Presser Foot : A detailed 33 Sewing Machine Feet Guide

Learn all about the different presser feet in this sewing machine foot guide ; Which to use, when to use and how to use them!
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What is a Presser Foot? What is its function in a sewing machine?

Other than being a life savior of the sewist, a Presser foot is an attachment used with sewing machines to hold the fabric down under the needle as it is sewn.

Besides the basic presser foot for sewing straight stitching lines, you can fit most of the sewing machines with a number of different presser feet that do a lot of other functions.

presser feet


Presser feet add different functionalities to your sewing machine, so that it can accomplish much more than mere straight stitching. The additional benefit given by the presser feet can add a lot of ease to your sewing and save you a lot of time.

So more presser feet are always welcome for a sewist. Let us see which are the presser feet that you probably have and the ones you should buy and ones you may not.

How to find the correct presser feet for your machine?

According to how they are fitted on the sewing machine, there are two types of presser feet – the snap-on presser feet and the screw-on presser feet. This is dependent on the make of your sewing machine.

You will find that some presser feet are low shank and others high shank. Low/high shank refers to the height of the shank. Most of the sewing machines are low shank (like about 90%). But then only you will know whether you have a low shank or high shank machine.

I have a snap-on one, and I have not seen a lot of high shank machines other than in vintage models and high-end machines. Changing the snap-on presser feet is a child’s play for a regular sewist and needs no instruction. You take it to the groove in the machine, and it magically snaps on.

Do check your sewing machine manual before purchasing any feet – some feet are not meant to be used with some machines, some feet would not work with some machines  – A vendor near you can clear the confusion. 

Sewing Machine Presser Feet guide

The basic presser feet you (most probably) have

Most of the sewing machines come with some basic presser feet. These are the ones you need in your everyday sewing. There is basically no way out other than use these ones.

 1. Straight stitch Presser foot

straight stitch foot

This foot is the most basic of all presser feet. It sews a straight line.This is the best foot for sewing regular seams as it results in a straight stitching line. 

2. Zig zag presser foot

This general all-purpose foot is needed for every other stitch in your sewing machine. You can use it as a general all-purpose sewing feet as you can stitch straight lines as well as most decorative stitches with this.

zig zag foot

 3. Zipper foot/piping foot

This foot is a necessity when sewing zippers. With this, you can sew very close to the zipper teeth. If you move the needle, you can sew to the right or left of the zipper, right along with the zipper teeth. You can use this foot to sew piping very close to the cord inside, as well.

zipper foot

Read more about different types of zipper foot here.

Some presser foot which can be a heaven send for your sewing

 4. Invisible zipper foot

invisible zipper foot

This is a very nice presser foot to have to sew invisible zippers. Check out the post on sewing invisible zippers for more details on this

 5. Hemmer foot

how to use a hemmer foot

This foot is a heaven send to finish fabric edges in a curling way, especially for fabric which frays a lot. Usually, you get 3mm, 6 mm hemmer feet. A 1/4 inch can make a nice hem. The edge of the fabric is guided to the curl on this foot and stitched with a straight stitch or zig zag stitch.

A similar hemmer foot with a slight difference in its function and looks is the one to make a flat hem – you will find it identical to the hemmer foot in the front. But if you look at the back you will find that it does not have the groove that a round hemmer foot has.

hemmer foot - 2 kinds

Checkout  a detailed tutorial on making rolled hems with a rolled hemmer foot

 6. Buttonhole foot

buttonhole feet

This is a foot which can give you beautiful button holes without the hassle of you making it by hand. Checkout the post on sewing buttonholes with a buttonhole foot for more details

 7. Button Sewing foot

button foot for sewing

This foot can help you to sew buttons easily. You can see the buttons very well with this foot and the zig zag stitch is adjusted perfectly to sew the button down, under the foot. Check out the post on sewing buttons for more on this

Presser feet that  can make your sewing more beautiful

 8. Open toe embroidery foot

open toe foot

This is a sewing presser foot which makes it very easy to do embroider or make wide decorative stitches as the wide opening in the front can make you see the embroidery stitches well.If you buy a clear one in plastic all the more clearer. It is very useful in machine applique, quilting and top stitching

Read about the 4 presser feet that can be used for satin stitch.

 9. Quilting foot

sewing machine foot quilting

This foot is used in quilting for sewing accurately with 1/4 inch/ 1/8 inch seam allowance. It is also called a piecing foot. It has markings on it that make seams accurate from the edge. There are markings on it to pivot accurately as well. The straight stitching guide also makes sure the straight stitches are made straight (what!).

 10. Gathering / shirring foot

gathering foot

This is a presser foot used for simple gathering of fabric. It is usually used on lightweight fabrics. You can use this to attach gathered fabric to flat fabric. You get beautiful gathers and ruffles. You can learn more about the gathering foot here.

 11. Applique stitch foot

applique stitch foot

This is a short plastic presser foot (3/4 of the straight presser foot) which makes sewing around curves of applique pieces easy. The clear foot makes seeing what you are sewing easy.

 12. Darning foot

darning foot

The darning foot is used for free-form stitching in quilting / free motion embroidery/ thread painting. The darning foot with spring makes it easy to sew on fabrics of varying heights. If you have a clear foot, you will get more visibility. The best use of this foot is that with your regular sewing machine, you can do free-motion quilting.

pressure feet of sewing machine  -darning foot

Some may find the movement of the spring darning foot distracting ; this foot without the spring doesnot move

Read more about using a darning foot here.

 13. Knit Foot

sewing machine pressure feet -knit foot

This foot is also called Tricot foot and is used for sewing with knits. This is also used as an alternative to a walking foot. It can sew knits without stretching them. It works very well with knits that are soft, thin , very stretchy and  fragile ( eg. spandex knits)

 14. Satin Stitch

sewing machine feet-satin stitch foot

This is a longer version of the applique foot. The advantage over the regular zig zag satin stitch foot is that the foot has a groove in the back that allows raised thread of the satin stitches you are making to pass through easily.

 15. Stitch Guide feet

sewing machine feet - stitch guide foot

This is a presser foot with a ruler attached – it makes it easy to sew straight stitches and equidistant parallel stitching lines easily. It is also known as gauge presser foot. This foot has many markings on it from 1/8″ up to 13/16″, and the outer edge of the foot itself is exactly at 1″.

 16. Overcast stitch foot

sewing machine feet -overcast stitching foot

This foot is used to sew an overcast stitch along the fabric edge –  interlocking hem is made along a raw edge. It is almost like you have a serger (though, it doesn’t cut the fabric edge like a serger); your sewing machine should have an overcast stitch for this to work properly. Otherwise you can use a zig zag stitch

 17. Edge Joining Foot

edge joining foot

This stitch is also known as a stitch in the ditch foot – it makes stitching in the ditch easy and accurate.  It is used to sew in the seam line.

Top stitching works very well with this foot. It is also used for joining. This is a foot that is used to stitch trims to edges in Heirloom sewing .

Beautiful decorative stitches can be made between the trims and the fabric edge at the same time joining them.

 18. Blind stitch foot

blind stitch foot

This is a foot best used for hemming pants. Along with the blind hem stitch, hemming is very easy and beautiful with this foot.It has an adjustment bar, which is very convenient. Checkout the tutorial to sew blind hem 

 19. Adjustable zipper foot

pressur feet -zipper foot guide

This is a variation of the zipper foot – Adjust the needle to either the right or left to sew both sides of your zipper easily. 

You can change the position of the foot for this with a screw in the back ; this is useful when you have a zipper to sew and you cannot change the position of the needle.

 20. Walking Foot

walking foot

This is a foot used for sewing through many layers of fabric. It is a very useful foot to have when sewing quilts or making bags- no more puckering of fabric layers. It is also known as even feed foot.

When you use this fabric layers, do not shift much, so this is great when you have to match prints, patterns, checks, etc Learn more about the walking foot here.

 21. Teflon foot

teflon presser foot

The regular metal presser feet usually refuse to move over the fabric like pleather, vinyl (polyethylene fabrics), and leather. We have to use a Teflon foot on this kind of fabric.

 22. Ruffler foot

ruffler foot

This foot makes incredibly easy ruffles and pleats in varying depths and fullness.

Read more about using a ruffler foot here.

 23. Braiding foot

sewing machine feet - braiding foot

This is the perfect foot to stitch braids or sequins chains, ric racs, ribbons on to fabric surface (should be small enough to pass through the hole in the foot). Ribbons and Trims of about 3/8 inch will pass through the hole in the braiding foot

Read more about using a braiding foot here. 

 24. Double welting foot

sewing machine pressure feet - double welting foot

You can use this for piping (cording covered on the top with fabric).

There are grooves in the back of this foot. These grooves pass through cording ; by adjusting the needle position you can stitch on either side of the cording which is covered with fabric

 25. Bias Tape binder foot

pressure feet of sewing machine guide -bias tape binder foot

An adjustable bias tape binding foot is used to apply bias binding tape to fabric edges. It is adjustable up from 3/8 to 3/4 inch.( there is no adjustable binding foot which is limited to 1/4 inch binding)

You can use this to make button loops / straps / ties . The guide in this foot wraps the bias tape around the fabric edge

 26. Cording foot

cording foot

This is used for adding  cords on to fabric surfaces. There are holes on this foot ( you can add upto 3 cords) through which you can guide the strings/cord.  

You have to thread the cord through the holes. Use zig zag stitches to couch the cords in place.

 27. Pintuck Foot

pintuck pressure foot -pintuck foot

This foot, which makes thin pintucks, is best used with lightweight fabric.

You can also make corded pintucks with this foot. It is used with a double needle; depending on the space between the twin needles pintuck will be wide or narrow. 

 28. Fringe foot

sewing machine feet - fringe foot

This foot is used to make loops of stitches on the fabric surface. You can cut these loops and make the fringes.

Presser feet that you may end up using very rarely

 29. Flower stitch Foot

flower stitching foot

This is a specialty foot to embroider flowers. It will make a circular pattern that resembles a daisy. You can increase or decrease the size of the circle pattern; the usual size is about an inch.You need  a zig zag sewing machine to make these flower designs

 30. Elastic stitching foot

elastic stitching presser foot

This foot is used to stretch and sew elastic to fabric. There is a guide to inserting elastic through this foot.

 31. Multiple Hole cording foot

multiplr hole cording foot

I have a five hole and seven hole cording foot. There are small holes on this foot. You pass the cord through these holes and stitch them in place with zig zag stitches.

 32. Roller foot

roller foot

This is usually used on fabrics like jersey knits, denim, and leather which do not feed easily, especially as layers. With this foot, the fabric layers move together. When you use it with vinyl, the fabric moves faster.

This foot is an alternative to the Teflon foot. It is a somewhat fragile foot and can be used easily on thin than thick fabrics.

33. Round Bead Foot

round bead foot

This is a foot exclusively used to attach bead strings/ chains on fabric surfaces. Usually, this foot takes beads  of 4mm. There is a groove in the back of the foot that accommodates the beads as they are sewn. An appropriately wide zig zag stitch is used to attach the bead strings with this foot

These absolutely delightful presser feet are a life saver for most of us. I am like a kid with a candy box when I open my box with them. Which are the ones you wish you had? A completely new one perhaps, which you wish, was available?.

Related posts : How to use your sewing machine as a beginner; How does the sewing machine works; 20 Different types of sewing machines

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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.

22 thoughts on “Presser Foot : A detailed 33 Sewing Machine Feet Guide”

  1. since i found your website i have returned several times. you do an excellent job at explaining so many things. i have been sewing for many years but i have a lot to learn. my daughter has asked me to make her a wedding dress so now i am on the hunt to learn many new higher level sewing techniques. i recently purchased a set of several different presser feet but have no clue how to use them. if you were able to make this information available as a download or even in a booklet format i would gladly purchase.

  2. I would like to order a book on how to use all these feet and what they are used for.

    Is there a book like that available???
    I purchased all these feet a while bac but I cant figure out how and where they are used.

    Thanks Sherry

    • exactly what I need. I ordered a 33 foot set just for the rolled hem and pintuck feet and have been baffled and intrigued by most of the others. The beading foot! The braid foot! Now I’m excited about trying them. Thank-you!

  3. A very thorough and helpful article. I didnt know about the knit/tricot foot and now I must have one. The circle sewing foot is another foot you may never need, but handy if ever need to sew lots of circles. I too found the numerous changing ads to be distracting. They even continue when trying to leave a comment almost quit typing. I do understand the need for ads but this site has over done it, just way too many popping up continually all over.

  4. Hi, This post is great but hard to follow with all the ads. Also, I prefer to work from a printed copy of things. When I try to print it out it comes to 18 pages because it includes all of the ads on the post. Is there a way to print with the images you share but not the ads?

    • Depending on which web browser you are using, there is a icon in/to the right of the web address. It looks like a page in a book (rectangle w/ lines), when you click on that, it will give the simple version of a webpage. Then you should be able to print that.

  5. This post is wonderful! It actually shows the pics of each foot and tells its purpose. Amazing! I have traveled the internet for years and never found a post that taught me these things! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! You are very appreciated by us mere sewing mortals! I will book mark this page.

  6. Thankyou so very much for this. I was looking and looking for a book that would give this info and with a picture of the foot and had no luck. What a blessing this is!!!

  7. I have learnt a lot l need to know more about my machine and l need to learn more about design cutting and tailoring what can I do. Thanks a lot l have enjoyed your teaching.

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