One of the more confusing parts of sewing is learning about presser feet. Your sewing machine probably came with a few different feet, but you may not know what they’re for or how to use them. The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible by Wendy Gardiner tells you everything you need to know about presser feet so that you can make the most out of your machine.
Even intermediate and more advanced users will learn new things from this book.
My Sewing Machine Accessory Bible Review
The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible is a generous 128 pages long, so you know this a thorough book. Wendy does a great job of explaining the different attachment feet that come with most machines, including the zigzag foot.
But she also talks about working with specialty fabric and technique feet that will help you get more creative with your projects. She talks about a wide range of fabrics, so you can walk away with the confidence to tackle just about any project.
Wendy also has an interesting section called “ideas files,” where she shares different decorative effects that you can experiment with.
The author also goes the extra mile to include a guide to needle, thread and fabric choices as well as buying advice for choosing a sewing machine (basic, mid-range and high-end models), serging machine or embellisher.
Wendy’s guide is exceptionally thorough, and there’s so much more to this book than just presser feet. Users of all skill levels can benefit from this book.
The book is broken down into six chapters.
The first chapter covers the basics of a sewing machine, including its anatomy and must-have tools. She also talks about needles, threads, optional extras and fabrics.
I like that she talks about accessories that don’t actually come with the sewing machine itself. For example, she talks about how every beginner should have things like: fabric glue, a seam roller and a steam iron. She also lists some other accessories that you can get, but aren’t absolutely necessary.
The first chapter contains a lot of helpful information, especially for beginners.
In the second chapter, she covers basic feet. These are the feet that come standard with most sewing machines and can be used with the majority of projects you take on.
Wendy covers the following feet: zigzag, straight stitch, zipper, hemmer, blind hem, button sewing, buttonhole, and overcast. If you’ve never gone beyond using the straight stitch foot, this chapter is for you. After reading through this section, you’ll be ready to start using all of the extra feet that came with your machine.
Chapter three is all about technique feet and specialty fabric. In this section, you’ll learn about the walking foot, roller foot, flat fell foot and stitch in the ditch foot.
The third chapter is where things start to get interesting, especially if you already have experience with all of the basic feet. You’ll pick up quite a few tips and tricks here.
The fourth chapter is called Pretty Edges, and Wendy talks about a variety of different feet in this section, including: ruffle, gathering, bias binding, piping and elastic guide.
Just as the name suggests, this chapter is all about creating beautiful edges in your projects.
Things start to get fancy in chapter five, titled “Fancy Stitching.” The author dives into more elaborate stitching and the feet that will help you achieve these stitches, including: pin tuck, open toe, edge stitch, fringing/tailor tack, darning/embroidery, applique, chenille, cording and gimping, candlewicking, flower and circular sewing.
The final chapter doesn’t cover any feet. This is the section where Wendy helps readers choose machines that fit their needs.
In this buying guide chapter, she covers basic sewing machines, top-end machines, mid-range machines, specialty machines and sergers. She also has a brief troubleshooting section to help you tackle issues you might encounter.
Throughout the entire book, the author includes beautiful color photos that help illustrate the concepts she discusses. For example, in the chapter that talks about the anatomy of a sewing machine, she has a diagram that lists each part’s name. She explains what each part does, but you’re not left trying to imagine where the part is or what it looks like. It’s all right there on the diagram.
She also includes photos of all of the feet that she discusses, so you know exactly what they look like. Along with a photo, she also includes a written description of each foot. I like that she also covers different variations of different feet, like the concealed zipper and regular zipper.
There’s a lot of helpful information in this book, and it’s one that I highly recommend to users of all levels. Whether you’re just getting started or have been sewing for decades, you’ll walk away with new knowledge and skills that you can use to improve your projects. And you may even break out those few sewing feet that you never used before because you had no idea how.
We have reviewed many other sewing books that you will probably love too. You can find our favorite beginner sewing books on this page.