This is quite a selfish posting as I'm typing it for my benefit really as it concerns my sewing machine and zig zag stitch. Over the last couple of days, I've tried so many variations of pressure, tension, feet, stitch width, stitch length but to no avail. I was at the point of throwing the stupid thing out of the window and actually enjoying the sound of it smash on the path. I've had this machine for over 15 years; it's travelled thousands of miles with me but I was so frustrated why something so simple was beating me, when I've zig-zagged tonnes of times. It was serviced in 2010 and declared fit for action, so it's not as if it's an abandoned sad old thing - he does get used regularly. Yes, it must be a he. No question.
Anyway... after a plea for help from Maeri at the Make and do studio in Stockton Heath, I carried on with practising different variations possible and I've now mastered it. I can't believe it feels like such an achievement just to do zig-zag stitch but hey, ho, such is life. I've taken a photo and I'm going to note down here what the set up is, so if ever in the future, I feel beaten again, I can remember about this post and save myself, so to speak.
I've got foot A in there.
Zig-zag width at just past 3.
Stitch length at 0.5
Pressure dial at 2
Needle thread tension at 2.3
It's a Janome My Excel 18W
This could possibly help someone else looking around the internet for help with this problem, so if this has helped you, please leave a comment about it, as that'll make me feel really good that I've helped someone and stopped them throwing their machine out of the window!
Take care out there - especially when walking under windows of houses where a sewing person lives!