How To Use A Braiding Foot

October 20, 2023
How To Use A Braiding Foot
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Braiding Foot. What is it? It is a presser foot that helps you sew embellishments to your projects. You will often see it used with store-bought ribbon or small cording, but you can use other materials as well.

Today, I've gathered a few things that I had on hand to show you how versatile this presser foot is.

What Does It Look Like?

Let me break down this foot for you. First, you will notice that there is a screw on the left-hand side. Keep in mind, lefty loosey, righty tighty. By loosening the screw, it allows you to move the small plate at the front of the foot. When you are feeding a smaller material, make the hole smaller; bigger material, make the hole bigger. You want it to be snug, but not too tight. Too much space gives the embellishment room to move around. You don't want that.

On the back of the foot, there is a groove. This will help guide your embellishment to the appropriate spot and it will keep it from shifting. As long as the embellishment you are using is smaller than the groove, you're good to go. Get creative!

How Do You Use It?

The first thing that you want to do is prepare your embellishment. Insert your ribbon or elastic, or whatever you are using, from the top. Bring it under and make sure it fits within the channel. Also, give yourself a little tail at the back. That just makes it easier to start when you get to the sewing machine.

Speaking of easier, I like to prepare my material like this before attaching the foot to the sewing machine. Technically, you can do it while the foot is on the machine, but why give yourself a headache when you don't need to.

Use a Braiding Foot to Sew on Elastic

One of my favorite ways to use the braiding foot is to sew on narrow elastic. I have been able to use both 1/8" and 1/4" elastic, with no issues.

As previously mentioned, prepare your elastic. Then attach the foot to the machine. Place the fabric under the foot. Sometimes, depending on the braiding foot that you have, you might have to lift up the foot.

Now you will want to do a couple of anchoring stitches. This is necessary, because the next step, you will be slightly pulling on the elastic. Without those anchoring stitches, you're just going to pull your elastic out of place.

With the 1/8" elastic, I put my stitch width to 2.0 and my stitch length to 2.0. With the 1/4" elastic, I increased it to 4.0 for my stitch width and kept it at 2.0 for my stitch length. You can play around with your settings and see what works best for you.

Now that you've prepared your elastic, you've adjusted your machine to the proper settings, and you've done your anchor stitches, you're good to go. Pull lightly on your elastic and sew. Let your machine do the work. It takes some practice putting the right amount of pull on your elastic. I recommend testing on scraps prior to working on your actual project.

Use a Braiding Foot to Rick-Rack

Rick-rack is so darn cute and it can add a lot to a project. I did, however, find that the zig zags caught on the plate of the braiding foot. Don't worry, you can still utilize this foot! Instead of inserting it into the hole at the top, simply use the channel on the bottom of the foot. It still directs the rick-rack nicely and it doesn't catch!

Use a Braiding Foot to Sew on Yarn

Using the braiding foot for yarn is more fun than I thought it would be. It's essentially doing a couching technique where the yarn looks like it's just sitting on top of the fabric.

You can use monofilament thread, thread of the same color, or you can get adventurous and use contrasting colors. It's all up to you.

Just remember to make sure to adjust the plate to the size yarn you are using. In the picture below, one the left, I used 1 thin strand of yard; whereas, on the right, I braided 6 strands. I definitely had to make an adjustment.

Use a Braiding Foot to Sew on Ribbon

I didn't have any store-bought ribbon, but I wanted to give a textured, cool look, so I made some ribbon. I took very narrow strips of fabric and folded and pressed the fabric. It fed through the braiding foot nicely and it achieved the look that I was after.


All in all, I found this presser foot to be really fun.

I'm very excited to see what people will come up with when using this foot. If you try it out, please let me know what you did!


Until next time, Happy Sewing, everybody!


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