Friday, June 3, 2011

Sewing Gadgetmania: Walking foot and why you need it for sewing a Chanel-inspired jacket

This Gadgetmania post is also a part of my Classic French Jacket class project, for I am featuring here a walking foot – an essential tool for quilting the lining and the fashion fabric in a Chanel-like jacket. (I am still sick, by the way, so forgive me any incoherence here) 

What makes this foot special is that it has its own feed dog to move the top layer of fabric. Usually, we would use only the machine’s own feed dog that moves fabric layers from underneath only.

It’s only logical that with slippery fabrics (like charmeuse, or crepe de chine used in Chanel suit lining), the upper layer would shift without additional feed. If you use a walking foot, both layers are moved at the same rate, preventing puckering and pleating of the fabric. 

I have never heard about the foot before the class, and thanks to Dawn (she was my classmate in the Classic French Jacket Class) I am now using it for all my silk / slippery fabric projects!

Prepare paying some $60 to $140 for this tool. And, beware, the ones available for less on eBay are often not original ones, so read the description carefully. (I am not sure they are bad - but I always try go for original tools if they are a little more complex than a sewing needle)

I am featuring here my Bernina foot, but there are quite a few other brands available on the market. Just check the website of your sewing machine manufacturer for the available accessories. 

Have you ever tried sewing with a walking foot? What other non-beginner, or relatively rare tools are you using in your sewing?


  1. The cost of this foot prevented me from buying it when I sew my Chanel Jacket.
    I had some hard time but I managed to do it.
    Nevertheless I would love to play with a walking foot.

  2. Marie-Noele, I googled your jacket - great job! My lining is quilted in similar manner. As for the walking foot, I am working a lot with silk, so it was worth investment- besides the relation to the cost of the sewing machine (Bernina 1008) was reasonable. I feel like it really saves time - I am not basting anymore so much, but pinning only, and thats enough with this foot.

  3. I bought a generic low shank walking foot for my Singer and it works just fine. I'm sure there is probably a noticeable difference between the original and the generic but I've only used the generic so I don't know any better. I used my walking foot for the first time on my Chanel jacket. I didn't go to Susan's class planning to make a Chanel jacket so I'm not sure why I packed my walking foot but I'm glad I did!

  4. Wow!!! no more basting. Great time saver.

  5. I've heard of it, but never really understood what it did. This is wonderful, something else I have to buy

  6. I have a sewing machine with IDT - integrated dual transport - and it really makes a difference when sewing multiple layers of fabric. Good investment - either the walking foot or sewing machine with IDT.

  7. I was fortunate that when I bought my Bernina 2 years ago, the walking foot came free! Made a change for be to have some good luck.

    I am embarking on the Claire Schaeffer Vogue pattern of the Chanel style jacket, so thanks for reminding me about the walking foot. It will be the first time using it so I am rather excited about it. So glad that you have mentioned this useful gadget. I have been sewing with silk charmeuse a lot lately and didn't remember to get the foot out and use it!!!!!!!



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