Saturday, December 15, 2012

walk this way?

Ah, the face only a mother could love. My walking foot is one of my most prized possessions, for real. I bought it in the midst of a desperate plaid-matching fiasco and I'm so glad I did, even though it's the cheap kind made of a questionable ratio of plastic to metal. Still, it's valiantly trudged over bulky corners of cotton twill. It's glided smoothly through jersey hems. It's gracefully aligned stripes across seams of spongy wool.

If you're unfamiliar with what a walking foot is, I'll explain briefly: it features its own feed dogs (the things that look like shark teeth... or, I guess, dog teeth) that press down and help scoot your fabric from the top, creating even pressure on both sides of your fabric as you sew. This distributes layers evenly under the foot so as to prevent puckering and shifting. GREAT for matching plaids and stripes, helping you achieve this type of thang:

That, my friends, is what Neeno likes to call "chevron p o r n." 

Anyway, I swear I have a point to this post. I need you to help answer this question: is there such thing as TOO much walking foot action? Or is there a time when I should not use a walking foot? I'm a bit hesitant to admit that for my past several projects, the only time I ever not used my walking foot was when I was using my buttonhole or zipper feet. Otherwise it's been permanently nestled on my machine, sinking its little monster teeth into all my projects.

Yesterday I stopped myself, though, because I was about to start sewing a slippery polyester fabric with my walking foot. Is it a no-no to use this foot on this type of fabric? I have no idea. Is there any time you sew where you should NOT have an even feed? Is there any time when you actually want to have your regular presser foot digging aggressively into the top layer of your fabric until it folds over on itself (I exaggerate)? 

It seems like it's probably fine, but I also just feel like I'm wearing out its tiny plastic comb teeth by using it for simply everything. What if my confident strut turns into an aimless meander?

(This photo was staged. I don't normally use bright blue thread for beige garments. Or do I? Beige garment post coming soon, btw.)

Any thoughts either way?