Learn to Sew With Your Feet: Different Types of Sewing Machine Feet

Presser feet are not just frivolous accessories for your sewing machine; they can help make tough sewing jobs tremendously easier if you are willing to take a few minutes to swap out your universal foot for one or more of the various different types of sewing machine feet. As far as I am concerned, if a few presser feet are good, more are certainly better!

Sewing Machine and Pintuck Feet

Presser feet that often come standard with a sewing machine

Zigzag foot # 0

Photo via Bernina

Universal or zigzag

This all-purpose presser foot is the default for most straight and zigzag stitching, and even many decorative stitches.

Zipper foot # 4 / 4D

Photo via Bernina


Zipper feet allow you to stitch close to the zipper coils, helping to create a neat appearance and allowing proper zipper functioning.

Buttonhole foot with slide # 3A / 3B / 3C

Photo via Bernina


Buttonhole feet come in a variety of styles, but all help to create neat and uniform buttonholes on your garments. Those with a built-in memory allow you to repeat the same size quickly and easily.

Blindstitch foot # 5

Photo via Bernina

Blind hem

This foot allows you to create an almost-invisible hem efficiently using your machine.

Overlock foot # 2 / 2A

Photo via Bernina


The overlock foot will neaten seam edges on knits and wovens on your sewing machine. If you don’t own a serger or it is not suitable for your project, this foot is a nice alternative.

Specialty feet that often are purchased separately

Specialty feet vary by manufacturer, so be sure to check what kinds of feet are available for your make and model. Sometimes, “universal” feet that fit a variety of brands can work for your machine. This list is not comprehensive, but gives you a good idea of the range of possibilities when it comes to sewing machine presser feet.

5-Groove pintuck foot # 31

Photo via Bernina


Commonly seen on heirloom sewing projects, the pintuck foot adds a sweet touch to baby garments and fine lingerie. Pintuck feet come in a variety of sizes — 3, 5, 7 and even 9 grooves — to create different size tucks on your fabric using a double needle.

Edgestitch foot # 10 / 10C / 10D

Photo via Bernina


Very similar to a blindstitch hem foot, the edgestitch foot allows you to create perfectly straight topstitching. (My. Favorite. Foot. Ever.)

Invisible-zipper foot # 35

Photo via Bernina

Invisible zipper

Totally worth the money, and probably my second most-used specialty foot.

Open embroidery foot # 20 / 20C / 20D

Photo via Bernina

Open toe embroidery

This foot is especially handy if you like to do a bit of free-motion embroidery on your sewing projects, because you can see exactly where you are headed!

Jeans foot # 8 / 8D

Photo via Bernina


If you like sewing jeans, this handy foot will help you make neat, straight seams on denim and other heavy fabrics.

Straight Stitch foot # 13

Photo via Bernina

Straight stitch foot

I love making shirts, and use the straight stitch foot to better control the fabric when using short stitches on fine cotton fabric. Using this foot and a straight stitch plate, it is impossible to “punch” fabric down under the throat plate of your sewing machine.

Patchwork foot # 37 / 37D

Photo via Bernina

Patchwork foot

I call this my quarter-inch foot, and it is definitely not just for quilters. Great for doll clothes and many small shirt-making seams, too.

Zigzag foot with non-stick sole # 52 / 52C / 52D
Photo via Bernina

Non-stick foot

If you are hankering to sew with leather or faux leather, the Teflon foot will help prevent sticking on the surface while you are stitching.

Zigzag hemmer foot # 63 (3mm)
Photo via Bernina

Rolled hemmer

The rolled hem foot allows you to turn a fabric under twice and produce a neat and lovely hem. There are several different sizes that can handle delicate as well as heavier weight fabrics.

Lap seam foot # 70 (4mm)
Photo via Bernina

Fell foot

This foot streamlines producing a felled seam, and some manufacturers produce a variety of finished felled seam widths.

Ruffler # 86
Photo via Bernina

Ruffler attachment

Not exactly a presser foot, more of an accessory, the ruffler makes uniform pleats in a range of sizes quickly and easily. It is essential if you have a household of girly-girls!

Binder attachment # 88 for unfolded bias tape     Binder foot # 95 / 95C for Binder attachment # 87 and # 88
Photos via Bernina

Binder attachment + binder foot

Used in combination, these two “feet” make attaching bias binding on quilts or garments a snap.

If your machine came with lots of feet that are still in the original packing, break them out and experiment a little. You might come up with some new uses, or at least find ways to simplify or improve your stitching quality.

How many specialty feet do you own for your sewing machine? Do you have a favorite or two that get a bit more use?

Free Online Sewing Class

free online sewing class

Learn how to use 11 common sewing feet for flawless results.Enroll FREE Now »


Sarah Hines

Reading this post was a huge mistake. Huge. How about I go ahead and just resign myself to having NO PROFITS from my sewing this month as I spend all my stitching money on specialty feet. Thanks. So. Much.


Very useful to identify some of the feet that are unknown to me I have over 30 specialty feet including: ruffler, walking, pintuck, darning, bias binding, Teflon, roller, rolled hem, quilting foot, zipper foot, overlock foot and many more


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>