Friday, June 3, 2011

Sewing Gadgetmania: Walking foot and why you need it for sewing a Chanel-inspired jacket

This Gadgetmania post is also a part of my Classic French Jacket class project, for I am featuring here a walking foot – an essential tool for quilting the lining and the fashion fabric in a Chanel-like jacket. (I am still sick, by the way, so forgive me any incoherence here) 

What makes this foot special is that it has its own feed dog to move the top layer of fabric. Usually, we would use only the machine’s own feed dog that moves fabric layers from underneath only.

It’s only logical that with slippery fabrics (like charmeuse, or crepe de chine used in Chanel suit lining), the upper layer would shift without additional feed. If you use a walking foot, both layers are moved at the same rate, preventing puckering and pleating of the fabric. 

I have never heard about the foot before the class, and thanks to Dawn (she was my classmate in the Classic French Jacket Class) I am now using it for all my silk / slippery fabric projects!

Prepare paying some $60 to $140 for this tool. And, beware, the ones available for less on eBay are often not original ones, so read the description carefully. (I am not sure they are bad - but I always try go for original tools if they are a little more complex than a sewing needle)

I am featuring here my Bernina foot, but there are quite a few other brands available on the market. Just check the website of your sewing machine manufacturer for the available accessories. 

Have you ever tried sewing with a walking foot? What other non-beginner, or relatively rare tools are you using in your sewing?


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