You can find several presser foot in the market for working with different materials and stitches. Despite such variation, most home sewing machines usually come with at most two elementary feet. And the most commonly used type is the all-purpose foot, zipper foot, and buttonhole foot. Although these options seem somewhat limited, you can explore a world of possibilities with each variant.
With a bit of imagination, you can make your stuff unique and more attractive. Wondering how? Well, here’s a guideline for using these several feet in brief.
The most significant differentiating factor for the presser foot is the shank, the distance between the foot and the screw. Generally, you will find low-shank feet and high-shank feet. The measurement on a low shank machine is three-quarters of an inch, while a high shank machine measures one and one-quarter inches.
Types of Presser Foot in Sewing Machines
Here, I discuss some of the types of presser feet and provide you with an outlook on their usage.
Standard or Zigzag Foot
The most usable presser foot is the standard or zig-zag foot. As it comes with an opening at the center, you can use it for sewing both straight stitches and zig-zag stitches.
It can take care of both basic fancy stitches and stains stitches. Besides, it is the best option for zig-zag stitches. That is to say, a zig-zag presser foot is suitable for both standard and decorative stitches. However, even though it helps with several sewing tasks, you may find difficulties with certain fabric types or techniques.
Straight Stitch Foot
You may find some tricky fabrics in the market that is difficult to sew with a standard or zig-zag foot. The standard presser foot may pull the fabric under the needle plate as there is an extensive gap in the foot itself. In this situation, a straight stitch foot is the best solution. As the bottom of this presser foot is flat, it helps you hold the fabric firmly against the feed dogs while sewing.
Blind Hem Foot
Generally, we all are used to hand sewing for a blind hem. But you can have the same result, often much better, with a blind hem footer. It provides a barely visible finish and takes less time while sewing.
The foot comes with an extension at the front that helps to hold the fabric fold perfectly while sewing the hem. Some models have an adjusting screw at the side. Depending on the weight and thickness of the sewing fabric, you can move the front extension to the left or right.
Nine out of ten machines ship with a zipper foot. And as for its functionality, the name is pretty self-explanatory. Most interestingly, you can also use it for inserting piping or sewing along with areas that may have more bulk on one side than others.
Usually, a zipper foot comes with gaps on either side of the foot. So first, keep the side you want to sew under the relevant side of the zipper foot. After that, stitch along one side of the zip and repeat it for the other side.
Adjustable Zipper Foot
The adjustable zipper foot has a big wheel in the back that helps you move the foot along the shank. So, this wheel is for moving your foot back and forth. Moreover, after getting the accurate position, you can tighten it. Therefore, this adjustable feature gives you more control over the locus of your stitching.
Concealed or Invisible Zipper Foot
The invisible zipper foot has a hole in the center and two deep grooves underneath. And the zipper coil runs through the grooves on the downhill so that the needle stitches sit neatly. In other words, you can get an invisible zip with a concealed zipper foot that you cannot get with a standard zipper foot.
Buttonhole feet, despite the simple to-the-point naming, have more types than you would usually think. Such as:
Standard Buttonhole Foot
A standard buttonhole foot is almost similar to a regular presser foot. It brings along an opening wide enough to design the zig-zag stitches necessary for sewing a button. However, they deliver better results when working with bulky fabrics or tenacious areas like cuffs or collars.
In addition, no other foot is perfect when you want one-inch buttonhole. Yet, you have to consider that a standard buttonhole has a manual step feature. In such circumstances, you need to measure and mark the button on your own.
Siding or Adjustable Buttonhole Foot
Siding or adjustable buttonhole feet are longer than a standard presser foot. However, the sewing process of an adjustable buttonhole foot is almost similar to that of a traditional buttonhole foot. But it has an automatic marking feature that helps you sew a right-sized buttonhole. Place your button next to the foot to identify which marking is better for creating the perfect length buttonhole.
One-Step Buttonhole Foot
No matter how many buttons you want to sew, the one-step buttonhole has got your back. Even though some machine models may offer a variety of buttonhole styles, the basic style of machine buttonhole is the bar tack style. Despite differences from machine to machine, its function is more or less the same. For example, there is a holder for the button at the back of the foot. So, the first thing you should do is open the holder and place the switch. After positioning the pressure foot, start sewing. The benefit of the foot is that you do not need to worry about marking the sewing place. And still, this foot sews the buttons in an accurate position automatically.
Seam Marker Foot
The seam maker foot is helpful when turning corners and sewing round corners. Furthermore, using this foot can provide you with an accurate and well-furnished look. Most interestingly, it comes with tiny markings on it. For example, you may find 1/8-inch, ¼-inch, or ½-inch markings on its body part.
Before starting the stitching process, you have to line the edge of your fabric up. And when stitching garment patterns, all you need to do is set that up to the lining to get a perfect seam allowance for your project.
Frequently Asked Question
Can you use any foot on a sewing machine?
The most basic presser feet are an all-purpose sewing foot, a zipper foot, an embroider foot, and a buttonhole. Generally, some presser feet will have a specific alignment for everyone. Nevertheless, you can use the presser feet interchangeably between various brands. However, you have to be concerned with the type of shank.
What does a presser foot do?
The presser foot is an attachment that comes with a sewing machine. And it is used for holding the sewing fabric flat and helping to feed through the machine. Otherwise, the fabric slipover may cause imperfect stitches.
No matter the abundance of presser foot types, not all of them are suitable for you. Depending on your use case, you have to choose carefully. For instance, the all-purpose foot is appropriate if you are a new learner. In addition, if you are willing to work with buttons or zippers, you can also spend a few extra bucks on zipper foot and buttonhole foot.