Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Craftsy Class Review: Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z

I've had the Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z Craftsy class in my account ever since the week it was released. It's a free class (and I always snatch them up just for the sake of it), but it also sounded like a very useful class and I knew I would get around to watching it sometime. With finishing my khaki skirt this weekend, I had the opportunity to use my fancy stitch-in-the-ditch foot that came with my new sewing machine. Stitch-in-the-ditch is a technique where you sew a seam, press the seam open, then stitch back into the seam you just created. The idea is to hide the new stitches in the seam you already stitched so it's invisible. I've done this before with just a general sewing foot, but it was pretty difficult to keep it perfectly straight in the seam. With this foot - seriously, it was a dream! There is a small guide that sticks out ahead of the foot. The guide wedges itself in the seam and then the needle is directly behind it, so the foot keeps it straight for you and you just hold down your foot to sew - that's it! It came out perfect!

I was fortunate that my new sewing machine came with a whole slue of fancy feet: cording, walking, rolled hem, blind hem, zipper, satin stitch, braiding, bias binding, and much more. It's nice that it came with them all (so I don't have to pay extra for ones I may need down the road), but at the same time it's proved to be more of a warm and fuzzy safety feeling than a "Man, these are so useful," feeling since I honestly have no idea how to use most of them. Don't get me wrong - I'm "familiar" with what they are all for. In fact, I watched a Home Shopping Network video from when they were selling my machine on the air, and they show first hand how some of them work. My problem is there were too many to keep track of and most of the things they are used for I personally have not come across in my projects thus far. So, with a renewed interest in all my extra sewing machine feet, I decided to finally watch the Craftsy class.
Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z is taught by Steffani Lincecum (she's also the teacher in Pattern Making from Ready-to-Wear - another class I'm in), who works in the costume industry for tv and movies, so she definitely knows her stuff with sewing :) She basically just goes over the basic feet included with every machine as well as just a few fancy extra ones. The feet the class shows are:
  • Standard Zipper Foot
  • Invisible Zipper Foot
  • Buttonhole Foot
  • Blind Hem Foot
  • Rolled Hem Foot
  • Quarter-Inch Guide Foot
  • Roller Foot
  • Darning/Free-Motion Foot
  • Couching/Braiding Foot
  • Gathering Foot
Obviously there are more feet available out there, but this is a great jumping off point for the purpose of demonstration. For each foot, Steffani tells you what it's purpose it, what special settings you need to adjust on your machine (if any), adn then shows you how the foot works on a sample of fabric. She also shows some neat extras like how to use the darning/free-motion foot to attach things like lace with invisible seams - I fully plan on using that idea in the future.

All in all, I found this class very informative. It's not very long (a little over 35 minutes total), but it's an action packed half hour and you really come away with a better understanding of how these feet can make your life easier when used in the right application. The class made me more excited about trying out all of my fancy feet and also has officially made me bite the bullet and get an invisible zipper foot. All the craftsy classes I've taken zing the praises of the invisible zipper foot, but I've just been making due with a standard zipper foot. I can really see how much easier the special foot makes things, and I found one on Amazon for less than $5! Can't beat that!

This class is completely free and you can get it for yourself right here! May we all get a better understanding of our feet :)

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