Sewing Blog

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?

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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.


relax, i got a great assortment of feet for under $10 online. great investment, the teflon foot is a great help when sewing fake furs and rubber coated canvas


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


Wasn’t what I was looking for and yet turned out to be helpful anyway. Thank you! 🙂


Just inherited a wonderful old cabinet sewing machine with 20 or so pristine feet I’m happily looking forward to putting to good creative use. Thank you so much for helping to identify each of them for me!


very helpful, but I have a foot I have no idea for its use. It looks complicated.
so I will keep trying. thank you


I’m sad to see no mention of walking feet!


i have a collection! (Or an obsession?) … I have Viking machines and have purchased almost every foot avail for them! I even have a binder that I keep them organized in along with the latest issue of ‘The Foot Book’. I am always amazed at the things you can do with a foot, that isn’t it’s original purpose and it’s fun to try and come up with your own time savers, or creative ways with them! You can just never have enough different machine feet!


Anyone know where I can purchase shank and foot for jmb serger jmsm1020


Waswak they r great


I have 2 boxes full of pressure feet with all the regulars, 2 ruffles and a few I have no idea what to do with. But I keep checking posts like these to find out.


Can you tell me if fabric is cut on the bias to make piping for cushions? I have several feet for my machine and looking at your diagrams still can’t determine which one needed for piping..
Thankyou Sha


This is a nice overview. I would like to see more explanation of why a particular foot is good for it’s purpose. Fo example, the overcast foot has a bar that supports the stitches so the edge is less likely to “roll up”. I would also like to see more examples of each – the blind hem for a Singer is a bit different than one for a Bernina. Finally, some missing gems: walking or even feed, free motion quilting or darning, machine embroidery, roller, knit, … I realize building a comprehensive list is difficult, but I hope you expand this. Wouldn’t it ne nice to have links to videos of how to use each?


Are these feet universal or machine specific? I have a Husqvarna Viking 350 which came with 6 feet. I’m in the learning process, so at the moment I think I’m okay but I’d like to expand in the future.

Muinat Ajibade

Pls can all the feet work on any machine or each manufacturer has it own unique footers for their machines.

Bonnie Vaughan

The manufacturer of the sewing machine does not matter. It is based on the shank on each machine.


The attachment I have must be older than what you have here. They did come from my mother’s old Singer which was a treadmill machine, plus I have a bunch from that one and a Kenmore a friend gave me. The one I have has like a squirrely (?) q in the middle of it and an open space in the foot too. I think it is a type of hemming foot but, I am not sure how to use it Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Very helpful, and I thank you. I love my used Bernina, but some of the feet have been a mystery for years. After hand-applying ruffles to several 18th century ball gowns, it’s time I looked into this further!


What does a B, SP or BT printed in sergers feet?


Woundaful site,..wuld love to b a perfect designer


I need serious assistance to fit into d world of garment makers( designers)…starting from d scratch and necessary tools..lov u all

Dorothy G

Can I use these pictures for a school project? It’s a website for a web design class.


I just inherited a Viking Emerald 183… I am intessted in quilting… Free form quilting too. What feet do I need and for what step of the quilting? Walking foot? Quilting foot? Which of the free form feet? I’m lost when it comes to all the different feet and purposes.
Also the feet for cording and ribbon… Look really cool but what use would they be? Just decorative?

If you can’t help any suggestions of books?

Nikia Newman

Thank you so much for this, I was just looking through all of my presser feet this morning and I was like I have no idea what these are even for. I ran across this and a few if these I have already. My question is which would be the best foot to use for Satin fabric?

Thanks in advance!


I am a beginner in sowing. Does having the straight presser foot help keep the fabric straight. I have difficulty stitching straight. I don’t know if this is a beginner issue or if maybe having a straight stitch presser foot can help with this?


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