If you do certain techniques or tasks on a regular basis, you'll probably want to purchase a special foot for that application. You can do this through your sewing machine dealer. You'll need to know the brand and model of your machine, so your dealer can be sure to find the right foot to fit your specific machine.
Here's our List of Favorite Feet
All Purpose Foot
Also called the Standard Foot or even the Satin Stitch Foot, this is foot that traditionally comes on your sewing machine. You can use this foot for all kinds of general sewing, just like the name implies. Use it for straight sewing, zig zag or decorative stitching.
The Zipper Foot is used for – you guessed it – attaching zippers. But that isn't the only use of this versatile foot. Use the Zipper Foot whenever you need a seam very close to the edge of fabric, like when creating your own cording.
This foot will allow you to create buttonholes that exactly correspond to the size of the button you are using in your project. How cool is that? You just place the button in the foot, and the machine uses the foot as a gauge as it creates the buttonhole for you.
Button Sewing Foot
The Button Sewing Foot attaches buttons (Didn't see that one coming, did you?). This foot contains a bar on the bottom for extra stability, and it often has a rubber covering to help grip the button as it sews. You can only use it to attach flat buttons; it doesn't work for buttons that have a shank back. And, it's necessary to adjust the stitch to accommodate the holes your button. Use this foot once and you won't be able to live without it.
The Gathering Foot will create soft gathers in your fabrics. The mechanism in the foot gathers and creates a ruffle as you sew. This foot is great for curtains, or to create bands of ruffles for pillows.
Blind Hem Foot
The Blind Hem Foot helps you create blind hems in things like drapes and curtains. The foot has a metal guide in the center. When sewing, the fold in your fabric will rest against this guide so you can maintain an accurate seam. The foot also has grooves on the bottom, which grip your fabric to prevent slipping as you sew. Check out our article on blind hemming.
Also called the Overcasting Foot, this is used to finish the edge of fabric so it won't unravel, much like a serger would. (A serger is a special sewing machine that is used just for this purpose). You use this foot in combination with the Overcast Stitch on your sewing machine.
There are many other even more specialized feet, which we'll get into later. In the meantime, I'll leave you wondering if sewing machine feet ever wear socks.