Sewing Machine Feet

IMG_20160626_110700The Zipper Foot

These are an essential foot in my humble opinion. It allows you to get the sewing machine needle up and close to the teeth of your zip. That gives you more control of the end result of your project.

The foot has two sides to it, a left and a right. You need a clip on adaptor to fit the foot in the photo. You then clip it on to either side, depending on which side of the teeth you are sewing.  If you’re not sure which side you need, clip the foot on to one side and then put your project underneath. If you’re not as close as you want to be, move the foot to the other side.


What else can I use it for?

The zipper foot is also great for sewing in piping cord trim. It means you can get close to the cord itself, leaving less of the flange visible.

Variations on the Foot

The foot can also come as a screw on version, meaning you don’t need the clip on adaptor.

A further variation is the invisible zipper foot.

Tips for Use

Make sure your machine needle is in the right position before you sew. To check, fit the foot and then slowly lower the needle using the fly wheel on the right hand side of the machine (that’s the wheel on the end). If the needle hots the foot, adjust the position before you start sewing. On some machines you can move the needle with a button marked L, M & R (left, middle and right).

Check the machine is set for a straight stitch. This foot can’t be used with a zig zag stitch-the needle will hit the foot and break.


Sewing Machine Feet-Walking Foot


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.

Top Sewing tips chapter I

The Sewing Hub

I spend a lot of time dispensing sewing and dressmaking tips so I thought I’d collate a few into a list to share… here goes

  1. Always read through all of the instructions first and measure twice….or even three times and cut once.
  2. Position yourself in front of the sewing machine so the needle lines up to your tummy button, no more backaches.
  3. Sew for 20 mins. then get up walk or do something different then back to sewing.
  4. There’s no sewing police so cut and style as you see fit.
  5. If you’re angry, cross or tired, put the sewing down and do something else otherwise it will come out in your sewing.
  6. Walk away if things start to go wrong and go back to it later.
  7. Don’t bite thread, use scissors, it’s tougher that you think.
  8. Wash your hands before you handle the fabric.
  9. Before you sew on a machine, do a tester to check the tension.
  10. Learn how to set the tension on your machine! Not sure how to do that? Read this

More tips coming soon!


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.


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!




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!




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.

seam ripper


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