when a hammer is a sewing tool

December 11, 2011

The Hammer In Question

One thing about old sewing machines. They don’t like great big wads of fabric.

Big Wad O' Fabric (aka bag handle)

It’s not because the machines aren’t strong: they are. The problem is with the presser foot.

Presser Foot

The presser foot works, as you might imagine, by pressing the fabric down as you sew. As it presses down, the feed dogs

Presser Foot Again (lifted up to show feed dogs underneath)

grab the fabric and move it forwards.

Which brings us back to the Big Wad O’ Fabric. These machines aren’t designed for sewing them. They’re designed for sewing clothes and quilts and stuff like that. So the presser foot doesn’t lift up enough to accommodate the Big Wad. Even if you can shove your Wad under there, it’ll probably be too tight for the feed dogs to move the fabric forward. Result: ugliness.

So you get your hammer and your block of wood.

Block O' Wood

My block came from the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, but yours doesn’t have to be pretty like mine. Any block will do.

Here comes the technical part. Place your Wad O’ Fabric on your Block O’ Wood. Bang it with your hammer. If you’ve done it right, your Wad will now be flattened.

Proceed with sewing.


4 Responses to “when a hammer is a sewing tool”

  1. I like it when people dazzle me with technical jargon.

  2. Erika said

    I love that sewing machines have a part called “feed dogs.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: