10 Favorite Sewing Machine Feet and What They Do

Your sewing machine's presser foot holds the fabric against the feed dogs, but did you know that changing the presser foot can help your sewing machine do amazing things?

Which foot should you use?

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Sometimes a sewing pattern will tell you exactly which foot to use (like installing the zipper foot before sewing a zipper). But often, knowing how the feet that came with your machine work will help you use the right one for the job.

All purpose sewing machine foot

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An all-purpose sewing machine foot (or zigzag foot) is used for most utility sewing, from straight stitch to zigzag stitch on a variety of fabrics. It is also very user-friendly and easy to attach and detach from the machine. This makes it convenient for sewers, especially those who are just starting out and may not be familiar with different presser feet.

Transparent satin stitch or embroidery foot

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The open toe and clear plastic of this foot will make it easy to see your stitches. As the name suggests, seamstresses like to use this foot to sew satin stitches for appliqués. It's also wonderful for sewing embroidery stitches on many sewing machines.

Zipper foot

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This sewing machine foot has its function in its name! The needle position of the sewing machine needs to be adjusted to the left or right because there is no hole in the center of the foot like there is in other feet. The narrow foot is then intended to run along the zipper ribbon. You can also use this foot to attach piping or decorative cords.

Invisible zipper foot

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The invisible zipper foot has two grooves at the bottom. These grooves guide the zipper teeth and allow the user to sew a straight line next to them. It can only be used with invisible zippers (not regular zippers).

Sliding buttonhole foot

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This plastic and metal sliding foot is used for sewing automatic buttonholes. It is only included with sewing machines that have an automatic buttonhole function. Check your sewing machine manual to learn how to use it correctly.

Quarter inch foot

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The quarter-inch foot is used for piecing quilt blocks, sewing narrow 1/4-inch seams, and topstitching. Popular among quilters, this foot is valuable for other sewing projects where precise seam allowances are required.

Adjustable blind hem foot

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The Adjustable Blind Hem Foot is designed to easily sew a blind hem and includes an adjustable guide for added precision. This foot produces professional looking hems with minimal stitch visibility on the finished garment.

To walk

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A sewing machine walking foot, also known as a regular feed foot or dual feed foot, has a set of feed dogs to help feed multiple layers evenly without moving around. This is wonderful for fabrics that stretch or slide easily. Learn all about using the sewing machine walking foot.

Narrow Rolled Hem Foot

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If you have a lot of hemming to do, a narrow rolled hem foot can save you a lot of time and effort. It has a small twirl part (called a loop) on the front that wraps the raw edge of the fabric to form a hem for you. I have an older Bernina, and it's foot #69.

Covered foot for sewing machine

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An overcast stitch wraps around the fabric to create a finished edge. Overcast stitching is usually done with a serger, but some sewing machines can also produce an overcast stitch. A sewing machine overcasting foot typically has a fabric guide and 2 “sewing fingers” that prevent the thread from wrapping too tightly. Check your sewing machine manual to see if your machine can do it!

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Disclosure: Some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, so please support SewCanShe when you shop! All opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂




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