Machine Feet

Accessory presser feet are standard equipment with sewing machines sold today, but how do you know which foot is best for which task?

Braid Foot

Use the braid foot to add decorative cording to fabric using any kind of braid, cord or serger threads. Both the narrow and wide braid foot have a hook on front of the foot slip, and a narrow, tunneled groove underneath. The cord is laced through the hook and under the foot slip into the tunneled groove. A braid -guide attachment, a loopy wire that attaches near the presser foot shank, keeps the braid untangled and taut while stitching. Put stabilizer on the fabric to stiffen it before sewing the braid. Use a basic zigzag stitch to attach the braid to fabric. Use the braid foot when attaching string for gathering fabric. Zigzag-stitch the string onto fabric, then pull the string to gather the fabric.

Pin-Tuck Foot

The pin-tuck foot is a flat foot with grooves cut in the bottom. You’ve probably seen pin-tuck work on delicate, heirloom-type sewing, but it can also be used in contemporary designs. The pin-tuck foot, along with a double needle , pinches and stitches lines of fabric into narrow, raised patterns in the fabric . The number of patterns lines, and the spacing between the lines, depends on the number of grooves in the foot. Use a three-groove pin-tuck foot to accommodate heavier fabrics or to create wider designs. Four- and five-groove pin-tuck feet are better when used on lightweight fabrics or for creating more narrow patterns. Use a 1.6 to 2.0 twin needle with the pin-tuck foot.

For fabrics with obvious grain lines, trace a grain line at the desired point with a straight pin to create a straight-on-grain guide for stitching with the pin-tuck foot, or use a decorative-stitch pattern to achieve more elaborate designs. Adjust the width of the selected decorative-stitch pattern to the width of the stitch hole on the pin-tuck foot. To determine the needed width adjustment, slowly hand-walk the first pattern section of the stitching, watching very closely to be sure the needle falls inside the stitch area of
the pin tuck foot.

Narrow Bias Binder Foot

To apply purchased bias binding or hand-cut bias strips, use the narrow bias binding foot. The narrow bias binding foot is distinguishable by a cone-shaped, slotted cylinder situated on the top side of the foot. It applies the bias binding, folding and stitching it all in one step. Using bias that measures a ‘scant’ inch – just under an inch – thread the fabric into the cone shape on the binder foot before attaching the foot to the machine. Do this by clipping the end of the bias strip into a diagonal point to help feed it through the cone. Feed the bias strip into the cone, nudging the pointed end through the narrow end of the cone with a straight pin. Pull the pointed end of the strip through the hole on the foot plate. Attach the foot to the machine. Slide fabric into the center of the foot beside the cone, and sew using any desired stitch to attach the binding. The cone will feed and fold the bias strip to create perfect bindings.

Gathering Foot

The gathering foot is a small L-shaped foot with a slot on the bottom side of the foot. The bottom of the foot is higher at the front than in the back, causing the foot to rock when attached to the machine. The rocking motion creates instant gathers. Set the stitch length on a higher setting to get more gathers and on a normal setting to get fewer gathers. Lay the fabric underneath the foot to gather a single layer of fabric, or use the side slot to stitch one piece of fabric to another.

More Feet:

Ruffler Foot This large foot has many components; and is used to make
large ruffles and pleats.
Eyelet Foot This H-shaped flat foot has a small cylinder shape attached
to the top surface; it is used to create eyelet.
Darning Foot The featured darning foot was plastic and resembled a
standard foot except for a thin, wire attachment. This foot is
used for free-motion embroidery and free-motion quilting.
Buttonhole Foot The buttonhole foot is recognizable as a rectangular-shaped
foot with thin extensions at either end, a raised square on top
of the foot and small grooves on the bottom of the foot. This
foot creates buttonholes and also works well when sewing in
invisible zippers.

Presser Foot Identification Tip

Tape each presser foot to a scrap of fabric that has a sample of the work the foot does, then store the fabric scraps in plastic bags and display them in a notebook.

My notes from Sew Perfect Episode 418
Nina Milenius (Donovan)
Sewing Expert, Viking Sewing Machines Inc. / Husqvarna, Viking and White
3100 Viking Parkway
Westlake, OH 44145
Toll-Free: 800-446-2333
Fax: 440-847-0001
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