Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial
How To Use A Side Cutter (Cut and Hem) Sewing Machine Foot
The cut and hem sewing machine foot is a brilliant little gadget. It converts your standard sewing machine into a basic overlocker for a fraction of the price and storage space.
To use the side cutter, first you need to unscrew your standard sewing machine foot.
Line the prong part up to cradle your needle screw so the cut and hem is able to move as your needle does. It is easiest to line it up if you sneak up on your sewing machine from behind!
Now pivot the foot so that the claw looking part lines up with the screw hole, and screw into place.
Pull your thread into the gap in the centre of the side cutter then out behind.
You need to make a snip of a couple of centimetres in the fabric to get started. This is because the material needs to pass through far enough inside the foot for the needle to pierce the fabric next to a raw edge to begin an overlocking action.
To feed your fabric into the side cutter, pass your material over the plate closest to you, but under the part that looks like a standard foot. The bumped out black section in the centre is the blade, so be careful not to get your fingers too close to this as you sew. Push the cut edge of the fabric gently up to the edge of the blade.
Most sewing machines come with a couple of stitches designed to be sewn over the edge, so either select one of these, or a wide zigzag. Double check that the stitch you picked avoids the centre bar by manually moving the needle up and down first.
Now your ready to start sewing like you own an overlocker! I would however recommend that you have a practice on some scraps before you attack your favourite expensive material, as once fabric is cut off, it is very difficult to undo any mistakes. For that same reason, I would also suggest that marking a line on the wrong side of the fabric and sewing this way up will limit your chance of errors too.
As you sew, you will notice that the blade cuts at the same speed as your stitches are sewn, and the stitches wrap around the centre bar. It does this to maintain the perfect tension before sliding them off and around the edge of your fabric. This stops the edge getting pulled out of place.
Once you are finished, you need to slide any remaining stitches off the centre bar, so gently pull the fabric backwards before pulling away.
You can leave your edge like this..
But for most projects, you will want to turn the edge up out of sight, so I rolled up the bottom, pinned in place, and with a quarter inch quilting foot that has a handy little guide for lining the fabric edge up against, I quickly can stitch a perfect line 1/4 inch from the bottom.
The finished result looks neat and professional and took me all of 5 minutes!
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