10 Fun Facts about Presser Feet

I love learning new things, especially anything connected to sewing. A post with facts about presser feet seemed like a natural only first, I have a confession to make. I started sewing in 1967 and have owned various machines and read their manuals. I have read books, blogs and Facebook posts and until 2015, I thought this device was spelled pressure foot. Yes, I am ashamed and the reader who gently pointed out my mistake to me acted like I was doing it for fun. Nope, I was that uninformed. If you want you can unsubscribe to my blog in horror right now. I won’t blame you.

I am not sure how I got it wrong and kept the wrong term but I did. Obviously, I need to know more facts about presser feet. I’ve got the spelling down, I am moving on.foot

1. Definition – I love to start out with what it says on Dictionary.com. Here is their definition: ” A forked metal device on a sewing machine used for holding the fabric in place while stitching.” Sounds good to me!

2. History – From what I have read here, Isaac Singer patented the presser foot in 1851 and because other parts of the machine borrowed from Howe’s original patent, he paid him royalties. Sign of the future that sewing machines entered the market with a flurry of lawsuits?

button hole3. Most important aspect – This would have been hard for me to choose but according to this post, the most important thing is to have your presser foot up while threading.

4. Function – I think I could have come up with this answer but I always like a source. The Wise Geek claims that its function is efficiency because it holds the fabric in place as it feeds through. Good answer!

5. How many – I think there are several thousand. I joke but there are 12 which are explained in complete detail starting with the basic foot on this blog.

6. Different brands – Naturally, each brand of sewing machine has its own presser foot guide. Bernina, Janome, Brother, Husqvarna, and Singer all have sites.quarter inch

7. Keeping track – I have bunches of presser feet. I have one I have never used. OK, maybe two. I have an app on my phone which lists which ones I own so I don’t duplicate a foot. I have duplicated tools and patterns, I need more apps!

8. Favorites – My three favorite feet are the all purpose, the walking foot, the quarter inch seam and the buttonhole foot. I don’t think anyone agrees with me. She doesn’t.  She almost does. She thinks there are nine.  I think it depends on what you like to sew.

9. TypesAccording to this post, there are 3. Low shank, high shank and slanted shank. I would probably add computerized feet that work with your machine.

10. Plural – Presser feet not presser foots although I have seen both. Overwhelmingly, they pluralize like the noun foot.

All photos from Bernina, thanks!

Need more specific information, check out YouTube. I would seek out your exact foot, not a generic video. Here’s an example, walking foot.


Sew happy!

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Here’s a previous post I wrote on Presser Feet storage. Also, here’s a link to my last Fact post. 

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