Sewing Tutorial – How to use a Cut and Hem Sewing Machine Presser Foot

I’ve been asked recently if I had any tips/tutorials for a cut & hem sewing machine attachment foot. Although I don’t use this foot for bag making, it’s a really useful gadget for other sewing jobs. It’s perfect for shortening hems and finishes off the raw edges very neatly, all at the same time. A good gadget to use, but a bit of a headache to work out at first, so I’m hoping you’ll find this post useful. If you’ve used this attachment before, please feel free to add your own hints and tips to this post too. Any further advice will be much appreciated, I’m sure.

The first time I used this attachment, I spent absolutely ages trying to figure how to use it. The instructions were useless and it took me almost an hour to just work out how to put the fabric into it! I was ready for chucking it in the bin in total disgust but then suddenly, bingo! I’d got it and I was amazed at what it did. So, I’m hoping that this little tutorial might save you a lot wasted time and frustration.

First of all, here’s a picture of it:

Cut & Hem Sewing Machine Attachment Foot

Cut & Hem Sewing Machine Attachment Foot

It has a little cutting blade which cuts the fabric a tiny bit at a time as it feeds it through the attachment and then the fabric  is zig-zag stitched over the newly cut edge, whilst being slightly folded over. It makes a very narrow and neat little hem.

So how do you attach it? That’s the first hurdle to get over. Set the stitch width to the maximum (usually 5mm) and lift the needle to highest position and ensure the presser foot lever is up.

Unscrew the currently attached presser foot from your machine (refer to your machine’s user guide if needed). Lift the hook arm on the cut & hem attachment.

Unscrew the presser foot holder to remove

Unscrew the presser foot holder to remove

Bring the cut & hem attachment toward the presser bar, from the rear, place the hook arm onto the shaft of the needle clamp screw. Then screw the attachment into place on the presser bar. Make sure it’s on nice and tight and sitting straight. Check that the needle isn’t going to hit the presser foot by turning the hand wheel to bring the needle down.

Attach the cut & hem foot

Attach the cut & hem foot

Bring the needle/bobbin threads through the gap of the presser foot and pull under and to the back of the presser foot.

Bring the needle/bobbin threads through the gap of the presser foot and pull under and to the back of the presser foot.

I strongly suggest that you practice using this foot a few times, before you use it on a piece of clothing. It’s really fiddly to get the hang of at first but once you get used to it you’ll gain the confidence to tackle some alterations jobs.

So, get some decent sized scraps of fabric to try it out on. Take a piece of fabric and make a cut of about 2cm in length, parallel to the edge of the fabric. This will  start off the edge to be cut and sewn.

Cut the edge of material by about 2cm to start of hem to be stitched

Cut the edge of material by about 2cm to start off hem to be stitched

You need to place the start of the fabric over the raised ‘guide plate’ section at the front of the foot, with the right hand edge (side to be cut off) going to the right of the little cutter blade and the left hand edge (to be hemmed), going to the left of the cutter and then feed this edge under the foot (after the guide plate section). This edge should be now be sitting directly under the needle.


Ensure the needle/bobbin threads are going under and away at the back of the foot, pulling on them gently to ensure there’s no slack. Lower the presser foot lever, bring the needle down and start stitching slowly. Allow the fabric to feed through the attachment at it’s own pace and just gently guide the fabric to stop it slipping to the side. When you get to the end of the fabric edge, stop stitching and lift the presser foot lever. Remove the fabric from underneath the foot by taking it toward the back of the machine, as the last few stitches will be wrapped around the little metal arm that forms the rolled over hem. The fabric will get stuck on this if you try to remove it to the side or towards you. Here’s my newly cut and stitched hem…

hem stitched with cut and hem presser foot

Well, I hope that helps. I’m no expert with this foot, by any means, just wanted to share my experience with it so that it might help others to give it a try. Any helpful contributions about this presser foot will be welcome.


38 thoughts on “Sewing Tutorial – How to use a Cut and Hem Sewing Machine Presser Foot

  1. Thanks for inspiring me because I don’t use any of the few attachments for my Sewing Machine. I keep podcasting to use the button and zipper foot. Be A Blessing because you’re Blessed. Mtetar

      1. Oh wow that would be very much appreciated. Thanks for replying as well. I’ll be looking forward to that post. Be A Blessing because you’re Blessed. Mtetar

  2. Wow!! Thanks for this! I too have been extremely frustrated with both the foot & machine, as the instructions a pretty much useless! This has just renewed my faith in both machine & foot! 😀

  3. I have never used this foot because I do not have one with either of my professional sewing machines ( I have a Janome Memory Craft 6500 & Baby Lock Quest). I have used most of the pressure feet that came with both of my machines. Pressure feet definitely makes the sewing and/or quilting go much smoother & faster!

  4. is it possible to use this foot on an older model machine, ie alpha 50 which is the one I use ? thanks in advance

  5. Hi Susie, I’m having bother attaching the foot! I hook the arm over the needle clamp screw and then screw it onto the presser bar nice and tight – as advised. When I go to turn the needle down to make sure it doesn’t hit the foot, the hook arm is bumping on top of the other end of the presser bar screw. I’ve fiddled and adjusted and jiggled but it’s still the same. I’ve just bought the Frister and Rossmann QE404 and I’m learning a lot already but this is frustrating. Love your instructions on how to actually use it but can’t get that far 😦 Helppp!

    1. Hi I’ve got exactly the same problem with the hook arm I’m trying to install this cut and sew and it is sewing fine but not cutting my instructions are appalling that came with it I’m going to try and use your instructions.

      1. Let me know how you get on. It’s all about getting the fabric into the foot in the right way (yep the instructions with it are awful). Hope you find this tutorial helpful.

  6. Hi left it for the rest of the day went back to it just now and it worked you do need to have that little cut at the top like you advised I m so pleased I asked your advice i can say you are a very clever a very big thank- you yours in sewing Lorraine.

  7. OMgoodness, Ive been trying to figure out what this foot does for almost 8yrs! Funny thing is…Ive never really needed it (I make bags too, ggg) till yesterday, Im trying to stitch a basic blouse pattern for a class, LOL! Thank You so much!

  8. Thank you thank you thank you. I have been trying to figure out this foot all day. I’ve watched videos and been to the singer website and your blog is finally the place where I found directions to get this right!!!

  9. Can’t thank you enough. Bought this attachment for my mum and as you say the instructions are worse than useless. Had the inspiration to google it and you were the second tutorial we found. The first one was using a different model to the one my mum had. You had exactly the same one and within 2 seconds all was working perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  10. thank you very much I have recently bought a 404 professional after reading your blog on it, It really is fantastic and I am going through all the stitches and feet that it came with didn’t know what to do with cut & hem foot so once again turn to you and there is was ,will be trying it out tomorrow as I wont be beaten

  11. I was ready to throw this foot in the trash until I came across your blog. I can’t thank you enough for your detailed instructions. You are in a word…Wonderful. 🙂

  12. Would really like to buy one of these having seen your tutorial but can you buy new blades for it when they start to blunt or do you have to buy a new presser foot? if so do you know who supplies them, thanks Margaret.

  13. Thank you so much for this tutorial – I have just bought one of these feet and could not figure out how the thing cut – as i was not feeding the fabric in correctly . I was about to return it. You are truly an angel.
    best regards from a much happier now Liz

  14. I just bought one of these feet in a charity shop yesterday!! YAYY now I have instrucitons on what it does – it’s going to be a great addition to my sewing gadgets. Now to fins which of my machines it will fit, I have a few vintage machines, a modern Pfaff and a Bernina.

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