Put The Right Foot Forward! Part 2

Posted in: Meet Your Machine, Sewing 101 — By on June 16, 2011 7:47 AM

A while ago we discussed some basic sewing machine presser feet.  Today, we’re going to look at some more complicated presser feet.  It is by no means a complete list, but we’ve covered the most common presser feet that you will come across.

Button Sewing Foot

Button Presser Foot

A button foot will hold a button place while you sew it on using a zigzag stitch.  If you hate sewing on buttons or have a lot of them to do, you’ll love this foot.

Buttonhole Foot

Buttonhole Sewing Machine Presser Foot

This foot can be used to make an even buttonhole that is exactly the right size for your button.  It has markings on it to allow you to start and stop your buttonhole at precisely the right spot.  Some buttonhole feet even include a button sizer you can use to measure your button and determine how big the buttonhole needs to be.

Overcasting Foot

Sewing Machine presser feet - Overcasting

The overcasting foot can be used with the finishing stitches on your machine to finish the edge of your fabric, similar to a serged edge.  It has an arm on one side that you line up your fabric edge against, and a smaller arm pointing inwards that prevents your fabric edge from curling. This is a great foot for sewing stretch fabrics.

Walking Foot

Sewing Machine Walking Presser Foot

It looks complicated, doesn’t it?  A walking foot is a spring-loaded foot with a set of feed dogs to help evenly move your fabric while you sew.  It is helpful when sewing though multiple layers of fabric (for instance, quilting).  Because the extra feed dogs keep your top and bottom fabrics even and prevents shifting, this foot can be used with stripes or plaids to match the patterns together.  Definitely one of the coolest presser feet!

Darning Foot

Sewing Machine Darning Presser Foot

The darning foot looks much different from other presser feet.  It is a very tiny spring-loaded foot that holds your fabric in place, and can be a small circle or rectangle with an opening. When using this foot, you lower your feed dogs and guide the fabric yourself — it is mainly used for darning small tears or holes, or for free motion sewing or quilting.  The darning foot will bounce up and down as you sew, so you need to make sure your fabric is moving where it should be. Because the foot is so small, you’ll have more visibility and control over your stitches.

Blind Hem Foot

Sewing Machine Presser Feet - Blind Hem Foot

This foot can be used for creating a blind hem with the blind hem stitch on your machine.  You can do this by hand if you prefer, but if not it’s definitely a must have if you plan on shortening pants or skirts!

Some presser feet can simply be snapped in place, while others may require you to screw them on.  Check your machine’s manual for instructions on how to change your presser foot.

Required Reading:
  • The Janome website has a very extensive list of presser feet, as well as really clear videos and instruction sheets on how to use each kind of foot.  Definitely worth a look!
  • Bernina has great videos demonstrating every presser foot under the sun on their YouTube channel.
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