Sew Many Machine Feet
Sewing machine feet – Even if you are a beginner, you surely noticed there is an extensive selection of sewing machine feet available!! And you probably thought, “why?”. All sewing enthusiasts have been sewing challenged at some point in their sewing journey. Rarely do they even think the issue could be the machine foot. Yet, that is exactly why the sewing machine engineers and manufacturers created all those feet. Some tasks and techniques are just so frustrating or impossible with the standard foot.
Learning about all the different sewing machine feet will alleviate your frustrations while improving your results. By actually using the correct foot for the technique or task, your sewing journey will proceed more smoothly. You’ll achieve the professional results you want – easier, faster, and with less aggravation.
Determine Which Feet you Need
Which sewing machine feet should you add to the ones you already own? That depends on the sewing you do! Quilters will love the ¼ inch foot which makes piecing a breeze! If you create handbags, totes, or jackets that require zippers, then you should check out an adjustable zipper foot. Perhaps you add a lot of piping or cording to your creations – you’ll find a cording foot or a pearls/piping foot worth it! The ruffler foot is a must for any seamstress adding ruffles or pleating to their projects! Check out a gathering foot, which is different than the ruffle foot. The gathering foot makes those gathers super easy while the ruffle foot actually ruffles or pleats fabric and fabric strips!!!!
Start by learning about all the feet that came with your machine. READ the manual or take a class. Manufacturers typically include the feet most often requested or required for the most common sewing tasks and techniques. Check your accessories or parts included list to see exactly what sewing machine feet came with your machine. (If you purchased your machine used, the parts included list may be missing as well as some of the original feet. Keep reading!).
You may not even be aware that you have a zipper foot. These are the most common feet included with almost all sewing machines: standard or zig zag foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, and blind hem foot. Your machine may have more and older “vintage” machines may have less. (Check it out: We also have a new blog post about zipper feet.)
Popular Optional Sewing Machine Feet
Next, go to you local sewing machine dealer or check sewing machine manufacturer websites to see what additional feet are available. Rocky Mountain Sewing offers a FREE guide to machine feet – ask for it when you visit the store! Here’s a partial list of some of the more popular optional feet:
- 1/4 inch Clear Quilting foot
- Edge Guide foot
- Pearls/Piping foot
- Cording foot
- Pintuck foot
- Edge Joining foot – may also be referred to as “lace joining foot”
- Open Toe foot
- 1/4 inch Guide foot
- Free Motion Open Toe foot
- Ruffler/Pleater foot
- Gathering foot
- Adjustable Zipper foot
- Bias Binder foot
- Walking foot
After you determine what feet you have and what they are for, you are ready to shop for additional feet!
TIPS: I really like the 1/4 inch clear piecing foot – great for machine piecing quilts! The adjustable zipper foot is really handing for stitching thicker piping or welting to home dec items! Pearl/piping feet are available in different sizes – most of the snap on ones are universal, will work on most machines. If you need to stitch a perfect straight line, then try a foot with an edge guide.
Things you Need to Know Before Purchasing Additional Feet
Before purchasing any additional or new feet, you need to know a couple of things about your machine. Is it high or low shank? Is it slant shank? Do you have “snap-on” feet? Several feet are interchangeable between models and manufacturers. However, some manufacturers have their own patented design for feet and these are very model specific.
What you must know about your machine before purchasing additional feet:
- Maximum stitch width of your machine. This will be in mm or millimeters. Most machines today are 7mm with some being 9mm and others only 5mm.
- High, low, or slant shank – see diagram below
- Snap-on or screw on
- Are the feet model specific?
- Check your warranty! Using a “generic” or brand of foot that is different than your machine may void the warranty!
If your manual is missing, or you have a used machine or an older, “vintage” machine, please search the manufacturer’s website to get this information. You will be very surprised how easy it is to find the information for your machine online!
Sewing Machine Feet and Classes at Rocky Mountain Sewing and Vacuum
Your local Rocky Mountain Sewing and Vacuum has a large selection of in-stock sewing machine feet for most sewing machine brands and models. If you are interested in a class on machine feet, how to use them and what they are for, PLEASE let us know. There is a comment section at the end of this blog. Or you may inform one of our staff directly. Either phone your local Rocky Mountain Sewing or stop in and request the class.
We also offer FREE usage classes no matter where you purchased your machine!!! Plus we offer a variety of technique, project, general sewing and quilting classes! Check out our class calendar.