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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2009
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.

I possess some of the older Singer books which include the use of attachments, but I confess I have never previously delved into them, being somewhat daunted by the old, slightly murky black and white photographs and old-fashioned style. This book, with its colour photos, attractive layout and clear instructions has given me the confidence to investigate both the attachments themselves and the older instruction books further.

I love this book and can highly recommend it for fans of vintage sewing machines.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2010
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
on 3 June 2011
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2012
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. Starting with the very basics - how to identify which attachments will fit on your machine, be it low shank, high shank, slant shank or back clamp - it provides clear colour pictures of the commonly found versions of each attachment, and how to use them as well as information about variants you might find.

The following attachments are all covered in the how-to-use guide:
Attachment foot (for use with hammers or binders)
Adjustable hemmer
Adjustable zip or cording foot
Bias cutting gauge (this attachment is for your scissors, rather than the machine itself)
Binder & adjustable binders.
Braiding foot
Buttonholer
Cloth / seam guide
Double shirring foot
Edge stitcher
Felling foot
Foot hemmer
Free motion / darning foot
Gathering foot
Quilting foot & seam guide
Ruffler
Sequin foot
Stitch in the ditch foot
Stocking darner
Tucker
Underbraider
Walking foot
Welting or piping foot
Zigzagger

This book is one I will turn to time and time again. It's absolutely jam packed full of useful information, but laid out in such a way that it is also delightful to look at. A must for anyone interested in vintage sewing machines and their accessories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2012
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2014
I've worked in manufacturing for years and I'm a very experienced multi skilled machinist but only used industrial strait stitch sewing machines and overlockers.
I was given a beautiful vintage sewing machine with feet that I'd not ever used. My partner made industrial machined for manufacturing and we both love leafing through this book.

I've managed locate and print off the original book for my sewing machine the colour photos and the old black and white use both together I will now enjoy sewing again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2014
I bought this after perusing it at the library. It covers vintage sewing machine feet/ attachments. I have an old Singer 201K and a lot of attachments. This book has great photos so you know what you should be doing and the instructions are clear. It doesn't cover all the feet I have but it does cover most of them. A must if you have attachments and want to pass your vintage machine on as a family heirloom, or just want to know how to use them yourself.
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on 8 April 2014
If you own an old Sewing machine or two you may also own or have seen strange metal presser-foot attachments.

Original vintage booklets are illustrated with sooty pictures concerning their use. This book has top quality photographs and even better line drawings where necessary. You will find film clips on YouTube about most attachments but the camera quality and commentary is often very poor. This book cannot and does not teach sewing methods or the use of the various hems and seams; but what it does teach it teaches well. Well laid out and illustrated the designer of this book deserves a medal.
I know of no other publication which covers this subject so well.
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on 5 December 2014
How I wish I could have seen the page "Using Your Attachments". The first sentence was "You have purchased your USED sewing machine" which would have alerted me to the fact that this was not the book I needed. A view of the occasional page would have helped too.
I wanted a book which showed me how to use the attachments in the box of 15 that I purchased a few months ago - this book was no help whatsoever, I am bitterly disappointed and am now dubious whether I should try (blind) purchasing another book. It might have been useful had I just inherited my grandmother's old Singer, but it is no help at all for my lovely Singer Futura 400
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2014
Bought as a present it proved to be exactly what the recipient wanted. Amazon made it available at a very reasonable price and it arrived in good time for Christmas.
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