Sewing gives me a lot of pleasure, but actually sometimes also quite a bit of pain. I get a pain in my back when I sew for a while, and when I took a good hard look at that recently, I realised that a lot of it may be due to the fact that my foot-pedal leg often starts off in a comfortable position, but the more I sew, the more it extends outwards as I chase my foot-pedal across the floor.
I have a tiled floor and the foot pedal seems to slip further and further away throughout my sewing session, until I have to fish it back again. It’s this sitting with one leg extended, sitting at an angle that I’m convinced in a back-breaker for me. So I set out to solve this dilemma and sew a non-slip sewing machine foot pedal pad.
It’s not pretty, but it works, and that’s what matters. My foot pedal stays put now a lot more than it did before. I think this would work if you had a wooden floor or carpets too, not just for tile. Here’s how you can make one – it’s pretty cheap!
Materials to make a non-slip sewing machine foot pedal pad
- Roll of non-slip spongy material, often sold as drawer or shelf liners (alternative UK Link)
- Some fleece, batting, felt or similar
- Quilting cotton, or other fabric, less than a Fat Quarter
- Straight cut or bias strips, 2.5 inches wide
Start out by measuring your foot pedal and decide on how big you want your mat to be. I’m guessing the bigger you make it, the more grip it will have. But bear in mind, this stuff is non-slip so it will also grip onto all your little pieces of thread too and could end up a big thread nest, so don’t make it huge.
I drew a rough ‘pattern’ from a sheet of paper and used it to cut 2 pieces of the non-slip liner. Make it round, oval, square – whatever you like. I made mine rectangular so that I had some padding under my heel too.
Now make or unwrap some binding tape. If your mat is square, you can use a straight cut binding. A jelly roll strip would be ideal for that. If you’ve made it round or oval, you’ll want to use a bias binding tape. Check out these tutorials on how to estimate and make continuous bias binding, and how to get neat corners.
- How to make continuous bias tape
- Bias tape calculator and cheat sheet
- How to get neat binding corners
Apply the binding all around the outside of the two layers of non-slip grippy stuff. You might find because it’s grippy, that it’s going to grip to the plastic of your sewing machine. If that’s the case, slip some tissue or even some regular paper underneath to help it feed through. Here’s mine sewn to the paper. It perforates as it sews so it just pulls off afterwards.
I folded my 2.5 inch binding in half and sewed it to the top, then folded it over to the back and stitched again. It’s not the greatest of neat jobs, but hey, who’s looking under my sewing table! Get out of there…
Because we are constantly applying pressure to the back of the pedal, it can still slip forward so I thought having something to prevent it slipping off the front of our mat would be a good idea. I created a roll of some scraps of felt that I had layered with some fabric.
Cut a rectangle of fabric a couple of inches wider than the mat. Cut your inner padding piece an inch narrower than your mat.
On the wrong side of your fabric, place your piece or pieces of felt, fleece or batting and start to roll it up. When you get it as thick as you want it, snip off any remaining filling. Leave your fabric an inch longer.
Turn under the raw edge on your fabric, roll it up and then hand stitch it down to complete your ‘sausage’ to go at the front of the mat. The ends should be thin, without the filling so these will be easier to sew. You can even get your scissors in there and snip any fabric from the center of the roll that you don’t need.
Now tuck in under the ends on your stopper roll, and tuck those ends underneath to the back side and stitch them in place.
It’s done. Place your foot pedal where you want it to go, more confident now that it’s going to stay in place better than it did before. Your back will thank you.