A Little Sewing Machine Anatomy and a Walking Foot

Donna and I both took a leap this week and decided to try out a walking foot on our sewing machines. If you don’t know what a walking foot is, it is a pretty intimidating looking attachment that replaces your presser foot.

What does a walking foot do?

On your machine you have the set of feed dogs under your presser foot that move your fabric forward, which is great, but your top and bottom fabric can get moving at slightly different speeds. This becomes really problematic with slippery materials and quilting especially. You end up with skipped stitches, weird puckering ect. I picked up my new foot based on a recommendation in a Knits Craftsy course I’m working through.

Where do you put that?

Your machine may differ, but I was able to buy my foot “off the rack” at Joann’s. When I asked the clerk to describe how to fit it to my machine it went something like this-

“This is going to replace the ankle above the presser foot,” says the clerk.


“You know what the ankle is?” stunned disbelief from the clerk.


It went on for a bit, so since this may be not common knowledge I’m going to show you how easy this sucker is to get on AND what the ankle of your machine is- just in case. 

How to attach a walking foot

This is what my foot looks like to start. I’m sure yours is similar.

sewing machine parts

To make it more clear I took my foot off (you do not need to detach your foot). Do you see where your ankle is? You can remove this with the screw there. Hold on to that screw it is going to hold your walking foot on.

attaching walking foot

It’s ok, you didn’t break it, I swear.

How to attach a walking foot

Slide it on to the post and tighten your screw back on. Make sure the arm is hooked properly. It will move up and down with your needle.

Stay tuned to see the knit projects we’ve sewn up so far!

Do you use a walking foot? Good, bad, what are your feelings?

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Amy Mayen April 17, 2013, 12:12 am

    I’ve never used one! I didn’t even know sewing machines had ankles!! I knew a walking foot was good for sewing 2 different fabrics, but had no idea I needed one for knits. Maybe this is why all my knit projects suck?

  • Debbie Reaves April 17, 2013, 5:35 am

    I love my walking foot. I keep it on my machine most of the time. Really makes a difference. The Brother foot even fits one of my other sewing machines.

    Great blog!


  • Jill Flory April 17, 2013, 8:19 am

    LOVE my walking foot! My machine came with one and there is a piece built into the machine that has to be connected to the foot once it is in place. i’m glad to know there is a way to attach a walking foot to machines that were not made with one that could be attached to it! I thought the way mine was made that if your machine didn’t come with one you might not be able to use one.

  • Chuleenan April 18, 2013, 8:30 pm

    I have one but I’ve only used it once – when I was sewing a two-way stretch knit and was worried about both sides being sewn together evenly. From what I recall there wasn’t much difference between the seams I sewed with it and without it. I have a feeling that it would be more useful with thick and/or stiff fabrics.

  • Pam G April 19, 2013, 8:05 am

    I have one of these, but I never knew what they were for. Thanks!

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