Sewing Machine Feet Guide 62

What Is That Sewing Machine Foot??!

I am often asked to identify random sewing machine feet that have been found at the bottom of old boxes of sewing supplies or asked how I use different sewing machine feet. Other frequently asked questions include, are sewing machine feet universal? and how do I know if a sewing machine presser foot will fit my sewing machine? So to try to answer as many sewing machine feet questions as I can, here is our A-Z guide to sewing machine feet. Some sewing machine feet can look very different but are all for the same job. So in that case, I’ve tried to give you pictures of a variety of ways that foot may look. If you have any other questions that I didn’t answer, just pop them in the comments section down below!

What Sewing Machine Feet Do I Need?

Before we can answer that question, you need to know what type of fittings your sewing machine has, and think about what kind of sewing projects you intend to sew. For example, a presser foot that helps sew zippers may be indispensable to a dressmaker, but for someone who only wants to quilt, and may never sew a zipper despite many many hours of sewing, it may be a waste of money.

What Are The Most Common Sewing Machine Fittings?

Low-Shank Sewing Machines

Most domestic home sewing machines like Brother, Toyota, Janome, White, Elna, Uten, newer models of Singer and many others have a low-shank fitting. Because this is the most common fitting, it is often referred to as a universal fitting.

Low shank refers to where the screw is placed on the metal pole that the sewing machine foot or adapter is attached to. To check if you have a low-shank fitting sewing machine, you can measure the distance from the screw to the bottom of a standard presser foot, or to the needle plate with the foot position lowered. Low-shank sewing machines measure ¾ inch which is just under 2cm.

Low-shank sewing machines will take universal fitting feet.

Low Shank Sewing Machine Fitting

So if you were asking yourself do brother sewing machine feet fit Janome? Then in the majority of cases, the answer is yes, because now you know that they are usually both low-shank sewing machines that will take universal sewing machine feet! This applies to both snap-on presser feet and screw-on feet.

High Shank Sewing Machines

High-shank sewing machines are usually industrial sewing machines. These sewing machines have a higher screw placement on their pole compared to domestic home sewing machines. In this case, the screw-to-footplate measurement when the presser foot is lowered is 1 ¼ inch which is just a touch over 3cm.

High-shank sewing machines are usually compatible with all of the universal snap-on feet as long as a high-shank adapter is used. The only exceptions here may be feet such as the knit foot where although it is a snap-on sewing machine foot, there is part of the foot designed to sit over the needle bar so you would need to be sure to get a high shank knit foot as a snap-on low shank knit foot wouldn’t be compatible.

Any screw-on feet such as darning feet, or ruler feet, need to be specifically for high-shank machines.

high shank sewing bee fabrics

Singer Slant Shank Sewing Machines

Singer-slant-shank fittings were an old style of fitting commonly used on Singer sewing machines mainly in the 50s and 60s when Singer was looking to make their feet unique. It looks similar to a low shank but when you look at it from side-on, the pole is at a slight angle. These machines have their own snap-on feet with a very narrow area to snap onto. Note these are different to universal snap-on feet, and both high and low screw-on feet will not be compatible. Singer slant shank measures 1 1/8″ from the screw to the base of the presser foot.

Please note also that Singer made a very slight angle change with the 301 series sewing machines and this means that some of the slant shank feet, although produced for slanted shanks have fitting problems with these machines.

Husqvarna Viking And Pfaff Sewing Machines

Although many universal snap-on feet fit Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff sewing machines, the needle placement is different on these models than on the other universal sewing machines. This means that many of the universal-fitting feet just won’t fit, so you are better off looking for feet designed for your Husqvarna Viking or Pfaff sewing machines.

Bernina Sewing Machines

The attachments for Bernina’s presser feet are entirely different to that of the other sewing machines. These feet generally are not swappable with other sewing machines. However, it is possible to get a Bernina to Low-Shank or to Universal Snap-On converter. That way you can use universal feet with your machine.

How do I attach that foot?

Snap-on Feet

First, you need an adapter. Most modern sewing machines come with the adapter already screwed in place.

adapter change over sewing bee fabrics

If your machine feet are screwed directly onto the machine, you may need to hunt through the bits that came with the machine to find your adaptor, or buy one (Available HERE). Adaptors usually have a quick-release lever to let go of the current snap-on presser foot (usually at the back of the adaptor). Simply lift the lever with the presser foot raised and the current foot should drop off.

To attach the new foot, place it down under the adapter (I always find I have to place it a little further forward than you’d expect) then lower the presser foot onto the snap-on foot to clip it on.

Screw-on Feet

Taking the little screwdriver that comes with the machine (or hunting around for a similar one!) unscrew the current foot from the bar. Take your new foot and line up the claw-like part around the pole so that the screw hole sits centrally. Some screw on feet also fix to the needle bar, so if this is the case, you will have to hook it around the needle bar first before lining up the screw. Take your screwdriver and screw it back in place. Note that hand tightening the screw is not enough and the screw is likely to work lose in no time.

Side cutter tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to unscrew your machine foot
Putting the screw in to the ruffler foot to secure
Attaching the ruffler

What Are The Different Feet On A Sewing Machine For?!!?

There is no list of must-have sewing machine feet. This is because the sewing machine foot that is a game-changer to one person might be near useless to another person depending on what you like to sew most and what aspects of sewing you find easy and what you need help improving. For example, someone who likes to sew bags will likely need sewing machine feet that help them to sew trickier fabrics such as leatherette and add in hardware such as zippers. Whereas someone else who likes to sew casual wear clothes may be looking for feet to help them sew stretch fabrics easier and add in quick hems. So what I’ve tried to do for you is to go through each sewing machine foot that I can think of so you can decide what will be most useful for you. Some feet look entirely different for different models of sewing machines so yours may look a little different from the examples.

Let’s go through as many as we can!

Want to skip to a specific foot? Here’s what we have coming up…

Beading (AKA Sequin) Foot

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To use a beading presser foot, strings of beads, pearls or sequins are passed through the groove in the centre of this presser foot. Select a zigzag stitch and be sure to check needle clearance for the stitch width. You may want to consider using invisible thread with your needle for a more professional finish.

Bias Binding Foot

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This sewing machine foot helps you to attach large amounts of bias binding quickly, so it is perfect for projects like sewing circle skirts. To use this foot, the bias binding is passed through the plastic guide on the right. The guide is adjustable to hold different bias widths in place. It is also easier to make the guide bigger while you are getting your binding in place, then to reduce the size down to a snug fit before sewing. The bias binding should sit in the guide areas above and below so that you can hold the fabric you are joining your bias binding to pushed up against the centre of the bias binding from the left. As you sew, this sewing machine foot helps to hold the layers aligned to join them together. For more help getting started with this foot, feel free to check out our tutorial for more information on How To Use A Bias Binding Foot

Blind Stitch Foot / Blind Hem Foot

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This sewing machine foot is used to create a hem that is barely visible from the front. This means that it is perfect for garments, especially formal wear, as well as often used for curtains. A special stitch on your sewing machine is required to do this kind of seam. For non-stretch materials such as cotton, you will want a stitch that looks like a large zigzag stitch pointing to the left with a straight stitch between. For stretch fabrics, it should be a symbol that resembles a large zigzag with small zigzags in between. The fabric is folded in such a way that the stitch is sewn on the fold, with the foot guide against the fold. Once opened out again, only the peak of the intermittent large zigzag shows through as a tiny stitch, making it difficult to tell that the hem was stitched by the machine.

Depending on the foot, you may also be able to use the guide on the foot for edge joining, topstitching, making pintucks or stitching in the ditch.

Braiding Foot

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A braiding foot is simply a foot that helps you to attach braid, ribbons or cords onto your fabric. This sewing machine foot has a central opening allowing you to pass the braid, cord or ribbon through the guide to then be stitched onto your fabric as an embellishment. Some braiding feet have an adjustable feature to allow you to vary your space to accommodate the width of your braid, cord or ribbon. This lets you ensure enough room for movement but a close enough hold to keep the position accurate. Others require you to weave it through guide arms or a guide tube to help stabilise the ribbon or braid and help to keep an accurate sewing position.

Depending on the width of your braid or cord, a straight stitch or zigzag stitch is used to secure it in place. You may wish to use a similar coloured or contrasting thread, or an invisible thread depending on the look that you want to achieve.

Button Foot

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This little presser foot sits on top of buttons to hold it in place while you sew through the button holes. These can usually sew most 2 and 4 hole regular buttons but will not help you sew any buttons which have metal loop shanks or tunnel shanks. Some fabrics may also need the support of lightweight interfacing to prevent the buttons from stretching the fabric underneath.

There is no need to cover the feed dogs for most sewing machines, but I would recommend experimenting first before finding out the hard way on your garment! Just select a zigzag stitch, then adjust your stitch width until the needle lines up with both holes (do 4 hole buttons in 2 sets of 2). To improve placement accuracy, it is usually easier to sew the buttonholes first then you can mark the best position for the button to be able to pass through. Find out more in our tutorial on How To Sew Buttons On A Sewing Machine

Buttonhole Foot

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The buttonhole foot helps you to not only stabilise your fabric better as you sew forward, backwards and sideways, but will also help you to get a uniform buttonhole size. Some fabrics will benefit from lightweight interfacing underneath the area that you wish to place your buttonholes to help them hold their shape and not become distorted or pulled as easily.

Most sewing machines will come with either a 1 step or 4 step buttonhole stitch. Follow the instructions for your stitch, while the foot keeps your buttonhole perfectly aligned. After you have finished stitching, simply open up the centre of the buttonhole with a seam ripper or embroidery scissors, being careful not to cut through your stitches. Find out more in our tutorial about How To Sew Buttons & Buttonholes By Machine.

Candlewicking Feet

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Candlewicking feet have a deep groove on the underside for sewing built-up stitches such as French Knot stitches and other decorative stitches. The extra space underneath the foot means that there is less friction on the stitching which will mean less stretching and distorting of the stitching or surrounding fabric.

Compensating Foot

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A compensating foot has one side of the presser foot higher than the other. This allows you to easily sew for example a top stitch along the edge of thick fabric seams or hems. With a regular foot, it may tip and cause stitch issues as it is unable to hold the fabric easily in place, especially on corners, whereas this foot can hold the fabric in position to stay more accurately around the edge.

Cording Feet

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Cording feet are designed for mainly for decorative sewing. They all have holes that cords, thin ribbons or decorative threads can pass through to stitch on to your fabric,  but they come with different quantities of holes and different ways of passing the cord through them.

Some cording feet come with fewer holes which are positioned horizontally (for example the 3-hole foot above). These allow the decorative threads to slide under the guide bars. This is quicker to get the threads into place and is able to accommodate slightly bigger cords and ribbons.

Those with more holes tend to pass the decorative threads from above, then through holes in the foot to the fabric below. These versions need threading through set holes, where a needle threading tool can be very useful. I find that it is far easier to thread the decorative threads through the holes before you snap the sewing machine foot onto your machine rather than trying to get the threads through the hole while on the machine. Keep in mind the set holes will only take threads up to the size of that hole so it may not be compatible with some ribbons and trims. However, the more holes that there are, the more accurate you can be about where you place your decorative threads in relation to the other threads and the stitch pattern that you want to sew it in place with.

As you sew with these cording feet, your cord, decorative thread or thin ribbons are passed through the guides or holes. You can sew it in place with a zigzag, straight stitch (for a single ribbon) or decorative stitch.  This technique can be used to embellish a project or to add a piped effect around the edge of fabric or around an appliqué.

You can also use this foot to gather fabric by using a single cord (or use tooth floss as this doesn’t break easily!) Make sure you don’t catch any of your cord with your needle, as you sew a wide/long zigzag stitch over it. You can then hold one end of your cord and gently pull the cord tighter through the stitching tunnel from the other end, causing the fabric to gather up around it to your desired amount. Simply clip the thread ends to the fabric to hold them in place as you stitch it down to make the gather permanent then remove your guide thread if required.

Darning (AKA Free Motion) Foot

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The darning foot is also known as a free-motion foot. This sewing machine foot allows you to use your sewing machine like a pencil and draw in any direction while still guarding your fingers. Check your machine manuals as some will require you to lower or cover your feed dogs, and many have dedicated free motion special stitches. You can use this technique for projects such as machine embroidery, fixing appliques in place or for quilting. Find out more about how to use these feet in our tutorial about How To Use Free Motion Sewing Machine Feet.

Double Welting Foot

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Double Welting feet have 2 large grooves on the underside which allows cording or piping to pass through underneath. Occasionally you may also come across a welting foot that only has 1 large groove on the underside.

If you wrap fabric around cording you can make your own piping or you can trap the cord in the centre of a seam to give a same-fabric piped edge finish.

Edge Joining (AKA Stitch In The Ditch) Foot

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An edge joining foot is one that has a central guide on the foot. It tends to be used for 2 main purposes.

To use this presser foot as an edge joining foot, you can push 2 fabric edges together so they butt up against either side of the guide in the centre, and join them by zigzag stitching (or similar). This produces a flat seam which is useful for some bulky fabrics or where bulk is not desired such as in leggings.

To use this foot as a stitch in the ditch foot, you can use the central guide to help keep your stitching lined up with a previous line of stitching such as a seam in quilting. This helps to keep your new line of stitching hidden in amongst your previous stitching or seam line. You can also use it to follow a line drawn with a temporary fabric marker or to follow markings on your fabric pattern.

Felling Foot

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Felling feet are designed to help you sew flat felled seams (the typical seam that you would find down the side leg of a pair of jeans). This is a seam which encloses all of the raw fabric edges giving a professional-looking finish.

These feet usually come with set seam widths, and can also be used to help create narrow-turned hems.

Flower Stitch Foot

Flower Foot sewing machine circle and floral decorative embroidery low shank presser foot

This foot allows you to stitch in a perfect circle. By using decorative stitches, you can make flower shapes. Think of it like a spirograph for your sewing machine.

Fringe Foot

Snap on fringing foot for sewing fringe with a sewing machine

This machine foot has a raised bar in the centre, so as you zigzag over it, it creates extra slack in the thread after the stitch has passed over it, creating a fringe effect. It can also be used to sew on buttons where you want the button fit to be looser to go through thicker materials into the buttonhole, such as on a coat.

Gathering Feet

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Gathering feet have an uneven surface underneath that increases the friction and so gathers the fabric gently as you sew. The amount of gathering that you create can be adjusted by changing your stitch length and stitch tension, as well as your stitching speed.

Some gathering feet will also have a guide in the centre. If you pass one piece of fabric through that guide and another underneath the foot, you can gather the bottom fabric while attaching it simultaneously to the top fabric which is kept flat and ungathered.

Having the guide could also allow you to alternate between gathered and flat sections of fabric without having to change feet if you are sewing near the fabric edge. You can do this by simply hooking the fabric edge up into the guide temporarily to sew a flat section.

Hemmer Feet (AKA Wide Rolled Hem Feet)

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This family of feet are best known for the narrowest hemmer foot – the rolled hem (see below). All of these feet work the same way, but the width of the hem created will depend on the size of the feed used (usually available up to about 1″ width). Start your hem off by making a small fold the width of your guide, then fold that under again so that the raw edge is enclosed. Put it under the foot and sew a few stitches to secure the fabric fold in place. Now leaving the needle down but the presser foot lifted up, thread the hem into the guide. Lower back down and stitch while keeping slight tension on the fabric. As you sew, gently curl the fabric as you go to help feed it through. Make sure to keep the fabric central or it will slip out of the guide, especially with narrower hems. Note that lightweight fabrics are better suited to narrow hems and heavier fabrics are more likely to get better results with wider hems.

Join And Fold Hemming Foot

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These feet are the same as hemming feet but with a twist. Not only can you hem the edge of your fabric, but you can use it to attach another fabric or trim underneath the hem at the same time. This is perfect for adding lace edging or similar.

Knit Foot

Knit foot snap on low shank sewing machine presser foot for stretch fabrics for brother janome

Knit feet are designed for improving sewing with stretch fabrics. This particular knit foot has a small gripper underneath while it’s long upwards prong fits over the needle bar to lift and lower in time with the needle. This means that it grips the fabric as the needle pierces through then lets go of the fabric as the feed dogs pull it through. This takes off much of the foot tension that would otherwise distort stretch fabrics in a similar way to that of a walking foot but with the convenience of being a small snap-on foot.

Open Toe Embroidery Foot

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An open-toe is a presser foot that is open at the front. In the case of this open-toe embroidery foot, it has an extra wide front opening. This allows room for large decorative stitches and makes it easier to embroider around raised areas such as sequins or appliques.

Over Edge (AKA Overcast) Foot

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The overcast foot is also known as an over-edge foot because it helps you to sew along the edge of a fabric. It has a guide bar that allows zigzag or overlocking stitches to wrap around the fabric edge. As you hold the fabric edge against the guide bar, it helps to maintain perfect tension to allow you to sew over the edge of your fabric to create a finished edge or stop fabric edges from fraying. Find out more in our tutorial about How To Use An Overcast Sewing Machine Foot.

Pintuck Foot

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Pintuck feet have a series of small grooves on the underside of the feet. By using a twin needle on a straight stitch, the grooves help to form lines of raised tucks. The higher the stitch tension, the greater the tuck created. Stitch length can also influence the size of the tuck, so be sure to experiment with some offcuts to get the desired appearance.

Pintuck feet usually vary from about 5 to 9 grooves on the foot. Heavier-weight fabrics typically look better with the grooves more spaced apart such as a 5-groove pintuck foot as the size of the tuck will be bulkier, whereas the 9-groove foot is better suited to lighter fabrics.

Quarter Inch Quilting Foot

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The Quarter Inch Quilting Feet has a guide to the right which is ¼ inch away from the central needle position. By pushing your fabric edges up against this guide, you can use this foot to help create a perfect ¼ inch seam or line of top-stitching. Most Quarter Inch Quilting Feet will also have a marking on the toe of the foot. This is there to help you line up your perfect distance on a corner to maintain the ¼-inch positioning.

Read our guide to find out more tips on How To Use A Quarter Inch Quilting Foot.

Rolled Hem Foot

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Rolled hem feet are part of the hemmer foot family. The rolled hem foot creates very narrow hems and is only suitable for lightweight fabrics. I wouldn’t recommend anything much heavier weight or thicker than quilting cotton. Rolled hem feet have a very narrow curved guide to help curl your fabric edge up.

To use a rolled hem foot, begin your hem by making a small fold about the width of the curved guide. Fold that under again so that the raw edge is enclosed. Put the folded edge under the rolled hem foot and sew a few stitches to secure it in place. Leaving the needle down but the presser foot lifted up, thread the hem into the guide. Lower the foot back down making sure it has stayed in place. Stitch while keeping slight tension on the fabric and curl the fabric as you go to help feed it through. Make sure to keep the fabric central or it will slip out of the guide. It can take a couple of practice tries to get the hang of but once you have the knack it makes for very quick hems.

Roller Foot

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A roller foot has a moving roller in the centre of the foot. This helps to grip the fabric to hold it in place, yet allows the fabric to move when it is being pulled through from the feed dogs underneath.

This sewing machine foot works best with fabrics that ordinarily would stick or be difficult to work with such as waterproof fabrics.

Ruler Foot

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A ruler foot is a sewing machine foot which is designed to work around raised acrylic rulers and templates. It is able to move in any direction like a free-motion (darning) foot, yet the chunky base helps you stay a set distance around a template. This makes it easy to make repeatable patterns, so it is a foot that is especially useful for quilting. A non-slip grip between the acrylic and fabric can make it easier to work around acrylic templates without them slipping as easily.

Ruffler Foot

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The ruffler foot is the big brother to the gathering foot. That foot can only do gentle gathers, but this foot is all about the big gathers, pleats and ruffles. The amount of gathering is controlled by dials on the foot which allow you to adjust both pleat depth and frequency. This allows you to make gathers, pleats or ruffles at uniform distances apart quickly and easily. It can even ruffle one fabric while stitching it to a flat piece of fabric at the same time. Find out more in our tutorial about How To Use A Ruffler Foot.

Self Levelling Foot (AKA The J Foot)

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The Self Levelling Foot is also known as a J Foot. It works well with thick fabrics and takes out the need for any hump jumpers, clearance plates or other tools to sew over thick seams.

To use the self-levelling foot, sew as you would do normally until you reach an uneven surface like a bulky seam. Once the sewing machine foot starts to lift upwards at the front, stop sewing with the needle in the down position. Lifting up the presser foot, press the small black button inwards at the side. Lower the foot back down to start sewing over the seam. Once you have sewn over the raised area, the button should automatically pop back out.

Side Cutter (AKA Cut & Hem) Foot

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The Side Cutting Foot is also known as a cut and hem foot. It is the closest foot that you can get to having an overlocker on a normal sewing machine. It is similar to the over-edge foot, in that there is a central bar that the stitches wrap around to be able to sew evenly over the edge of the fabric to finish the raw edge and reduce fraying. However, the Cut and Hem foot also has a small blade to cut the fabric before stitching.

To use the Cut And Hem foot, you need to cut a small notch at the edge of the fabric where you want the foot to begin cutting. Line the notch up with the protected blade. When you begin sewing, the feed dogs pull the fabric towards the blade, cutting as you sew. This new raw edge is now lined up perfectly against the guide bar of the foot to sew over the newly cut edge of the fabric. Find out more in our tutorial about How To Use A Cut And Hem Foot.

Stitch Guide Foot

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There are many designs of sewing machine feet to help you sew at set distances apart without the need to mark the fabric. This is very useful for sewing repeating patterns with decorative stitch sewing, shirring fabrics or for sewing quilting projects. However, it can also be useful in other projects for helping you to keep to a set seam allowance.

There are 2 main designs for stitch guide feet – to either have an adjustable arm that you can set the specific distance on, or alternately to have set markings on either side of the needle on a wide see-through foot. Both are more suitable for different types of projects. For example, the set guide markings on the wide foot may not be marked at the exact distance you wish to replicate, making it harder to follow, and may not be suitable for sewing into small areas or over bulkier seams because of the wide width of the foot. However, it is more useful when it comes to sewing uneven fabrics that could catch on a free arm easily such as over sequined fabric, over appliques or moving over other decorative stitching. Free-arm stitch guides also only tend to have the guide to the right, so the wide flat guide would come in more useful for following a line to the left of your stitching.

Teflon Foot

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A Teflon Foot is just a regular sewing machine foot which has been coated with the non-stick surface that you often find inside frying pans. This makes it easier to sew over fabrics which tend to either stick or slide under a normal sewing machine foot such as PVC, vinyl or lycra. Usually, the foot is a standard zigzag foot, but you may be able to find other Teflon-coated feet depending on your machine. For example, Bernina also makes Teflon-coated zipper feet.

Keep in mind that to sew tricky fabrics, you will also need to match your needle to that fabric type also such as a leather needle or a stretch needle. Over time with regular use, you may find that the Teflon surface gradually wears or chips off. Once this happens, it will need replacing to maintain its usefulness.

Thick Fabric Foot

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The Thick Fabric Gliding Foot is designed for use with bulky fabrics such as denim, canvas, corduroy and similar. This foot is sprung and able to tip both forward and backwards. This allows it to pass easily over bulky seams and hems without losing contact with the fabric.

Walking Foot

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A Walking Foot is able to handle thick fabrics like denim, sticky fabrics like PVC, stretch fabrics like lycra, tricky fabrics like fur and multiple layers of fabric like quilting. The reason that it is such an adept foot for so many difficult-to-sew fabrics, is that the Walking Foot feeds the fabric through from above at the same speed as the feed dogs work from below.

The benefits of moving the fabric at the same time from both above and below are that it keeps an even pressure without letting fabrics slide around under the foot by lifting off the fabric. This would be especially useful when sewing fabric like stretch satin which may slip more under a knit foot.

It stops lopsided stretching of knit fabrics where the friction is greater above the fabric than it is below, which on a regular foot leads to distorted seams and hems. This effect also tends to distort quilting where multiple layers are moving at different speeds depending on how close they are to the feed dogs trying to pull at them. By pulling through from the top of the fabric stack at the same time as the bottom, the sandwiched layers are able to move more evenly leading to more accurate sewing. It also helps to move through tacky fabrics like waterproof fabrics which may get stuck and drag under a regular presser foot.

The walking foot works by hooking around the needle bar. This means that as the needle bar moves, it affects the speed of the movement inside the foot so that the foot is able to time the movement of pulling the fabric through from above more evenly to the movement of the feed dogs regardless of what speed you are sewing.

Many Walking Feet will also come with a removable metal bar. This can be attached as a guide to help you line up stitching for example when quilting lines at set distances. This is quickly and easily detachable if not required.

Zipper Foot – Standard

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Zipper feet come in a range of shapes and sizes but all of them are designed to allow you to stitch closely to zipper teeth (or the edge of any other raised surface). Many will also have double snap positions to allow you to switch which side you stitch close to without having to change the needle position or fabric direction. Others will often have notches to allow you to move your needle to the opposite side assuming that your machine is able to move the needle far enough over.

These feet are best suited to sewing regular exposed zippers.

Zipper Foot – Invisible

Invisible zipper universal snap on presser foot for concealed zips fits brother toyota babylock singer janome
Pfaff clear invisible zipper foot sewing machine parts
husqvarna viking invisible zipper snap on sewing machine foot

Invisible Zipper Feet help to make stitching invisible zippers quicker and easier. Invisible Zipper Feet have grooves underneath to allow for the teeth of the zip. Some zips may have wider teeth though so you may want to check the foot easily runs over them before starting to stitch. Clear plastic allows for greater visibility as you stitch. The Invisible Zipper Feet hold the teeth in a groove to give you greater control of the zipper placement as invisible zippers are deliberately small in their teeth and you are aiming to conceal them entirely so keeping consistent close stitching gives the best finish, which you are able to do easily if the presser foot is controlling the distance between the teeth and the needle.

To use the foot, it is easier to use a zip which is longer than the fabric area you wish to cover as you’ll be sewing one side of the zip at a time and as you are running the Invisible Zipper Foot along the groves of the zip, it can be harder to move the zipper pull out of the way midway like you would when sewing a regular zipper. Some fabrics may also benefit from lightweight interfacing where you wish to add the zipper to give the fabric enough stability.

Simply finish off your fabric edge by pinking or sewing an overcast/zigzag stitch along the fabric edge first. The zipper is then sewn to the fabric before the edge is turned so that when you turn it to hide the raw edge, the zipper teeth are aligned perfectly along the fabric fold.

We hope you enjoy our tutorials and love hearing what you think so please leave us a comment if you have any thoughts, feedback or questions.

Happy Sewing!

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62 thoughts on “Sewing Machine Feet Guide

  • Paula

    Hi I got the multifunctional 52pcs presser foot kit from amazon and my mum told me to empty them into a tub rather than have them in the box so silly me did what she suggested and now apart from a few of the presser feet, I can’t figure out which presser foot goes in which compartment of the box it came in, what do I do?

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Industrial sewing machines will often take a high shank fitting, but without knowing more about your machine, I wouldn’t be able to make any specific recommendations other than to contact the manufacturer to find out what fittings are compatible with your machine.

  • Diane

    Hello, I have heard a lot about a sewing foot that works like an overlocker works .
    Think it’s Called overlocker foot.
    I have a Brother XL 5021 machine .
    Do you sell this attachment please .

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Hi, I think the sewing machine foot you are looking for is the Cut & Hem foot which lets you cut and sew at the same time on a standard domestic sewing machine. But if you are just wanting to be able to sew easily over the edge of fabric that you have already cut, then the snap on overcast foot is a great choice. I hope that helps. Linda x

  • Susan Drury

    This is a fabulous site. Allows me to identify feet and teaches use of them. Thank you so much h, it was driving me crazy before! The only foot I really is the ruler foot. But in time!

  • Annie Turner

    can you tell me what is a J Foot as it is not listed and what does it look like. I have a Brother FH27 sewing machine and I need a foot that will help me sew very thick webbing

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Hi, the alternate name for a J foot is a Self Levelling Foot. It looks like a standard universal presser foot only it has a little black button on the side. When you start to sew over an uneven surface such as a thick seam, you stop sewing with the needle in the down position, lift the presser foot off the fabric then push the button in. You lower the foot again and start sewing. The button should pop out again after you return to the flat. Depending on how thick the fabric is that you are trying to sew, you could either use a Self Levelling Foot, or a Thick Fabric Gliding Foot.

  • Janet Rowley

    I have a Janome machine and have found a “H” foot in the attachments.
    Is there anyoneoout there that knows what it is for.


  • John Roff

    I have an old 45k singer. Is there a suitable roller foot available for this machine. I wish to sew leather. Thank you. JR.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      As far as I can see, the fittings for the old 45k singers look quite different to any of the more modern machines so I would suggest consulting Singer or a Singer machine specialist – they might be able to point you in the direction of parts or second-hand sales. Sorry, I cant be more helpful here. Good luck finding one!

  • Lesley

    Hi. I bought a cheap set of feet from eBay after treating myself to a sewing machine. I haven’t had the chance to try most of them yet – honestly I have no idea how/when to use them!

    But I am having a problem with one specifically and I’m wondering if it’s that I’m using a cheap foot, or if it’s something else I’m doing wrong. The little gripper bit on my knit foot gets itself stuck on the twin needle! Comes right off the foot and up when the needle lifts! I haven’t been able to find anything about why this might be happening. It’s not even on every stitch so I don’t think it’s needle position, but it’s very regularly. Can you help?

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      I have one that has a tendency to pop off too. It sounds like either the twin needle is catching it or bunching the fabric up right next to it, or the gripper just isn’t pushed on hard enough. Unless it’s a very delicate fabric then they are usually fine to sew without the gripper on (just check on a bit of scrap first – I lost my gripper for a couple of months and couldn’t tell the difference on most fabrics!!!) Or maybe you could just try glueing it on?

  • Denise Blackerby

    Thank you for all the info on the various feet. I have a total of 5 sewing machines and 2 embroidery machines. All of them came with various feet, but I had to figure out which was which. This has made my sewing experience much better.

  • shehnaz kadri

    Very well explained .The image and illustration is really very good. Helps a lot to understand our machine in detailed.I have Brothercs600i.The feet space ,Quilting feet all were new word for me.This article hepled a lot to undertand.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Sorry to hear it wouldn’t print out for you. I don’t have this guide in another format at the moment. Maybe try selecting all, and copying and pasting to a word document to print it out that way?

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      As long as they have the same shank type for screw on feet to attach to e.g. most recent domestic machines (approx. last 15 years, before then may differ more) have a low shank but singer slant shank, industrial machines and bernina sewing machines have different fixtures. For the snap on feet, as far as I am aware, all sewing machines except singer slant shank and bernina and a some of the very old machines take universal fitting snap on feet. If it is an industrial high shank machine, not all come with adapters that take the universal snap on feet, so we have an adapter to screw on that does. There is always the odd exception to the rule, but on the whole most do.

  • roma

    please traducir a spañol
    ,.- hermoso instructivo nos sirve de guia para quienes estamos aprendiendo el arte de la costura y la gran variedad de cosas que podemos hacer al saber usar cada uno de los prensatelas,.- de antemano gracias.

  • Sandy

    I have a Bernina Artista 200 & would like to buy a walking foot for it. However, I don’t want to spend the $250 for a new Bernina foot. I have seen generic walking feet , on eBay, & wondered if they are okay to use. The price of the generic is around $50-$75. The venders accept returns and state upfront that the feet fit my machine but are made in Taiwan and are not made by Bernina. What do you recommend?

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Bernina tend to have very different attachments for their feet which don’t appear compatible with the universal fitting feet. I’ve never had the chance to use a Bernina so I really wouldn’t like to say which non-Bernina feet would be best. However my experience of generic feet for the universal fitting feet has always been good, so if it were me I would probably check on the conditions for returns and look at the seller feedback to be sure your money is safe for trialling it.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      That made me giggle! Glad you’ve found it helpful. Happy 2016 to you too… may your year be filled with lots of fabric and no skipped stitches!

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      I haven’t found a wholesaler that holds them yet, so we haven’t got any in stock I’m afraid. You can fold cardboard as a temporary solution though.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      That’s very kind of you. The feet really do make things so much easier. If you can spend a little time getting to know your sewing machine, you’ll be amazed how much quicker you can make most things!

  • Tanita

    I wish I knew how to use a machine, I know it is pretty simple to do everyday hems and stitching but all still seems so complicated to me. I do remember always watching my mum sew when I was younger she still does a lot now actually and makes the children bunting among other bits. I think I need to put my hand in at making some bits, it is so fun being creative and learning new skills. If I do I will be sure to use your carefully prepared and very detailed guide to machine foots. Thank you for sharing. x

  • Mudpie Fridays

    Wow I had no idea there were so many! I am a very novice machinist preferring to hand sew! But I have bookmarked your pages as I think there will be loads of useful tips on here. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

        That’s very kind of you. I was about where you were a couple of years ago. I got a set of feet and quickly realised that it’s so much easier if you have the right tools especially a quarter inch quilting foot and an overcast foot.

        • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

          haha my great aunt taught me how to cheat at cards! I could be earning far more if I’d paid more notice to that!!! 😉

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      You’d be surprised how many people feel like that. Maybe try sewing more with paper first (eg. to decorate the front of cards). It’s much easier to control and a great way to build up confidence.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      I only found out about them a couple of years ago, and suddenly found I was far better at sewing than I thought! It’s fantastic how much more professional you can make your sewing look with the right tools