Common Sewing Machine Feet and When to Use Them

If you’re new to sewing, you may have just started with the standard presser foot that comes on the machine and haven’t yet changed it out. Most machines come with several different presser feet that can make some aspects of sewing much easier.

The standard presser foot that comes with most all sewing machines can be referred to as a standard, universal, or zig zag foot. This means that the foot can be used on the machine for stitching with both a straight and zig zag stitch. Presser feet design, as well as how they attach to a machine can vary among sewing machine brands, however they still serve the same function.




Most machines will come with a zipper foot. This foot slides along the side of a zipper and allows you to stitch much closer to the zipper teeth than you would be able to with a standard presser foot. Depending on the design of the foot, it can be attached on either the right or left side, making it quick and easy to stitch both sides of a zipper in place.

Related video: How to Install a Zipper





Buttonhole feet also come standard with most machines. These feet allow you to accurately stitch buttonholes of varying lengths and ensure that all buttonholes on a project will be the same size. Depending on your machine, you can either set or program the desired buttonhole length into the machine or place the button being used onto a slide found on the back of the buttonhole foot.

Related video: Bound Button Holes Made Easy





Another foot that comes standard with most machines is known by several names – either the overlocking, overcasting, or overedge foot. This foot, used with a standard zig zag stitch, can be used to finish the raw edge of fabric.





A final foot that can be found standard with many machines is a blind hem foot. Depending on the brand, this foot has a fin or dial that lines up along the folded edge of a fabric, and used with a blind hem stitch, creates a professional finish on trousers.

Related video: How to Sew a Blind Hem Stitch on a Sewing Machine





For more beginner tips on buying, setting up, cleaning, and maintaining your sewing machine, check out our Ultimate Sewing Machine Guide. Click the banner below for a free download!

Happy sewing!

Have something to add? Leave a comment or email editor@nationalsewingcircle.com.

Discussion
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161 Responses to “Common Sewing Machine Feet and When to Use Them”
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi, Marlene. Your email address has been removed from our NSC E-Newsletter mailing list, per your request.

      Reply
        • Consuel0 hernandez
          Consuel0 hernandez

          Dont have website. But would like to know. What all different sewing feet are used for

          Reply
          • Customer Service
            Customer Service

            Hello Consuelo,

            Thank you for contacting us. Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge in sewing. With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hours of Premium video content.

            If you are interested in becoming a member to National Sewing Circle, please click on the special offer below:

            https://go.nationalsewingcircle.com/C23991

            If you have any further questions, please chat, email, or contact Customer Service at 1-855-208-7187.

            Sincerely,

            Joan
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        • Customer Service
          Customer Service

          Hi there Sandy!

          We’d love to help! What kind of project are you working on? That will help us lead you through using sewing feet!

          Sincerely,

          Jessica
          National Sewing Circle Video Membership

          Reply
    • Kathleen
      Kathleen

      I am looking for something that will sew a woollen machine edge. Specifically if attaching a patchwork of different woollen jumper cut offs. You might suggest a machine foot to do this and maybe a picture so I know for definite it’s the right one please. Thank you and can I just add if your emailing me that you will include pictures of what each foot can do. Thank you so so much. Sincerely Kathleen ☘️

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi, Teresa. We would like to let you know that your feedback has been forwarded to the proper department. Your comments are important to us and help with the development of our videos.

      Reply
    • Sandra L
      Sandra L

      I agree. I know virtually nothing about sewing or sewing machines. Trying to figure out which foot is which, I have no idea!

      Reply
    • Ann Okamura
      Ann Okamura

      I agree. A video would help me see how each foot is used, especially that last one.

      Reply
  1. Elvia
    Elvia

    You said I could download–nothing said prior to download about having to join the newsletter group for the fee quoted. What gives? It is not the fee that is bothering me, its the way it was done–under false pretense of downloading something that was a “given” to most.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi, Elvia. The E-Newsletter is free of charge. We do have a Premium Membership available for purchase; however, there is no obligation to sign up as a Premium Member. The downloads that come along with the E-Newsletter are also free and there is no requirement to access them. If you have any further questions, please contact us at 1-855-208-7187.

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi, Teresa. We have forwarded your information on to the proper department, so your Email may be updated!

      Reply
  2. Suzi
    Suzi

    Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if you showed each foot with each description? You have a picture with a bunch of feet and don’t know which one goes with each project.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi, Suzi. We would like to let you know that your feedback has been forwarded to the proper department. Your comments are important to us and help with the development of our online video streaming community. If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-208-7187.

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Linda, there are pictures attached to this article, please refresh your browser and try again. If you are still having issues viewing the photos please call us at 1-855-208-7187. Thank you, Hallie NSC Video Membership

      Reply
  3. Erica Kellerman
    Erica Kellerman

    Love sewing and want to learn more about how to work with my sewing machine, everything from cleaning the machine to how to use all the parts and functions.

    Reply
  4. Silvia
    Silvia

    I’m a beginner in sewing and I bought my sewing machine from a neighbor. I thought that there was only one pressure foot to sew? So now I’ m Thinking she didn’t give me all the parts to the sewing
    machine she just wanted to get rid of it…

    Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      Not all machines come with extra presser feet. They can be bought at any sewing store. They are usually fairly well priced.

      Reply
    • Susan Nash
      Susan Nash

      For Gloria, if you want the instructions you need to go to the Brother site. They have instructions and manuals for all their machines. Suzy

      Reply
  5. Debola Amubieya
    Debola Amubieya

    i will like to have the basic machine guide… your post has been adding value everyday.. Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Sandra L
    Sandra L

    I tried to download the basic sewing machine guide, but nothing happens. It’s just a gif.

    Reply
  7. Russ
    Russ

    A picture of 4 different “feet” and I still don’t know which is which – nice to identify the pics.

    Reply
  8. Laura
    Laura

    The banner to download the Ultimate Sewing Machine Guide does not work. Please provide a link.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear Laura,

      Thank you for contacting us. The PDF will take a couple minutes to download to your computer. You can access the PDF by clicking on this link as well-

      Ultimate-Sewing-Machine-Guide-National-Sewing-Circle.pdf

      Sincerely,

      Taylar
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  9. Jean M Rasmussen
    Jean M Rasmussen

    Can you mail the Ultimate Sewing Machine Guide. I can’t download it for some reason. I try it several times to download it but it wouldn’t do it. So I was just wondering if you could mail it to me instead. Thank you very much. Jean Rasmussen. N165W20166 Hickory Ln Unit 5 Jackson Wisconsin, 53037

    Reply
  10. Gail
    Gail

    Hi, this would be more useful if you indicated which foot was which and maybe a short video showing each one in action. Not really much use for a beginner. Disappointed that you feel this sort of article is acceptable for The National Sewing Circle.

    Reply
  11. Emilia
    Emilia

    Excellent article, but it would be helpful if the feet were shown with their name. Not everyone knows what an overcasting foot looks like. This is a wonderful website, full of information. Thank you so much for all the info you provide!

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear Winona,

      Thank you for contacting us. Please click on the Free Download tab at the bottom of the article.
      Ultimate-Sewing-Machine-Guide-National-Sewing-Circle.pdf

      Sincerely,

      Taylar
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  12. MARCIA
    MARCIA

    I am a gold member and cannot download the ultimate sewing machine guide–What is up. I agree with others a picture of each foot as each is discussed would be appreciated.

    Reply
  13. Carol Marquardt
    Carol Marquardt

    I agree a picture of the foot with your description of use would be much better, particularly for beginners

    Reply
  14. Connie Donato
    Connie Donato

    I have a second hand Euro Pro X sewing machine. I am trying to find a manual for this. Can you help me find one?

    Reply
  15. Suellyn White
    Suellyn White

    It would be nice for a picture of the foot your describing when addressing what each foot is used for

    Reply
  16. Andrea
    Andrea

    Let me first say, please don’t add my email to your mailing list. I don’t wish at this time to subscribe. My email was required to leave a comment.
    That being said, I enjoyed reading the article. I found things out that I didn’t know about the feet. But like most people commenting here, I didn’t know which foot was what.
    What could have been done and cut through the confusion for us, was at the top of the article is a picture of a sewing machine with 4 feet place on the feed arm. Each foot could have been numbered. Then each description (which were good and informative) could have been matched to the corresponding number of the foot in the picture.
    I’m by no means a seasoned sewer, but not a beginner. Sewing machines and attachments have changed a lot from when I learned to sew. So when I read your description and go back to the picture to see the foot you describe, I’m lost. Are you going from left to right or are you taking the simplest foot and going to the more complexed (random picking). Numbering each foot then your descriptions to match corresponding numbers in order of picture. Thank you for your information though. I’ll figure it out at my local sewing store which foot goes with your description.

    Reply
  17. Adrienne
    Adrienne

    There is nothing useful here. Random references to sewing machine feet. A photo of random feet. What does each foot do and how are they used. This is simply a sad way to direct people to paid for content. If that is the goal ( which is fine, by the way) then own it and say up front what you want. Otherwise this is a complete waste of time. People, move on…….there is better honest content elsewhere.

    Reply
  18. Annette Chamberlain
    Annette Chamberlain

    I’m ntrested in learning correct way to the different feet for and their purpose.

    Reply
  19. Paulette Adam
    Paulette Adam

    I clicked on your pinterest posting. I wanted to just see what was being explained to young beginners. I am a long time 4H sponsor and an academic sponsor as well. You can see my interest in your post. However I became very disappointed when I realized you had a hyperlink to the zipper foot and none to any of the feet you included. You didn’t even connect the name to the visual image of the foot. I dont believe you achieved your initial goal of explaining the 5 most useful sewing feet.

    Respectfully
    Paulette Adam

    Reply
  20. Beverley Neel
    Beverley Neel

    I haven’t sewn for quite a while–I think it’s time to go over a lot of sewing rules.

    Reply
  21. Barbara White
    Barbara White

    I’m very interested to learn more about sewing. EVERYTHING I LEARNED WAS ON MY OWN. THANK YOU. B.W.

    Reply
  22. debra cauthren
    debra cauthren

    need to know what my feet on machine are for have 3 great grandbabies coming about the same time

    Reply
  23. Linda
    Linda

    Sadly, it His wasn’t very helpful, unless one happens to have the same brand machine, of approximately The same age. It would have been much more helpful to show several examples of the described feet, and a short video of how it is used.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear Jackie,

      Thank you for your patience. In response to your question-

      This article explains what some of the different feet are and when you would use them. However, if you are wanting to know about a certain foot that came with your specific brand/model of machine- I would recommend consulting your machine manual.

      Cheers,
      Ashley
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  24. Patricia House
    Patricia House

    I’m impressed that many others were willing to give their lives during such a time, WWII.

    Reply
  25. Roba
    Roba

    I am trying to learn sewing for myself. I am not happy with the designs in the market for plus size

    Reply
  26. Marty L Sabo
    Marty L Sabo

    Very instrumental in learning the function of each of the sewing machine feet.

    Reply
  27. Tammy
    Tammy

    I would like to learn about foot and kind of different sewing needles for machine to sew any fabric go with it example: leather need what size needle to sew on so I know doesn’t break needles or wont see on fabric and learn about how learn to fix problems with sewing machine I have viking 1958 it old one it work but dont know how to work that machine and thank u

    Reply
  28. Kathy Ashlock
    Kathy Ashlock

    I can use your web site to help me when I get stuck on a problem.

    Reply
  29. Linda Burton
    Linda Burton

    1thank you for the article on “presser feet.” I have been sewing pretty basic stuff, off & on, for over 50 years. I was given a Kenmore 385 (24 stitches) several years ago, and have only recently been able to download a manual and therefore able to identify the various stitches (10 “basic,” 8 “stretch,” and 6 “geometric”). I would like to see articles about how to best use what I have available to me. I also have a Singer Athena 2000 (and recently downloaded manual that does NOT show stitches) but it has a broken part that we need to replace before it can do anything but collect dust.

    Reply
  30. franmyster
    franmyster

    i so nor understand this site.. i come on and you have something i would like to see, what happens,it pops up to become a member.. i am a member, i go sign in.. can i find what i wanted to see? no, so i get back to where it was, and i try again, and i’m signed in and it says.. become a member.. trust me, this has driving me over the clift.. i’m sure i’m not smart, certainly not smart enuff to get around in here.. my year is up, i am out.. i won’t waste money on this again.. do i think you have great things in here? prolly, but not worth the aggravation when i can’t see what i wanta see, and i paid for it..

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear Fran,

      Thank you for contacting us. I apologize for any confusion regarding our website. Anytime you want to watch a Premium video in your email, please go to our website first and login to your Gold Membership with your username and password first. You can also copy and paste the video title in the search bar on our website if you forget to login prior. I apologize for any inconveniences.

      If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us at 1-855-208-7187 or chat us on our website.

      Sincerely,

      Taylar
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  31. Stella Boudreaux
    Stella Boudreaux

    Thanks never have enough information. Keep us up with new information.

    Reply
  32. GAYLE
    GAYLE

    If you have a video showing how to use a rolled hem foot, please let me know how to find it. Thank you.

    Reply
  33. amberfurnee
    amberfurnee

    Is it possible to save these posts in your account like you can make playlists for videos?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear Amber,

      Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, only video’s can be saved to your Playlist icon in your Account Dashboard. Your comments are important to us and help with the development of our online video streaming community. We will continue to listen and work hard for your complete satisfaction.

      If you have any other questions, please contact us at 1-855-208-7187 , or chat with us on our site.

      Sincerely,

      Taylar
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  34. Ronelle Geyser
    Ronelle Geyser

    I checked a few tips but like to know more about machine and sewing.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Helena!

      That’s awesome! We’re SEW glad you’re here!

      If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via chat, email, or by phone at 1-855-208-7187!

      Happy Sewing!

      Jessica
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi there Shanna!

      I would check on Amazon.com to purchase sets of Presser Footers! They have some great deals.

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Kathleen,

      Please click on the banner in the article above to receive your Ultimate Sewing Guide!

      If you have any other questions, please email, chat, or call us at 1-855-208-7187.

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  35. Peggy
    Peggy

    A few years ago my husband bought me a new sewing machine and EVERY attachment it was compatible with. I had no idea what to do with most of them. Now I have a clue about a few of them. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Cynthia!

      That’s a great question!

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can message us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

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      Jessica
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      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Roberta!

      Great question! After I searched “Where to purchase walking foot” into Google’s search engine, I’ve found that most walking foot items can be purchased at your local JoAnn’s Fabric store or online via Amazon.

      I hope this helps! Let us know if you need any thing else!

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  36. Cynthia Orlandi
    Cynthia Orlandi

    I have some new feet that am not familiar with. If I take a picture of them could you tell me what they are for?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Cynthia!

      That’s a great question and we’d love to help!

      The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members to our online community. We do have a promotional offer if you are interested. This would include access to expert advice (like this), plus discounts, hours of Premium videos, etc. Please feel free to take a look. You can message us right back with your question if you decide to become a member and you will have a response within 1-2 business days from our experts!

      Please follow the steps below to receive the annual membership at the introductory rate:

      1. Click on the email link: https://go.nationalsewingcircle.com/C22329
      2. Click on the Premium Membership offer.
      3. The Checkout page will display your Premium Membership purchase.
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      If you have any further questions, please contact Customer Service at 1-855-208-7187 at your earliest convenience, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  37. Janet Cozens
    Janet Cozens

    Thank you so much National Sewing Circle for that free download. Would you happen to have a free download on sewing feet with a domestic sewing machine Please
    Januk

    Reply
  38. Robert Fernandez
    Robert Fernandez

    I have presser feet that I cannot identify. Can I send a picture to allow someone with more knowledge to identify for me. Thanking you in advance.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Robert,

      Thank you for contacting us. Yes, you can send a picture to this email address: programdirector@program-director.net Please include as much information about the foot that you can.

      If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-208-7187, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Joan
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  39. Rose Philomel Bernardsha
    Rose Philomel Bernardsha

    I have a singer 2277 sewing machine and am in search for an overlocking presser foot. Where could I find one that fits my machine?

    Reply
  40. Jeanne
    Jeanne

    I’m having trouble getting my new walking foot installed on my old Kenmore. I have directions, but cannot get it on correctly. Can you please help me? Please send me a detailed message or video or both to: jeannereed1944@gmail.com. Thank you very much. Jeanne

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Jeanne,

      Thank you for contacting us. Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge in “I’m having trouble getting my new walking foot installed on my old Kenmore. I have directions, but cannot get it on correctly. Can you please help me?”. With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hours of Premium video content.

      If you are interested in becoming a member to National Sewing Circle, please click on the special offer below:

      https://go.nationalsewingcircle.com/C23895     

      If you have any further questions, please chat, email, or contact Customer Service at 1-855-208-7187.

      Sincerely,

      Shelley    
      National Sewing CircleVideo Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Eva! If you’d like to sign up for the Premium membership without the newsletter, you can definitely do that! On the checkout page, at the very bottom, there’s an option to opt out of the newsletter!

      Here’s a link to sign up: https://go.nationalsewingcircle.com/C24469.

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      Jessica
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  41. KAREN ALLARD
    KAREN ALLARD

    Im in a bind – I have beautiful piece of velveteen that Im making for my granddaughters – my dilemma is I have silk cord binding that Im having trouble sew on – my zipper foot will not work on it. My question is there another foot f oi r my Singer 6600C that I can buy or you can give instruction for me to get it sew ed on
    Its not the machine its me (I have dyslexia and its really hard to do some things.Forgot to say it a going to be a blanket
    Thk u
    Any help would be appreciated
    Email is – karenkca10@gmail.com
    Phone 817-500-1821
    Living at 9201 Montana St, Joshua, Tx 76058
    Thank you – looking forward to hearing from you
    Karen Allard

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Karen,

      Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge in sewing. With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hours of Premium video content.

      If you are interested in becoming a member to National Sewing Circle, please click on the special offer below:

      https://go.nationalsewingcircle.com/C24871

      Thanks!

      Joan
      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

      Reply