Edge Joining Foot / Stitch in the Ditch foot – 8 different uses

Learn how to use the Edge Stitch foot / Edge joining foot for sewing stitch in the ditch, joining fabric pieces etc.

And to think, once I was happy with my sole all-purpose zigzag foot!
Well, then came the edge joining foot.

sewing machine presser feet - edge joining foot

An edge joining foot or the stitch-in-the-ditch foot is one of the most versatile of all presser feet you will ever find. Of course, you can sew very well without it, but it can make your sewing life a lot less stressful, your stitching look even and uniform. Checkout other tips for making your dressmaking look less homemade.

Also checkout the post on the 35 different types of presser feet you can buy. 

marks / grooves on the edge joining presser foot

This foot has a center bar, you can almost say a blade (not sharp, but a blade nevertheless) which acts as a guide you can use to keep the fabric edge stitching even and uniform
It has some 4 marks on the side which are 1/8 inches apart
The second mark on the left side of the foot is on a level with a nick on the right side of the edge joining foot. This makes it easy for you to align fabric edges across the foot.

How to sew with the edge joining foot

Keep the center bar of the edge joining foot along the fabric/trim’s side edge
You will find that you can stitch straight and even without any difficulty with this bar as a guide.You will have to ensure that the guide is along the fabric/trim edge at all the time

Top 8 uses of the Edge Joining foot

1. Edge stitching

Edge stitching refers to stitching very close to the fabric edge. Check out the post on edge stitching for more details on this. Simply keep the fabric edge along the guide and you will find that you can do even edge stitching, without any need for guessing at it.

edge stitch along the neckline

2. Joining fabric edges

using the edge joining foot to join two fabric pieces together

You can keep fabric edges together ( as in a butt seam); use this foot with the central guide between . You can use any of the decorative stitches or zig zag stitch to joining the fabric edges. You can also join lace trims to fabric this same way

two fabric pieces joined together

3. Stitch in the ditch

Stitch in the ditch is used in many instances in sewing. Here you sew along the ditch of seam line from the top. Sewing with this particular foot can ensure that you do not deviate from the ditch of the seam line at all.

Keep the central guide along the central seam line. You may have to slightly part the joined fabric from the seam line, to make it more visible. Stitching in the ditch is used mostly in bias binding. Read more on stitching in the ditch here.

4. Applique

When sewing applique, this foot can be very useful in top stitching the applique piece on to the fabric.

Align the central guide along the applique edge at all times and do a blind hem stitch or any decorative stitch. Check out the post on sewing machine applique for more on the 12 different ways of doing applique

sew along the Appliqued letter with edge joining foot

5. Attaching trims

Attach trims accurately with the presser foot along the edge.

You can attach trims on top of the fabric with this foot, so that it is attached evenly

This foot is especially helpful when you are joining one fabric or trim on top of another and you want the top edge to be straight; simply keep it along the marks on left and right of the foot and you will find that they are straight across

6. Make a baby hem with this foot

With this foot you can sew very close to the fabric edge evenly . A baby hem is the best suited hem for sheer fabrics and other fabrics which can go wonky or for curvy edges like for a circular skirt hem. You can simply place the central blade of the edge stitching foot along the folded edge and you can be assured that you will get the narrow hem you want. Trim excess fabric and turn again and stitch.

7. Decorative top stitching along the seam line

Sometimes you may want to sew a decorative stitching line along the seam line. You will have to move the needle position to whichever side you mean to sew the decorative stitch.  You can keep the blade along the seam line and start stitching. You will find that you have a decorative stitched line made uniformly equidistant from the seam line

edge stitching with needle on the left and the guide on the seam line

8. Make simple tucks

To make tucks, simply mark the fabric, fold where you have marked and stitch by keeping the central bar of the edge joining foot along the fold. This foot makes very narrow tucks – but the tucks that are made will be very uniform and even

Check out the post on pintucks for more details on this.

sewing pintucks with the edge-stitching presser foot

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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