Appliqué Foot (Embroidery Foot)
This foot is completely open in front of the needle, making the work clearly visible. There is also a wedge-shaped indentation under the foot, which allows dense satin (zigzag) stitching to glide through without becoming jammed.
The angle in the indentation makes it possible to follow curves easily.
For our appliqué we generally do not use our standard sewing foot, and the reason why is because underneath there is no slip or channel beneath for the stitches that have been formed to run through the foot evenly.
So what we want is a foot to have a channel through the bottom so when the stitches are sewn they do not get held up at all with contact of the foot.
It also helps to not have the clear plastic guides of a presser foot as they can often distort exactly where your needle will sit on your appliqué, especially when you are sewing to a point.
The Appliqué Foot
The Appliqué or Embroidery Foot is available in both metal and plastic.
This availability my depend on the type of Sewing Machine you are using. Some brands only have plastic and some brands only have metal.
There is a big difference between the metal and plastic foot in regards to how they feel, however as far as they work, they work just the same.
In our experience the metal one glides over the fabric more smoothly, however, if you are finding that your foot is catching a little. Lighten the pressure of your foot on the fabric.
We tend to lighten the pressure on our Appliqué Foot by a notch so that when turning corners or curves, the machine moves a little more freely and allows for continuous motion rather than having to stop, turn, start, stop, turn, start.
For example: Our standard setting for our Sewing Machine Foot is 3, this is lightened by 1 notch to 2.
You can tell if you have your presser foot too low if you can hear your presser foot gripping to your fabric. This can often depend on the fabric also, different fabrics will require different pressures.
If you do find that your plastic foot is gripping, get a little bit of polish, wax or silicone and run it onto the bottom on the plastic foot. Only use a small amount and ensure that this is wiped off as to not mark your fabric when stitching.
If you are finding that you are getting a few dropped stitches on your appliqué this could be because of the thickness of your fabric. If you are working on a thicker section for your project, a dense batting or a thicker section you may want to switch to a presser foot with a bar across the front.
This ensures that you have additional pressure to your appliqué while stitching and holds your fabric in place to prevent drop stitches.
Now pop on your Appliqué Foot (Embroidery Foot)
Once you have your Appliqué foot in place and put your machine into appliqué mode you can see quite clearly where your first stitch is going to stitch.
With the machine we are demonstrating with we are able to put our appliqué stitch towards the right hand side of the foot.
Rather than stitching in the middle of your foot, having a sewing machine that allows you to switch to appliqué mode will alight your needle to the right hand side of your foot.
Not every machine can do this, and it is not a necessity, it just has a few small advantages when doing appliqué or embroidery.
It means that when you go to start your appliqué stitching you have a clear window in the corner of your foot that allows you to see exactly where your needle is going to drop.
It also allows you to use the edge of the foot to run along the edge of the fabric appliqué to create a very straight line and makes stitching easy, especially if you are going to be doing this style of stitching for a long period of time.
If this is not a mode that is possible on your machine that is not a worry. You are still able to achieve a wonderful stitch, however it has been a help for us in doing so many new projects for Sew Sweet Pea.
It has been wonderful in keeping our stitching even and allowing us to get our latest pattern examples completely quickly.
We hope this has been helpful. Happy Stitching! We have more appliqué and sewing tutorials available on our website:
We also have a wonderful online sewing community you can join to learn from, be inspired by and create with.
Members of our Sewing Community receive access to our Teddy Bear Appliqué set FREE and are regularly updated on new releases.