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Using Specialty Sewing Machine Accessories

Updated on May 14, 2012
Pressor feet on just one type of sewing machine accessory available.
Pressor feet on just one type of sewing machine accessory available. | Source

Overview of Specialty Sewing Machine Accessories

Sewing machines have a number of specialty attachments that provide the hobby sewer with easy solutions for a wide range of sewing projects. Accessories include special pressor feet, extension tables that hook to the actual sewing machine, and a knee-lift. Many accessories come standard with different sewing machine models, but can also be purchased by part number. While there are many different sewing machine and serger accessories, the most popular ones are those that help with specialty stitching. Most brands of sewing machines have accessories that can only be used with machines of that brand, but the use of them are the same across the board (for example, a Bernina knee lift works only with specific Bernina machines, but a knee lift accessory works in the same manner no matter the brand).

Sewing Machine Accessories

  • Knee Lift -
    Knee-lifts work by lifting the pressor foot up and down, without reaching for it with your hands. This is a time-saver when feeding long pieces of fabric or when constantly moving a free-hand sewing project, such as a quilt. These are bent pieces of tubular steel inserted in the front of the sewing machine. It used by movement of the knee.
  • Pressor Feet -
    Pressor feet are varied between the different brands, but all work to make sewing different fabrics or different styles easily. Some may work to create easy pintucks, and other are made specifically for blind hemming. Look up a specific sewing task from the manufacturer's website of the machine you have to see if there is a pressor foot made for the job.
  • Embroidery Hoops -
    These are exclusively used for embroidery machines. Different sized or shaped hoops can make sewing with an embroidery machine more convenient, or more efficient.
  • Extension Tables -
    These accessories actually stap into place directly onto the sewing machine, and provide a much larger work and moving area for feeding in fabric into the machine or moving it around for free form sewing.
  • Needleplates -
    While generally not removed or moved, certain machines may have a specialized needle plate that prevents bunching of fabric or fabric from being pulled into the feed dogs.
  • Finger Guards -
    These are useful, especially for beginners to sewing, to keep the fingers out of the way when sewing. They are guards that go around the needle.
  • Specialtized Needles -
    Sewing machine needles come in many different sizes, and can be adjusted for use with different fabrics to make sewing more efficient.
  • Seam Guides -
    Seam guides are used when it is necessary to sew straight seams, or when sewing a specific width of seam.


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