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Accessories We Love: Janome Rotary Even Foot Set

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The Janome Rotary Even Foot Set is a nifty little tractor foot with five attachments. It's like a little sewing machine tank rolling over your fabric. By switching out the attachments, you can use it for: blind hemming, joining, attaching bias binding, making rolled hems, even matching stripes and plaids or keeping plush fabrics like polar fleece from shifting. I think if I delved a little deeper into all the possibilities, I might be able to figure out how to use it to bake a cake.

Although produced by and for Janome, the foot can be used on most sewing machines that accommodate snap-on feet.

The foot and its five attachments come in a handy little plastic case so you can keep track of them.

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There are fairly detailed instructions included in the box, and Janome also has some videos online that show some of the techniques in action. I'm going to walk you through the techniques I tested and a few of the additional tips I discovered along the way.

The foot all by itself

The tractor feed on the Rotary Even Foot moves the layers of fabric in perfect sync with your machine's feed dogs.

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This makes it a dandy choice when you are trying to match stripes or plaids.

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Or, trying to keep plush fabrics like fleece from shifting. I used a stretch stitch; the finished seam lays nice and flat, and I can stretch it without distorting the fabric.

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The blind hem attachment

Loosen the screw on the foot and slide the blind hem guide into place. After a bit of trial and error... heavy on the error. I found that aligning the guide in between the two red lines on the foot gave me the most consistent results. You do need to have a blind hem stitch on your machine, and you also need to know how to do the "fold-fold again-and then fold back" technique to set up the hem for stitching. If you haven't tried this technique before, take a look at our blind hem tutorial. We are using a traditional blind hem foot in the tutorial, but the folding and set up of the hem is exactly the same as what you need to do to use the Rotary Even Foot.

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You can also use the blind hem attachment to join together two flat pieces, such as two pieces of lace or two pieces of ribbon, which is what I did. This would be a fun technique to create an interesting piece to use as the focal point of a pillow front or as an inset to the front of a bodice.

As above with the regular blind hem, make sure the guide is centered between the two red lines. Align your two pieces of fabric or trim so the guide runs between them. Choose a zig zag or decorative stitch with a wide left-right swing. Set the stitch to its maximum width.

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The bias tape attachment

Keeping bias tape even so you can be guaranteed to catch both sides can certainly be a challenge. Solving that challenge is the best thing about about this attachment. However, you can't turn a corner with it in place, so it's best on long straight edges that need binding or big circles, like a round tablecloth or tree skirt.

Loosen the screw again and switch to the bias tape attachment. It just slides into place and then you tighten the screw. With all these attachments, you need to tighten the screw when the foot is off the machine or, if the foot is on the machine, when the presser foot is up.

I found it easier to start the bias tape into the foot with it off the machine. I then snapped the foot into place and slid the raw edge of the fabric into position.

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The instructions that come with the foot also suggest spending some time adjusting the guide and testing the needle drop to get the seam running as close to the fold as possible. This is kind of 'futzy' work, but I think it's worth the hassle. I was impressed I could keep my stitching so close to the edge. I started with a straight stitch and then switched to a decorative stitch.

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You could even set the guide to allow you to stitch across the fold with a decorative stitch, which would be a cool-looking embellishment. The Janome video on this technique shows a sample of this option.

The rolled hem attachment

The set comes with three sizes of attachments for rolled hems: ½", ¾" and 1".

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Like the bias tape attachment above, you can't turn a corner with the attachment in place, but that's really the case with any kind of rolled hem foot.

However, according to my much-more-clever sewing pal, Michele Mishler it can be done. Here's her personal tip:

The first side is sewn to the end and removed from the foot. For the second side, the hem is finger pressed into place. Using a needle and thread, insert the needle through all layers at the starting point. Machine stitch from the beginning, using the doubled thread to 'pull' the starting point under the foot until the feed dogs can grip the fabric unassisted. Once the hem is started, insert it into the rolled hem attachment and continue to the end.

I used the ½" attachment for my test. To start, I cut about 3/8" off the corner of my fabric and then pressed a ¼" hem. Then, I took the hemmed fabric to the machine and rolled it over another ¼" to feed it into the foot.

Unlike the bias tape attachment, with these attachments, I thought it was easier to put it on the machine first and then feed in my fabric.

Like the bias tape attachment, spend the time to adjust the guide and test the needle drop. I aligned the fold of my fabric with the left red guide line (of the double guide lines on the foot). Using a standard straight stitch, I was impressed with how close to the edge I could sew and how even it kept the line. It did help to hold up the fabric a little to help feed the roll through the foot.

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Comments (31)

Heri Rodriguez said:
Heri Rodriguez's picture

Kit Favor de Hola Por Como Hago Para Obtener Este Completo. Desde Caracas, Venezuela ........... !!!!!!!!!!

Leanne said:
Leanne's picture

I just used my new rotary even foot and while it worked great, it only lasted one hour before the tractor wheel split.

Very disappointed.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Leanne - we've not experience that problem.I hope you returned the foot to your sewing machine retailer.

Lois M said:
Lois M's picture

I was cleaning out a few drawers in my sewing area and came across the long forgotten boxed set of Janome Rotary Even Foot attachments. I decided to Google the name to see if there were any blogs or videos about the set and I found YOU and am I glad I did! Thank you so much for the photos, instructions and links you've posted. I watched the videos at the Janome site (for the set) but I still have a burning question. Has anyone used the binding attachment to bind a quilt (in spite of being told you can't do corners)? Even placements would have corners. Any replies would be most appreciated.

Patti Hallstrom said:
Patti Hallstrom's picture

I have used the Binder Attachment and while it is a great idea, I never could get the corners right. Even watching the video on YouTube, I still struggled with it. Maybe you will have better luck, I just never thought it was worth the money if I couldn't get the corners right.

Cindy V said:
Cindy V's picture

The track on mine broke the third time I used it. I put it away for months and forgot about it. I called my local Janome dealer today and asked her if she knew where I could get a track for it. She said she could order one for me and it would be $2.44. I told her to please order 5 for me, lol. I don't want to risk being without one again!

@Linda said:
@Linda's picture
Linda - if you take the one good track from your first foot, and use it to replace the missing track on the second foot - you'll have a working rotary foot.

"I have two of of the rotary foot kits (the first one lost a track), so I purchased a second. I LOVE this foot. Alas, the second foot just lost a track (it stretches over time). I've contacted my local dealer....they said, sorry....buy another. Does anyone know if the little nylon tracks are available? I cannot fathom buying another complete set....the foot is fine, just need the tracks!!! "
Linda - San Diego Quilter said:
Linda - San Diego Quilter's picture
I have two of of the rotary foot kits (the first one lost a track), so I purchased a second. I LOVE this foot. Alas, the second foot just lost a track (it stretches over time). I've contacted my local dealer....they said, sorry....buy another. Does anyone know if the little nylon tracks are available? I cannot fathom buying another complete set....the foot is fine, just need the tracks!!!

I MISS MY ROTARY FOOT!!!! smilies/smiley.gif

Nejs, Denmark said:
Nejs, Denmark's picture
Got it! And it's great. But I already need spare parts. After sewing about 30 cm one belt broke. However, it works even with only one beltsmilies/grin.gif
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
I heard back from the folks at Janome today, and they say this foot set retails for $79.99.
white2312@aol.com said:
white2312@aol.com's picture
thanks for lshowing it but you negelected to say what the approx. parice of this new foot was.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hello Stormie, Janome is our Signature Sponsor, but we are an entirely separate company. You need to contact either the dealer who sold the machine to you or Janome customer relations. There is also information on their website (janome.com) that could be helpful to you. You can look up your machine in their database and learn about what software and accessories are right for it. The email for Janome America's customer relations department is: custrel@janome-america.com. If you are outside the US, you can still get information from their website and can find links to other subsidiaries around the world. Happy Christmas.
Stormie said:
Stormie's picture
I didn't get any assistant when I bought my Janome 9500 because I was hospitalize soon after I bought it. The instruction book I received with my machine doesn't explain much about the accessories I received with the machine. I would like to receive another booklet and also purchase the above set shown.
Also I'm confused about the embroidery software I should purchase.

PLEASE HELP!!!!!smilies/cry.gif
mforehan said:
mforehan's picture
Did they have a workbook for your machine? It didn't shoe the rotary even foot (little tank), but my workbook showed a lot of things the machine would do and how the feet worked. It gave setup instructions and everything.
Janet F said:
Janet F's picture
Janome has the best accessories & feet! I have 4 Janome machines and LOVE that most all the attachments are interchangeable. I can have a different project set up on each one. Makes sewing a real pleasure. Love my Janmone 6600...it's a real work horse!
b ambs said:
b ambs's picture
I want one too. I made Christmas presents using bias tape. It would of taken away my frustration .
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi crystal humble -- sorry for the delayed response. As I mentioned above, although produced by and for Janome, the foot states it can be used on most sewing machines that accommodate snap-on feet. I would double check with your dealer to be sure.
crystal humble said:
crystal humble's picture
do you know if this will work on other machines?? i have a pfaff.
Helping Hands Home Improvement said:
Helping Hands Home Improvement's picture
wow...great stuff, I never knew what half those extra accessories, very inovative accessories
Mrs. Joanz said:
Mrs. Joanz's picture
Wow, what a difference it makes w/this foot. I just ordered mine. So excited to starting making more things knowing my projects will be easier to do w/this. Thanks for the post!
Avlor said:
Avlor's picture
OMG! I never knew what half those extra accessories I had are for the sewing machine that I inherited. Thank you so much for posting this - I may just have a chance at figuring some of these things out now that I have an idea of what to start asking about!!!!
etchedinthread said:
etchedinthread's picture
OMG! This is a must-have gadget. I must have one! I must have one!