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Thread: Sewing machine "foot" petal alternative?

  1. #1

    Sewing machine "foot" petal alternative?

    SEWING Hobby: Need a way to convert a sewing machine so that the foot petal (speed control) can be used by someone who can't use their legs (L1 complete injury) -- sewer needs both hands for guiding cloth and working the presser foot lift, so can't press down on the foot petal with an elbow. I've thought about strapping the presser foot under an armpit, but it's too bulky and hard to press & control speed smoothly. Any ideas or resources?

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    I used my elbow by placing it just in front of the sewing machine and was still able to use both hands (T11 complete).

    Otherwise, I would guess hang it around the neck and press with your chin.


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    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kulea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Kailua, Hawaii
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    I used my elbow by placing it just in front of the sewing machine and was still able to use both hands
    I also use my elbow and still use both hands. It's all a matter of placing the peddle at the right height right under your elbow when your hands are where you want them. Since the peddle is wide, you can maintain pressure with your elbow while still moving your hands quite a bit. I sew using short bursts rather than just trying to fly through a long seam.
    C-6/7 incomplete

  4. #4
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren

  5. #5
    Member Lilli's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Northern California


    I use my elbow too. I still have both hands free-works well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member patd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    I'll try this!

  7. #7
    Is anyone willing to post pics of how they are set up, with the position of petals and arms/elbows while using hands to guide?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    I use my elbow but it takes longer to guide the fabric.

    I haven't figured out another way.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  9. #9
    I hang it around my neck with a strap and velcro patches glued to the pedal sides to keep it in place and use my chin- I have enough issues with my elbows just trying to balance. I tried the elbow thing and did not have enough fine motion control. With my chin I can get very good sensitivity and have my arms free to move the fabric.

  10. #10
    My husband took an old apron ring that I could put around my neck and connected the pedal to that so I could operate it with my chin.

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