It’s no secret that I love all presser feet because of what you can do with them as you sew on your machine. From the Gathering foot to the Jeans foot to the Binding attachment, I use them all at one time or another depending on what I am sewing. But as much as I love the specialty feet, I can’t live without a good all-purpose presser foot. All sewing machines have at least one all-purpose presser foot included with the machine. BERNINA has additional all-purpose feet options, so which one is best? It’s really up to you to decide if one is better than the other, but there is one that I use more than the others. Keep reading to find out which one and why.
The Official All-Purpose Presser Foot
If you have a BERNINA machine, it came with a foot called Reverse Pattern Foot #1/1C/1D. The specific version of the foot depends on the model you have. The smaller machines that have a maximum width of 5.5 mm use Foot #1. It has a 5.5 mm needle opening and a smaller footprint (no pun intended) to match the width of the feet teeth on the machine. The other two versions are Foot #20C and Foot #20D. Both are designed for the larger machines that have a maximum width of 9 mm. Reverse Pattern Foot #1D is a dual feed foot that helps two layers of fabric move at the same rate of speed under the foot without sliding and shifting. The larger machines may come with one or both of these feet, depending on the model.
The Unnecessary All-Purpose Foot
Another all-purpose foot is Zigzag Foot #0. When stitch patterns were less complex, this was the all-purpose foot included with BERNINA machines and was the only all-purpose presser foot for many years. Now it is an optional accessory that comes in only one version that has a 5.5 mm needle opening. Foot #0 is made for forward motion stitching such as you find with the straight and zigzag stitches. If you do not have this foot, there is no need to purchase one because Reverse Pattern Foot #1/1C/1D is able to do what Foot #0 does and more. Along with forward motion stitches, Foot #1 is good for open stitches that move back and forth to form a stitch pattern without dragging on the thread, which may cause skipped or distorted stitches.
My Favorite All-Purpose Presser Foot
The last, but not least, all-purpose presser foot is Clear Foot #34/34C/34D. This one is the foot I use far more than the others. Aside from the clear acrylic material, the design of the sole is identical to Reverse Pattern Foot #1. It functions in the same way – good for most practical and open decorative stitches. Note: None of the all-purpose feet work well with heavy satin stitch patterns. The soles are too flat to let the heavy thread build-up move easily under the foot as you stitch.
Even though Foot #34 is like Foot #1, there are added features that make it my favorite. The obvious one is the clear sole. You can see the entire stitching area under the foot to make it easy to stitch exactly where you want. On this clear sole are red markings that help you align stitches and sew precisely. The side markings are telling you where the needle is going to drop, again for precision stitching, and the center marking lets you follow a marked on your fabric so you can always stitch in a straight line. Click below to see a short video that shows how easy it is to sew straight!
Another feature of Foot #34 is that the toes tilt up at the front of the foot. This is great when stitching on textured fabrics or in situations where you have multiple fabric edges to stitch over, such as when stitching a fabric collage. The toes on Foot #1 also do this but combined with the clear sole, I think it is more useful on Foot #34. As I said, it’s up to you to decide if you like one more than the others, but my vote goes for Clear Foot #34/34C/34D! Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite all-purpose presser foot.