How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

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Inside: How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

Welcome to my series on Sewing Machine Feet. So far, I’ve shared about the All Purpose Foot here and the Clear Sole Foot here.

Today, I want to talk about my favorite sewing machine foot, the Edge Stitch Foot #10. Ask any Bernina owner about her favorite sewing machine foot and this foot will likely be the first one mentioned.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

Sometimes called a Top Stitching Foot

If you aren’t a Bernina owner, fear not, (almost) all manufacturers make some sort of edge stitching or top stitching foot. What makes this foot (and other top stitching feet) unique is the blade in the center. It allows you to align the blade along the edge of your fabric or on the seam line.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

Since most sewing machines have the needle position default set at the center position, that means the blade and the needle are perfectly centered. If you need to ‘stitch in the ditch’ then you would keep your needle in the center position and run the blade along the stitching line. Doing this will give you perfect ‘stitch in the ditch’ centered top stitching.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

The foot is designed so the sewist can top stitch or edge stitch a project. It has a 5mm needle slot to allow for adjusting the needle position. These features should be common on most brands.

Take the needle a click or two to the left (or right) and you have perfect top stitching 2mm from the seam. Continue to adjust your needle position and get an different look.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

Ways to use this foot

The edge stitch foot is perfect for finishing a seam with double top-stitching – like you see in ready-to-wear garments. To achieve this look you will need to purchase a double needle.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

Double Needle Stitching

Double needle stitching with the edge stitch foot will give garments and home decor projects a nice, clean finish.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

Adding Ribbon

Occasionally you may want to attach something (like ribbon) that has a clean edge. This foot is perfect for such tasks. Align the blade along the clean edge and adjust the needle position. It’s that easy.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

Pin Tucks

I know that Bernina (and other manufacturers) have specialty feet for making pin tucks. I don’t do a lot of heirloom sewing, so spending money on a pin tuck foot would not be cost effective. Instead, I use the Edge Stitch foot for making pin tucks.

By folding back my fabric and adjusting the needle position, I am able to achieve perfect pin tucks.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches


You may have noticed that I love to applique onto fabric. I always use my edge stitch foot for applique projects because it allows me to get perfect stitching around my design.

Without it, I might miss a spot or two when top stitching the applique to my fabric.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

Fabric Joining

Occasionally, it is necessary to join two pieces of clean-edged fabric together. This is seen in heirloom sewing ~ especially when inserting lace, finished-edge to finished-edge. This technique can be achieved by running the blade between the two clean edges using a zigzag stitch.

How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches
How to Use an Edge Stitch Foot for Perfect Stitches

You may recall that I’m a novice quilter, but I am sure there are numerous ways that an edge stitch foot could be useful to quilters. I would love for you to share some of your ideas.

Since edge stitching and top stitching are decorative, you can get really creative. Try a rayon thread combined with a decorative stitch for some fun top stitching.

Isn’t it all about the process, anyway.

Update:  I’ve recently discovered a website that carries a variety of feet. See here for Edge Stitch feet.

Click this link to learn about other sewing machine feet!SaveSave

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  1. Thank you so much for your sewing feet tutorials! As I was reading this post today I was thinking about how useful that foot would be (I’ve already appliqued some fabrics using the basic foot on my machine and it was tricky); so I went to find out my machines model number so that I could add the foot to my amazon wishlist. Much to my surprise guess what came with my sewing machine, the edge stitch foot! Yipee, I had it all along and just never knew how to use it! I can’t wait to use it now, and I would have never known about it if it weren’t for your blog! 🙂

    1. I know so many woman who don’t know what to do with the feet that came with their machine. I am hoping to help with this.

      1. This sure helped me. I guess I don’t look in my manual enough. All these years I didn’t know and now I’m going to look at the feet I have because I need to do a lot of topstitching.. thank you so much

    1. Be sure to check with your machine’s manufacturer. It can be called a top stitching foot, edge stitching foot, or stitch in the ditch foot.

  2. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on sewing feet on our Thursday link up at allthingswithpurpose.com. I am just starting to get into what different feet can do, and I’m excited about it!!

  3. The best thing about feet, you don’t need a dream machine. They have fancy feet for all types of sewing machines….but a dream machine is pretty awesome.

  4. This foot would definitely come in handy! I’m wondering if I can find one for my 1975 model (my only sewing machine)… I hope so!

    1. I have a 30 year old Bernia. It came with this foot, but I like the other posts have never used it. I will give it at try now!

  5. An edge stitch foot would definitely be great for the stitch in the ditch quilting I do! Thank you for sharing your tips!

    1. Although the concept is good, sometimes this foot creates unwanted drag while quilting. So, I still prefer my walking foot to this foot for quilting. However, I wouldn’t be without this foot for professional looking edge stitch. I like to lengthen my stitch length a bit to maybe 3.0 or 3.2.

  6. I am a novice sewer and self taught. Thank you for your clear tutorial. I had no idea about this foot! It would have come in handy so many times for me already! I have an inexpensive Brother sewing machine. I will have to see if I can find this foot for my machine! 🙂

    1. I know Brother makes one. Check with a Brother dealer and they can help you. The foot should be under $20.

    2. I’m sure you’ve probably already found one by now – can’t tell when this article/the comments were posted – but I also have a Brother sewing machine, and it came with the edge stitch foot along with a few others!! Definitely worth reading your manual and checking them out, it was the best thing I did when I started using it!


  7. Thanks for the feature. You know, there are lots of used machines out there – you could probably find something similar to the one you sold.

    1. On the rare occasion I make something quilty I use the Edge Stitch Foot to attach the binding. Thank you for the reminder. Excellent tip.

    1. I’m not sure, but I know there are a few ‘universal’ type foot attachments that will work with a variety of machines. I would call your local sewing center and see what they say.

      1. Hi
        Just to let you know that, I have found Singer sewing machine
        edge stitch foot 🙂 Its make my sewing even better now!

        Thank you.

  8. I found your post/blog through pinterest. Very informative!! I’ll probably use this foot and the ribbon technique you explained on a comforter I make for my daughter this fall.

  9. Can’t thank you enough for sharing this post. It really is very informative and the great photos make your explainations very clear. Thanks again.

    1. The #5 is the Blind Hem foot and works when sewing a blind hem stitch. The #10 is a special Edge Stitch Foot. The blade sits in the seam and then you adjust your needle left or right. It is my favorite foot. Once you try it, you’ll know why.

    2. When I took a class after buying my Bernina, the teacher at the dealer said that the #10 was a glorified #5 Since the #5 came with my machine I am going to try some of these techniques with the #5 and see if they work. It might be just what I need for applying binding neatly.

      1. I think that the #10 is a modified version of the #5; the #10C will work with 9mm width stitch openings. I believe the foot is also modified from the #5 for better visibility – when edge stitching this can be very useful.

  10. Wow, I have learnt such a lot now, I have visited a fabric store yesterday, coming across many machine needles I have never seen before or heard of, I noted down and browsed in internet, learning new tips and am excited, giving me new interest in sewing. I also like to do applique, cutting out small shapes/motives from left overs and this edging stitch foot will be so ideal, Jeans I havent tried before, always been dreading due to thickness of fabric, needle breakage, but I am definitely going to try few techniques and using topstitch with thicker threads etc. Never too old to start something new. Thanx for all the advise, I will always be an appie and never a pro, always trying best, taking chances, and sometimes over the moon with outcome.

  11. A hundred and twelve years ago THIS #10 FOOT was the thing I LOVED about my Berni… and one of the deciding factors. I saw what it could do and was SOLD!! (My daughter, 29 year old, somehow thinks it is hers. …. it IS at her house. .. but it is still mine! !) Right?

  12. Thanks for this info I have never used this foot but plan on doing so after getting this info from you. Never quite new how to use it.

    1. Great question! Technically, I was only using the fabric to demonstrate the foot. However, I did use the fabric as for an apron that I made. The pattern for the apron is in my store and called the Urban Chic Apron Pattern.

  13. Thank you so much! I am going to check the box of accessories that came with my machine & see if I have one. I never knew there was such a thing!

  14. Please advise me if buying a generic walking foot for my Bernina Artista 200 is a good idea. The generic price tag for the walking foot is less than $75, while the Bernina version is $250. OUCH. I have an older Bernina with a walking foot and I love using it, but it doesn’t fit the Artista. I prefer to use the Artista most of the time. Appreciate your help:)

    1. I have owned both a generic walking foot and the Bernina walking foot. The inexpensive after-market foot was barely adequate compared to the Bernina foot. I waited for an annual sale and purchased my Bernina walking foot for 25% off. Usually, Bernina (and its dealers) have at least one foot sale per year.

  15. Use the edge stitch foot to join pieces of batting scraps together. The batting stays flat and soft, ready to be used while making do not to waste

  16. I was pinning on Pinterest. When I saw the picture of your edge stitch foot, I clicked and read your post right away. I have been trying to find out exactly what my top stitch foot was supposed to do. My father gave me his machine when my Kenmore died and he had lost his book; after quite a bit of searching my husband and I finally at least knew the name of the foot, but very little information about it. Most likely we were searching for something entirely wrong, but it has been a long time so who knows.

    Thankfully, you have solved the mystery in vivid detail! I can not thank you enough, except by saying that my edge stitch foot that has sadly been gathering dust in huge quantities will be thoroughly cleaned, snapped in place and used immediately on the blouse that I am sewing for my Daughters Bridal Shower. It will look so much more professionally finished with the edge stitch foot and your explanations. I will first though look over your site and most likely sign up to receive more of your great information.

    Thank you for sharing and have a fabulous creative day!

  17. I’m a novice quilter. Is the #10 foot a good foot for machine binding a quilt? If so, any suggestions/tips? I’ve heard the #71 foot is also good.

    1. First, I would never use the #71 Lap Seam Foot for quilt binding. It is intended for hems on things light blouses and shirts. I use the #10 Edge Stitch Foot when I’m binding a quilt, however, when the blade is butted against the binding it can cause it to shift. If you’re a Bernina owner, you can use a walking foot attachment that will keep this from happening.

  18. WOW I am glad I saw this. I love sewing and never use my feet to sew certain things and this foot has been one of them.

    Thank U

  19. I am also a quilter and the edge foot would work well to sew two pieces of batting together. I have this foot but never knew how to use it. Thank you!

    1. Yes, I do this from time to time. One thing to watch for ~ it’s easy to push the binding towards the edge of the quilt.

  20. Thank you! I have the generic 32 piece set and it can with the edge stitch foot. Excited to try it now that I have an idea of what it’s capable of. Thanks for your post!

  21. Thank you for this helpful explanation of the various possibilities of the edge stitch foot. I just received mine in the mail and really had no idea as to its versatility until reading your blog! I look forward to trying it out!

  22. Thanks so much for this article. I have used this foot for “stitch in the ditch” and really like it..

    1. Yes, Babylock makes something similar. Check with a local dealer and see which one will work with your machine.

  23. Thanks so much, I have an edge stich foot, never used it! I’m going straight to my sewing room and play around with all of your tips. WOW, did I say thank you?

  24. Thanks so much for this! I just bought the stitch in the ditch foot for my Pfaff, intending to use it when I machine quilt my quilts on my home machine. But now that I’ve read your post, I’m going to try using it when I appliqué, and perhaps when I machine bind a quilt.

  25. Leslie, Thank you so much for this great tutorial, and the other feet tututorials I’ve yet to look at. I’m looking at ways I can sew minimalist/Japanese-style dresses for girls, but do simple, lovely heirloom techniques to stand out from the crowd. This will help so much. Instant fan! Subscribing, bookmarking, … stalking your site now! So excited. Thanks for your good work just to make our lives a little richer and our worlds a little more beautiful! 🙂

  26. The instruction booklet with machine says what the accessories are for but this was way more informative. Thank you!

  27. I just came across this very informative article about this foot as I am awaiting an order that contains this foot (saw a video presentation and thought how useful it would be!). The only limitation I have is that my machine (1981 Singer) does not have the feature to move the needle position left or right of center for straight stitch seams.
    So it will be more of a challenge to do the top stitching. (However, it has many other pluses and am glad you have taken the time to share this with all of us. And I would welcome any suggestions you may have to enable the top stitching although I think it would mean buying a newer machine. (and I really don’t want to give up on this one as it sews beautifully and was a gift from two very dear people in my life).

    1. To your dilemma over purchasing a new sewing machine I have to ask this: If you have one child and then get another…don’t they both hold special places in your heart? The same can be true with a new sewing machine….

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