A Guide to the Different Sewing Machine Feet and Their Uses

sewing machine project

If you’re just starting out on this exciting new hobby of sewing, you are likely learning how to sew as you go along. You may have read some guides, downloaded a template or two or even completed a sewing machine project. In this time you’ve likely come across various sewing machine feet and wondered as to their suitability and use for your sewing machine projects. Here at Empisal, we have compiled this quick guide to familiarise you with the most common feet and their uses:

The All-Purpose Foot

As its name implies, this open-toed foot is suitable for all application. It is the foot you are likely to leave on your machine and comes as a standard with an affordable sewing machine like the Empisal Creations.

Free Motion Darning Foot

If you are a quilter, this foot allows free-hand machine quilting or ‘strippling’. It gives you maximum freedom to embroider or quilt any line or curvature as you wish.

Quarter Inch Foot

This foot has a built-in guide that keeps your fabric in-line and leaves a ¼ inch seam allowance. Perfect for dressmaking or fabric bags and hats, it is a cheap piece of sewing equipment that gives very professional results.

Even-Feed Walking Foot

This foot is designed for sewing multiple layers of fabric together. It is also very useful for matching patterns like large motifs, checks, stripes, and plaids. If you are sewing an overlay onto a more ‘fluid’ fabric like silk, this foot creates a smoother seam.

Roller Foot

This specialised foot is used on heavy materials like denim, velvet, and leather. The small roller in the front acts like a mini bulldozer, which smoothes the material before it hits the needle; allowing you to make even stitches over the heavy fabric.


Whether you are just learning how to sew or whether you are an old hand, Empisal has everything you need for your sewing machine project. From sewing machines to overlockers to general sewing equipment, we cater for your every sewing need.  Find out more about us,  our products and contact us today!

How to Hem Knit Garments

A professional finish to any sewing machine project requires a good hem. It stops the knit fabric from rolling up, can add a pop of colour if a contrasting thread is used and gives the garment a defined outline. A useful sewing machine that can be utilised for a variety of functions (such as hemming a garment) is essential for your successful sewing machine projects. The Empisal Dressmaker 120A would be ideally suited to all your needs. So, all you need to professionally hem a garment is the Empisal Dressmaker 120A, and coupled with his guide, you will be hemming garments like a professional in no time!

The Zig-Zag Stitch

This is one of the simplest stitches one can add to any garment. The zig-zag stitch setting is available on any affordable sewing machine. All you need to do is press the seam allowance and use your sewing machine to stitch a narrow zig-zag. The only care that must be taken is that one should keep the fabric from stretching as this will cause the seam to become wavy.

The Rolled Hem

An extremely aesthetic way of finishing a garment, the rolled hem does need more sewing equipment. Specifically, a serger (also known as overlockers, like the Empisal Overlocker EOL4D). However, with a serger, a rolled hem becomes a very easy and very professional looking hem. Set the serger to the rolled hem position and choose a very short stitch. The stitch tends to be quite tight, so adjust the differential feed towards the neutral setting. If you choose to use a contrasting thread, the hem can add a great pop of colour to the garment.

Knit Binding

Great for accentuating the end of a piece, like a neckline or the end of a sleeve, a knit binding adds a certain class to your garment. Use a band of fabric that is just over 3 times the width of the desired finished band and about 75% of the length of the raw edge. Attach the binding to the raw edge using a zig-zag stitch, stretching it as you go. Press the seam allowances towards the binding, then wrap the finished edge of the binding to the inside, covering the previous stitching and edge-stitch it. Trim the excess fabric for a neat finish.


For over 35 years, Empisal has been supplying sewing equipment to Southern Africa that caters to every sewing project need. From overlockers to a steam press, we have it all. For the right sewing machine for your sewing machine project, contact us today.