US 3911839 A
A contour seaming system and method of using in combination with a sewing machine. Material subsequent to being sewn is moved contiguous to at least one inclined contact member which is oriented with respect to the sewing machine. The inclined contact member angularly orients the material in a predetermined direction and induces predetermined gravitational forces to the material to permit stitching of the material in a particular contour. A presser foot release provides gripping contact disengagement between the presser foot and the material when the thread carrying needle passes through the material. Release of the presser foot allows the material to pivot about the needle responsive to the gravitational forces induced on the material by the inclined contact member.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Waldman et al.
[ 1 Oct. 14, 1975 CONTOUR SEANHNG SYSTEM AND METHOD  Inventors: Abraham H. Waldman, 235 Albert Place, Elberon, NJ. 07740; Sam
Bernstein, 402 2nd Ave., Bradley Beach, NJ. 07720  Filed: Mar. 18, 1974  Appl. No.: 452,148
 US. Cl ll2/l21.24; 112/153  Int. Cl. D0513 3/04  Field of Search 112/2, 78, 98, 102, 121.18,
l12/l2l.24, 136, 148, 150, 153, 203, 237,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,220,303 3/1917 Weiss ll2/l21.l8 2,437,624 3/1948 Sutker l'l2/l2l.l8 X
Primary ExaminerWerner H. Schroeder Assistant ExaminerPeter Nerbun Attorney, Agent, or FirmMaleson, Kimmelman & Ratner  ABSTRACT A contour seaming system and method of using in combination with a sewing machine. Material subsequent to being sewn is moved contiguous to at least one inclined contact member which is oriented with respect to the sewing machine. The inclined Contact member angularly orients the material in a predetermined direction and induces predetermined gravitational forces to the material to permit stitching of the material in a particular contour. A presser foot release provides gripping contact disengagement between the presser foot and the material when the thread carrying needle passes through the material. Release of the presser foot allows the material to pivot about the needle responsive to the gravitational forces induced on the material by the inclined contact member.
17 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 1 of 3 3,911,839
US Patent 00:. 14, 1975 Sheet 2 of 3 3,911,839
U.S. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 3 of 3 3,911,839
CONTOUR SEAMING SYSTEM AND METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A. Field of the Invention This invention pertains to the field of automatic contour seaming systems for use with sewing machines.
B. Prior Art Systems and devices for sewing a workpiece along a marginal edge having a predetermined contour are I known in the art. In some prior cases, contour seaming is accomplished manually. However, operators have been found not to be able to deliver uniform contour seaming over a prolonged period of time. This has resulted in workpieces having poor quality control due to the non-repeatability of the desired contour seaming.
Some prior systems include photoelectric sensors used in combination with a feedwheel to rotate the workpieces through a pattern curvature as the workpieces are being sewed. Such prior systems include complex mechanisms which are difficult to maintain, causing increased costs. Further, such prior systems are very expensive and are often beyond the means of a commercial establishment.
Other prior systems incorporate a rail member which is formed into the contour of a seam to be generated. The rail member is used as a guide for a photoelectric eye which actuates the seaming operation. Such systems rely on the rail member being manufactured to the proper contour. The rail manufacture time may be long, thus resulting in increased operating cost. Further, the manufacturing time of the rail members does not permit the user to provide quick style changes for his line of clothing being produced. Additionally, the rail members are expensive when difficult contours are being formed, thus increasing the overall operating cost of a manufacturer.
Other prior systems using photoelectric devices in combination with tail clamps to guide the material through the sewing machine in a predetermined manner. Such systems are expensive to purchase, are complex in design, and which are often beyond the ability of sewing machine mechanics to maintain.
Prior systems in the field of contour seaming involve extreme care in initially laying up of the plys of material which are to be joined. Material edges, in such prior systems, must be aligned edge to edge and point to point before the system can take over the guidance of the workpiece through the sewing machine. This requirement in prior systems is time consuming and forces additional labor costs which results in a high operating cost for the contour seaming operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A contour seaming system for use with a sewing machine which includes a contact for contacting movable material for (1) angularly orienting the material in a predetermined direction and, (2) inducing predeter mined gravitational forces to the material. Further included in the seaming system is a release for a presser foot of the sewing machine from the material at a predetermined time in a stitch cycle when a thread carrying needle enters the material. The release permits the material to pivot about the needle responsive to the gravitational forces induced by the material contact.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the contour seaming system;
FIG. 2 is a plane view of the contour seaming system showing a workpiece being stitched;
FIG. 3 is an elevation view of the sewing machine presser foot release;
FIG. 4 is an elevation view partially in cut out, of the 0 sewing machine presser foot release (I) prior to the needle entering the workpiece, and, (2) subsequent to the needle entering the workpiece;
FIG. 5 is a rear elevation view of a portion of the sewing machine showing the presser foot release;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an edge guide;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a two-tier frontal material guide taken along the section line 77 of FIG.
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of an inclined ramp mounted to the sewing machine table top taken along the section line 88 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of an auxillary inclined ramp taken along the section line 9-9 of FIG. 2; and,
FIG. 10 is an elevational view of an inclined ramp showing a link mechanism for adjusting the vertical inclination angle of the ramp.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown contour or parallel seaming system 10 for automatically producing stitch 12 on material 14 in a manner such that the geometric pattern of stitch 12 will have a predetermined contour. As is shown in FIG. 2, and as will be detailed in following paragraphs, seaming system 10 is often used to produce stitch 12 passing parallel to material boundary 16, even when the geometric boundary contour of material 14 includes changing radii of curvature throughout its peripheral extension. However, seaming system 10 may be used in its general capacity to produce contour stitch 12 having a predetermined geometric pattern throughout its extended path. Contour seaming system 10 is applicable to a wide variety of sewing machines 18 commercially available and well known in the art. One such type sewing machine 18 to which system 10 has been successfully applied is the Singer Company style No. 241.
In overall concept, contour seaming system 10 to be used with sewing machine 18 includes ramps or material contacts 20 which contacts or interfaces with movable material 14 in a predetermined direction. Material contacts 20, angularly orient material 14 in predetermined direction as a function of, and responsive to the movement of material 14 through a series of stitching cycles. As will be shown, material contacts 20 induce predetermined gravitational forces to material 14 which displace the material in a predetermined direction to permit contour seaming. Further, presser foot release 22, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 provide for displacement of presser foot 24 from material 14 at a predetermined time in the stitch cycle when thread carrying needle 26 has entered material 14 in order to permit pivoting of material 14 about needle 26 responsive to the gravitational forces induced by material contacts 20.
Parallel edge or contour seaming system 10 employs either one or a plurality of ramps or material contacts 20 for the purpose of exerting angularly oriented forces on material or workpiece 14 in a predetermined direction indicated by a pattern curvature. In one form of the invention; ferromagnetic plate 28 is secured to table top 30 upon which sewing machine 18 is operably mounted. In this manner, and as will be described in following paragraphs, ramps 20 may likewise be movably mounted to plate 28 through use of corresponding ferromagnetic materials and magnetic clamps. Ramps or material contacts 20 may thus be releaseably secured and positioned on plate 28 in an empirically de rived location in order to exert the proper steering force on workpiece or material 14 as it is transported through operating sewing machine 18 in a predetermined line of movement defined by directional arrow 32, as shown in FIG. 1. Ramps 20 are capable of being positioned in any predetermined direction with respect to sewing machine 18 to define ramp horizontal angle 34 taken with respect to line of movement direction 32. For purposes of this invention, plate 28 mounted on table top 30 provides for a substantially horizontal plane above which ramps 20 are elevated at a predetermined inclined ramp vertical angle 36. Ramp angle 36 in combination with horizontal angle 34, as well as distance 35 measured along line of movement direction 32, define the steering forces applied to material 14 in order to promote a predetermined seam contour. It is believed that distance 35, measured from presser foot 24 to one end of ramp 20 provides the resulting magnitude of the force induced in the pivoting action of material 14 about needle 26. Thus, as material 14 rides up ramp 20, angles 34 and 36 induce a predetermined directional gravitational force to be applied to the portion of material 14 on ramp 20. This directional force is transmitted back to the area of material 14 around needle 26. Material 14 reacts to this transmitted force and pivots about needle 26 when material 14 is released from presser foot 24.
Material contacts 20 are generally positioned in a manner such that a portion of workpiece or material 14 contacts ramps 20 subsequent to that portion of material 14 being stitched during the stitch cycle by sewing machine 18. Ramps 20 are often located behind (with respect to movement of material 14) needle 26 in a predetermined location as defined by angles 34 and 36 as well as distance 35, so as to apply a predetermined gravitational force which dictates the rotation of workpiece 14 in a particular curvature pattern responsive to the contour of material boundary or edge 16. The positioning of material contacts 20 is generally found through empirical iteration of the positioning of ramps 20 on plate 28. After proper positioning of ramps 20 to obtain a particular seam contour, it has been found that the necessary magnitude of the gravitational forces may be in the order of l/lth of the weight of workpiece 14. These relatively small gravitational forces permit sufficient rotation of material 14 to accomplish required steering for a particular contour of stitch 12.
As is clearly shown in FIGS. 1, 8, 9 and 10, material contacts are generally V-shaped having a pair of intersecting planar sides or elements 38 and 40. Ramp planar surface 40 continuously interfaces with table top 30 or plate 28. Additionally, planar side element 38 may be adjusted to provide a predetermined vertical angle 36 with respect to the horizontal plane defined by table top 30 or plate 28. In order to permit elements 38 and 40 to be angularly movable, one with respect to the other, it is apparent that they may be joined by a movable securement member such as a high strength tape 42 or some like device such as a hinge which will allow rotational movement of elements 38 and 40 about some pivoting line. Adjustment of angle 36 may be through proper wedging of flexible magnet element 44, shown in FIG. 8. Element 44 is seen to be positioned and in contiguous contact with an underside surface of planar element 38 and a facing surface of planar element 40. By moving flexible magnet 44 through a multiplicity of bending contours, it can easily be seen that ramp vertical angle 36 may be varied to a great extent. Flexible magnet compositions of the type making up element 44 are well known in the art and are commercially available. One composition applicable to system 10 is a basically rubber product having magnetized ferric particles embedded therein and being produced by Magnetic Aids Inc., New York, New York.
In order to maintain ramps or material contacts 20 in restrained positional relation on table top 30 or plate 28, another flexible magnet element 46 may be positioned on an upper surface of planar element 40. This provides for the necessary restraining force between ramps 20 and plate 28 or table top 30 to maintain ramps 20 in an immovable position when contacted by moving workpiece 14.
Thus, as is seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, ramps 20 are initially positioned on plate 28 in a predetermined manner so as to have a resultant horizontal angle 34 with respect to line of movement direction 32 of workpiece 14. Flexible magnet 44 is further adjustably positioned to provide a resulting ramp vertical angle 36. Material or work 14 is passed through sewing machine 18 and subsequently contacts and contiguously interfaces with inclined planar surface 38. Due to the inclined movement of material 14 on surface 38, predetermined forces are applied to workpiece 14 which in combination with the release of workpiece 14 from presser foot 24, as will be detailed in following paragraphs, permits pivoting or partial rotation of work 14 about needle 26 to permit stitching in a predetermined seam contour. Although positioning of ramps 20, having angles 34 and 36 with a displaced distance 35, may be known for particular seam contours, it is to be understood that the placement of ramps 20 is generally empirical in nature.
As shown in FIG. 10, a mechanism for providing a predetermined ramp vertical angle 36 may be accomplished in a variety of ways such as through link mechanism 48. Link device 48 may include a tube 52 having an insertable rod member 50. As is shown, rod 50 is pivotally mounted to ramp planar member 40 through pivot pin 51. Similarly, tubular member 52 is pivoted, through pivot pin 53, to upper planar member 38. Set screw 54, passing through a wall of tubular member 52, lockingly engages rod member 50 to provide link mechanism 48 whereby ramp angle 36 may be adjusted to a predetermined value. Additionally, it will be noted that securement of ramps 20 to table top 30 or plate 28 need not necessarily be made through utilization of flexible magnets 46. Thus removable securement may be attained through increased ramp frictional gripping of the surface, increased ramp weight or some like technique not important to the inventive concept as herein detailed.
In some particular instances where long workpieces 14 are being sewed, auxillary ramps 20' may be mounted adjacent table top 30 as shown in FIGS. 1, 3
and 9. Ramps provide a steering force after workpiece 14 has been moved from the work surface. In general, ramps 20' provide inclined surfaces 38' which may extend below the horizontal plane defined by plate 28 or table top 30. Ramp 20' may be structurally mounted on column 56 which extends vertically down ward to a plurality of legs 58 resting on a floor or other base surface (not shown). In a manner similar to contact members 20, ramps 20' may be formed of a pair of intersecting planar elements 38 and 40 which are rotatively joined to each other through flexible tape 42. Through use of flexible magnet 44', vertical angle 36' may be determined. Similarly, rotation of auxillary ramp 20 on column 56 or with column 56 if they are fixedly secured to each other, will provide the predetermined horizontal angle 34'. Thus, it is seen that auxillary ramp 20 may include both a combination of both vertical and horizontal angular deployment in order to permit a reorientation of the gravity forces induced in workpiece 14 which permits contour seaming in a predetermined contour pattern.
It has now been shown that material or workpiece l4 movably contacting ramps or material contacts 20 has applied thereto forces in a predetermined directional orientation dependent on the locational placement of contacts 20 on table top 30 with respect to sewing machine 18. However, material 14 must be free to be moved in a predetermined direction responsive to the forces induced on material 14 by oriented ramps 20 in order that stitch 12 be formed in a predetermined contour.
In prior sewing machines 18, during a stitch cycle, work or workpiece 14 is continuously being clamped between: l presser foot 24 and feed dog teeth 60, or; (2) presser foot 24 and sewing machine bed 62. Thus, when needle 26 is moved upward, feed dog teeth 60 are concurrently moved upward above bed 62 to contact work 14 on an undersurface and move the workpiece one stitch length in direction 32. As thread carrying needle 26 moves downward during the stitch cycle, teeth 60 recede below the surface of bed 62 and presser foot 24 is brought downward with a continued gripping contact on an upper surface of material 14 when needle 26 enters the workpiece. Thus, in prior systems, material 14 is moved in direction 32 by a continuously acting restraining force and is inhibited from rotating freely as is necessary when curved seam 12 is being sewed.
In order to allow rotation of material 14 about thread carrying needle 26, when needle 26 has entered workpiece 14, presser foot release or adjustable presser foot elevation device 22, shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 is used. In contour seaming system 10, as shown, presser foot 24 is slightly elevated when needle 26 is in a downwardly directed position passing through material 14. With this slight elevation, there would be little or no clamping pressure of foot 24 on material 14 thereby permitting rotation of the work in a direction dictated by the forces induced on material 14 by ramps 20. Thus, as will be shown, presser foot release 22, releases presser foot 24 from material 14 at a predetermined time in a stitch cycle when thread carrying needle 26 enters material 14. This permits material 14 to pivot about needle 26 responsive to the gravitational forces induced by inclined contacts 20.
Presser foot release 22 includes threaded tubular member 64 which threadedly engages sewing machine frame 66 as shown in FIG. 3. Tubular member 64 is releaseably secured to an upper portion of frame 66 by mating engagement of threads 68 with threads formed internal to frame 66. Threading engagement may be accomplished manually by rotation of knurled member 70 or some like element.
Threaded rod 72 passes vertically within tubular member 64 and is secured to foot bar 74 at a lowermost end. Tubular member 64 has an internal diameter greater than the external diameter of rod 72 in order that rod 72 may be moved vertically within tubular member 64. Rod 72 is secured to an upper portion of foot bar 74 by threaded engagement, bolting or some like technique.
Wingnut 76, threadedly engages rod 72, as is shown, and by rotation in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, displaces rod 72 in an upward or downward direction with respect to tubular member 68 and frame 66. Since rod 72 is secured to foot bar 74, rotation of wing nut 76 has the resulting effect of displacing foot bar 74 with respect to frame 66 in a similar fashion. Helical spring 78, passing around an outer surface of foot bar 74 is compressively forced between frame upper surface 80 and foot bar clamping member 82. Clamping member 82 is secured to foot bar 74 in rigid constrainment. Thus, a constant downward force is continuously directed on foot bar 74 by spring 78. Foot bar 74 is secured to presser foot 24 by clamp screw 84 at a lower end of bar 74 and is thus continuously forced downward by the action of helical spring 78.
In order to provide release of presser foot 24 from material 14 when needle 26 is passed through the workpiece, wing nut 76 is initially rotated to slightly raise rod 72. As needle 26 begins to move downward, presser foot 24 is also moved downward to grip workpiece 14 between foot 24 and bed 62 as teeth 60 are retracted below the bed surface in the same manner as is accomplished by prior sewing systems. However, due to the adjustment of rod 72, presser foot 24 does not completely bottom out on material 14 as needle 26 reaches its full downward displacement. This causes foot 24 to momentarily fail to grippingly contact work 14 and allow pivoting of material 14 about needle 26 responsive to the forces induced on material 14 by inclined ramps 20.
FIGS. 1, 3 and 6 show edge guide 86 for placement along a side of presser foot 24. Edge guide 86 is utilized to prevent material or workpiece 14 from curling as inclined ramps 20 force work 14 in a predetermined direction. Guide 86 is releaseably mounted to sewing machine bed 62 and is generally placed contiguously against the side of presser foot 24 as shown in FIG. 1. Guide 86, as shown, is formed of opposing side surfaces 88, 90 secured to guide center element 92. As in the cases for magnetic elements 46 and 44, guide center element 92 may be formed ofa rubber having magnetic particles embedded therein. In another form, center element 92 may be a solid magnet element upon which are mounted opposing ferromagnetic elements 88 and 90. In such a case, elements 88 and 90 may be formed of steel or some like composition which would be attracted to center element 92. Guide 86 may include a cut out or shoulder 94 to provide clearance for the needle chuck so that edge guide 86 may be mounted adjacent presser foot 24 without interference during machine operation when needle 26 passes downward into work 14.
Guide 86, as shown, is releaseably secured to bed 62 of machine 18. By utilizing magnetic securement, as has been described, edge guide 86 may be moved either in a direction coincidental with line of movement direction 32 or transverse to direction 32. Thus, edge guide 86 may be moved to a desired position forward or in back of needle 26 as well as in a direction normal to line of movement 32 in order to change seam widths.
FIGS. 1 and 6 show adjustable front edge guide 96, generally being releaseably mounted to plate 28 or table top 30 as shown in FIG. 1. In the form as shown in FIG. 7, front edge guide 96 provides a two tier construction for effecting a separation of material first ply 98 from material second ply 100 prior to material 14 being passed through sewing machine 18. Thus, each ply 98 or 100, being separated from each other, is free to rotate independently of the other material ply when acted upon by other elements of system 10.
The two tier guide 96, as shown, comprises three flat plates 102, 104 and 106 which are generally L-shaped in cross-sectional contour. The base leg of lowermost flat plate 102 lies contiguously on plate 28 or table top 30. In order to releaseably secure plate 102 to table top 30, plate flexible magnet 108 may be used to join an underside of the base of plate 102 to table top 30, as is shown. Other means of releaseable mountings may be used such as a weighted base leg portion of lower plate 102, or some like technique.
The two tiers are formed by the displacement distance between the base legs of: (l) lowermost plate 102 and intermediate plate 104; and, (2) intermediate plate 104 and upper plate 106. The base portions of plates 102, 104 and 106 extend over the edge of plies 98 and 100 of material 14 to a predetermined distance and hold material edges 110 flat to guard against buckling so that when material edges 1 arrive at needle 26 they are in aligned position with respect to each other. The vertically directed walls of L-shaped plates 102, 104 and 106 are releaseably secured each to the other through front edge guide magnet 112, as is shown in FIG. 7. Magnet 112 provides for a releaseable securement mechanism which permits adjustment between the vertical displacement distances of plates 102 and 104, as well as between plates 104 and 106. Thus, vertical adjustment between the tiers is made possible in order to allow accommodation of varying thickness of material 14 being sewn. Further, as is to be understood, with the use ofa releaseable securement device such as plate flexible magnet 108, front edge guide 96 may be adjusted to a predetermined angular orientation in the horizontal plane in order to accommodate a specific pattern curvature to be followed. Additionally, it should be noted that where releaseable securement devices such as magnets 108 and 112 are to be used, that plates 102, 104 and 106 are to be formed of suitable ferromagnetic materials such as steel or some like composition.
FIG. 1 shows frontal ramp 114 which may be releaseably attached to table top 30 through vise clamp 116. Ramp 114 is generally formed by a pair of rails 118 and 120 to provide rotation about vertical pivot line 122 as well as adjustability of ramp angle 134. Frontal ramp 114 may be used to orient and control a direction of movement of workpiece 14 until the material has been moved into contact with ramps 20. Frontal ramp or rail system 114 employs the same inducement of gravitational forces as employed in the use of rearward placed ramps or material contacts 20, as previously described.
As is shown in FIG. 1, element rail 118 is movable in a plane substantially normal to axis 122. Rail 120, through clamping member 126, which may be secured to rail 118 by set screw 128, is positionally movable about an axis of rail 118. Thus, rails 118 and may be positionally moved in an empirical manner to a predetermined location in accordance with a known contour to be sewn. It is to be understood that frontal rail system 114 may include a number of well known variations in the art such as the use of a knuckle joint in place of clamping member 126. The important consideration being that frontal rail member 120 be movable to a predetermined position in both the horizontal plane and in a vertical direction to achieve proper material orientation.
What is claimed is:
1. A contour seaming system for use with a sewing machine having a presser foot, a feed dog and a thread carrying needle, comprising:
a. means for contacting movable material for (1 angularly orienting said material in a predetermined direction and (2) inducing predetermined gravitational forces to said material;
b. means for adjusting the maximum lowering of said presser foot so that when said thread carrying needle enters said material said feed dog lowers and permits said material to pivot about said needle responsive to said gravitational forces induced by said material contacting means; and,
c. edge guide means for contacting an edge of said material.
2. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 1 where said contacting means guides said movable material in a path having a predetermined angular orientation with respect to a substantially horizontal plane defined by a table top where said sewing machine is mounted.
3. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 2 where said contacting means is positionally located at a predetermined angle with respect to the line of movement of said material during said stitch cycle.
4. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 1 where said contacting means includes adjustable guide means for directing said movable material in a path having a predetermined angular orientation with respect to a substantially horizontal plane.
5. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 4 where said adjustable guide means includes adjustable angular orientation means for changing said predetermined angular orientation of said material with respect to said horizontal plane.
6. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 1 where said contacting means is releaseably secured to a table top where said sewing machine is mounted.
7. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 1 where said contacting means includes magnetic positioning means for positionally locating said contacting means in specific positional relation to said sewing machine.
8. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 1 where said contacting means includes ramp means being inclined at a predetermined angle with respect to a substantially horizontal plane.
9. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 1 where said ramp means is releaseably secured to a sewing machine table top at a predetermined angle with respect to the line of movement of said material during said stitch cycle.
10. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 1 in which said edge guide means is located adjacent said presser foot for contacting an edge of said material being stitched to prevent said material from curling when said material interfaces with said contact means.
11. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 10 where said edge guide means is releaseably secured to a bed of said sewing machine.
12. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 11 where said material edge guide means includes edge guide magnetic means for securing said material edge guide to said bed of said sewing machine.
13. The contour seaming system as recited in claim 1 including means for separating at least a first piy of material from a second ply of material prior to said material being passed through said sewing machine.
14. A method of contour seaming material being sewn in a sewing machine having a presser foot, a feed dog and a thread carrying needle, including the steps of:
a. angularly orienting said material by moving the material in contact with an inclined member having a predetermined angular orientation with respect to a horizontal plane in order to induce predetermined gravitational forces to said material;
b. adjusting the maximum lowering of the presser foot so that when the needle enters the material the feed dog lowers for permitting said material to pivot about said needle responsive to said gravitational forces induces by said angular orienting of said material; and,
c. contacting an edge of the material for guiding the material.
15. The method of contour seaming as recited in claim 14 including the step of separating at least a first ply of material from a second ply of material prior to said material being passed through said sewing machine.
16. The method of contour seaming as recited in claim 15 where the step of separating includes the step passing said material through a guide member having at least two tiers, each of said material plys passing contiguous with a corresponding tier.
17. The method of contour seaming of claim 14 in which step (b) includes adjusting the maximum lowering of the presser foot so that when the feed dog lowers, the presser foot is, for a predetermined interval, prevented from pressing down on said material for permitting said pivoting of said material.