What is a walking foot? (with a video!!!)

I made a video about my walking foot! I’m telling you, it’s superduper hard to make a good video, but I tried it anyway, JUST FOR YOU. I can’t watch this one without cringing a little, so please don’t judge. First I had to fight the overwhelming urge to use the word “UM” repeatedly (but, I lost that one). It’s also something of a miracle I managed to talk in more than one continuous run-on sentence of sound. And then finally, is that really what I sound like? GAH.


I figured some of you probably had no idea what a walking foot was, and there’s been alot of talk about it lately here with all of the knit posts (particularly in this post about hemming knits). It turns out that a walking foot is also really great for quilting (or any sewing where you need less presser foot pressure) as it helps prevent the multiple layers from sliding around, but it’s also nice to have when you’re sewing knits.

OK, nuf talk, here’s the video:

And a direct link, just in case you’re not seeing that on your screen: http://vimeo.com/36641514


{This post is part of a series of posts about sewing with knits designed to empower you to go sew some knits! See more right here}

34 thoughts on “What is a walking foot? (with a video!!!)

  1. Thanks for the GREAT video. I’ve never used a walking foot, so that was helpful. Where did you get your walking foot? I also have a Bernina 220. I thought it was fun to hear your voice, too. I always wonder what people sound like. I feel like I “know” them, after visiting their blogs all the time, and getting a sense of voice from their posts.


  2. I love my walking foot. I find it very useful when sewing LONG strips of fabric, anything cut on the bias (as with knit fabrics, eliminates the stretch), binding and of course straight line machine quilting. I also use it when sewing bags/pouches as there is usually several layers of batting/fabric/lining to sew thru. Thank you for the video, and yes, it was fun to hear you!

  3. Great job on the video, Rae! (You’re too hard on yourself. πŸ˜‰ ) I’d been planning to do a post on the walking foot soon… will be linking to your video (with proper credit, of course) when I do it. Thanks!

  4. I feel the same way about hearing my voice on tape. I waver between feeling like I’m listening to my mom and being horrified that my voice could sound like that. That’s why I try never to speak while I record videos of my kids; my husband thinks I’m crazy.

  5. Everything you say about making videos is so true!
    I got a few new presser feet for Christmas and made videos on my blog to show how they work a few weeks ago. Feels like every other word is “So…ummm…”, and then random toddler chatter in the background! lol,
    You did a great job though, and truly don’t sound “weird” in real life ; )

  6. This was so awesome! I just bought a new sewing machine that came with a walking foot and have never used one before! Now I will definitely try!

  7. Wow! I can’t believe the difference! I’ve got my grandmother’s old sewing machine but I know that I can still get parts for it – I’m going to check for a walking foot – I think this will help a lot with mending knits.Thanks!

  8. Nice video. If it weren’t for blogs I wouldn’t have known about walking feet and be learning to use one right now. I just leave it on the machine all the time now.

    By the way, in radio they have sound engineers come in to “de-umm” recordings. There is no shortage of umms to de-umm, even amongst professional broadcasters!

  9. Excellent video! And your voice sounds just like I thought it would – sweet like you. (Hey, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow – might was well get your share of compliments early!) : ) Isn’t it strange just how different we sound IRL compared to in our head?

    Now, I just might need to dig that dang walking foot out of the box I tossed it in…if I can find the box!

  10. Thank you! This series convinced me to give knits a serious try! I’ve made two 90 minute shirts for the babe and a j crew knock off for me! Still have some eaten fabric but we’re getting there! I’ll be sure to give the walking foot a try next. This series has been awesome!

  11. great video! would’ve never notice the UMs if hadn’t told us!
    love your knit series and your style in general. been silently following for a while now! always great colors and fun patterns.

    • Lydia:

      Yes, sometimes it’s better just not to mention all of your flaws, right?

      Thanks for de-lurking! Nice to meet you!!! πŸ™‚

  12. I loooove your voice! Ok, that sounds slightly stalker-ish. I have yet to venture into videos on my blog because when I hear my voice on an answering machine I want to curl into a ball and hide in a closet with a bag of cookies. Maybe I need a special Darth Vader sound dubbing. That would really freak everyone out. Something to Google tonight.

  13. I think this was a wonderful tutorial. I didn’t know what a walking foot was so this was a great help. Of course I try to avoid sewing as I am convinced my machine hates me. I know then why am I at a sewing blog. Well I try to avoid it but I’m always trying to learn as I would really like to someday at least be able to do something besides just a hem.
    Anyway thanks again.
    PS. Anyone know how to bribe a sewing machine into being nice? πŸ˜€

  14. When I try to use a Zig Zag stitch with my walking foot, the little “arm” falls off of the thing that tightens my needle when the needle moves to the left. Do you have any ways around this?

  15. so i had this post starred to watch and just got around to it. um…i think i need a new walking foot. mine is a much bigger hassle to install on my machine, and it doesn’t “walk” nearly as well. probably shouldn’t have gone with the cheap-o version…add it to the wishlist! πŸ˜‰

  16. I’ve been hearing the buzz about ‘the walking foot’ now I’m sold! What do you think the average price is for one of those?

  17. I bought a machine, Janome, with a walking foot attachment. It was great on 1 or 2 layers…but when I tried sewing 1/4″ thick or somewhat stiff leather…the walking foot attachment didn’t do it. So i had to buy a second machine, ARGH!, but now i’m OK with it. I went with the Tuffsew machine. It has an actual built in walking foot…not an attachment. The Tuffsew has been much better for more thickness. I will put the link on the website slot on the above.

  18. Thank you! I am a novice sewer and saw that a “walking foot” was recommended for some things I was looking at sewing (cloth diapers) but I had no idea what it was. Now to find one that fits my old machine!

  19. hi Rae, I am having problems with my walking foot and I found your video. I hope you can help! πŸ™‚
    My wf works great on wovens, when I’m using a straight stitch. However when I’m sewing knits, I change the stitch to a zigzag, and that causes the wf to freak out. The wf’s “claw-foot” or arm that goes up and down always falls right off the needle rest that it’s supposed to work with, (Sorry, I don’t know the real terms.) because the needle rest is moving from right to left. When it moves to the left, the wf claw falls off and drops down. HELP!!! I hope this even makes sense! BTW, I have a Viking Platinum and am using a Viking wf. UGH……
    Thank you!!!!!

  20. This was a very informative video. Thank you so much for explaining the walking foot. I’d hear of them, but wasn’t sure how or when to use it! Thanks again!!

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