Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sewing Machine Foot and Accessory Storage

One of the things I miss about my Janome 6600 is the accessory box that came with it. The 6600 is a flat bed machine so there was no little storage area built into the machine bed. This is usually built into that part of the bed that is removed to access the free arm on many machines.

Janome 8200 on-board storage

The Janome 8200 does have a wonderful storage compartment on top of the machine and built into that removable part that exposes the free arm, but since my machine is set into the table with that part off, it's not too handy for foot storage. I could set it next to my machine and use it, but since it's not attached to my machine, it is difficult to open the compartments (Yes, plural. There's great storage on this thing!) without dumping the contents around.


So I emptied out the storage compartments and moved it all to a great little container I picked up in the crafts section of Walmart. It's got one large compartment and 4 long narrow compartments. Plus each compartment can be subdivided with the provided divider pieces. (The brand name is Creative Options and the model # is 3650N Made in the USA by www.planomolding.com)


I left the large compartment as is, so it could hold which ever needle plate I'm not using (Love being able to change out the needle plate with the press of a lever!), Even-feed foot, extra bobbin case and other larger bits. I subdivided the smaller areas to best fit my different feet (those that didn't go on top of the machine) and some extra bobbins.


You can also see in the first picture that I use the spool area on top of my machine to hold the current pack of whatever type of needle I'm using and my screwdriver. I bought the optional cone thread holder for my Janome 8200 and use it for most of my threads. (Love it! Though it isn't as compact as the 6600 for travel.)

Janome makes a very nice accessory and foot box for its MC15000 model and they've made it available separately. It is nice for anyone with Janome's 9mm wide machines, having space for each available foot. But it's too bulky for what I want. My clear box sits in a narrow spot on a shelf within arm's reach of my machine.

What do you do for storage of feet and accessories? I admire what I think of as the Barbie's closet from Bernina, which holds feet and accessories so neatly. I know many quilters use boxes like mine, or a small tackle box. Plus plenty of people make do just fine with the compartments built into their machines. There are some machines that have quite ingenious built-in storage too.

I'd love to hear what works for you as it may be just the thing to work for somebody else! Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you are a no-reply blogger, especially if you ask a question.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Amy; I am having sewing machine envy seeing your new one. I use a plastic cutlery tray. It fits perfectly under my homemade extension table and works well for me...Val

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    1. I have the same machine as Amy, and love it, that's a very clever idea to use a cutlery tray! I might have to nag hubby to drop my machine flush with my work table now :) I like the idea of the box you have too Amy, great for portability, going on retreats etc. Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. I use a divided box too, holds the many feet and keeps the bobbins with the correct machine. I have several machines, and no two uses the exact same bobbin.

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    1. Carole,

      You are so right, keeping the right bobbins with the right machine is very important. You’d be amazed at how many machines are brought into the shop with the wrong bobbin causing the problem!

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  3. I have the 15000 and don't like the accessory case. It has a metal zip that is difficult to zip easily like a nylon one would. I also think the metal one will more easily break.

    I don't like the tray to store the feet - they each have their own slot but I don't think they are deep enough and if you have it open with the foot tray on the top of the other 2 any little nudge causes some of the smaller feet to easily fall out - I 'lost' the clear QO foot within 2 days of getting the machine! I found it a few days later underneath my sewing cabinet - I was glad because that foot was one of the reasons I had for buying the machine.

    I now use it as the second tray down, but that is irritating as I have to lift the top tray just to get at the feet. I'm thinking of getting a plastic container just like yours and using the case for something else!

    I have many vintage machines that came with various different storage ideas - but I like the idea of storing them actually on the machine where they are handy, not in the slide off cover for the free arm (if it has one) that is then awkward and just another thing to have around your sewing table.

    I've started using the plastic containers for my feet - the feet fit 'in' the compartments so there is no fear of them falling out like there is with the 15000 accessory case. Great for bobbins as well.

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    1. I had to go fishing for the QO foot myself at the shop for the MC15000 floor model the other day. Tiny little foot! I found it it the bottom of the case. You could take all three trays out of the case and set them on the sewing table near your machine to avoid the flap, but I'd definitely do like you said, make the foot tray the middle one. But if the set were knocked over---what a mess!

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  4. I use a small fishing tackle box that fits under my sew easy table. It is always within easy reach!

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  5. I use a small fishing tackle box that fits under my sew easy table. It is always within easy reach!

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  6. I use a clear Plano box similar to the one you showed. It slides under the extension table that fits on my BL Symphony. I wrote the name of each foot on a square of paper and put that in the bottom of each compartment so I know what is missing, just in case a foot doesn't get returned right away. I have a similar smaller box that I keep with my Janome 1050 that I use for classes.

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    1. Tammy,

      That’s a great idea and so organized. I had never heard of the Plano company before buying this box, but it’s much better made than some of Walmart’s typical craft storage boxes I’ve bought before.

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  7. I don't use the case that came with my Bernina. Instead, I bought a sewing chair (covered with a sewing-themed Michael Miller fabric) whose seat is a lid for storage underneath. I keep my sewing machine bits and feed in there. Makes me need to hop up now and again, but it's not inconvenient.

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  8. I don't use my Bernina's "Barbie Closet" case, either. I have way too many feet and gizmos to fit in there, and it was inconvenient to have to stand it up on the sewing cabinet and I'd always knock it over. I use a clear storage box with dividers, like yours, only mine is big enough to take up an entire silverware drawer. I keep my presser feet in numerical order and most of them are two to a compartment. I keep my extra throat plates (9 mm, 5.5mm, and straight stitch only) as well as spool caps, screwdriver and oil, height compensation tool, etc. in that box, too.

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    1. I saw a photo of a Bernina user’s studio and she had several of the “closets” laid down in a drawer. I think she may have had them at an angle in the drawer (think like those fancy drawer organizers for spices). I know it made me green with envy to be that organized.

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  9. I like the little tool box that came with my 6500 and I really missed it when I got my 7700 which like your Horizon is set into my table. Most of the feet and tools are still in the bag that they came in. Shame on me! I really should get a little box to store them in!

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