June 04, 2008

Lets Talk About Feet

The other day I was working on something and noticed my favorite presser feet (That's a weird thing to say, isn't it? Presser feet?) sitting to the side of my sewing machine. Naturally, the first thing that pops into my head is, "I should blog about that!". So I've decided to share my presser foot collection with you today.

Let's start with my tried and true favorites. I use these 3 almost exclusively, even though I have a lovely collection of the fancy ones, I tend to stick with these guys most of the time.

The Standard Presser Foot. This came with my machine and I love that it's clear on the end. I use those little lines & grooves all the time. That's how I stitch those even lines around bibs & such. My PFAFF comes with a feature they like to call IDT, it's basically an integrated walking foot and it's awesome, just sayin'.

The 1/4" Quilt and Patchwork Foot. Okay, so this foot is great for making quilts because it's exactly 1/4" wide on either side, and also has handy 1/4" marks at the front & back. That's a really great feature when you're coming to the end of a seam and you want to stop 1/4" away from the edge. Very handy indeed, and not just for quilting.

The Zipper Foot. Obviously.

Click the image to see it larger.

Now for the less used and much more specialized presser feet. I keep the majority of these in a box with miscellaneous hardware & spare rotary blades. When I bought my latest PFAFF, I diligently took every class I could in order to get the most out of my machine. Unfortunately, if you don't use that knowledge regularly, it kind of fades away. I had to actually look up some of these on the PFAFF website {blushing}.

The Roll Hemmer actually came with my machine and it works really well if you can manage to keep the fabric inside the foot. It tends to pull out and be a little tricky. When it works, it works well. I used it recently to finish the edge of the sash on this dress. An excellent tool to have if you've ever hemmed organza, yuck.

The Blindhem foot would have been a complete mystery to me if I hadn't taken a class to learn how to use my machine. It's another tricky one to use, but brilliant once you get it. This foot also came with the machine.

The Stitch-In-Ditch is another quilting foot. It's great for stitching right in a seam line.

The Beading Foot is pretty cool, and difficult to photograph. It's got a great big groove on the bottom so you can sew down strings of pearls & such. You just set the machine to zig-zag and run the beads through the groove.

The Braiding Foot is used to stitch down narrow things like cord or yarn. You just feed the trim through that little loop in the front and the foot guides it right under the needle.

The Gathering Foot does exactly that. You just run one fabric through the slit in the foot, and the other fabric stays underneath. Sew with a zig-zag and it gathers your fabric for you. Just adjust the size of the stitch to adjust the amount of gather. I love this foot when I can remember to use it.

The Decorative Trim Foot is really similar to the Braiding Foot, but it's for flat trims like ribbon. It's surprising how much motion you can get just by having a foot to guide your trim. You can stitch in circles with perfectly stitched trim if you remember to use a foot like this.

Last but not least, the Pintuck Foot (sorry, I know it's hard to see in the picture). When I took the presser foot class I was blown away by this one. I've never used it, of course, but it's fantastic! You have to use a twin needle with this foot, which opens up a whole other world of possibilities. Just stitch your first pintuck, then run it through a groove on the bottom of the foot to sew your next one. It makes nice, evenly spaced tucks.

Now you know some of the tricks of the trade, eh? I think the trick is to know how to use all of the features of your machine, and the tools available with it. This post should be a good reminder to me to use some of these fun feet next time I'm making a new handbag or zipper pouch. It also reminds me that I want a non-stick foot, for vinyl & other hard to feed fabrics! Better run to the sewing shop....


Kristi said...

Hey, before you get your non-stick foot, take a look at my post and consider one of these. It is awesome!!! It fixed my sewing-on-vinyl problem right up. :-)


Anonymous said...

Great info, thanks! I want one of those 1/4" feet.

jessica said...

I didn't know you had a Pfaff - so do I? I was surprised to find I had to buy a special 1/4" foot for quilting. The machine I grew up with had a 1/4" seam allowance as part of the regular foot.

Nutsy Coco said...

Wow, I'm feeling like I need to learn a LOT more about my sewing machine now! Thanks for the info on all the feet.

Junie Moon said...

This is very helpful information. I don't have a lot of different "feet" for my machine but your explanations helps me identify what I need to add to my little repertoire.

coffeechris said...

Thanks for the "pfp" (presser foot post). I too have a Pfaff, took all the classes and use the same three feet (sounds funny) you do. Wanted you to know Pfaff has a CD/DVD all on presser feet, with a visual tutorial for each foot. I have found it so useful to pop it in, when I use one of the feet I learned way back when.
I love your blog - went through all your wedding photos on Flickr -- Fabulous you did it all!!! The documenting of your WIP and final pictures were awesome. You have really inspired me, thanks.

LeeAnn said...

I just bought myself the same pin tuck foot. I can't wait to use it!

Sarah and Jack said...

There is a stitch in ditch foot?

My sewing shop never did order the gathering foot I asked for, thanks for the reminder.

Jenn Maruska said...

Wow! What a great post. I've never used alot of those special feet, but I do have one of the teflon feet. If you're going to work with vinyl - it's a must have! Thanks for sharing all that info : )

shunklies said...

What a great post, thankyou. I've gone and gotten out a dusty box of sewing machine feet and blogged about them, getting fellow etsyians to help name and describe them, we had fun!