“Why Should I Buy an Optional Foot?”

Today’s sewing machines come with a variety of useful presser feet. Some are for general sewing and some are for specialty techniques. During the machine classes, my students and I often get side tracked talking about optional presser feet. Often the question is asked, “Why would I need that?”

Optional presser feet give you options you just can’t get with the general presser feet. Some of them have metal guides on them allowing for faster and more accurate sewing. Some of them allow you to perform specific techniques, such as rolled hems, that you just cannot do with a general foot. Usually, they allow you to have more choices for your project and allow your work to have a more professional look. Case in point: The ¼” seam for piecing; the mainstay of quilting. I decided to compare three feet to see just what the difference would be for creating a ¼” seam on the edge of a piece of cotton twill. I used three Husqvarna Viking feet (I own a Designer Diamond Royale): the A foot (multi-purpose foot that came with my machine)

the optional Clear ¼” Piecing Foot with Guide 

and the optional ¼” Edge Stitching Foot .

For the first three examples I sewed with the needle in the center position. In the fourth example, I used the ¼” Edge Stitching foot, just as I had done for example #3, except I moved the needle to the farthest right position. The first two examples show what the difference is in the seam between the included utility foot A that came with my machine, and the optional

Clear ¼” Piecing Foot with Guide .

You will notice example #1, sewn with the outside right of the foot along the edge of the fabric and the needle in center position is a wider seam than the one sewn with the Clear ¼” Piecing Foot with Guide, also with needle in the center position. Example #3 is sewn with the optional ¼” Edge Stitching foot with the needle in the center position and that seam allowance is even more narrow than the first two. Lastly, example #4 uses the same foot as example #3, but moves the needle to the farthest right position. This produces a scant ¼” seam. The last picture shows the three feet and the four seams at one time.

The bottom line……….whether or not you need an optional foot is project dependent. Your results will be directly linked to the tools that you use. Optional feet can be terrific tools to get you where you’re going. Happy sewing!