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Sewing machine compatibility

HelenFWW | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hello All!

My name is Helen and I’m new to Threads. I’ve recently decided to take up sewing after about 10 years. I had taken a couple of classes but I seem to have forgotten just about everything! 🙂

I’ve been trying to collect all the equipment I need and I bought a John Lewis machine. It didn’t come with a zipper foot so now I’m trying to track one down. I keep finding brand name zipper feet online and i’m not sure which ones would be compatible.

Does anyone know if all snap-on zipper feet are created equal. And will they all fit a John Lewis machine?

Thanks for your help!



  1. Sancin | | #1

    No, they are not all created equal. The bar that they snap onto varies in width. I cannot use the Huscuvarna/Viking feet (most often available as generic, it seems) on my Janome. The bar may be narrower or wider, or the generic foot may not line up with the plate hole causing the needle to hit the plate. I have a zipper foot that I really like from an old Elna I had that did not have snap on feet. It needs to be screwed onto the foot holder that goes up and down (forget the name). It is a bit of a pain in the neck to change the foot on short notice, but worth it for the control it has on the stitching.You may want to look into one of these. It will be depend on whether your machine is a slant or short foot. Check out Clotilde's site for an instruction diagram. http://www.clotilde.com/pages/which_foot.html

  2. melanie | | #2

    Helen - if mention of John Lewis means you are writing from the UK I have always found their haberdashery to be very comprehensive and the staff is very knowledgeable. If you must deal by internet I would recommend http://www.jaycotts.co.uk. Open their site and click into "machine feet and accessories". If in any doubt ring them at 01244 394099 - they will give you all the advice you should need and I can vouch for their mail-order efficiency. If in the UK their catalogue is worth having, explaining as it does all the pros and cons of every accessory - especially useful since you are trying to get supplies together.

    Hope this helps.


  3. michgirl | | #3

    hi helen I am also trying to get back to sewing and knitting after more than 10 years away due to graduate school husbands cancer then long illness of my son. I used to do quite a bit of it and seem to feel lost now with where to start. I think it may be therapeutic for me to return to the things I used to enjoy like sewing knitting and gardening but feel like a fish out of water!! I bought the Berina about 12 or maybe more years ago and it sits here- I never hardly used it since purchasing. I lost the video that came with it. I did try it a few times but missed the ease of my old viking I traded in for it. My viking I bought was used previously in a high school home economics classroom. I have a question to ask anyone who may know-I thought I heard this Bernina model is known to be problematic. Can anyone confirm this? It is a Virtuosa 160 model. So many years have passed since I bought it- and I am considering replacing it if it is known for glitches. I went to a dealer and he tried to talk me into buying a newer model of Bernina but I want to really do my homework before I make another purchase. Best of luck to you Helen!

    1. Vick | | #5

      Take everyday and every step one after the other and before you know it, You'll standing in the sunshine.It's better than sitting still  for starting  life again. I totally  understand where you are coming from. My case is slightly different, yet we have similaritys.     Take that sewing machine to a dealer and ask if there is any hope for repairs and perhaps a book or something to go with it. Go over all the parts with the dealer to be sure you still have everything you need. Then join the closest sewing group/quilt group or costume group for little theather. It will do wonders for your soul just being out and doing for others isvery heartwarming. 

  4. Palady | | #4

    MO, the snap-on zipper foot has limitations.  Priamrily to just sewing in zippers.  Though some sewists have been able to adapt it to piping or other close stitching. 

    The caveat using the "old" style is it requries using the thumb-screw to attach it.  A turn off for some to be sure, but manageable.  Especially if one learned to sew befroe the arrival of snap-ons.

    How avaialbe to single toe zipper foot might be depends on your location.  A photo is on the following URL.  Scroll down to - Screw-on Low Vertical Adjustable Zipper Foot #55510   View Image







    ETA - Realize I neglected to acknowledge Sancin offering you a URL for more on this type of foot.





    Edited 6/11/2009 1:23 pm ET by Palady

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