Foot Fetish – Different Sewing machine feet, and why they are worth the investment

Your sewing machine will come with a variety of feet for you to use – but feet for a sewing machine are not just for show – they facilitate you achieving the best from your stitching and fabric: difficult tasks become a breeze (and more fun!) if we take the time to swap over a foot. And this is how a foot fetish begins! Speciality feet do vary between brands, so check what is compatible with your sewing machine make and model before purchasing!

I do not own every single one of these feet (yet!) but hope too (soon)! It is not a comprehensive list of what is available, but there are (more than) a few useful ones.

The following are feet which you may get as standard with your sewing machine, and some can be purchased as extras… (I have added associated Brother Innov-is 550SE codes)

Binder attachment + binder foot

The combination of these “feet” make attaching bias binding on your sewing projects a piece of cake!

Blind Stich Foot “R” (Brother F017N)

Blind Stitch Foot

Blind hems can be created using this – a fantastic tool for edge stitching, attaching ribbons or lace, and for joining fabrics. The hems are barely visible from the front, so it is perfect for clothing creation and / or for curtains. The guide can also be used for making pin-tucks, edge joining, top stitching, or to stitch in the ditch.

The stitch which should be implemented is dependent upon the fabric being used:

  • Non-stretch materials (e.g. cotton): A large zigzag stitch (pointing the left) with straight stitch between.
  • Stretch fabrics: A large zigzag stitch (pointing the left) with small zigzags in-between.

Fold the fabric so that the stitch is sewn on the fold, with the foot guide against the fold – only the peak of the intermittent large zigzag shows through as a tiny stitch once the fabric has been opened out again.

Braiding Foot (Brother F021N)

Braiding Foot

This foot guides braiding for embellishment. It facilitates the attachment of a braid up to 5 mm in width to the fabric as it sews.

Buttonhole Foot

Buttonhole Foot “A” (Brother XC2691)

Buttonhole feet come in a variety of styles, but all help to create neat and uniform buttonholes on your sewing projects. If you have a sewing machine with a built-in memory, you will be able to repeat the process quickly and easily to the same size, although if you have a basic machine which does not have automatic button hole functions, the red marker (slide) makes it easy to reproduce identical buttonholes.
While the buttonhole is being stitched, the sliding frame of the foot provides improved fabric guidance.

Whilst the foot keeps your buttonhole perfectly aligned, follow the instructions for your stitch. The centre can be opened after you have completed the button hole using a pair of embroidery scissors (or a seam ripper for those of you who are confident using one!).

Button Sewing Foot “M” (Brother XE2643)

Buttonsewing Foot

Use this foot to sew buttons onto almost any fabric-item with your sewing machine, rather than by hand. This is the foot that would have been supplied with the original accessories. The foot holds the button in place while you sew it in. It is primarily a time-saving tool – if you have lots of buttons to be affixed to the fabric.

Concealed Zipper Foot

Concealed Zip Foot (Brother F004N)

Allows concealed zips to be installed quickly and easily.

Narrow Hem Foot (Brother F002N (7mm))

Narrow Hem Foot

This foot is automatically folds and sews a neat (and narrow) hem. Different sizes allow for different types and weights of fabric.

Teflon Foot

Non stick /Teflon foot (Brother F007N)

For implementation with fabrics that are prone to sticking to the bottom of the foot e.g. leather, vinyl etc.

Open toe (applique) foot (Brother F060)

Open toe foot

Greater visibility in and around the foot makes it ideal for securing edges of applique, sewing curves, topstitching etc. The bottom of the foot has a rectangular shaped indentation, which allows even blanket stitching to glide under the foot without dragging, making it the perfect accessory for applique work.

It has a stitching area wide enough for maximum stitch width without compromising control, and as such is often called an “Open Toe Embroidery Foot”. The “toes” of the foot are shorter than on a regular zigzag foot, and therefore it is a good accessory to experiment with machine embroidery before progressing to completely free-hand – you can see exactly where you are headed!

Piping Foot

Piping Foot (Brother F067)

Designed for creating custom piping, for home-decor etc. The over-sized channels in this foot allow piping to be positioned more accurately and a range needle position settings are facilitated by the wide needle opening.

Quilting guide (Brother F016N)

Quilting Guide & Foot

This guide allows the user to set precise distances between specific points, facilitating parallel stitching. It can either be attached to a Walking Foot (Adjustable between 10mm and 75mm), or inserted in the hole on the back of the snap-on presser foot ankle.

Quilting foot (Brother F005N)

Spring action foot for quilting, darning or free-motion embroidery. It is transparent, allowing enhanced monitoring of your progress.

1/4 Quilting Foot

1/4 inch quilting (Patchwork) foot (Brother F001N)

This foot keeps your fabric in-line using a built-in guide that ensures a consistent, accurate seam allowance that is exactly 1/4 inch (or 6.3mm), irrelevant of your sewing speed – it’s easy to achieve neat and accurate results every time.. Perfect for dressmaking, where a 1/4″ seam allowance is ideal for curved edges like collars and armholes.

I use this foot frequently when making bags, where the use of iron-on interfacing demands a smaller seam.

Ruffler Foot (F051)

Ruffler Foot

This does exactly what the name suggests: when the ruffling blade on the upper portion of the presser foot is moved forward, its teeth catch the fabric and force it forward into gathers or tucks.

Side Cutter

Side cutter (Brother F054)

Selecting the stitches with the side cutter mark allows you to create a beautiful finish without any adjustment on stitch settings. (Alternatively, you could get an overlocker, which is my preferred method!).

Stitch guide foot “P” (Brother F035N)

Stitch guide foot

The scale in the presser foot can be used for perfect top stitching on both straight and curved lines. Each divisional mark equals 2mm.

Monogramming Foot

Monogramming Foot “N” (Brother)

Ideal for freehand quilting and embroidery, monogramming etc., this spring loaded foot ‘hops’ during sewing, allowing you to move the fabric around as you work.

Overcaster / Overlocker Foot “G” (Brother)

If you don’t own an overlocker, this foot is a great alternative: neatens seam edges on knits / wovens using your sewing machine.

Walking foot


A walking foot is specifically designed for sewing multiple layers of fabric together e.g. adding binding to quilts, etc. It is characterised by its ability to ensure an even feed of fabric as you sew.

Zig Zag Foot / Universal / All Purpose Foot “J” (Brother)

Zig Zag Foot

You can use the foot for a wide variety of sewing, as the name implies: zig zig, straight sewing, decorative stitching etc. are all possible. If you have a sewing project, and cannot spare the time to change feet (or would just prefer not to!), this is the foot to choose. The foot is kept level whilst sewing over thick seams by implementing the levelling button.

Adjustable Zipper /Piping Foot

Adjustable Zipper Piping Foot “I” (Brother)

Zipper feet allow you to stitch close to the zip itself coils, resulting in a neat appearance whilst simultaneously allowing proper zip functionality. This is a very versatile foot – and is not just useful for attaching zips! It can also be used for piping, or any other sewing project which requires the irregular shape and size of the desired attachment to be avoided whilst sewing, applying just the right amount of pressure.

Where to buy:

There are numerous avenues to finding a new foot for your collection: here are a just few (in the UK) which I have used in the past:

Alternatively, have a look at the brand website for your country, and see what is available – Google is your friend, and it is always possible to find a good deal on branded / unbranded feet.











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One thought on “Foot Fetish – Different Sewing machine feet, and why they are worth the investment

  • September 4, 2018 at 3:34 am

    hi Cathrene,
    the post is really informative and so much helpful to me. i can learn on the pressure foot for the sewing machine and can use these foot comfortably and so effectively on the machine. thanks a lot


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