I’ve been asked recently if I had any tips/tutorials for a cut & hem sewing machine attachment foot. Although I don’t use this foot for bag making, it’s a really useful gadget for other sewing jobs. It’s perfect for shortening hems and finishes off the raw edges very neatly, all at the same time. A good gadget to use, but a bit of a headache to work out at first, so I’m hoping you’ll find this post useful. If you’ve used this attachment before, please feel free to add your own hints and tips to this post too. Any further advice will be much appreciated, I’m sure.
The first time I used this attachment, I spent absolutely ages trying to figure how to use it. The instructions were useless and it took me almost an hour to just work out how to put the fabric into it! I was ready for chucking it in the bin in total disgust but then suddenly, bingo! I’d got it and I was amazed at what it did. So, I’m hoping that this little tutorial might save you a lot wasted time and frustration.
First of all, here’s a picture of it:
It has a little cutting blade which cuts the fabric a tiny bit at a time as it feeds it through the attachment and then the fabric is zig-zag stitched over the newly cut edge, whilst being slightly folded over. It makes a very narrow and neat little hem.
So how do you attach it? That’s the first hurdle to get over. Set the stitch width to the maximum (usually 5mm) and lift the needle to highest position and ensure the presser foot lever is up.
Unscrew the currently attached presser foot from your machine (refer to your machine’s user guide if needed). Lift the hook arm on the cut & hem attachment.
Bring the cut & hem attachment toward the presser bar, from the rear, place the hook arm onto the shaft of the needle clamp screw. Then screw the attachment into place on the presser bar. Make sure it’s on nice and tight and sitting straight. Check that the needle isn’t going to hit the presser foot by turning the hand wheel to bring the needle down.
I strongly suggest that you practice using this foot a few times, before you use it on a piece of clothing. It’s really fiddly to get the hang of at first but once you get used to it you’ll gain the confidence to tackle some alterations jobs.
So, get some decent sized scraps of fabric to try it out on. Take a piece of fabric and make a cut of about 2cm in length, parallel to the edge of the fabric. This will start off the edge to be cut and sewn.
You need to place the start of the fabric over the raised ‘guide plate’ section at the front of the foot, with the right hand edge (side to be cut off) going to the right of the little cutter blade and the left hand edge (to be hemmed), going to the left of the cutter and then feed this edge under the foot (after the guide plate section). This edge should be now be sitting directly under the needle.
Ensure the needle/bobbin threads are going under and away at the back of the foot, pulling on them gently to ensure there’s no slack. Lower the presser foot lever, bring the needle down and start stitching slowly. Allow the fabric to feed through the attachment at it’s own pace and just gently guide the fabric to stop it slipping to the side. When you get to the end of the fabric edge, stop stitching and lift the presser foot lever. Remove the fabric from underneath the foot by taking it toward the back of the machine, as the last few stitches will be wrapped around the little metal arm that forms the rolled over hem. The fabric will get stuck on this if you try to remove it to the side or towards you. Here’s my newly cut and stitched hem…
Well, I hope that helps. I’m no expert with this foot, by any means, just wanted to share my experience with it so that it might help others to give it a try. Any helpful contributions about this presser foot will be welcome.