The benefits of using a walking foot

The walking foot or even feed foot attachment for your sewing machine can look a little menacing if you are new to sewing but they are really a gentle giant.

These images show my worn & battered foot that I could not do without (it's my third!).  The function of the walking foot is to feed your bottom fabric through with the top fabric evenly. Prevents some fabrics from slipping as it has it's own set of feed dogs that move in a walking motion over the fabric.

It works best when sewing multiple layers together and is a favourite among quilters. Sewing with PVC is almost impossible to sew without one, appliques and thicker fabrics also benefit from this type of foot.  They also come with a quilting guide which is a metal bar attachment that sticks out to the side ~ I have never used it though. 

Some of the newer machines come with a walking foot attachment built into the machine.  It usually sits to the back of machine near the presser foot lever and can be engaged when needed.
You will need to purchase an attachment that is specific to your machine. This one is for a Janome and costs approx $65.00 - $70 .  It is easily connected by removing your normal sewing foot and putting the walking foot on in it's place. The arm sits over the needle clamp screw.

They are a big investment, but well worth it if you are doing a large variety of sewing often.  They are not suitable for all types of sewing, for example if I was making a garment with two layers of medium weighted cotton fabric I would not use it.

Just another tip: When I purchased my last sewing machine it was offered with a few added bonus attachments (I think one was a darning foot which I knew I would never use).  I asked if I could have a walking foot in place of those that were being offered ~ my wish was granted!



Emma said...

You're right, that IS a mean looking piece of machinery! I am about to embark on my glorious quilting career (ha!) so have to dig out the feet that came with my machine to see if a walking foot is one of them. I would actually like a darning foot though to do some free motion quilting??

Megsy-Jane said...

They threw a walking foot in with the new sewing machine that I got last year. I've been told it will work better for my bags and things but when I got it out of the drawer it looked a bit daunting and as it seems to need screwing on (I think) I thought it would be a hassle when I needed to change to a zipper foot...maybe I should give the poor thing a go..

Jodie said...

Take my word for it girls - you won't look back once you have tried it.

Stephen said...

I love my walking foot, have lost count of how many quilts I have used to for. A great investment. :-)