When it comes to Janome sewing machines, you will often find that we love to advertise all the additional accessory “feet” that come with the machine. Satin Stitch Foot, Even Feed Foot, ¼ Seam Foot, Overedge Foot, and the list goes on and on. You are probably wondering why you would ever need all of these feet and what is their purpose?
Well, think of sewing machine feet like footwear, yes, human footwear. Depending on what you are doing or where you plan to walk, run or hike, you often make a decision on what type of footwear would be most suitable for that occasion. Right?
For the sake of this discussion, let us talk about sporting equipment. If you were going to play hockey, would you wear flip-flops? Probably not. You would wear skates. If you were going to go bowling, would you wear snow boots? Of course not, you would wear bowling shoes! If you were going to play basketball, you would wear basketball sneakers. If you were going to play football, soccer, or baseball, likely you would wear cleats. You get the point.
The same goes for sewing machine feet where the sewing application determines which foot to use. Many of us forget that we have so many options. We find a foot that we like, in many cases, the foot that comes standard on the machine, and we just use this for everything. But let us stop and appreciate that there are different tools, in this case, different sewing presser feet for different tasks.
This particular foot has a very wide open toe design, which allows you to easily see the stitch being sewn with it’s unobstructed construction. Many satin stitch feet are made of clear see-through plastic so you can also see the area around where the stitch is sewn. Also, because this foot is so wide, it lets you sew the maximum width that the machine is capable of. All Janome machines range from 5-9 mm stitch width. The wider the stitch width, the more decorative and bold your stitches can be.
The foot that comes standard on your machine is the Zig-Zag Foot (A) which is also called the All-Purpose Foot or General Sewing Foot. This foot is capable of a wide variety of stitches. Perfect for seaming with a straight stitch, or when using a zig zag to finish off the raw edge of the fabric, or for attaching elastic. It’s a very useful, versatile foot, but it does have its limits.
The Janome ¼ Seam Foot is perfect to use to achieve an accurate ¼” seam allowance which is great for piecing and quilting, and even Top Stitching.
The guide on the foot enables you to sew a perfect, accurate 1/4-inch seam every time. In patchwork piecing, consistency is all important so all your pieces match up and fit together in the end.
Janome Zipper Foot (E) looks a little different in various machine models, but the foot functions in the same way. This foot is meant for attaching zippers, allowing you to get extremely close to the zipper coil by having notches in the right and left side of the foot for straight, even rows of stitching.
This foot can be set to sew on each side of the zipper by simply removing and reattaching the foot to the other side. It is also great for sewing close to piping. Notice how the foot is completely open on either side so be careful not to catch your finger under the needle!
In future posts in this series, we will talk further about each individual foot, explain how to use them, and give examples of applications where they can be the most useful. Happy Sewing!