Sew Crazy: An (Almost) Comprehensive Concise Guide to Sewing Feet

Sewing feet, presser feet.
There are so many different types of sewing feet. . .and different names for the same type that it can be overwhelming for a sewing novice, like myself. I decided to compile all my research while gaining a better understanding and creating a reference for myself and others (plus, there were no other comprehensive guides out there).
Note: This guide does not cover basic feet that come standard with sewing machines; the all-purpose foot or satin stitch foot, but focuses on specialty sewing machine feet.

Many feet aid in creating a more polished consistent finish. Others help to incorporate basic components such as zippers, buttons and pipping. While others assist in adding decorative elements to fabric. Most feet are metal, though some feet are also available in a clear plastic for increased visibility.

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Goodie Goodie: Adjustable Edge Stitch Foot

Whoo hoo!
Today I stopped by our local friendly neighborhood sewing supply shop located right in the heart of Davis Square (Somerville, MA – Boston area). I’ve walked by there so many times, but I still don’t know it’s name and had to look it up in order to include it here.
Um, very straight forward and to the point: Sewing and Vacuum Center on 280 Elm.

While preparing to dive into making my first quilt (finally), I discovered the plethora of sewing feet available for sewing machines. It was a bit overwhelming with different shank styles (low, high, slant vs. snap-on) and then the various feet: quilting, walking, quarter-inch, blind hem, overcasting, open toe, darning, rolled hem, gathering, rolling; to name a few. Adding to the confusion is that there are different names for the same foot.

In fact, initially I wasn’t even sure if I’d bought the right foot. I wanted to be do all the things listed here on demystifying the edge stitch (or blind hem) foot and what it can do.

(image of foot to be updated later – camera not available)

I’m all about multi-purpose objects and if this foot can be used in place of multiple feet: stitch-in-a-ditch (maybe?) and quarter-inch foot, that would be fantastic. One thing that is missing is the lines along the feet to guide with corners or pivoting for quilting. Maybe I will try marking them later, as well as marking where the guide should be placed for 1/8″ and 1/4″. Another great thing is that it looks as though the guide can be set at the left of right. I’ll try the stitch-in-a-ditch at some point, although the guide might be too chunky.

I also had to purchase an adapter which allowed my low-shank screw foot to use a snap-on foot.

(image of foot with adapter on sewing machine to be updated later)

Another foot that was recommended in my readings is the walking foot, but it is an investment. And one I’m not ready to make yet, especially as I’m not sure that I’ll continue quilting. As the man at the sewing supply store told me, they’ve been making quilts for years before the walking foot came on the market back in the 70’s. So for now, I’ll try basting it very very well and sew it on a regular foot. I do need a quilting guide, so I may try to jerry-rig a quilting guide using the insert space on the adapter.

Activity Book, Page 4: Pocket Watch

For this activity book page, I integrated a clock as a pocket watch so that I could incorporate buttons somewhere in the book.

Activity Book: Pocket Watch
What time is it?
Practice buttoning and unbuttoning.

I’m a relative sewing novice, so I learned some new terms: polo shirt placket and welt pocket; and it was my first time making any type of pocket and buttonholes. The buttonholes were particularly intimidating because of all the extra foreign hardware that was involved. Luckily, I still have the original sewing manual from the machine (and its button-making hardware) that I inherited from my mother.

sewing manual Kenmore Ultrastitch 12

This page had to incorporate some cotton fabric because felt would have added too much bulk. For the inside of the pocket, I used the fabric that I’m planning to use for the book cover and had to remove the welt pocket (felt) flap.

Activity Book: Pocket Watch

The Clock
I created a template for the numbers (download below) that I traced and used to embroider using the tracing paper method. While embroidering, the white clock face was reinforced with a stiff interface.

I wanted to reinforce the clock face even further so I added a piece of recycled paperboard. The clock arms were reinforced with paperboard as well. Instead of ribbon, I used jewelry chain that is sold by the yard because it has a nicer quality to it.

Download pocket watch template.

MATERIALS
Felt, fabric, sewing thread, buttons, brass fastener, interfacing, batting, yarn, jewelry chain, recycled paperboard

STATS
Number of cut pieces: 9
Colors used: apple green, goldenrod, white, dark brown

INSPIRATIONS / REFERENCES

In adapting the pocket watch pattern from here, I created a new template for the white clock face (a larger cutout) with a traceable template for embroidering numbers of the clock face.
Download pocket watch template.

Polo Shirt Placket Tutorial
http://www.mellysews.com/2012/04/polo-shirt-placket-tutorial.html

Sewing Welt Pockets
http://www.craftsy.com/article/sewing-welt-pockets

Activity Book, Page 1: Camping Fun

This is the first page of an activity book that I’ve been planning and designing for my nephew. The components for this page was done weeks ago, but I only finally finished putting them all together and securing them onto the page. It is the first page that I’ve completed for the activity book.
Activity Book: Camping Fun

My brother loves camping and was looking forward to bringing my nephew camping even before he was born.

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Letters of Love Samples and Stamps

Fabric letters of love

Mock-ups for components of an activity book page. The left is on felt and the right is upcycled from an old bedsheet.

The thread tension is on the right is too tight and needs to be adjusted. The felt is too thick for my purposes so the ones for the activity book will be in the cotton fabric.

Tiny Felt Stamps
Tiny Felt Stamps
These are tiny felt stamps for the letters’ envelopes. The dimensions are 3/4″ x 5/8″.

(These were created about a week ago.)