The ultimate guide to sewing feet (to sew like a pro)

Learn all you need to know about sewing machine feet in this handy no-nonsense guide| Randomly Happy

Last week I talked about handy sewing machine needles. Now I wanted to spend some time talking about different sewing machine feet – those strange looking gizmos that snap into our machine and help guide our needle.

I’ll be honest with you – I never really got sewing feet. Surely your standard zigzag foot does it all?Β In some ways, it does. I’ve sewn curtains and ball gowns with a simple zigzag foot. No worries.

But like anything. If you want the best results it pays to splash out a little on specialist kit.

Learn all you need to know about sewing machine feet in this handy no-nonsense guide| Randomly Happy

Top row from left to right: walking foot | blind hem foot | buttonhole foot

Bottom row from left to right: zigzag foot | rolled hem foot | teflon foot

So which sewing feet do you need and which are gizmos? Let’s run down the feet I have in my sewing kit to help you get a better idea of what you may want to add to your list of sewing goodies.

I’d also love to hear what feet are rocking your world. Should I be adding to my kit, or do you think this is a pretty legit collection?

Β The Ultimate Guide to Sewing Machine Feet

Walking Foot

Oh my goodness. This is hands down my new favourite foot. This is perfect for sewing slippery fabrics (including knits like jersey) because it has teeth on the top to grip the fabric and pull it through at an even rate.

This has totally banished the slight puckering I had when I sewed with knits. Honestly, how did I ever sew knit fabric without it?

Blind Hem Foot

A handy little foot that helps you create an almost invisible hem. This is handy if you make a lot of skirts in nice, fancy fabrics.

I bought mine ages ago but don’t really use it that often. Maybe I should…

Buttonhole Foot

Like the name says this helps create the hole for buttons to be pushed through. It essentially creates an edge of sewn fabric around a centre point which is then snipped to create a hole for the button to go through.

If you love buttoned cushions, shirts or skirts then you’ll need this foot in your kit.

Zigzag Foot

As far as I know, this foot comes as standard on all machines. You could probably do all your sewing just with this tiny little powerhouse of a foot. Awesome, right?

Rolled Hem Foot

A new addition to my kit. This foot is great for finishing the edges of very lightweight materials (like silk and sheers). It creates a rolled hem edge which really suits the more delicate fabrics.

Not essential, but a neat little foot to have if you like to work with delicate fabrics.

Teflon Foot

This foot is ideal for working with fabrics that might stick or snag on your regular, metal zigzag foot. Fabrics like vinyl, leather and oil cloth tend to be particularly tricky.

Again, not essential, but if you work with these types of fabrics regularly you may want to pick up a teflon foot.

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  • Thanks for this post…really handy…except that you miss out the 2 feet I was convinced I needed following my visit to the Sewing for pleasure show at the NEC last Saturday…

    Apparently I need a Darning foot if I want to experiment with machine embroidery and a 1/4 inch foot if I want to do patchwork and quilting…

    Any thoughts?

    • I'll be honest – I'm not a quilter so wouldn't be sure what feet you need for quilting. I do like the idea of a 1/4 inch foot for narrow hems though…

      Sorry not to be more helpful! Can anyone else advise?

      x Elena

  • Hi, you definitely need a darning foot for free motion embroidery. I'd recommend the open toed ones with clear plastic rather than metal as they help you to see what you are sewing especially if you are changing direction a lot. You also need either a darning plate or the facility to drop your feed dogs so that you can move the fabric freely in any direction.

    I'd be happy to provide more info if you need it.