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The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook Paperback – 26 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publications (26 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896899233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896899230
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Charlene Phillips owns and operates The Sew Box where she collects and sells used machines and attachments, as well as provides history on various vintage machines. She has run a successful seamstress business for over 10 years. She is also an educator, teaching sewing and quilting.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By pitmillie on 14 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While it is perhaps true that owners and collectors of vintage sewing machines will get the most out of this book, many of these attachments are still available to buy new and I gather they can be used on many modern machines, so the previous one star review seems to be rather unfair. I would say he has simply bought the wrong book and is blaming the author for his own mistake. However, I don't own a modern machine myself, so perhaps I'm not qualified to judge.

What I can say is that if, like me, you love vintage sewing machines and have always been mystified by those boxes of mysterious and ferocious-looking implements that tend to come with them, then this is the book for you! I have been having great fun hunting out the attachments that accompanied my three vintage Singer machines and can now identify a ruffler or a multi-slotted binder on sight! I'm looking forward to the next stage: actually learning to use them by following the guidance in the book.

Twenty-seven attachments are covered, including: seam guide, bias-cutting gauge, binder, tucker, ruffler, foot hemmer, felling foot, embroidery foot, edge stitcher, zigzagger, walking foot, buttonholer and others. One or two, such as the fusible-tape maker, are presumably relatively modern inventions. So you should be able to identify and learn to use the main ones you are likely to find in those green Singer boxes that came with the old machines.

I am emphasizing Singer machines because that is what I happen to own but the book is not necessarily specific to Singer - Greist hemmers are included, there are pictures of a Wilcox and Gibbs chain-stitcher and an introductory section advises on buying a sewing machine, determining shank type and how to clamp attachments on different types of machine.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jacqui B on 28 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a confessed vintage sewing machine addict and this book is wonderful. There are clear pictures of all the attachments and clear instructions on their use.
Those obscure metal gadgets you found in your latest buy can be identified and used. They are great fun to use, and I think quite a few of them can be used on more modern low shank sewing machines. If you love sewing machines and their attachments then buy this book, you won't regret it. It also looks pretty on your coffee table.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By danfoto on 3 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK, we thought this book would be interesting and useful, but we were not really expecting it to be as good as it actually is. In particular, the illustrations are superb and the text is both comprehensive and easy to follow.

Essential reading for anybody who's into hand or treadle-powered sewing machines, especially if they've always wondered what that really weird-looking attachment does that's lurking at the back of the drawer ...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Bromiley on 12 Jun 2012
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First of all: this book is NOT about modern sewing machines, with computerised controls which allow you to do fancy stitches. If you want help with one of those machines, find another book.

This book is very specific in its goal, and the main thrust is focussed on one specific subject - those mysterious attachments that came with vintage sewing machines, or that you found at a junk shop or on EBay. That is not to say that it is narrow in its outlook, as it covers the subject very thoroughly and in a practical, accessible way.

Early sewing machines, and many of the more basic ones made today, are only capable of making one type of stitch - a straight stitch. To overcome the limitations of straight stitch only, ingenious engineers came up with a multitude of little attachments for these basic machines. From a simple seam guide to allow the sewing of parallel lines, right up to a hefty attachment that allows the sewing of complex buttonholes, these attachments transformed the capabilities of a simple straight stitch machine.

The first 25 pages contain a variety of subjects - a brief history of sewing machines, types of sewing machine, what to look for when buying a machine, followed by a handful of pages on how to set up your machine properly and troubleshoot some common problems.

The bulk of the remaining 110 pages is dedicated to the attachments themselves. The author describes all off the commonly found attachments and provides concise instruction in how to use them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chunky cheese on 30 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Depending on what you consider your level of professional sewing ability to be will depend on how helpful you think this book really is.

The chapters are:
1. a brief history of attachments
2. types of sewing machines
3. what to look for in a sewing machine
4. setting up your machine
5. determing your shank type
6. clamping attachments onto your machine
7. using your attachments - attachment foot; cloth guide; bias cutting gauge; binder;bias tape maker and fusible tape maker; adjustable tape stitching presser foot; tucker; ruffler;foot hemmer; hemmer set; sdjustable hemmer; edge stitcher; gathering foot; double shirring foot; adjustable zipper/cording foot; welting foot; felling foot; darning/embroidery/free-motion quilting foot; qilting foot; walking foot; sequin foot; buttonholer; braiding presser foot; underbraider; stich in the ditch foot; stocking darner; zigzagger.

So this is more than a sewing machine attachment book.If you are new to sewing or your machine is old and you have lost the manual, this is a must but if you are a professional then you will proabbly already know lots and this information, and this may only be a revision guide. It covers all machine models and is just as relevant to new models as well as old.

Each foot has a diagram and where necessary which part is which. ie the ruffler. The instructions on some feet can be a little scant and in full on others. It would have been better if the pitures were a little closer and more of them at each stage. There are good websites out there that will show you in film motion how the feet work if you are an intuitive learner and best learn that way. However what is of use, is what choice of feet there is out there, over and above what you find in your sewing box; how to recognise and use them and why they are different. A really useful book.
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