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The edging Foot

“Why don’t you get an edging foot?” my friend Jennifer asked me.

I was complaining about my lousy top stitching and edge stitching. You know, those decorative lines of stitching that you usually find on shirt collars? Mine is chronically crooked. Or was.

This is what happens when you talk sewing with someone who knows more than you do. Jennifer is not only more experienced than I am about most things stitching-wise, she’d been taking professional classes at the local trade tech college and has acquired some crazy, mad skills.

I also considered the possibility that among the collection of presser feet that I’d gotten along with my latest sewing machine, there might be an edging foot. Heaven knows, I’d had the machine three years and had yet to figure out everything that had come with it. Another good lesson – it doesn’t hurt to get out your machine’s manual every so often.

What nice topstitching looks like
Overcasting foot

I didn’t have an edging foot specifically. What I have is an overcasting foot, designed to get the fabric edge right at the edge of the stitching so that it finishes the fabric edge to keep it from unraveling and looking homemade. Well, I have an overlock machine, so I didn’t really pay much attention to that function. Except that the overcasting foot works really well as an edging foot. The stitching goes right on the edge of the collar or whatever and it’s lovely and even.

Blind hemming foot

Once I got that going, I tried playing with my blind hemming foot, which is designed to align the fabric at just the right width to enable the needle to catch just a bit of the main fabric. It has a little screw on it so that you can adjust where the fabric hits based on how heavy it is. It also works really well at keeping the needle at a quarter inch away from the edge of the collar or whatever.

Neither foot guarantees perfect edge and top stitching. But they do make it a lot easier to happen. Now, all I need is an edging foot that will edge from the left, instead of the right. Otherwise, this is what happens.

Shirt wadded up in sewing machine.

It works, but it’s not easy.

Please talk to me. I'd love to hear from you.

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