The Right Tool for the Job

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.

So to start, let’s use the Janome Satin Stitch Foot (F) as an example. There is a closed toe and Open Toe (F2) version as pictured below.

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.

All-Purpose/Zig Zag Foot

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.

1/4″ Seam Foot With Guide

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!

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10 Responses to The Right Tool for the Job

  1. okby663 says:

    I have just purchased the 9450 and I’m a bit confused when to use the HP plate and/or the HP foot. I would appreciate some advice. Thanks


    • janomeman says:

      Congratulations on your fabulous new machine! Many of us quilters love using the HP Foot and Needle Plate for piecing quilt blocks with that perfect 1/4″ seam allowance. Everything lines up perfectly! It’s also helpful to use when insetting curved pieces, like Drunkard’s Path blocks as the foot is very smooth and has a low profile, so it doesn’t get in the way; it allows you to manipulate the fabric while sewing. Garment sewists and tote bag makers love using the HP foot for Top Stitching with again that 1/4″ seam allowance, and to get into tight areas because of the low profile design of the foot. There are many blogs about the HP Foot and Needle Plate on Janome Life, so use the Search box to find all previous related posts to see it’s versatility. Happy Sewing!


  2. LINDA M DAVIS says:

    This was very helpful! May I ask, when using the 1/4″ foot on my MemoryCraft9400 QCP, do I also go into the quilting menu and select 1/4″ program as well? Or with this foot, I can use a regular straight stitch from the utility menu (no needle adjustment)? Thanks!


    • janomeman says:

      HI Linda! We’re sew glad you enjoyed the blog post! For your machine, you’ll go into Sewing Applications; Quilting, then select the 1/4″ stitch setting, which will automatically move the needle to the right. Line up the fabric with the guide at the edge of the foot and you’re good to go! Happy Quilting!


  3. Thank you for your future educational information regarding our “feet”. Am a proud owner of the 15000 QM and would also like to see a reference to which plate is applicable to these individual feet and a quick cookbook chart that can be printed. Hopefully, I have not missed this information in our workbook sessions. Thank you for all you do to make us “Janome” owners HAPPY!!!


    • janomeman says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Virgie! Fortunately, your fabulous MC15000 already gives you clues and suggestions as to which needle plate is compatible with what stitch and presser foot as soon as you snap the needle plate into place. We certainly do like to keep our Janome fans HAPPY, so we appreciate your suggestions as another way to share the Janome Love. Happy Sewing!


  4. Sharon Adams says:

    Is there a Janome foot for 9mm machines that is a Scant Quarter inch foot? I certainly would by one ASAP! Thanks so much.


    • janomeman says:

      HI Sharon! There’s many ways to achieve a “scant” 1/4″ inch, usually by moving the needle to the right, or the fabric to the left. Using a cloth guide will help improve accuracy. As for presser feet, many quilters love the HP Foot and Needle Plate, though those are only compatible with select 9mm machines – Continental CM17, Continental M7, MC6700P, MC6650, Indigo Skyline S9 and updated original Blue V1 model, MC15000 Quilt Maker and updated versions, MC9450 and updated MC9400 – I hope I got them all, lol! Happy Quilting!


  5. grmax5 says:

    Great info! I’d love to see more on All of the feet, especially for the Skyline9. But, any feet that work for the 9mm machines would be great! ThankYou!


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