Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Peggy vs the Machine: the Invisible Zipper Wars

Several months ago, I purchased a new machine--my first computerized one: a Babylock Elizabeth.  For the most part, I like the machine, but there are a couple of things that are quite annoying.  One problem I thought was my fault rather than the machine's, but I've now changed my mind.
So this problem - the one that actually isn't my fault (!) - has to do with invisible zipper application.  I used to be able to insert these with no problem, but with the Elizabeth, it was more likely that I either sewed too far from the teeth or sewed on top of the teeth.  And yes, I was using an invisible zipper foot--the one sold and made for Babylock machines.

I don't know if I'm delusional (that's another post!), but it seems like the tracks in the invisible zipper foot (the ones that go over the teeth) are too shallow.  I think this is why I had such a hard time controlling the beast.  I HATE that I'd carefully construct the rest of a garment but be freaked out at the thought of applying the invisible zipper because maybe the zipper application would look good,  but it was more likely to be less than desired.

I tried all sorts of things, I read every tutorial I could find, I practiced and practiced and practiced. But the results were the same and I was disheartened.  All along, I thought that if only I could have a zipper foot with deeper grooves, my problems might be solved.  And then it came to me in another head-slapping "Duh!" moment:  use a different machine.  As it happens, I have my old, old, old machine, a Bernina 930 Record that I bought (I think) in 1983--I hadn't used it in a long time, and it undoubtedly needs a major tune-up, but I thought trying to install an invisible zipper with it was worth a try.   
Back in when the Bernina was my go-to machine, I used one of those plastic invisible zipper feet--I don't think Bernina made one back then.  But now they do, so to give myself as much as an advantage as possible, I went to my local Bernina dealer and bought a $40+ Bernina foot.  Just looking at it, I could tell the grooves were deeper than the Babylock's.  And guess what? This story has a happy ending!  I've now installed two invisible zippers in garments using the Bernina, and I think they're fabulous!  Whew!  Here's one of the installations highlighted by the blue box:
I'd forgotten how much I liked the Bernina.  This baby purrs when it sews!

I'll show you the finished skirt as soon as I hem it.  In the meantime, happy sewing!

 ~ Peggy

6 comments:

  1. I can't even see the zipper and you matched the fabric really good! Mary

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    1. Many thanks, Mary! I can't tell you how happy I am that I can confidently insert invisible zippers again!!

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  2. Looks like a perfect application, Peggy! I have heard great things about that little Bernina model. I'm sorry to hear the BL foot isn't working out for you. Have you talked to your dealer? I recently bought a computerized BL (my first computerized model also), but haven't tried a zipper yet. I'll be checking it out!

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    1. Hi Andrea ~ Thanks for your comments! No, I probably should have talked to the Babylock dealer--not sure why I didn't. Do let me know how you fare with the invisible zipper foot. I hope you have much better luck than I did!

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  3. You'd never know that zip was there. Glad you've found a solution!

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    1. Thank you, Catherine! I love the coat you're working on.

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