Ok….I have to admit here that this whole sewing journey has stepped up a notch & I think it’s about time I considered making a few investments. My problem is though what should that investment be??? i have a fairly basic model of a machine but even I wasn’t fully aware of all the options available to me to make my sewing experience that bit easier…
Over Easter I purchased some oilcloth & proceeded to make a tote, using a pattern from the book I had won, Sew Brilliant Bags by Debbie Shore. The pattern wasn’t difficult but I soon realised there was a serious problem with my stitches. The tension was all off at the back (topic for another post!!)
Later the evening on facebook, in conversation with Nikki Perkins, she mentioned a ‘walking foot’ might help aswell as better quality oil cloth. I had never heard of a Walking Foot and had absolutely no idea of what she was talking about. I decided a bit of research was in order……
My machine is a Toyota SP model & it came with 3 feet:
1. Universal Foot
2. 4 – Step Buttonhole Foot
3. Zipper Foot
Up to this point that was all that I had required.
I then proceeded on with my journey to discover that inclusive of the feet I had there were 23 feet available….23 DIFFERENT feet that all have a special task in sewing!!!!
Here I am going to explain what all these feet do, in order to hopefully enlighten some of you (& me) in the process.
- Universal/Zig Zag Foot (Pictured above) – this is the most commonly used foot for straight & zig zag stitches.
- Zipper Foot (Pictured above) – this is a life saver when inserting zips into a garment. It allows for the very small seam that runs beside the zip.
- 4 – Step Buttonhole Foot (Pictured above) – as the name suggests, this is a foot that makes the creation of a buttonhole very simple. It is suitable for button sizes 7mm-31mm.
- Straight Stitch Sewing – Used when handling very fine fabric as it prevents the material from pulling.
- Overcasting Foot – Overcasting is a method used to prevent the edges of unfinished seams & raw edges from unravelling/fraying. Overcasting is very recognisable as you will see it on the seam of every garment you buy in a shop. In a situation where a person is sewing quite alot, there is a separate machine completely that completes this task, called an Overlocker (sounds scary 🙂 )
- Blind Hem Foot – On many garments, you don’t want the stitching on the hem to be exposed. That’s when you need a special foot. Now I remember my Mum used to always do a blind hem by hand but these days most people would use this foot. It is normally adjustable for seams between 3 – 5 mm.
- Non – Stick Foot (Teflon Foot) – Ideal for specialist fabrics eg suede, leather, vinyl (oilcloth) or laminated fabrics. Really for any fabric that you have trouble with while trying to feed it smoothly.
- Roll Hemming Foot – This makes light work of a tidy hem when your fabric is light weight. As the name suggests, you turn hem of your garment under once & then twice (roll) before stitching.
- Piecing Foot – Used for patchwork sewing. It is a 1/4″ foot that is used where a seam allowance of 1/4″ or 1/8″ is required.
- Piping/Zipper Foot – this foot doubles up to insert decorative piping in your garment or to insert a zip. Allows for very narrow seams.
- Open – Toe Appliquè Foot
I could have done with one of these 🙂 When I was doing our first Appliquè project I did find it difficult to see where exactly I was sewing. This wonder foot ensures the accuracy of the stitching because it has an open toe, thus allowing for you to easily see your stitches…..Brilliant 🙂
- Roller Foot – This is a very handy foot for anyone dealing with speciality fabrics. It ensures smooth sewing of any napped eg leather/velvet or looped fabric eg towels.
- Clear Foot – Basically an extra foot to have in your sewing arsenal – an all rounder with multiple uses
- Pintuck Foot
This foot I find amazing. It is used for very narrow decorative pintucks on garments but does require a special needle called a twin needle. The twin needle look like a two-pronged fork. It sews two parallel lines adding that decorative touch to your work. This allows for the use of two different colour threads, giving your garment a very pretty & creative finish.
- Cording Foot – Used primarily in curtain making as it allows for the cord (rope) to be stiched, aswell as any tapes being used.
- Gathering Foot – As it’s name suggests this foot is gathering or attaching a ruffle onto your garmant.
- Braiding Foot – Used for attaching decorative and narrow ribbons, cords & braids.
- Pearl & Sequin Foot – This foot is used for when a project needs embellishing with either sequins or pearls.
- Adjustable Bias Binding Foot – Where a garment has raw edges this foot can be used to attach bias binding.
- Concealed Zipper Foot (Clear) – Most zips being inserted these days are ‘invisible’ so to make it somewhat easier this foot is recommended.
- Walking Foot
Apparently a very important foot in quilting or sewing seams for speciality fabric. It’s used with the guide for parallel lines of quilting and maintains the alignment of plaids when sewing.
- Flower Stitch Attachment – Another foot that is ideal when embellishing projects, it creates circular decorative patterns.
- Jeans Support Foot – Used in conjunction with a regular foot when sewing over heavy seams. It helps to balance the height of the sewing foot but must always be used with denim/jeans needles.
I genuinely was oblivious to the choice & array of feet available until I sat down to right this post. Now I know every machine is different and that some machines will have an even greater variety of foot options available. But I wonder how many do you REALLY need?
I will invest initially in the Open-Toe foot for Appliquè which my daughters absolutely loved and also I will get the non-stick (Teflon) foot as I know oilcloth will be an interesting fabric to work with.
Let me know your opinions please as I would greatly appreciate your feedback on this.
Til next time.