The Straight Stitch Presser Foot

The Straight Stitch Presser Foot

The straight stitch presser foot, also known as the quarter-inch foot, is primarily designed for sewing on ultra-lightweight and lightweight fabrics (i.e., silk, lightweight knits, sheer woven, etc.). Although, it works well with any fabric, especially for edge stitching and sewing parallel lines.

What is a Straight Stitch Presser Foot?

There are two types of straight stitch presser feet. There's a narrow foot, which is the one we have in the video. Then there's a wide foot, to better help with fabric that can be somewhat unruly (ruffles, faux fur, felt, etc.) and to measure a larger seam allowance up to a 1/2". Regardless of which version, the straight stitch presser foot only works with a straight stitch, hence the name.

Materials Used in This Video:

  • Straight stitch presser foot (narrow)

  • Ultra-lightweight fabric

  • Lightweight fabric

  • Sewing machine

  • Sewing pins

  • Thread (100% spun polyester is recommended)

  • Ruler

How To Use a Straight Stitch Presser Foot

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The presser foot has a hole in the center (for the sewing needle) connected to a long opening down the middle. It has two toes at the front: a big toe and a little toe. The long, curved “big toe” helps the presser foot go over multiple layers of bunched or folded fabric without a problem!

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The little toe has three tiny notches measuring roughly 1/16", 1/8", 3/16", and the outer edge measures 1/4", which is why it's also known as the quarter-inch foot. The notches in the foot can help with more challenging and precise stitches (i.e., parallel lines, edge stitching, etc.).

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If you look underneath at the bottom of the presser foot, it's flat with a teardrop shape at the hole. The flat underside serves to help keep fabric in place against the feed dogs. The teardrop-shaped groove around the hole accommodates the thread to prevent jamming, puckering, and skipped stitches on lightweight fabrics.

Before you start anything, though, lower the needle to ensure it's centered over the presser foot, and the sewing machine is set to a straight stitch. Otherwise, the needle will break on the presser foot!

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A narrow straight stitch foot's little toe measures 1/4" in width. So, sewing anything with a 1/4" seam allowance or a 1/4" seam is easy! The middle notch on the little toe measures 1/8" away from the center of the foot. This is perfect for edge stitching, which is often 1/8" from an edge or seam.

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This presser foot also is perfect for sewing parallel lines. The notches in the little toe can help you follow a seamline to create a perfect parallel line. These are the four different measurements you can use to sew parallel lines using the straight stitch presser foot.

The straight stitch presser foot looks plain and unassuming, but it can do so much more than you may initially think. It can definitely be beneficial to have in your presser foot collection!

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