Sewing Machine Attachments

Sewing machine attachments, what are they and what do they do?

The sewing machine attachments that come with your machine will depend on the sewing machine, if you purchase brand new or used, as well as, what brand and type of sewing machine you have.

Some sewing feet attachements can be purchase after market so you can achieve different tasks and make it easier to sew professional looking seams.They add embellishments, such a strings of beads, pin tucking, piping, and many others that would be other wise not achieved without the presser foot or it would be more difficult to achieve with out it.

It is so important to have the right tools for any job. Let's have a look at what they do.

Sewing Machine Attachments 
What do they do?

Straight Stitch Foot

The most common sewing machine foot is a straight stitch presser foot. Your machine will do the most of your sewing with this foot, and typically will come with the machine, unless you have aquired your sewing machine from a friend or relative and this foot is missing. The good news is you can purchase one easily for most any machine, at little cost. The straight still foot you see below can also be used as a zig zag foot. 

Invisible Zipper Foot

Invisible zipper feet are used to sew an invisible zipper. This zipper looks exactly how it sounds when applied to a garment. You can't see the zipper in your sewing project if it is applied properly. The photo below is how it looks and the sewing machine foot below this is what you used to apply the zipper.

Invisible zipper application.
invisible zipper foot
invisible zipper foot

This foot is used for zippers, piping and sewing seams that have excess bulk on one side.

It can adjust from one side of the needle to the other for a close seam.

invisible zipper foot.

Ruffling Foot

This is a wonder foot for me as I use a lot of tulle when I make costumes. It ruffle light weight fabrics very easily and saves me time. 

Gathering Foot

Gathering can be done by sewing two straight stitches parallel to each other at 2/8" and 4/8" from the seam edge. Then pulling the underside threads, you begin to gather your fabric.

An alternative method to gathering is the gathering foot you see below.

This very handy tool is great when you have a lot of gathering to do.

I have made dresses with a lot frills and put after market frills on bed skirts that would have been pain staking if I did not have this foot.

The fabric is placed under the gathering plate and it pushes the fabric through.Your gathers are done in one step and faster than if you did it by hand.

Buttonhole

buttonhole maker

The buttonhole sewing attachment above, measures the button and creates the buttonhole for the size needed.

It does this all in one step for saving time. You can also adjust most button attachments manually, when the button is too large to fit the attachment.

buttonhole maker

The vintage buttonhole maker, to the left, comes with the plates shown below.

buttonhole maker

Older sewing machine attachments were a little more bulky to work with, and took more time to set up, but they were very effective.

I first learned to sew, and made many of my first sewing projects on this type of machine, using this type of buttonhole attachment.

In fact my mom still has and uses her Singer machine from the 1950's. She has more than one modern machine, that has more options, but loves the older work horse mentality of her old Singer.

Roller Foot

The roller foot is great for leather, vinyl, and suede. These types of materials can be difficult because the two layers tend to shift.

A regular straight stitch foot will cause friction pressing down on the material and causing it to get caught up in the feed dogs of your machine.

The material is soft and pliable so it does not feed smoothly. With the roller foot it does exactly what the name implies, it rollers over top of the material and gives a smooth feed with less friction.

Like a rolling pin over sticky pie dough. This foot is also very useful for heavy weight fabrics, such as denim and canvas that have bulky and uneven seams.

Blind Hem Foot

This foot replaces the hand sewing method. It is a fast way of hemming dress slacks. When the hem is positioned correctly, the needle and thread only catch the fabric every few stitches for a seemingly stitch less hem.

For sewing machine attachments alternatives, see hand sewing needles.

Walking Foot

This useful machine attachment is great for fabrics like plaids and stripes or patterns that need to match upon the finished projects.

The top and bottom layer of fabrics remain evenly stitched. It is also useful for vinyl and bulky knits that tend to stretch or slip when sewing.

Over Edge Foot

If you don't have a serger, the over edge foot can give the next best alternative to a serger finished seam.  The above mentioned, is only a small amount of sewing machine attachments available. Depending on what make and model of sewing machine you have.

Sewing machine attachments really open up the variety of details you can accomplish with your sewing projects.

Most of these attachments are not expensive and if you purchase them one at a time or as needed, they become an indispensable part of your sewing world. In other words once you have them they are yours forever.

Sewing Attachement Kits

Here is a product available to sewers that is to me, relatively new. These are kits that universally adapt to most machines and they are sold for quite a bit less that buying individually. Each foot has a purpose, and I can't stress enough that you will want to sew more challenging projects or add decorative interest if you have a least some of these tools.

Happy Sewing!