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Old 03-06-2007, 02:00 PM
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Q About Zipper Foot

I just got a zipper foot today for the Tacsew. After installing it, I can see how this foot becomes a favorite.

My question is, I noticed there are teeth on the bottom side of the needle foot ... but there are no teeth on the bottom sides of the needle-feet on my regular foot or on my welting foot -- is there a reason that there are teeth on the bottom of the needle foot for the zipper foot but *not* on the other types of feet?

This makes me favor the zipper foot for yet another reason -- it seems to me that there's gonna be a better movement of the material with teeth on the bottom of the needle foot ... yes?

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Old 03-10-2007, 11:55 AM
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There are teeth on the feed dog and also on the throat plate that pull the fabric through as the feet walk above them. I don't know why there are teeth on your zipper foot. I sew zippers (and everything else, for that matter) with my welt foot.
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:20 PM
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Interesting. The zipper foot is the only foot that has teeth on the needle foot ... but it's cool because there's certainly less chance for any slippage when it's pulling the material forward with each stitch.
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Old 03-10-2007, 06:39 PM
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I have the standard foot on my machine and I really want to get a welting foot, but I'm a bit confused by all the options available. I've found welting feet that fit my machine everywhere from 1/4" up to 3/4" (now that's some BIG welt!) If it were you, Dan, which size would you get first? Is there a size that you would consider to be "standard" or even "most common?" Also, do you prefer Left or Right side welting feet, and why?

Man, whodathunk sewing could get so complicated?
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:08 PM
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HA! Wait till you start doing your first few projects! LOL! I was going to make some boots today (shifter, hand and foot brakes) ... but I wound up bringing my shifter knob in the house and spent all day (7 hours) trying to make a leather cover for it.

On my 7th try, I nailed it -- check it out Here

PS - My guess on the most common welting foot is 1/4".
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty82
If it were you, Dan, which size would you get first?
Dusty: Sorry I didn't answer you sooner, I've been really busy.
You must have a presser foot on your machine now. I use a 1/4" welt foot to sew straight seams and almost everything else, including zippers. It takes the welt on the left side of the needle bar. I use #5 Marine zipper tape (wider tape, bigger teeth) in 100 yard rolls. If you want to see how I do a zipper, I can take some pictures, but you don't see zippers in car interiors very much. The only other welt feet I have are 3/8" and 5/8". The 3/8" is for larger welt than the standard 5/32". The 5/8" is used to make windlace with 1/2" sponge rod for around door openings. I use 4/32" or 3/32" plastic foam type weltcord for auto and boat interiors. This is smaller than the standard 5/32", but the thickness of leather and vinyl make up the difference. I don't like to use welting in cars because it's the first thing to wear out. Anyway......start with a 1/4" welt foot. You won't need any others for a while.

Alan: I looked at your boot, and you absolutely nailed it! Congratulations!

Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 03-14-2007 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:47 AM
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Thanks, Dan!

My Boot Projects
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Dusty: Sorry I didn't answer you sooner, I've been really busy.
I understand completely. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
You must have a presser foot on your machine now. I use a 1/4" welt foot to sew straight seams and almost everything else, including zippers. It takes the welt on the left side of the needle bar.
I do have a standard presser foot, and I'm looking at a few other feet on that unnamed auction site. I was just confused as to which size was the better one to get started with. I'm going to be doing some welting in my boat's upholstery, and I figure I need to get started practicing on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
I use #5 Marine zipper tape (wider tape, bigger teeth) in 100 yard rolls. If you want to see how I do a zipper, I can take some pictures, but you don't see zippers in car interiors very much.
Funny you should mention zippers... I'd love to see some pics on zippers. I have about 20 yards of zipper, but I have no idea what size - it's pretty much what you'd find on blue jeans, except on white fabric. I have the zipper slides and ends too, but no idea how to install them. One of the projects I have around the house will require zippers, so if you ever find time to post pics, I'd be grateful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
The only other welt feet I have are 3/8" and 5/8". The 3/8" is for larger welt than the standard 5/32". The 5/8" is used to make windlace with 1/2" sponge rod for around door openings.
When I finally get to the point of upholstering my panel van, I'm going to need to make the door opening trim as well. Thanks for answering that question before I even knew I had it to ask!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
I use 4/32" or 3/32" plastic foam type weltcord for auto and boat interiors. This is smaller than the standard 5/32", but the thickness of leather and vinyl make up the difference. I don't like to use welting in cars because it's the first thing to wear out. Anyway......start with a 1/4" welt foot. You won't need any others for a while.
One of the things I got with this machine is a complete spool of 5/32" TrimFlex welting - it looks like plastic tubing to me. The spool says 500, but I don't know if that's feet or yards - probably feet, right? There are 4 spools of 1 1/4" Velcro too, but I don't know if they're complete spools. I'm not much for welting in automotive interiors myself, for the very same reason - I've noticed they wear out first too. I like Alan's French Seam idea much better. Thanks for the reply and all of the other info! I'm off to bid on the 1/4" welting foot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Alan: I looked at your boot, and you absolutely nailed it! Congratulations!
Ditto! Looks great Alan! Dude, you're smokin'. Three projects done already, and I haven't even started my first - still learning the feel of the machine.

S'ok. I'm making my machine cover this weekend, then I'm going to start on a couple of household projects. The boat will soon follow.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:52 PM
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Thanks, Dusty ... I sure did get a lot done this week! And I'm *really* enjoying the sewing!! Now I'm worried ... if I don't have a project to sew for a day or two, I know I'm gonna start going through withdrawal!

I hope you'll be posting pictures of all you do.

PS -- Hey, Dan: Suppose I wanted to cover the rubber welting that goes around my doors with leather ... would I do okay with a zipper foot or do I *need* to use a welting foot?
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:52 PM
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Dusty: I will post some zipper pics for you. (and everybody else) If you are going to start with a boat interior, you can use the 5/32 cord (which is probably 500 feet), but 4/32 plastic foam welt cord will not turn out so fat. ( I hate fat welts!!!!!) The zipper tape you have is probably not marine size 5 plastic, it's probably #5 aluminum or plastic. The reason I use #5 marine plastic zipper tape is very selfish. Regular metal or aluminum zipper tape has an arrow pointing to the direction the zipper head has to go. With the plastic marine tape, the zipper head can go in either direction, and it's stronger than regular zipper tapes. It's also 1 1/4 " wide which works out perfect with the welt foot I use. I can hook you up for all the raw materials you need, and any tips on boat interiors you can stand. Send me a PM.

Alan: I can sew you whatever you need for windlace for around the interior of your doors. Send me an e-mail with the length, and I will tell you what to cut.

Dan

Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 03-14-2007 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:44 AM
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Thanks, Dan.

I'll email you about the situation with my windlace.
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Dusty: I will post some zipper pics for you. (and everybody else) If you are going to start with a boat interior, you can use the 5/32 cord (which is probably 500 feet), but 4/32 plastic foam welt cord will not turn out so fat. ( I hate fat welts!!!!!) The zipper tape you have is probably not marine size 5 plastic, it's probably #5 aluminum or plastic. The reason I use #5 marine plastic zipper tape is very selfish. Regular metal or aluminum zipper tape has an arrow pointing to the direction the zipper head has to go. With the plastic marine tape, the zipper head can go in either direction, and it's stronger than regular zipper tapes. It's also 1 1/4 " wide which works out perfect with the welt foot I use. I can hook you up for all the raw materials you need, and any tips on boat interiors you can stand. Send me a PM.
Will do Dan! And thanks in advance for the pictures. The zipper I have looks like it has brass teeth. Then again it might just be some kind of goldtone on the metal. I'll post a pic later today.

I won't need any zippers on the boat - the upholstery is stapled to the plywood cushion base like a flat panel. See the pictures below. We're having a stretch of good weather right now (80 degrees on Monday) but they're talking snow again next week. Once spring has officially sprung, I have to replace the floor in the boat, then I start on the upholstery. I need a good stretch of temperatures of at least 65 degrees to do the fiberglassing that I need to do.

Here are a couple of pics of the boat seats as I got the boat. I'm just going to replace the lounge seats, then reupholster the rest of it myself. I found the seats I like, and got the manufacturer to send me a couple of samples of the vinyl they use on their seats so I can match colors. I found a local supplier for marine grade carpeting ($8 a yard) so that won't be too bad.

Jon & The Moderators: I'm not trying to turn this into a boat forum, or get this so far off topic that Admin feels the need to say something, I'm just trying to convey what I'm trying to do, and I'm sure the techniques have an automotive application - they will when I do my GMC, that's for sure.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:42 AM
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You will need several sizes of welting feet if you plan on doing much of it and get several sizes welt cord. The upholstery material goes around the cord and fits in the groove of the welt foot. Thicker material a given cord size requires a larger groove welt foot. I have several but rarely use them. I prefer the standard foot for general use. I use the zipper foot for windlace. I spray a little adhesive on the material and some on the windlace rubber, wrap the material around, then sew down the backside fairly close to the rubber with the zipper foot. Works better than the welt foot IMO. Zippers are not used in auto upholstery but is used in furniture work in the seats usually. Boat upholstery and marine canvas uses a lot of zippers and you will need some specialized attachments for your machine if you plan on doing any of that. The largest selection of machine attachments at the best price can be found here: http://www.cutsewservice.com/index2.htm
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:55 AM
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Dusty: Here's how to do a zipper. You need to know the width of the finished zipper. Let's say it's 6 inches. Divide that by 2 and add 1" to each side, so you have two pieces 4" wide. The zipper tape comes in long rolls, so you can make any length you want. Turn one piece of the fabric upside and fold it over about 1/2". Put the foot right next to the teeth of the zipper and sew the tape down from one end to the other. Do the same with the other piece so that both sides are secured to the tape. This will leave you a zipper that is slightly wider than you need. Trim off the excess to the finished size you need. Slide on a zipper head and the zipper is ready to use.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:56 AM
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Here are the last two pictures of the zipper. The zipper was sewed with a 1/4" welt foot on the machine, but your presser foot will work just as well. You do not need any special attachments to do this. Sorry if this is off the scope of this bulletin board.
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