Can you reverse stitch with a walking foot?

A walking foot is one of the few tools that are extremely useful as they can reduce the efforts of sewists while allowing them to sew clothes in a much better and easier manner. People usually get confused when they first see a walking foot as it is far more big and bulky as compared to other normal presser feet but the thing is that it is really helpful to sew some complicated types of fabrics and stitches such as stripes, seams, or while stitching some slippery and stretching garments.

It is no lie that sewists have to sew different fabrics and stitches and this is their major concern whenever they listen to any updates or tools. As soon as people get to know about the walking foot, they start asking different questions like: Can I only do straight stitching with a walking foot? Can I reverse stitch with a walking foot? Can I backstitch with a walking foot? Just hold on to this article as it will provide you with all the related information to a walking foot, what you do with this tool, and what are its limitations.

Can you backstitch with a walking foot?

No, you simply cannot sew a reverse or backstitch using a walking foot. The walking foot is designed only to move forward and doesn’t feed thread side by side or reverse.

Reverse stitch is sewed by people to lock the last stitch so that it doesn’t open or break down easily if someone pulls it or due to any other reason.

This is a great thing to keep the stitches secure especially in clothes that stretch a lot. This is not a new thing among sewists, still, there are not many methods to sew a reverse stitch simply as you sew a forward stitch.

Can you only do straight stitches with a walking foot?

No, although it looks like you can only do straight stitches with a walking foot, you can sew many other stitches as well.

You can do almost all other types of stitches using a walking foot that has a forward movement.

You can even stitch a zigzag stitch using your walking foot because although it looks complicated, all its movement is going forward.

Can you do a stretch stitch with a walking foot?

Yes, you can sew stretch stitches for stretchy fabrics of all types such as knit fabric. While sewing such garments, you will experience that the garment is stretchy while passing under the foot which makes the stitch bad and not so strong.

However, while sewing with a walking foot, it is ensured that the fabric is fed evenly without being stretched. The sewing may be a bit slow but experts say that even if a fabric is 75% stretch, a walking foot is the best option to sew stretch stitches.

Can you sew curves with a walking foot?

Yes, you can sew curves as they are not that difficult but requires a lot of attention. You need to take great care while quilting with a walking foot because it is on you to handle the quilt while the foot is feeding the cloth in a forward manner.

Can you do zig zag with a walking foot?

Yes, you can easily stitch zigzag with a walking foot because all the movement to perform this stitch is straightforward. The only thing is that you have to move the cloth in a zig manner while the foot is feeding the cloth forward. A walking foot feeds cloth smoothly which results in zigzag stitches of high quality.

Can you use a walking foot for binding?

Yes, walking foot has the characteristic to provide an even and balanced feed which results in a proper binding and a secured finish. No doubt it is one of the most essential parts of a sewing process because every person wants to end their sewing projects on a good note. A walking foot can punch through many layers of the cloth and binding is what makes the walking foot a complete tool.

How do you lock stitches with a walking foot?

People usually get confused when they get to know that they cannot reverse stitches with a walking foot and they start asking questions like how they lock their stitches so that they don’t open while wearing. Well, you lock a stitch just like you were sewing the stitch.

  1. Simply keep on stitching the cloth until you reach the endpoint.
  2. Release the foot so that it can be lifted from the cloth.
  3. Rotate the cloth 360° while aligning the stitches you have done right now.
  4. Now start stitching again as it will stitch without getting cut from the previous stitch.

You may take a look at the video by Man Sewing for a visual representation of the whole process.

Learn How to Stitch in the Ditch with a Walking Foot

What is the major benefit of a walking foot sewing machine?

One of the biggest positives of a walking foot is that it can easily stitch through thick and many layers of fabric. Its characteristic of moving along with the feeding dogs that are pushing cloth under the foot is probably the best.

This factor ensures that both upper and bottom layers of clothes move at the same time and speed which prevents issues like shifting or puckering of the garment’s layers.

What needles can I use with my walking foot?

It is always a good option to go with a straight and long needle that is usually used in industrial or commercial sewing machines with a walking foot such as Tri-Point needles. Such needles have heavy hanks which allow them to pass through thick layers of fabric.

You don’t essentially need some special needle while working with a walking foot because you just choose a needle that is best suitable for your fabric and a walking foot will sew flawlessly with it.

Difference between the walking foot and the quilting foot?

A walking foot is also known as quilting as well as an even-feed foot. These are all the different names of the same tool, however, the last name defines it quite efficiently. The main purpose of manufacturing this foot was to have a tool that can feed multiple layers of your fabric during the quilting process, evenly, at the same time, and same speed. This foot is designed for people to sew heavy and multiple layers of fabrics at their home, on their regular sewing machines with a small update.

How to install a walking foot on a sewing machine?

  1. Start by ensuring that the presser shank on the sewing machine is up so that you have enough space to install a walking foot.
  2. Unscrew the big screw on the left side of the shank. This will detach the shank from your sewing machine.
  3. Lower the needle to the point that the needle screw and the walking foot’s lever are aligned.
  4. Place the walking foot a little bit up while the lever is resting on the needle screw.
  5. Put and tight the big screw again that was removed in the first step.
  6. Once you have secured the screw and the walking foot, you will see that the lever is moving with the needles’ up-down movement. This is what moves the upper dogs while feeding clothes.

You may take a look at the video by Howcast to have a visual representation of the whole process.

How to Use a Walking Foot Attachment | Sewing Machine


What is a zigzag stitch used for?

A zigzag covers a wide range of stitches as it is used in varying scenarios. It is usually sewed on clothes for satin stitching, bartacks, applique, seam finishing, and much more. People use it for purposes like protecting their garments from puckering, enhancing designs, or locking end-points which are necessary to be done properly because any error can ruin your desired outcome, quality, and attractiveness or cloth to a great extent.

Can I go with a walking foot for free-motion quilting?

Yes, you can use a walking foot for free motion quilting. This allows sewists to sew complex curves and designs requiring stitches to be done efficiently. You can also go for large quilting because their straight-line machine quilting helps in doing almost all stitching except for a few such as reverse or backstitch.

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