Stitching on the Edge: 5 Techniques to Try With an Edgestitch Foot

Posted by on Nov 16, 2013 in Sewing | Comments


My all-time favorite sewing foot is the edgestitch foot. I use it all the time! The blind-hem foot is very similar to the edgestitch foot, but the there are two main differences: on the edgestitch foot, the metal guide does not extend all the way through the back of the foot, and there is a groove on the bottom of the foot. Both of these differences make it possible to use decorative stitches (including those with a raised pattern) instead of just a straight stitch with your edgestitch foot.

Learn how to identify and use 11 of the most common sewing machine feet in the FREE Craftsy mini-class, Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z.

Edgestitch Foot

Here are 5 techniques to try with your edgestitch foot:

 

Fine edge finish

Fine edge finish

If you do not have access to the rolled hem function of a serger, you can create a similar look on lightweight fabrics. Fold and press a hem in your fabric, and place it right side up under the edgestitch foot. Set your sewing machine to a small zigzag stitch (w=1.5 – 2.0 and L =.5 – 1.0), and adjust so the right swing of the needle falls just barely on the folded edge of the fabric. Trim away the excess fabric on the wrong side.

Stitch in the Ditch

Stitch in the ditch

This technique is not just for quilters! Stitching in the ditch means to stitch in the little “well” that occurs on the right side of a seam. If you can get exactly into the “ditch,” the stitching is virtually invisible, and using an edgestitch foot simplifies this process tremendously. This is a great “utility” function using a straight stitch to anchor facings or casings to the inside of your garments, or if you use a decorative stitch pattern, you can apply a pretty embellishment on the right side.

Tucks using an edgestitch foot

Single needle tuck French seams

Perfect tucks are a snap when you use an edgestitch foot. Press the tuck folds into your fabric, and then just lay the pressed edge against the guide. Move your needle to the left — less for a narrow tuck and more for a wider tuck — and stitch the length of the tuck. Don’t you love how easy it is to get perfectly straight stitching with this foot?

Corded edge on hem using edgestitch foot

Corded edge

This technique is identical to the fine edge finish — just set a zigzag stitch the appropriate width for the cord you are adding and stitch away. It is easier if you take several stitches in the fabric first, and then slide the cord under the foot and next to the guide. This is a really pretty finish for tablecloths and other linens.

Edgestitching example

Edgestitching

If you want to produce perfect edgestitching on your shirt collars and any other item, definitely use an edgestitch foot. Set your stitch length, move your needle to either the right or left as needed, and keep your fabric flush against the guide as you sew. I had a 7-year-old sew perfect edgestitching on her skirt hem using this foot. You can also try using a double needle and this same technique.

You might also enjoy our posts on how to use a piping foot and how to use a pintuck foot.

Come back to the Craftsy blog tomorrow for a roundup of classic cocktail dresses to make for the upcoming party season!

Do you have some other ways you like to use your edgestitch foot?

Comments

  1. JEAN MORLANDO says:

    I Was wondering if any one can tell me what is the best new sewing machine out in the stores to buy, because i need a new one, mine is old and it does not do much, i was thinking a bout buying one with all kinds of features so i could do more. Please let me know a.s.a.p. because i would like to purchase one on black friday.

    thanks,

    Jean

    1. B.J. says:

      That is a loaded question and one that will get you so many conflicting answers!! When I come across someone who tells me that their friend told them that “insert brand name here” is the best, it is usually because that is the brand of sewing machine that they own, whether it was an inherited machine, a bargain at a big box store, or something that just fell into the price range that they had in mind. That is why I always tell my students “Don’t buy a sewing machine without me there to help you decide.”
      The most important things to consider are:
      1. What is my budget and am I flexible on price?
      2. What will I be using the machine for (heavy duty or heirloom sewing)?
      3. What is my skill level?
      4. How much time do you want to spend researching your purchase?
      5. Will a sewing machine be good enough or do I want a serger too?
      6. Do I want new or used?
      Some sewers are very particular about the brand of machine that they use, especially if it is a passionate hobby for them. I have an Elna, 2 Berninas, 4 Janomes, 2 antique Singer Featherweights, and 2 Juki industrial machines, and they all have functions that serve me well.
      New or used? There are some very good used machines out there, allowing you to capture higher quality for less money. Sometimes the best machines are acquired from serious sewers who upgrade their machines frequently. If you have a “dream machine” in mind you could look for it on Ebay. I have purchased a few machines that way and been exceptionally lucky(a late model machine for a third of the sale price in a store). The flip side of that is that when you purchase from a reputable sewing machine dealer they often throw in lessons to orient you to your new treasure. A local dealer will also stand behind their product and usually have a service technician in-house to solve any issues that you may have in the future. I would love to have a conversation with you and help you to purchase the machine that is right for you—there is nothing worse than buyer’s remorse. Your machine should stimulate creativity rather than stifle it out of frustration. If this site allows and you wish my assistance, my e-mail address is: young.drum@hotmail.com.

  2. B.J. says:

    Well I guess the site would not allow the email address to be printed. I am here for you if you want to exchange information about your sewing machine purchase. I have no affiliation with a sewing machine vendor or any personal interest except to promote the love of sewing to generations new and old. If you have a few models in mind I would be happy to research and assess them for you if I have not used a particular model. My goal is for you to have a sewing machine that you will LOVE and grow with.