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Cording foot – what it is and how to use it

In this video sewing tutorial, I will show you how to use a cording foot for sewing an elastic cord and making decorative trims. 

Cording foot - what it is and how to use it

What is the cording foot?

I use cording foot H mostly – it’s from Janome, but there are other brands and types available. This one is a 3-way cording foot for attaching 1,2 or 3 cords. The foot has grooves on the front and on the back where the cords can be inserted. There is also a small metal bar to fix the cords so they don’t move and stay right under the needle. 

This is a snap-on presser foot so attaching it to the sewing machine is really easy and it’s good for any low shank machine that takes snap-on feet – including Brother, Babylock, Elna, Janome, Juki, etc.

cording foot

What does a cording foot do?

I am going to use the foot for attaching an elastic cord for the waistline of the dress I am making for my friend. 

I just place the cord into the center grove and bring it behind the foot. 

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you order a product through one of my links. I only recommend products I believe in and use myself. 

sewing elastic cord

What stitch to use? I will use a regular zigzag stitch. Just make sure the width of the zig-zag stitch is big enough for the cord so the stitches are not catching the cord but just go over it. 

I use this kind of elastic quite often, for waistline seams mostly, and without this foot, it’s almost impossible to sew over the elastic cord without catching it in the seam. But with the foot, you can insert the elastic cord fast and easily. 

using cording foot

After you are done with stitching pull the cord to gather the fabric, adjust it as you want it, and secure the cord by tying the ends with a knot. 

This is how it looks like in the end – this kind of waist seam is really comfortable and very simple to make. 

using cording foot
using cording foot for gathering

This foot is good not only for elastic, but it can also be used for decorative sewing. For example, I can easily transform a plain ribbon into the fancy one. 

Just use some nice cords. The cords have to be thin enough to go to the grooves on the top of the foot. You can choose multiple colors that go well with each other, or use the same colors (I use two green and one yellow with some gold threads in them). 

Select a special stitch – this one. Each cord has to be attached to the fabric.  Experiment with different stitch widths and lengths.  

Insert the cords one by one into the foot before you put it on the machine. Load the left cord first, then the center cord, and finally the right cord. 

Snap it on and start sewing. Make sure that the cords that lie in front of the foot are not twisting. Keep them aligned so they feed smoothly and don’t pull them. But the cords can’t be twisted if they are already in the foot – cording foot eliminates tangling. 

You can mark the fabric so you see where you need to place the cords. Sew slowly to prevent mistakes because it’s not easy to correct them. You can see that the cords lie perfectly flat and parallel to each other. 

You can easily embellish fabric and ribbons by combining different decorative stitches with different color cords.  You can even use an invisible monofilament thread in the needle so the stitches over the cords will be invisible. 

Cording foot H (that I have) doesn’t have a screw and this black bar can’t be adjusted but I see that the cording foot from Madam Sew kit has the screw on the left of the foot and you can loosen the screw when working with larger cord and tighten it when working with fine yarn.   

There are other types of cording feet available – with 5 or even 7 holes for cords/ yarn, but I don’t use them because it seems to me it’s not easy to manage 5-7 cords at once. 

If you prefer to watch the tutorial GO TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL TO SEE THE VIDEO

I also have sewing tutorials about other interesting presser feet I use almost daily. Check them out below. 

Did you find this tutorial helpful? If so, save this pin (see below) on your sewing board so you can come to this tutorial later when you are ready to use the cording foot, and follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration! 

cording foot how to use

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