What are the attachments used in a sewing machine?

Sewing machines are versatile tools equipped with various attachments designed to enhance their functionality and expand the range of projects you can undertake.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced seamstress, understanding the different attachments available for your sewing machine can elevate your sewing experience. I’ll delve into the most common sewing machine attachments and their uses, empowering you to make the most of your machine’s capabilities.

Sewing Machine Attachments

The sewing machine is a marvel of engineering, but even the most basic model can be transformed with a variety of attachments. These clever little tools expand the machine’s capabilities, allowing you to tackle new techniques and achieve professional-looking finishes.

What are Sewing Machine Attachments?

Sewing machine attachments are supplementary tools that can be affixed to your sewing machine to perform specific functions or achieve particular sewing techniques.

These attachments are designed to simplify tasks, improve efficiency, and enhance the quality of your sewing projects.

Importance of Using Attachments

Using the appropriate attachments for your sewing machine allows you to achieve professional results with greater ease and precision.

Whether you’re quilting, embroidering, or working on garment construction, the right attachment can streamline your workflow and expand your creative possibilities.

Common Sewing Machine Attachments

The most common type of attachment is the presser foot. This small foot snaps onto the machine’s shank (the arm that holds the foot) and guides the fabric as it feeds through.  Different presser feet have unique shapes and functions, including:

1. Presser Feet

  • Description: Presser feet are perhaps the most essential sewing machine attachments. They hold the fabric in place while stitching and determine the seam allowance.
  • Uses: Different types of presser feet are available for various sewing techniques, such as zipper installation, buttonhole making, quilting, and hemming.

2. Walking Foot

  • Description: A walking foot, also known as an even feed foot, has built-in feed dogs that move the upper layer of fabric in sync with the machine’s feed dogs, preventing layers from shifting during sewing.
  • Uses: Ideal for quilting, sewing multiple layers of fabric, and working with slippery or stretchy fabrics.

3. Zipper Foot

  • Description: A zipper foot has a narrow profile that allows it to stitch close to the teeth of a zipper or piping.
  • Uses: Used for attaching zippers, sewing piping, and creating decorative trims.

4. Buttonhole Foot

  • Description: A buttonhole foot is designed specifically for creating buttonholes of consistent size and shape.
  • Uses: Essential for garment construction, allowing you to produce professional-looking buttonholes quickly and accurately.

5. Blind Hem Foot

  • Description: A blind hem foot guides the fabric, creating nearly invisible hems on garments.
  • Uses: Perfect for hemming pants, skirts, and curtains, providing a polished finish without visible stitching on the exterior.
  • Universal foot: This all-purpose foot handles most straight and zigzag stitching tasks.

6. Overlock Foot

  • Description: An overlock foot mimics the function of a serger, enclosing raw fabric edges to prevent fraying.
  • Uses: Useful for finishing seams on woven and knit fabrics, providing a neat and durable edge.

7. Rolled Hem Foot

  • Description: A rolled hem foot creates narrow, rolled hems along fabric edges.
  • Uses: Ideal for adding decorative edges to garments, linens, and accessories, giving a delicate and professional finish.

8. Quilting Foot

  • Description: A quilting foot has a wider opening to accommodate thicker quilt layers and batting.
  • Uses: Essential for machine quilting projects, allowing for smooth and precise stitching across quilt sandwiches.

There’s a vast world of specialty feet available. Depending on your sewing interests, you might find feet for:

  • Cording: Creates decorative channels for piping or cording.
  • Gathering: Simplifies gathering fabric for shirring and fullness.
  • Walking foot: Ensures even feeding of multiple layers of fabric or slippery materials.
  • Binding: Folds and attaches bias binding tape for a clean finish on the edges.

Specialty Attachments

While presser feet are the most common attachments, other tools expand your sewing horizons.

 Here are a few examples:

  • Embroidery hoop: Transform your sewing machine into a basic embroidery machine.
  • Walking binder: This attachment folds and binds edges in one step, which is ideal for finishing seams on blankets or quilts.

Choosing the Right Attachments

With so many options, selecting the right attachments can be overwhelming. Consider your goals and projects. If you’re a beginner, a zipper foot and a blind hem foot are wise first choices.

As you gain experience, explore specialty feet that target your sewing interests, like quilting, heirloom sewing, or bag making.


Sewing machine attachments are indispensable tools that enhance the versatility and functionality of your sewing machine.

With the various attachments available and their respective uses, you can easily unlock new possibilities in your sewing projects and achieve professional results.

Whether you’re a seasoned seamstress or a novice enthusiast, investing in quality attachments can elevate your sewing experience and inspire creativity.


Leave a Comment