We’re celebrating BERNINA’s 125 Years Golden Anniversary with more fun feet facts. Yesterday, we shared some history behind our feet and some current favorites. Today, we’ll take a closer look at some of our oldest and newest feet and we have a fun giveaway for you as part of our celebration! One lucky WeAllSew reader will win a copy of the BERNINA Big Book of Feet, scroll down to the bottom of the post to see how you can enter for a chance to win.
BERNINA has a long tradition of manufacturing innovative feet and accessories to help you with different techniques. If you can dream it, BERNINA feet can do it! You can watch a fun video that shows some of the BERNINA feet being made in our factory here. Out of our huge family of feet, several have been around since almost the beginning, while still other accessories are brand new. Take a look at some of our favorite BERNINA feet old and new.
The Darning Foot
The darning foot has been around almost since the first BERNINA machines were manufactured. While the basic design of this foot has changed little, there are more ways we sew with the Darning foot #9 today than when our grandmothers first used this foot.
This is an old style BERNINA darning foot pictured above from a time before feet were identified by number. The name of the foot is taken directly from its original use in darning, a repair technique to fix holes in clothing where the fabric was moved back and forth underneath the needle with feed dogs lowered. Unlike most other feet, the darning foot is not designed to come in contact with the feed dogs. The spring-loaded foot presses down on the fabric as the needle raises up to form nice, even stitches and help prevent flagging or lifting up of the fabric. The sole of the foot is a circle with one slightly straight edge at the front, supporting the fabric around the needle while still offering a good view of the sewing action.
The current Darning foot #9 has been engineered to give you maximum visibility when stitching and maintain that quick spring action.
The shape of the needle opening hasn’t changed since those good ol’ days, but it turns out this foot is not only ideal for free-motion quilting with straight stitches, but it also will accommodate zigzag stitches up to 5.5mm in width.
You can read about why this foot is a top favorite of BERNINA Ambassadors for all the reasons above. And you can learn tips to use this foot for free-motion stitching here! This is such a useful foot, we’re sure to see it around for many years to come.
The Zigzag Foot
The first BERNINA zigzag models were manufactured in the 1940’s with exciting new decorative zigzag stitches. A new style foot was needed to help form these stitches, and the BERNINA zigzag foot was born! As BERNINA continued to incorporate new technology and innovations into machines, this foot evolved through several generations.
In the photo above you can see an early version of the BERNINA zigzag stitch foot to the left, also known as Zigzag foot #0. This first generation of the zigzag foot was designed with a smooth, flat sole to hold the fabric firmly against the feed dogs with a small indentation behind the needle opening allows the thread to form stitches as fabric passes under the foot—check it out in on the left in the photo below. The first generations of BERNINA zigzag machines formed stitches behind the needle, which is why the indentation is seen only behind the needle opening.
Exciting innovations brought a new generation of BERNINA models in the 1980’s that were equipped with decorative zigzag stitches that formed with a back-and-forth stitching motion. A new kind of foot was needed to accommodate these stitches, and the BERNINA engineers invented the Reverse pattern foot #1. This zigzag foot included an indentation in the front and the back of the needle opening to accommodate the formation of those stitches forming with a back and forth stitch motion, see this foot in the photo above and below, second foot from the left.
As BERNINA continued to engineer new technology and features into new models, the Reverse pattern foot #1 was also updated. The Reverse pattern foot #1C foot pictured above was created for models with a maximum stitch width of 9mm, so it has a much wider sole to work in conjunction with the larger feed dogs. The “C” feet are coded, and can work with machines with a sensor to engage a wider stitch.
The newest member of the zigzag foot family is the Reverse pattern foot #1D, made to work with the Dual Feed feature on select BERNINA models. The Dual Feed aids in feeding all layers through the foot at the same rate. The “D” feet have a slot in the back made to accept the Dual Feed mechanism.
Here, you can see the Reverse pattern foot #1D attached to the machine from the back. See the groove right in the center of the foot?
After attaching the foot, the Dual Feed mechanism is pulled down and engages in this slot, as you see above.
With Dual Feed engaged the Reverse pattern foot #1D is ready to tackle any sewing project! We’re sure to see this versatile zigzag foot remain one of the most useful for years to come. Want to learn some of the many ways in which to use the zigzag foot? Read up on 3 Ways to Use the Zigzag Stitch here, or this Decorative Stitch Tip with Reverse pattern foot #1D,
BERNINA Stitch Regulator
The BERNINA Stitch Regulator (or BSR for short) is one of the newer accessories in the family, first introduced in 2005. This innovative presser foot guarantees consistent and even stitches when you are free-motion stitching, regardless of your sewing speed. The BSR was developed by BERNINA engineers to work similar to a computer mouse by detecting the movement of fabric under the foot using an optical sensor. If the fabric is moved slowly or quickly, the sewing speed of the needle adjusts accordingly to match your pace.
The BSR also has two modes that can be set for an experienced or less experienced sewist, and it can be used as a straight stitch or zig-zag to create detailed free-motion embroidery, intricate quilting, appliqué, thread painting and lace-like designs.
The BSR comes with 3 seperate soles; a clear sole for echo quilting, an open toe foot, and one closed toe foot that as you can see above looks just like the good old Darning foot #9. Perfect for free-motion quilting!
Learn more about using the BSR for free-motion stitching techniques in these posts. Top 5 Tips for Successful Free-Motion Quilting, Quilt Embellishing With Decorative Stitches, and Free-Motion Quilting With the BSR.
Ruler Work Foot
Welcome the newest member of the BERNINA foot family, the Adjustable Ruler foot #72! This foot was engineered to allow you to sew with longarm quilting rulers on a domestic BERNINA machine to create decorative quilt designs like lines, feathers, circles, and more. You can use any 1/4 inch thick plexiglass longarm quilting rulers with this foot, and BERNINA also offers a selection of beginning sets of rulers to get you started.
The height of the foot’s sole makes it possible to quilt along all the edges of these rulers which is of utmost importance especially with circles.
To use the Adjustable Ruler work foot #72, the feed dog is lowered and the fabric with the ruler is guided by hand with the edge of the ruler resting against the foot. The adjustment dial allows you to move the height of the foot up or down to match the thickness of your quilt and still be able to move the fabric easily under the foot.
Want to learn more about this new foot and technique? Watch a series of short video tips to get the idea of how to free-motion quilt with rulerwork in the Adjustable Ruler foot #72 Tips and Tricks post.
Put your rulerwork practice squares to good use by making your samples into zippered bags with the Zippered Rulerwork Bags tutorial.
Make a rulerwork sampler quilt to build your skills with the BERNINA Rulerwork Quilt-along posts.
What will BERNINA think of next?
WIN a copy of the BERNINA Big Book of Feet!
One lucky WeAllSew reader will win a copy of the ultimate guide to BERNINA presser feet and accessories, the Big Book of Feet!
This guide to BERNINA presser feet and accessories includes information on the basics of each foot, which techniques to use the foot with, and tips for getting the most out of your BERNINA feet and accessories.
All you have to do is post a comment below and answer the question, “What is your favorite presser foot, and how do you use it?” The the giveaway is open through Friday, March 30, 2018!
The giveaway is open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. One comment per fan. Comment must be submitted to the WeAllSew.com blog by Friday, March 30, 2018 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to contact to claim the prize.