12 Sewing Machine Feet And How to Use Them for Fabulous Finishes


Your sewing machine probably came with a number of different feet. Don’t stash them away and forget about them!

The sewing machine’s presser foot holds the fabric down against the feed dogs. Changing the presser foot can help your sewing machine achieve amazing things. Let me show you.

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 you sew a zipper). But lots of times, 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 zig-zag foot) is used for most utility sewing, from straight stitch to zig-zag stitching across a variety of fabrics. It is also very user-friendly and easy to attach and detach from the machine. This makes it convenient for sewists, especially those who are just starting and may not be familiar with different presser feet.

Clear Satin Stitch or Embroidery Foot

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The open toe and clear plastic on this foot will allow you to see your stitches easily. As the name suggests, sewists like to use this foot when sewing satin stitches for applique. It’s also wonderful when sewing the embroidery stitches on many sewing machines.

Zipper Foot

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This sewin machine foot has its purpose in the name! The sewing machine needle position must be adjusted to the left or the right because there is no hole in the center of the foot, similar to other feet. The narrow foot is then intended to run along the zipper tape. You can also use this foot to attach piping or decorative cording.

Invisible Zipper Foot

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The invisible zipper foot has two grooves on 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 stitching automatic buttonholes. It is only included with sewing machines that have an automatic buttonhole function. Check your sewing machine’s manual to see how to use it properly.

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 accurate seam allowances are needed.

Adjustable Blind-Hem Foot

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The adjustable blind-hem foot is designed for easily stitching a blind hem and includes an adjustable guide for accuracy. This foot helps to achieve professional looking hems with minimal visibility of stitches on the finished garment.

Walking Foot

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A sewing machine walking foot, also known as an even feed foot or dual feed foot, has a set of feed dogs to help feed multiple layers evenly without shifting. It is wonderful for fabrics that stretch or slip easily. Learn all about how to use a sewing machine walking foot.

Straight Stitch Sewing Machine Foot

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A straight stitch on your sewing machine is excellent for sewing beautiful straight seams and topstitching. It may be the primary foot if your sewing machine is a straight stitch machine (and does not sew any fancy stitches).

Teflon Foot

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Things can get sticky when sewing on leather, vinyl, or clear vinyl. There is a sewing machine that can help with that. It’s called a teflon foot and it glides smoothly over slick materials.

Narrow Rolled Hem Foot

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If you have a lot of hemming to do, a narrow rolled hem foot might save you lots of time and effort. It has a little twirly part (called the curl) in front that rolls the fabric’s raw edge into a hem for you. I have an older Bernina, and it’s foot #69.

Sewing Machine Overcast Foot

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An overcast stitch wraps around the fabric to make a finished edge. Overcast sewing is usually done with a serger, but some sewing machines can make an overcast stitch too. A sewing machine overcast foot usually has a fabric guide and 2 ‘stitch fingers’ that keep the thread from wrapping too tightly. Check your sewing machine manual to see if your machine can do this!

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