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Intro to Sewing: Basic Feet

But, what's a foot?

The foot of a sewing machine is one of the most important pieces of a sewing machine: it's what holds the fabric to the feed dog and actually allows you to sew. There are dozens of types of feet to buy and it can be a little overwhelming when looking at what does what. However, your sewing machine should come with a few staples, which is what we're going to look at today. Don't worry, we'll get to some crazy ones in future posts; but here's something to start you off.

All-Purpose Foot

This foot has several names, actually: zigzag foot, pressure foot, standard foot, etc. It's pretty much the foot you'll use on the daily during your standard straight or zigzag stitch. It has a wide hole to accommodate the zigzag setting but strong enough to add pressure for straight stitching and everything in between.

Zipper Foot

A foot made with notches on either side that stop you from sewing over the teeth of a zipper. Often times, they will come with a long bar and can be attached to either the left or right side of the shank depending on which side of the zipper you sew. This foot can also be used to sew piping and trims that might get stuck under an all-purpose foot. A zipper foot can be used on an invisible zipper, but they do make a foot specifically for invisible zippers.

Buttonhole Foot

A foot designed to hold a button in the back portion and make a buttonhole that will fit said button. Depending on the machine, you'll be able to choose from a selection of buttonholes including box, rounded or keyholes.

Button Sewing Foot

This foot is primarily used to stitch down four-hole buttons but can also be used with individual hook and eyes. In order to use this foot, you'll need to lower the feed dogs, so it doesn't cause the fabric or button to move underneath. Then, you align the two holes where the zigzag stitch will move between them. If you have button thread, this would be a great chance to use it!

Satin Stitch/Monogram Foot

The satin stitch foot is extremely similar to the all-purpose foot except that it has a small tunnel underneath for thick satin stitching to flow through. The all-purpose foot is completely smooth if you turn it over. Because of that tunnel, you can also use it with ribbon or trims that might be too large for the all-purpose foot.

Overlock/Overcast Foot

The overlock foot is handy for those who do not own a serger/overlock machine. The foot has a bar that keeps the edge of the fabric in line; so that that the stitch can hook over the raw fabric edge and stop it from fraying. This foot is specifically to be used with one of the overlock stitches on your machine.

Hopefully you find this helpful! More posts will be added to cover the different tools and elements of sewing. Please stay tuned!

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