One of the most important parts of a sewing machine is the presser foot. You can’t sew without one because it has several critical jobs to do as you stitch. The presser foot sits on the fabric, holding it to the feed teeth, which helps move the fabric under the needle. The foot also holds the fabric down as the needle stitches, which keeps the fabric from traveling up the needle as each stitch is formed. Another function of the presser foot is that it helps control the tension on the upper thread. Putting the foot down engages the tension and raising it releases the tension. So now you know why you must have a presser foot to sew on the machine. But why do you need more than one? Every machine comes with multiple presser feet and there are dozens (hundreds?) of specialty presser feet available for today’s sewing machines. This post is about the top three reasons why you may want to explore what these feet can do for your sewing.
Some presser feet are designed to streamline techniques, often making them easier and faster to sew. A gathering foot is a great example of this. You sew a line of straight stitching and the foot automatically gathers the fabric as you stitch. No thread pulling and no broken threads as you pull! The video below gives you a quick peek of the gathering foot at work.
Sew More Creatively
Some techniques need a special foot to help you stitch. Couching is a fun technique that lets you add color and texture to your projects by stitching yarns, cords, and fibers to the surface of the fabric. You sew as usual, and the foot manages the cord as you stitch. There are many couching feet that offer variations of this creative technique. The video below shows you how you can embellish your fabric with a braiding foot, using an interesting yarn and a simple zigzag stitch.
Get Better Sewing Results
This may be the most important reason to use specialty presser feet. Every stitcher want the best possible outcome when sewing. Some feet are designed to help you sew better with more professional looking results. An open embroidery foot is a great tool for edgestitching and topstitching. Use the inside edge of the toe as a guide. Then adjust the needle position to sew exactly where you want. The open space between the toes gives you great visibility, and the line of stitching is precisely parallel to the edge of your project.
Where to Start?
If you want to sew faster, better, and more creatively, I encourage you to explore the specialty presser feet available for your machine. If you don’t know where to start, download this free information about must-have presser feet for the type of sewing that you do. Find out about three specific presser feet for different types of sewing – those used by Quilters, Fashion Sewers, Crafters, Home Dec Sewers, and Mixed Media Artists. Whether you sew clothing, quilts, or craft projects, these PDFs will get you started with the right tools to make it easy with professional-looking results.
And, if you want to explore what presser feet can do for your BERNINA sewing machine, CLICK HERE or on the Classes & Courses tab at the top of this page for more information about Feet-ology: An Introduction to BERNINA Presser Feet.
Oh my! You’re limiting me to *one* favorite??? Okay, if you insist, I’ll choose #72, which I use for ruler work on my 790+, but which can be pressed into service for other free-motion quilting, though the #73 is better for that. I also love the 97D and the 10D, as well as several others. Nope, it’s impossible to pick just one!
Hi Sandy –
I know it’s hard to pick just one. I always say, that the one I am using is my favorite because it makes whatever technique I am sewing easier to do. Thanks for responding to my question. I love to know what other stitchers are doing!