Where did the Hump Jumper come from ?
If like me, you used a folded up piece of cardboard or a plastic needle case, or even a ruler to get over great lumps and bumps in your sewing for years, you may have been delighted to have found a helpful little plastic tool in recent times.
I made a video a while ago about what it is and how to use it:https://youtu.be/U91iJMKJ23g but had no idea of it’s origins
So where did it come from?
The Hump Jumper® was first introduced to the sewing market in 1989 to solve that frustrating sewing problem: stitching over the “hump.” We have never looked back.
I’ve had the chance to chat with the ingenious lady who invented The Hump Jumper® –Sandra S Newman
How did you come up with the idea Sandra?
The idea for The Hump Jumper® originated when I owned a couture bridal shop in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Finding it very frustrating to sew many layers of bridal fabric with even straight stitches, I decided I needed to invent something because sticking paper, wads of material, or whatever under the back of the presser foot was not solving the problem. How I got my dentist friend to create the first Hump Jumper® with a blowtorch and a piece of Plexiglas is one funniest incidences of the whole process.
Sewing since the age of four, I knew if I needed this great idea then every sewer in the world needed one! The hardest was finding a mould maker to make the injection mould, convincing them to create a mould to my specifications when they had no idea about sewing. “Show and Tell” worked wonders. When the orders started coming in, and The Hump Jumper® started moving out the door, the mould maker nicknamed me “The Hump Jump Lady.”
The “hump” frustration is created when the presser foot is tilted out of the horizontal position necessary for a smooth, even feed. When the Hump Jumper is placed under the back of the presser foot, abutting the “hump,” the back of the presser foot is lifted keeping the presser foot horizontal. This allows for an even and continuous feed, eliminating skipped stitches. Sewers know “humps:” a zipper at the bodice, belt loops, pants hems, drapery and craft projects: places where sewing thin bumps into sewing thick.
A bent piece of yellow plastic, the Hump Jumper® is available in two thicknesses, 1/16th and 1/8th. Why two widths? Corners – stitch to the corner, lift the presser foot, keep the needle down, rotate the fabric 900, place the 1/16th under the presser foot, drop the foot and continue to stitch; sew a perfect corner. When attempting a bulky spot at the beginning of a seam, place the 1/8th Hump Jumper® under the presser foot on top of fabric with the needle down, lower the foot, then sew. This step will work with seam starts of sheer fabric using the 1/16th to stop “bunching up” at fabrics’ edge, and the bulky spot when beginning to sew a patch pocket; just put the Hump Jumper® under the presser foot before you start sew.
Watch Sandra’s instruction video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKdW_vIZLBo&t=6s
Sandra didn’t stop there, she then went on to invent The Puts-It™ and The Buttonhole Buster™.
Sandra tells us a little more about them here:
The Puts-It™ was invented 1991. Use your imagination and you’ll see one end is the shape of a flat head screwdriver; the opposite end is a pencil. The curve is the curve is your hand. Yes, I have been known to poke out corners with a pencil and have no idea how many pieces of lace are covering those marks. Every sewer knows, “there is no mistake in sewing if you have enough lace!” The screwdriver was used to control lace, ruffles, and gathers under the presser foot. How many needles did I break? Don’t ask! Duck taping these two together, I came up with the shape.
It has two very important features: the squared tapered end, 3/8” in width, fits under the front of the presser foot for controlling run away gathers and pleats, is ideal for controlling corners when machine quilting and appliquéing, easily lifts out bobbins, and the perfect notion for making a quick, easy crease.
The opposite end of the Puts-it™ has a no-snag tip ideal for turning out collar points and stuffing tiny areas. There is also a tapered needle hole for inserting a conventional or serger needle into the machine while the needle clamp screw is being tightened. Arthritic fingers will find this useful when replacing sewing or serger needles.
Instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbJuOai1q_0
The Buttonhole Buster™ – In 1997 I was on a sewing excursion to New City with my American Sewing Guild friends when one member complained she could not sew “proper buttonholes in collars, or waist bands because of seam allowance.” As a professor of fashion design, many of my students were experiencing the same problem. The Buttonhole Buster™, with its patented bi-level bottom solves the problem of the presser foot not fitting in uneven places.
It is the solution for sewing buttonholes in those impossible places: collar bands, narrow cuffs, and areas with lumpy, bumpy seams such as thick seam allowances in small places.
The bi-level bottom of the Buttonhole Buster™ is its creative feature: the unique bottom allows the presser foot to fit snugly where thick seams cause the general purpose or buttonhole foot to sit unbalanced. Narrow pattern pieces such as collars and neck bands are examples of where seam allowances cause the presser foot to wobble due to uneven thickness.
Instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NZ1mcjwVA8
Sandra’s tip – use a piece of Velcro to attach these tools to your sewing machine, – you’ll always have them handy!
You can grab Sandra’s inventions on her website: https://www.ssndesigns.com/purchase.html
Or on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SNDesignCoCreations
Thanks Sandra – you are a bit of a genius !
May 21, 2022
Very informative article. I always wondered where the hump jumper came from. I didn’t realize they come in two sizes. Haven’t lost a needle on humps. My machine has a foot that hump jumps but I find it too large to see what I am doing. So, my original hump jumper is still in use.
Thanks so much for tutorials.