Most sewers I know collect an impressive array of presser feet for their sewing machines and/or their sergers. Count me in as well, especially since I have two Pfaff sewing machines.
After a recent trip to my local quilt shop, I added to my presser foot collection and realized I needed a better method of storage than leaving them in their packages in a sewing cabinet drawer. My solution was tackle boxes that you can find in any sporting goods department store, specifically in the area dedicated to fishing gear. You can also visit Wal-Mart, which carries these boxes in a mixture of sizes, economically priced. I particularly like translucent Plano Stowaway® boxes, which have adjustable compartments. Shown below, from top to bottom, is the double-sided Stowaway® that has 10-20 compartments ($3.26), a larger double-sided Stowaway® with 12-18 compartments ($5.26), and a single-sided Stowaway® with 5-20 compartments ($4.26).
I filled one small double-sided Stowaway® with 16 presser feet. This box is about the same size as a 4 inch x 6 inch index card. To identify the presser feet, I used Corel WordPerfect’s Tables feature, as well as the Line drawing feature, to create a diagram that matches the adjustable compartments. If you prefer to use Microsoft Word, this works exactly the same way. I made this drawing the same size as the lid, and printed on both sides so that all presser feet are clearly labeled, both inside and outside the box. Then I printed the diagram on card stock, cut it out, and simply pressed the diagram into place. Easy-peasy—it was a tight fit, so no adhesive was necessary.
I also used a single-sided Stowaway® for 12-18 compartments for some of my larger presser feet, as well as sewing machine accessories such as a a Dritz Jean-a-ma-Jig® (hump jumper) and a straight stitch throat plate that both get frequently used. This box measures approximately 6-1/2 inches x 11 inches.
Another brand of fishing tackle box that has adjustable compartments is Flambeau. I’ve had the one below for quite a few years, and store beading supplies in it.
If you have presser feet that are all about the same size, you can put in them in embroidery floss bobbin cases (that do not have adjustable compartments). Nancy Zieman sells a single-sided translucent storage box ($4.99) that measures 4 inches x 9 inches that has up to 18 adjustable compartments, and you can order additional dividers for the box with a form that accompanies it. If you prefer, you can also sew a hang-up case with clear pockets, which does the same job that boxes do. Many sewing machine beds have removable storage compartments. Mine does, too, but I have exceeded its capacity.
Of course, if you have a lot of presser feet, you also need to keep the instructions for them in one place. Many of the feet might only be used once in a blue moon, so it is easy to forget how to use them. I have a presser foot workbook from Nancy’s Notions called Fancy Footworks 2 that is essentially a 3-ring notebook where you can add your own notes. I saved and inserted in this workbook all of the presser feet instructions. Since the how-to sheets that are packaged with presser feet are often small, I slid them into 3-hole punched sheet protectors you can pick up at any office supply store. I keep my workbook, along with The Pfaff Foot Book from Country Stitches, by Deb Lathrop VanAken and Anita Covert, Ph.D., together on my sewing shelf.
What presser foot storage solutions do you use?
© 2013 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.