Sewing Machine Feet-Walking Foot

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Walking Foot

Popular with quilters, this foot can be a little daunting to approach. Fear not, it is a very simple piece of engineering and a must have foot.

The foot is ideal for thick, quilt sandwiches but also favoured by sewists using jersey fabrics to minimise stretch as they sew.

The premise of the foot is simple, it have a second set of feed dogs to compliment the lower feed dogs, helping to pull bulkier fabrics through your machine. The upper feed dogs are moved by a lever that you connect to the top of the needle bar. As the needle moves up and down, it moves the feed dogs at the same time.

How do I fit it?

If you have a clip on adaptor-this needs to be removed before you can fit the walking foot. You need to wrap the foot around the screw hole on the presser foot bar. Before you screw it together, make sure the lever on the right of the foot is resting on the needle bar screw. Then you can attach the screw.

Tips for Use

If you find that you are getting very small stitches despite having selected a longer stitch length,  you may find the walking foot of use. Small stitches are indicative of the fabric not being able to progress under the presser foot as quickly as you may wish.

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Top 3 Sewing kits must haves

When you’re starting off learning to sew, there’s a few bits and pieces I can’t recommend highly enough so I’ve compiled a short list to help you shop wisely.

ONE:

A decent pair of scissors. Now in the first few months you can get away with a pair of 99p bargain sharp scissors. Then you start to get good at sewing and want to do more. The key to successful sewing it being able to cut decent straight lines and to do that, you need some heavyweight dressmaking shears. I recommend Chinese or German steel shears like these. They will last a very long time and can be sharpened.

TOP TIP: keep them out of the way of non-sewers, use them only for fabric and they won’t get blunt/trashed!

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TWO:

Chalk, specifically Tailor’s chalk is perfect for marking your fabric with pattern guidelines, little notes to yourself and to remind yourself which way is up. Chalk is cheap and available in lots of colours so buy a few in case your fabric is the same colour as the chalk you’ve just bought!

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THREE

A seam ripper is so handy for undoing those little mistakes. Last night, one of my students, under my ‘watchful’ eye, sewed two left legs for her new trousers so we had to undo one. A seam ripper got it done in minutes rather than hours and we could start all over again (or rather she could, I still feel bad). Buy a couple as they tend to get lost as they’re so small.

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That’s it for the moment, more knitting top tips to come soon!

Sewing (& knitting) Gauges

One of the things I sell more of than anything else are sewing gauges (also known as knitting gauges). They are a handy little tool, about 6 inches in length and made of aluminium. They have so many uses I can hardly begin to tell you all about them but here’s a few…

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Their rigid shape means they are great for measuring seam allowances with ease. They can also give you a perfect hemline every time (well you have to be able to sew straight but it’s an aid), measuring tension squares in knitting, marking out distances between things like buttons and buttonholes, and poking pins out of the carpet.

While not a vitally necessary tool, it can make sewing much easier and more pleasant. In addition to measuring tapes, rulers, and other tools of the trade, the sewing gauge will help a seamstress turn out products with a crisp, professional look. It is also useful in quilting and the crafting arts, and some other trades, such as woodworking, have adopted the tool as well.

If you’re now thinking you can’t live without one of these little wonders, pop on over to my ebay store and help yourself to one for just £1.15 +p&p