Favorite machine feet for making clothing?
I have decided to branch out from using my generic sew-all machine foot and buy some new fancy special feet during a sale this weekend at my dealer. I know for sure I will be picking up a topstitching foot and probably an invisible zipper foot (thanks to that clue for the fall patterns earlier) but are there any other feet that will make sewing easier? I have my eye on a bias binding attacher and a narrow hemmer foot, but I don’t know if they will really help or make a difference in my sewing. So what do you think ladies, are there any special feet you can’t live without? Ones that aren’t worth the money?? Share, share! (If it matters, I sew on a Viking Sapphire, making the feet a splurge, I want to be sure they will be worth the cost!)badskirt @badskirt
You’ve already mentioned a topstitching foot. I absolutely couldn’t live without my #10 Bernina Edgestitching foot. In addition to edgestitching, it’s good for joining two pieces of fabric cleanly, tucks, lace, stitch-in-the-ditch and more.claireabel @claireabel
I’m still just getting to know my machine so this is intriguing. What do these feet do? Eg, how does a topstitching foot work? What does it do that a regular foot can’t do?
I have splashed out on a couple of feet – a gathering foot and a walking foot. The walking foot is worth its weight in gold (especially for sewing ‘layers’ of fabric, like in a lined jacket) but the gathering foot I can live without. I tend to make most of my gathers by hand.Anonymous @
I have the bias binding foot and I’ve found it to be useless. I know people use them and they work, but I couldn’t ever get it to work for me. It takes ALOT of practice even to do straight sections and just forget about curves.
I REALLY wish I had a ruffler foot.isewstuff @isewstuff
I bought a walking foot last fall and can’t believe what a difference it has made in my sewing. It really has been worth every penny and I only wish I had bought it years ago. I use it constantly.
As for the gathering and ruffler feet, they’re okay. I never use mine in clothing construction, but tend to use them for craft projects. I prefer to make my gathers the old fashioned way and have them be more easily adjustable.
My narrow hemmer gets some use, but it has taken some practice to get it right. I’ve found I have to press the edge of the fabric before using it anyway, and most of the time don’t bother to switch out the feet.
My bias binding foot drives me crazy. I really dislike using it.
I don’t have an edgestitching foot, it is sold out every time I go to buy one. I think that speaks volumes about how useful it is. Which reminds me, I should check to see if they are back in stock 🙂sayiamyou @maraya
Like Amy, I love my #10 edgestitching foot for my Bernina. I also have a button foot that I love as well as an applique foot. I want to get a ruffler foot too!Anonymous @
Oh – I forgot about the walking foot. LOVE LOVE LOVE my walking foot.Nicole @motherof5
I do not know what a walking foot is!
My machine is an old semi-industrial Bernina built into a table. It has lots of feet but many of them are such a hassle to use I do not use them enough to find them helpful.
I have looked in my manual , but a walking foot is not mentioned. It sounds like it would have been very helpful making a recent suede jacket, I had 5 layers to sew at times, I used my little hammer a lot.
Would someone please describe it?
I would suggest asking your dealer for the “accessory user’s guide”. It details every viking accessory and its use. I place a tic mark next to the feet I own. It is a great reference too if you make notes to yourself regarding how the foot is used and on what fabric.
The feet I use constantly are the straight stitch foot (no side to side needle adjustment allowed); left edge topstitch foot (412 78 42-45) this foot is built up underneath on the left side of the foot so that the foot rides evenly when topstitching–I love love love this foot; ‘D’ foot (the blind hem foot) for right edge topstitching.
Since you mentioned your machine is a sapphire, I would also reccommend looking into purchasing the straight stitch plate with inch markings. the sapphire is designed with such large decorative stitches in mind that the hole in the plate is huge and easily skews or sucks down fabric. When you are garment sewing, you want a 1/2″ seam to be a 1/2″ seam with no variance. putting in the straight stitch plate for most of your construction will make a big difference. just remember you cannot adjust your needle width placement when using this plate… so go back to your decorative plate when doing topstitching etc.
Confession: if possible, I group like steps together which sometimes requires that I sew the pattern steps out of order. I hate having to rethread a different color or change needle sizes (which makes for straighter topstitching if you go up a needle size when going through all the garment and seam layers), or change feet in the middle of making the garment. sometimes it works to do things my own way, and other times it is better to simply follow the directions but often that means making many changes midstream inorder to get the best results.
One has to remember that in commercial garment construction, one machine is dedicated to each function–so only one machine is setting sleeves, only one machine is topstitching… wish I had that many machines and sewing stations 🙂
One last suggestion for this long winded post, purchase a copy of Carol Ahles ‘Fine Machine Sewing’ http://www.amazon.com/Fine-Machine-Sewing-REV-E/dp/1561585866/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279945171&sr=8-1Anonymous @
Nicole – a walking foot feeds the fabric from the top as well as the feed dogs feeding it from the bottom. It’s great for sewing through multiple layers so that the bottom layer doesn’t get ahead of the top layer. It’s also great for “sticky” fabrics like vinyl or laminates so that they don’t drag against the foot. Here’s the one I have:
The 2-prong fork thingy sticking up fits over the head of the screw that holds the needle in. When the needle moves up/down, the little gripper teeth in the foot apply/release pressure on the fabric. Those little teeth in the foot slide within the foot to follow along with the fabric. Maybe I sound confusing – I should go to bed!Anonymous @
Oh – forgot to mention one more foot I’d love to have – a brading foot!
Thanks Sahm, I will go and have a look , Good Night !Sewnsew @Sewnsew
I love my open toed foot. I couldn’t live without it. And, yes, an invisible zipper foot is great too.Sarvi @Sarvi
I have a Viking as well, and the only foot I’ve bought for it that didn’t come with it is a walking foot, which on the box is called a dual feed foot. Heaven opened and this foot fell out and landed on my desk. It was brutally expensive, though, so much so that I waited until Christmas and requested it as a gift from my family. A similar foot for a Singer would’ve been only $30. For what it cost me I half expected it to be motorized, but it just borrows motion from the shank (not sure what the right word is for it).sayiamyou @maraya
Nicole, I asked for a walking foot a year ago for my birthday and never used it because it was so intense and cumbersome to attach. I also have a Bernina. I think it would be really handy, but just found it frustrating. I ended up exhanging it for 3 other feet I had on my wish list…it was crazy expensive! I think I would like to eventually have one again…
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