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Sewing several layers of fabric - do I need a walking foot?

(10 Posts)
Flossyfloof Sun 02-Aug-15 15:36:10

I made an apron a while ago with was edged with bias binding. I broke several needles trying to sew through the several layers and in the end hand stitched on the binding. I want to make another apron and a couple of fabric bags but I don't want to be breaking needles again. Someone has suggested a walking foot - I don't think I have one and they are pretty expensive.
Do I really need one or is there an alternative?

Marcipex Sun 02-Aug-15 20:25:10

I'm surprised because I've only broken needles when sewing into rope.
An ordinary machine should sew thick cotton and a bias edging. Mine would struggle though on attaching ties if they were thick fabric folded at the ends, so maybe 5 or 6 layers thick.

flightywoman Sun 02-Aug-15 23:14:50

A stronger needle might be your answer - a 90 or higher, strong enough for denim should do you.

But a generic walking foot from ebay isn't madly expensive - I got one recently for under £5. It works just fine.

Flossyfloof Mon 03-Aug-15 08:42:43

Oh that's great, thanks. I looked for. Bernina walking foot and it was about 30 quid so if I can get one for a fiver that would be great, I will get thicker needles too.

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 03-Aug-15 09:10:23

I find I can get through several layers of thick wool with an old Singer, no problem but it is easier with a simple, hinged foot. I'd also use a 16 needle.

Flossyfloof Tue 04-Aug-15 11:34:55

Sorry to sound dim but are needles pretty universal? I don't want to buy 16 needles and find they don't suit my machine, never bought needles before!

MummySparkle Tue 04-Aug-15 11:39:06

Yes needles are generic. I'd definitely give it a go with a stronger, heavier-duty needle before buying new a walking foot. A walking foot stops the layers from slipping against each other whilst seeing, but I doubt it would stop needles breaking. How many layers are you going through? One layer of thick cotton, then two bits of bias binding on each side? Is your bias particularly thick?

JoffreyBaratheon Tue 04-Aug-15 15:40:53

Yes, universal needles. Schmetz are a good brand. I'd use a size 16.

fortifiedwithtea Fri 14-Aug-15 03:48:51

Check your machine's manual or what you've in their already whether your machine takes a domestic needle has one flat side at the top or an industrial needle is completely round.

As MummySparkle said a walking foot in not the answer. Agree try a 16.
I would also lengthen the stitch and maybe ease off the tension in top thread a bit.

poppyinstitches Fri 14-Aug-15 22:01:49

try a denim needle, walking foot great for quilting, jersey and thick layers.

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