the result is well worth the inconvenience.  The benefit over a hand worked one (by which I mean one which largely draws the edges together rather than the longer, weaving method) is that it is perfectly flat and this really is terribly important with socks.

Another triumph from Singer.

The sock, the darner and the darner spring.

The sock in place and ready to darn. This is the side which will be face down against the machine bed.

This is the uppermost side, the one which will be facing upwards when the item is being darned.

This is a close-up of the darning foot in place. It will have to be removed before the hoop is put in position as the hoop is too bulky to pass beneath it.

This is the darner in place, ready to sew. Note how the hooks on the darner are folded back on themselves, holding the rest of the sock clear of the sewing area.

A close-up of the area about to be darned, showing the bobbin thread drawn up through the foot ready to start sewing. This prevents the bobbin thread being oversewn underneath which can be unsightly.

The darn being sewn up on the machine.

The completed darn.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Gail Braymen
    Jan 27, 2016 @ 19:02:29

    Thank you very much for this post and the great pictures. I don’t quite understand how the darning foot magically filled in that big hole, though. Did it pull the sides of the hole together?
    I’m also wondering if the darning foot could be used for machine quilting. I have a White Rotary treadle machine and have done some machine quilting with it, but, using the regular presser foot, the quilt top tends to move and bunch up over distances.

    Reply

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