How to use a walking foot for even feed sewing

Are you a passionate sewer who wants to create professional-looking garments? Discover how using a walking foot for even feed sewing can help you achieve smoother seams and better results!

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get the perfect finish.

The walking foot is a device used in sewing to help feed the fabric through the machine evenly and consistently. It’s also known as an “even feed foot” because it ensures that all your fabrics will be fed with consistent tension, leading to more accurate seam allowances and smoother hems.

Here, we’ll walk you through how to install a walking foot and use it for even feed sewing with your machine.

Importance of using a walking foot for even feed sewing

A walking foot is an attachment for a sewing machine that helps feed multiple layers of fabric evenly and smoothly through the machine. It is commonly used when working with thicker fabrics or with quilts, as it helps keep everything in place without causing bunching or shifting. Without a walking foot, many pieces can have one side that looks much different than the other, as the material tends to bind up around the needle while being sewn.

Using a walking foot while quilting can make it easier to even out and align stitches more perfectly, increasing accuracy and producing better quality results. It also ensures smoother seams and helps prevent fabrics from slipping or shifting so you will end up with a consistent stitch pattern throughout your project. If you’re making garments that require accurate fitting, this tool can help keep your work neat and consistent along all edges. Even if you’re not stitching bulky fabrics like quilts or coats, using a walking foot is still helpful for getting straight stitches on fine fabrics like silk or chiffon.

Basic concepts of even feed sewing

Even feed sewing is an important skill for any quilter or sewer because it helps create evenly spaced and uniform seams that are even on both sides. A walking foot attachment is one of the easiest ways to achieve even stitch spacing while working on uneven textures and fabrics, such as knits and quilts.

When using a walking foot, pay special attention to the details of your stitch pattern. This will help ensure that each individual seam has uniform tension for a smoother look and better fit. You may also need to adjust your presser foot pressure and stitch length according to the particular fabric weight or texture you are sewing with, as well as the type of thread you are using.

Before starting a project with a walking foot, it is important to make sure that your feed dogs (or top teeth) are lowered below the needle plate so they don’t interfere with the fabric feeding through from beneath. Additionally, use a light touch when sewing— too much pressure can cause skip stitches or puckering in fabrics such as quilts with multiple layers or heavier fabrics like denim.

For best results when using a walking foot attachment, practice on scrap fabric until you get used to how it works with different types of stitches and fabric weights. With consistent practice, soon you’ll be able to sew with perfect uniformity!

Understanding even feed sewing

When you have a layer of fabric that is too thick or slippery to evenly feed, use an even feed presser foot (also called a walking foot). This special attachment holds the layers together as you sew so that they move along the sewing machine bed evenly. It also helps to prevent puckering and to ensure that all layers feed correctly. You can recognize an even feed presser foot by its extra set of metal “claws” or “teeth.”

Even feed sewing is ideal for sewing any material that has multiple layers, such as quilted fabric, faux fur, leather, faux leather and velvet. Here are some tips for successful even feed sewing:

  • Be sure the walking foot is securely attached.
  • Use a universal needle size 14/90 whenever possible.
  • Set your stitch length as short as possible; this will help keep your work from slipping on the underside from one end of the fabric to another.
  • If you don’t have an even feed presser foot, use two rows of straight stitches for each seam instead of one single line; this will help to keep the upper layer smooth and secure the stitch in place more evenly.

Definition of even feed sewing

Even feed sewing is a technique used with a walking foot attachment that feeds the fabric through the machine at an equal rate from both above and below. This is important when working with fabrics such as quilting fabric and other thicknesses that tend to pull apart while they’re being stitched. With even feed sewing, all layers are evenly fed into the presser foot, ensuring that all seams are accurate and even, preventing any uneven pulling or buckling of the material.

Using a walking foot is simple. Begin by attaching the correct size and model of walking foot to your sewing machine. Turn on your machine and select the appropriate stitch for your project. Line up your fabric under the needle, placing both layers underneath the presser foot with all edges aligned. Slowly guide both pieces of fabric through your machine as you stitch, gently tugging if needed to keep them from shifting behind the presser foot as you sew each seam.

Using a walking foot for even feed sewing can be extremely helpful when working with fabrics like quilting cotton or canvas fabric — it eliminates puckering and helps ensure that seams stay together for years to come. With practice you will learn how to successfully use this tool for perfect, even seams every time!

Importance of even feed sewing

Even feed sewing is an essential technique for working with quilts, thick layers of fabric, and other items that require a consistent stitch. The goal of even feed sewing is to produce a uniform stitch across all layers, reducing the amount of time it takes to complete a project.

Using a walking foot can help achieve this aim. A walking foot ensures the top and bottom layers move at the same time when sewing, resulting in even stitches throughout your projects. It is especially helpful for quilting when dealing with thick fabrics such as fleece or velvet since it helps hold the stacked layers together so they remain aligned during stitching. This removes any shifting or bunching as you sew, ensuring higher accuracy and quality overall.

III. Steps to use a walking foot for even feed sewing

Using a walking foot for even feed sewing is an essential tool for achieving professional results. It works by evenly distributing fabric between the feed dogs, so that they move in tandem while you sew. This ensures that the top and bottom layers of fabric will be sewn together smoothly and with even pressure, giving you a nice finish. Here are the steps to use a walking foot for even feed sewing:

  1. Start by setting your machine’s stitch length to the desired setting before attaching the walking foot to your machine. Ensure that all other settings are set correctly prior to stitching (e.g., bobbin tension).
  2. Place your fabric on the machine and press down on it lightly with your finger as you pull the hanging threads under your needle to start stitching. As you pull them out of the way, make sure all of them clear from under your presser foot before beginning to stitch.
  3. Line up whatever seam-guide indicator or raised portion on your walking foot with the fabric’s edge as you begin stitching, if it is included in its design (this will depend on model). If there’s none, use pins or tailors’ chalk markers at either side of what you want sewn together for reference lines as needed
  4. Press down lightly on stabilizer into back and front parts of fabrics where needed so it stays in place during sewing
  5. Increase or decrease stitch length after reaching end/beginning of seam guide indicator if needed (make sure pass through presser points or holes while doing so)
  6. Begin slow speed when starting and adjust until desired speed is achieved while keeping an eye out for tension levels along way
  7. Lower presser foot pressure slightly lower by loosening top nut located below handwheel on right side of machine — this helps ensure accuracy during feed
  8. Slow speed down again upon nearing end when making finishing touches
  9. Lightly clip threads when done could give finished item lovely appearance

Preparing the machine and walking foot

Before installing the walking foot, you must have your machine set up correctly. Be sure it is threaded with the correct-weight thread and tension adjusted properly, and it should be loaded with a smooth needle.

Once the machine is ready, the walking foot can be attached to the machine and made ready for use.

The most important part of using a walking foot is attaching it to the machine correctly. Make sure that it clicks securely into place and that all screws are properly placed and tightened before you start sewing. For some machines, you may also need to adjust a screw on the side or back of the presser foot in order to ensure that it will move freely while feeding fabric through.

Once everything is secure, your machine is ready for even feed sewing!

Setting up the fabric and project

When first setting up the fabric and project to sew, ensure that the walking foot is set in the machine. First customize the presser foot for the specific type of material needed for your project. This could mean changing pressure on multiple layers of fabric, a thicker denim or stitching multiple layers of fleece.

Once this is complete, attach the walking foot so that it fits snugly on the presser bar and is able to move along with it.

Next determine where to begin and end stitching. Depending on whether you are making a straight line or an angled line, decide how many pins you need before beginning. If sewing a curved line, use clips instead as pins can distort fabric placement when sewn over curves. Be sure also to check if any additional parts of the project need pinning together as well (zipper foot/flap) before beginning.

Once everything has been pinned or clipped in place and all dovetailing has been completed, thread both needles and make certain all tension settings have been adjusted according to preference; heavier fabrics will require looser tension than light fabrics to prevent puckering while stitching.

Troubleshooting common problems with even feed sewing

Even feed sewing with a walking foot may seem intimidating at first, but is actually quite easy to do. In this guide, we will discuss some common issues that arise when using a walking foot and give tips on how to best resolve them.

  1. Loops or ridges can form in the stitches when even feed sewing with a walking foot. To avoid this, ensure your fabric layers are thick enough and that you don’t stretch the fabric as it passes through the machine. If loops keep forming, double check the tension settings on your machine since a low tension setting can lead to loops in fabric movement when stitching.
  2. Difficulties with stitching an even seam is often caused by shifting or uneven fabrics which can occur if you sew too quickly or fail to control your fabric while stitching. Remember that when you use a walking foot it is important to guide the fabrics with both hands to keep them in place while stitching to help achieve an even seam line.
  3. Uneven feeding of fabrics at the beginning of stitches or during turns can result from improper installation or setup of your walking foot and its location on the needle bar may be off-center slightly above or below it’s optimal position. Always double-check that your bobbin case screws are properly tightened, know where your needle drops for exact placement of presser feet and make sure all components are properly attached for easy stabilizing adjustments when needed as you sew through different thicknesses of fabric layers requiring extra thrusting of needles against thick materials as well as turns around curves as needed for applique work, piping etc.

Skipped stitches

Skipped stitches can be a common issue when using a walking foot sewing machine. A skipped stitch is when the stitch formation fails, resulting in a single run of thread that doesn’t create a secure join. Skipped stitches occur when the needle is not in line with the feed dogs and there isn’t enough tension on the upper thread for it to pass through the fabric.

The solution to this problem is to ensure that your needle is correctly inserted and properly threaded, that you have enough thread for adequate tension and that your machine is timed correctly.

It can also help to use what’s called an even-feed or walking foot attachment. This type of foot has two sets of feed dogs (one on top, one on bottom) that press against both sides of your fabric as they move it through your machine allowing it to feed evenly. This helps prevent skipped stitches as any shifting at all would result in incorrect timing between the two sets of feed dogs and will cause issues such as skipped stitches or overrunning loops that can cause bunching or puckering of your fabric. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions regarding how to install and use this attachment properly for best results.

Uneven stitches

When a walking foot can be helpful is when you are quilting and need an even feed. It’s common to experience what is called “uneven stitches” when hand quilting because the various layers can shift while sewing. Uneven stitches occur when the top layer moves faster than the bottom or backing fabric and results in an inconsistent stitch pattern.

When using a walking foot, it will hold each layer together evenly, resulting in stitches that are more consistent and uniform. Remember to use this tool correctly for best results — adjust the presser foot pressure so it’s on the lighter side for finer fabrics and on the heavier side for thicker fabrics. Additionally, you may need to adjust your machine tension accordingly as well as bobbins if necessary.

With practice, your uneven stitches should be reduced significantly for beautiful quilt projects!


In conclusion, the use of a walking foot can be an invaluable tool for any sewist to add to their collection of supplies. With the assistance of a walking foot in both industrial and home machines, sewists can produce evenly fed, flawless quilts and projects quickly and efficiently. Whether it’s free motion quilting or regular seams, having a walking foot always close by provides incredible results that are impossible to replicate without one.

Walking feet are relatively simple to understand and use, so don’t be afraid to try one today! Be sure to take proper precautions and utilize appropriate safety measures when operating a machine with any type of accessory or attachment. As long as you follow manufacturer’s guidelines closely and practice often, you’ll find that most any project is much easier with the help of a walking foot. Happy sewing!

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