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Do I need a walking foot?

(12 Posts)
Bumperlicious Thu 18-Nov-10 20:52:22

I'm going to attempt to make a Mei Tai sling (ha!) and part of it is going to be canvas and batting. Will I need a walking foot? I say that as though I know what I am talking about which I don't but I read about one elsewhere.

DancingIceReindeer Thu 18-Nov-10 20:56:36

I can quilt without a walking foot but it is sooooo much harder. Would recommend it if it is suggested. It is hard to get the multi layers to move at a similar pace if you dont. Are you lowering the feed dogs too? If you cant I would suggest taping card just over them and leaving the middle bit where the needle goes free.

<pretends she knows what the sling Bump is talking about is>

Ilythia Thu 18-Nov-10 21:02:40

I made mei tais without a walking foot. If you are using canvas for the straps you would need a jeans needle to get through all the thickness. I did a lot of sewing by winding it by hand instead of the foot pedal...

Bumperlicious Thu 18-Nov-10 22:03:30

Ooh, it's all sounding a bit more complicated...I'm pretty much a sewing machine novice. How much would a walking foot set me back, and a new needle?

Ilythia did it take you ages just winding? How did that help?

DidEinsteinsMum Thu 18-Nov-10 23:48:58

New needles are cheaper and you will be able to manage without if you manually wind and check the feeding through of the tricky bits.

Winding by hand rather the using the motor gives you more control and allows you to go slower. I use this method alot when i am doig tricky shapes and corners and when I want precision. it takes longer but actually saves time as you get it write the first time and done have to keep going back and unpick to make sure the seams are flat and in the right place.

Bumperlicious Fri 19-Nov-10 00:10:06

Thanks. Will defo get new needles then. would i have the presser foot down or up for thick fabric?

size6feet Fri 19-Nov-10 02:16:41

Bumperlicious - if you have a domestic machine and you want to sew through thick fabric I would suggest that you firstly - change your needle to a larger size and use a good quality reel of thread.

On the top of domestic sewing machines (in line with the needle) there is a metal post about 1" showing. This is the pressure regulator which you press down when working on thick or heavy fabrics. It helps the fabric to be fed through more efficiently whilst sewing. The dog teeth underneath are needed to feed the fabric through just take it nice and slow and use a longer stitch length.

If you are going to do a lot of heavy sewing then a walking foot is helpful. The action of this is just like a foot walking - when it comes down it pushes the top fabric through the machine. So its being fed through both top and bottom.

I bought a Brother walking foot from JLewis (or Dunelms)cost £26.

NotAnotherBrick Fri 19-Nov-10 15:18:32

You don't need to use canvas to make a mei tai - I made one with some Indian silk my MIL gave me - it'll be strong enough so long as you stitch the straps to the back really securely.

I made one without a walking foot, but I have to say that quilting with one is way easier now I have one - probably worth investing in if you're planning to do any more sewing in the future.

If you're who I think you are, then we have met before and I live fairly near you - if you don't think I'm a scary stalker grin, PM me and we can arrange for you to come over and have a look at the mei tai I made. And I'll be very embarrassed if I find out you're not who I think you are grin

Ilythia Fri 19-Nov-10 19:15:08

I only had to wind a couple of stitches on, a jeans needle is just a thicker one for thicker fabric which I found helpful for the straps, but I did use canvas for the straps and the inner 'lining' of the MT (mine was double sided - I can never just do simple stuffgrin) so on the corners I had 2 layers cotton and 3 layers cotton drill/canvas, so it was hard work getting the needle in and out.

Bumperlicious Fri 19-Nov-10 19:57:56

Oooh curious notabrick. Have stalked you searched your posts & am none the wiser. Will pm you when im not on my iPhone. In the meantime any clues? Where might you know me from?

NotAnotherBrick Fri 19-Nov-10 21:53:18

grin Don't really want to give you any clues - you'll understand why when we talk via PM!

soccerwidow Sun 21-Nov-10 18:49:36

I looked into a walking foot for my machine & they are £75! shock but it is a 40 yr old Bernina!

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