Straight Stitch Needle Plates

October 20, 2023
several straight stitch needle plates
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Do you ever have those times where you are trying to begin to sew and the corner of your fabric gets sucked into the needle plate? Oh my goodness- it can be so frustrating. Straight stitch needle plates are the answer.

Which is Which?

To understand this better, I want to show you a standard needle plate next to the straight stitch needle plate.

The needle plate on the left is a standard needle plate or a zig-zag plate. See the wide opening where the sewing machine needle goes into the plate? This will allow you to choose a variety of stitches where your needle will have the ability to go back and forth. This is a great plate, but as with any great accessory, there is a time and place for when to use it.

different sewing machine needle plates

Now, with the straight stitch plate, see how the opening is very small? There is only enough room for your needle to go through. This single hole has support all around the needle as the stitch is being formed. This prevents distortion of the fabric and reduces puckering. However, best of all, it prevents crying. Just kidding, it prevents your fabric from getting sucked in your machine.

showing a straight stitch needle plate

Straight Stitch Needle Plates-When To Use Them?

Honestly, anytime that you are doing a straight stitch, in my mind, is a good time, but it is especially helpful when you are working with very delicate fabrics. Pair it with a Straight Stitch foot and it’s a game-changer. I included a link to our Straight Stitch Foot video at the end of the attached video.

Also, it is great when you doing piecing for your quilt. When making your quilt blocks, you begin sewing at the edge of the fabric. Because you have that support around the needle hole, you can start right at the edge, with no problem.

If you are quilting specifically, I suggest using the ¼” foot in conjunction with the straight stitch plate. I also included a link for that video at the end of the attached video. Make sure you check them both out!

Sewing machine presser feet that work well with a straight stitch needle plate

Will The Straight Stitch Needle Plate Work With My Machine?

Some machines will have a sensor that will tell you when the straight stitch plate is on your machine and then the sewing machine will do the thinking for you. It won’t allow you to select a zig-zag stitch, because the opening on the plate isn’t large enough for you to use that stitch. This is a really nice feature and it will keep you from breaking needles. Some machines will grey out certain stitch options or, like in the picture below, there won't even be an option to select it.

screen of a sewing machine showing what it looks like when a straight stitch needle plate is installed

Just note that not all machines have this feature. It’s good practice to just double check that your machine is set to a straight stitch and that the needle is in the correct position. Also, I like to use my handwheel to slowly bring down the needle and ensure that it is going to go in the hole and that it will not hit the plate. We don’t want any broken needles, right!?

What Does It Look Like?

I have gathered a variety of straight stitch plates. You can see that they can be different sizes and they can have different markings, but do you see that one commonality? Each one has that small opening for the needle.

several different types of straight stitch needle plates

Now, I’m not going to lie, I love the straight stitch plate for my machine. It not only has one small hole, but it has multiple small openings. This gives you more options because you can choose left needle position, center needle position, or right needle position. Because it still has that support around the needle, any position will work great. It also has a bunch of helpful markings. Make sure to check your manual; it will cover the specific markings for you.

close up of a sewing machine straight stitch needle plate

Unfortunately, the straight stitch plate isn’t available for every make and model of machine. If you need help determining if there is one available for your machine, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are more than happy to assist you.

Can you think of a circumstance where this needle plate would come in handy or, simply, make your sewing experience more enjoyable?

Happy Sewing, everybody!

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