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Topic: my sewing machine does not have the fraction seam allowances on the thoat plate  (Read 3054 times)
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bookwormbethie
« on: June 18, 2009 01:39:41 PM »

Hi y'all.  I have a Brother XR65 sewing machine and love it very very much except for one thing:  there are no fraction engravings for seam allowances on the throat plate, you know, 1/4" , 1/2" , 5/8" etc.....

It does have some type of square grid box (to the right of the needle) engraved on the throat plate though that has 4 columns and 6 rows (the columns are all the same lenght and width, and the rows all have the same width) and at the top of the square grid box is says 10 20 30

My needle can be adjusted in varying increments from the far left to the far right.  I've fiddled with it and  used a tape measure and it seems no matter where I position the needle, the 10 20 30 lines do not correspond to 1/2" or 5/8" which are common seam allowances.

So...... my questions are twofold: 
(1)  Is my machine a rare exception, do most sewing machines have seam allowances engraved on the throat plate?

(2)  My hubby is a professional carpenter and says he has tools that he could engrave the throat plate for me and put in 1/2" and 5/8" lines.  He is talented and precise and I trust that he wil do a good job.  If he does this for me, what position should my needle be in when we take 1/2" and 5/8" measurements?  Should my needle be in the center position?  far left?  far right? 

As for right now, I'm getting by by marking 1/2" and 5/8" with a small piece of blue painters tape and using a dritz magnetic seam guide to keep my sewing accurate.

thanks in advance for advice!

bethie
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TheDishclothQueen
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2009 02:25:25 PM »


(1)  Is my machine a rare exception, do most sewing machines have seam allowances engraved on the throat plate?

(2)  My hubby is a professional carpenter and says he has tools that he could engrave the throat plate for me and put in 1/2" and 5/8" lines.  He is talented and precise and I trust that he wil do a good job.  If he does this for me, what position should my needle be in when we take 1/2" and 5/8" measurements?  Should my needle be in the center position?  far left?  far right? 

1.)  Yes, most machines have the seam allowances engraved on, at least most I've seen.  But there are exceptions (such as yours), and they're not really that rare.

2.)  You want the needle to be in the center position.  That is, unless you typically sew with your needle in the far left or right postition, but I'm willing to bit large sums of money that that is not the case...so go with the center!
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de_sjiem
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009 07:44:23 PM »

I"m thinking that the grid on your machine are metric seam allowances...  (10 mm, 20 mm, 30 mm etc) and as such would not match up with Standard inches :-)
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009 03:50:45 AM »

On many vintage machines there are no seam markings at all.  For certain models, aftermarket needleplates with marking is available, but for many they're not. 

So, I made a stick-on label of sorts using my CAD software.  I marked a cross point where the needle should be, stuck in on a clean needle plate and used a razor to trim off the excess.  I happen to have some white labels to print them on, but the next batch is going to be on clear, laser printed labels. 

I don't have a photo of just the label, but you can see it in use in my latest blog entry about hemming pants/jeans on a flat bed machine.  Once I get the clear ones, I will do an entry about them.  I'm sure you could do something similar by hand with a ruler and straight edge on a plain sticker/label.
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009 02:40:58 PM »

I sometimes just put a piece of blue tape (masking tape) on the plate to mark the seam allowance I want.  It's easier to see.

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bookwormbethie
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2009 06:50:18 AM »

thanks for the tips y'all.  it seems it would be easier to tape something to the throat plate (making sure it doesn't overlap the bobbin holder or get in the way of the screws to take off the throat plate for cleaning, etc...) rather than engraving on the throat plate....

I do have a mark for 1/2" and 5/8" with painters tape but when I move my magnetic seam guide around, sometimes it peels up the tape.... i'll just have to tape down my new seam guide more securely and be careful when i move the magnetic seam guide

magnetic seam guide:
http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat3281&PRODID=prd13157
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