Also known as a J foot, this sewing presser foot is magic once you know what that button does
Hey y’all, today I’m going to let you in on a sewing trick – how to use a self leveling presser foot, also known as a J foot on some machines. It’s kind of like a magic trick once you know what it does. And I will admit – I sewed for a loooong time with one of these feet and I had NO IDEA that the button on the side had a function. So if you have also been sewing along in oblivion, today I’m sharing the secret.
You know how sometimes you’ll be sewing along, and then you cross a thick seam, and your machine might stall for a second and not want to push the fabric through? Say, like sewing over a flat felled denim seam like shown below? Well, the self leveling foot takes care of that for you!
Here’s a little video showing how it works, which you can also watch on YouTube here.
In case you prefer written instructions, here they are.
Time needed: 1 minute.
How to use a self leveling foot
- Sew until you get to the thick seam.
You’ll notice your presser foot toe starting to point up.
- Stop sewing with the needle down
Lift the presser foot. Press the side button to lock the foot in a level position.
- Lower the presser foot and continue to sew.
The button will automatically pop back out after you sew past the thick seam.
That’s all there is to it – no need to use a hump jumper or another tool to help you get over those thick seams if you have this foot. Check out the comparison of the presser foot before and after leveling it below.
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If your machine didn’t come with a self leveling foot and it will take snap on feet, you can get your own presser foot here (affiliate link). And for more tips for sewing thick fabrics, check this post.
Wow, now I know. I have that foot…had zero clues. Thank you
Wow! And who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. LOL I have this on my pressure foot. Now I love ow now to use it. Thank you so much. BTW, I’m the old dog.
Wow, I too had no idea about what that button was for, even after all these years.
Thank you very much for enlightening me, I’ll have to try it out and throw out the hump jumper.
I always look forward to your newsletters as they are helpful and entertaining.
I’ve sewn with a J foot too and had no idea. Thank you for sharing.
holy moly i had no idea and ive been sewing gor over 30 yrs-thanks
How did I not know this? Thank you.
Great tip, as always, Melly. So why isn’t it mentioned in my manual??? Likewise, I’d had my new machine for at least 7 months before I discovered it has a presser foot pressure adjustment, which has changed my life sewing knits on it. Now no more changing the foot and struggling with tryting to get a walking foot to work – I don’t need it.
Thank you so much. I’ve wondered about that funny little screw with it’s spring.
Victoria Hero Dillman
That just blew my mind! Thank you!
Wow!, I have that foot too, and never knew what the button was for. Thanks soo much.
Ah -ha! Knowing what the magic button does will come in very handy. Thank you!
Another great tip. Thanks Melly.
Thank you so muh! I’ve been sewing for 67 years and had no idea when I got my first new machine a couple of years ago that this foot could do that! I also learnt for the first time about the presser foot pressure adjustment, which for me saves any need for a walking foot – maybe an idea for a future tip from you? (Not only that, I found my 1968 machine actually also had a release for the pressure – not as flexible as on my new machine, but all those years I’d had it and never knew!)
Geeze! I’ve been sewing for 50+ years and I never had a clue! Thank you so much for sharing that! I love your site!!
Amazing – just what I needed to know and something I’d been wondering about today. Don’t you just love serendipity? Thank you so much for sharing 💗
I knew what that button on the foot was for! I bought a new Brother sewing machine and it can with that foot. I was curious about the button, so looked it up in my manual, and explained its use, just as you did , Melly.
Thanks for sharing.
I never knew about that button! My mother, who was an expert seamstress, never told me about it. I’m wondering if maybe she didn’t know about it either! Thanks for the great explanation.
Thank you so much melly – this tip is