The ZigZagger was created to attach to straight stitch sewing machines and expand their stitch capabilities.
A manual is available here --scroll down the page to it. The oiling and greasing points are shown in it. Like any of these specialty attachments there are several of these. (Also someone last week in the comment section reminded me of a product called Kroil and some other similar ones that can help loosen up really stuck mechanisms in some attachments.)
The ZigZagger not only zigzags but also does various other decorative stitches. The red topped cams enable this. Four came with the ZigZagger and more were available.To open the ZigZagger just pull up on the lid that sticks out on the right.
You can pop out the cam that is in the attachment and put in whatever cam you want by putting it in and turning it in a clockwise direction until it drops in place. There is a tiny notch (that won't show up in photos) on the middle of the left side on the top. Turn the cam until the arrow on it lines up with the notch. This is the starting point.
There is a lever on the right that can disengage the ZigZagger so a straight stitch can be sewn while the attachment is still on the machine. To do this pull the lever towards you.
On the left side of the attachment is the Bight regulator. Bight is the width of stitch. Loosen the screw and slide the handle back and forth to whatever position you want. There is an N on the back for narrower and a W near the front for wider. Play around with the settings to get an idea of them. Also the manual has recommendations and examples for settings for each cam. After setting it tighten the screw.The length of stitch also affects the stitch that the ZigZagger makes.
The tensions settings are normal except when doing a solid design, such as a satin stitch, domino, or arrowhead stitch, the top tension might need to be lighter. Also since the fabric will be moving sideways, the pressure on the presser bar might need to be lightened too.
To put the ZigZagger on the machine hook the fork arm over the needle clamp and tighten the slotted screw in the presser bar. This screw doesn't come off the attachment--no chance of losing it.
Put the fabric under the foot and sew--slowly--while guiding the fabric through. Remember that the fabric is moving so hold it loosely. Here I've used the basic zigzag cam and made the three rows above it with a narrow bight and different stitch lengths--12, 30, and 6. Thirty makes a nice satin stitch. Now lets pause here while you are probably looking at those zigzags and thinking it is the worst zigzag you've ever seen. You are right, of course. It has long been known that the ZigZagger does not meet expectation. I've read that when the Singer salespeople demonstrated this attachment in the showroom they would use very heavily starched fabric. The stitches are just not that good unless they are on thicker fabrics. If you do want to try it out on lightweight fabric use a good stabilizer.
That said, I think my ZigZagger is acting particularly bad. The stitches are terrible in some sections. I'm using a fabric that feels like it still has sizing in it and a stabilizer. I tried other fabrics too but the results were about the same and sometimes worse.
Here I've done some samples. On the first line I started off with a narrow bight and the stitch setting on 30. In the middle of this row I changed to a wider bight --doesn't look as good. On the second line I again started with a narrow bight and then changed to wider but with the stitch length on 12. The middle of this row is quite bad --it didn't change over well. The last line is narrower then wider bight with stitch length at 6. The tiny satin stitch looks alright and the widest zigzag (once it got going).
The next sample is using the Blind Stitch cam. Some of the stitching is alright and some is awful. I tried to make sure I was guiding the fabric without pulling any. Most of the time the first few stitches were the worst then got better.
The other two cams that came with the ZigZagger were the Arrowhead and Domino stitch. The Arrowhead one is on top and came out poorly even after several attempts. The Domino one, on the other hand, came out better than most of the rest. I threw a ruler in to give you an idea of the size of these stitches.I have four additional cams that were available. The top one here is the Scallop stitch. The bottom one is the Multiple Stitch pattern. They did ok. The Multiple one looks crooked all through it.
This next one was the worst. It's the Icicle Stitch. The example is my fifth and final attempt and actually looks better than the previous tries. Pretty bad.
Last of all is the Walls of Troy Stitch (great name). This came out very nicely.
As I mentioned I did try out twill and different fabrics but the results were about the same as those I've shown--certainly not any better. If you have a ZigZagger that works better than mine leave me a note to let me know it's my particular attachment that isn't working so well. (But I've never heard much good about the ZigZagger).
Would I buy a ZigZagger if I didn't have one? No! If you collect vintage attachments you might want to have one of these. If I wanted to zigzag and didn't have a zigzag machine, I'd save my money and buy one. I could either get one with built in decorative stitches or one that takes cams.