Your sewing machine is a complex machine, and the manual it came with will have a lot of sewing machine terminology that you’ve never heard of.
This article will teach you all you need to know about the presser bar on your sewing machine – why it’s there, how the presser bar lifter works and much more.
If you’d like to learn more about your sewing machine, do check out the guide I have on the different parts of a sewing machine – I cover an overview of each with their main function too!!
What Is A Presser Bar On A Sewing Machine?
The presser bar is a vertical metal shaft to which we attach sewing machine presser feet on the bottom part. It sits behind the needle shaft when you look at your sewing machine from the front.
Without the presser bar, there would be no way to keep the presser foot in place and you’d end up with a tangled mess of thread when trying to sew.
What Is The Presser Bar Used For?
The main purpose of the presser bar is to place pressure on the feed-dog so that the fabric we have placed between the feed dog and the presser foot does not shift.
As well as connecting to our chosen presser feet, it is also connected to the presser bar lever – sometimes called a presser foot lifter – which we use to raise and lower the presser feet during the sewing process.
The presser foot lifter can be found towards the back of the sewing machine – we usually reach it by putting our hand under the arm of our sewing machine and slightly to the left.
How Do You Use A Presser Foot Lifter?
The presser bar lifter is used to raise and lower the presser bar, so that the sewing machine foot is placed in contact with the feed dog.
Here are two photos of the presser lifter on my sewing machines!
Comparing the two images above and you can see that the presser bar lifter can be shaped in many ways. I actually find the one on my Singer 66 sewing machine more comfortable to use as it is less angular than the Bernina.
How Do I Attach Presser Feet To The Presser Bar?
The method used to attach your sewing machine presser feet to the presser bar will vary depending on which brand of sewing machine you have.
My Bernina 1008 has a clip on method for attaching the feet to the presser bar, while my old hand cranked Singer sewing machine uses a screw in mechanism to hold the presser feet onto the presser bar.
Attaching Sewing Machine Feet On A Bernina 1008
The Bernina 1008 that I have uses a clip on system for attaching the presser feet to the presser bar.
Attaching Sewing Machine Feet On A Singer 66
The old Singer sewing machine I have is an older machine and needs me to screw the presser feet to the presser bar.
I hope that I’ve answered any questions you might have had about the presser bar on a sewing machine! Do check out other articles about sewing machine parts if you’d like to learn more!
Eve Tokens (aka The Creative Curator) is a fashion designer, creative pattern cutter and sewing pattern designer.
Eve graduated with a 2:1 in Fashion Design from the University of The Creative Arts in the UK, has a BTEC diploma in Creative Pattern Cutting, a Foundation Degree in Art & Design from Wimbledon College of Art and gained extensive experience in the fashion industry by interning and freelancing for London based fashion brands – Hardy Amies, Roland Mouret, Peter Pilotto and others.
As well as running her own small sustainable fashion brand, Eve has more than 25 years experience sewing and making clothes for herself and family members.