“Plate Choice”

With such a variety of materials that can be sewn on a home sewing machine, it’s always wise to have the right tools for the job.  Everyone has a stitch plate that comes with their machine, which usually has what is called a zig-zag opening.  This wide opening allows the machine to stitch out all the widest stitches without letting the needle hit the stitch plate.  This is a good thing unless you are sewing on a fabric that is very thin, has a very soft hand or tends to get sucked into the plate every time you start a seam.  In these instances, the zig-zag opening becomes a source of frustration that no one needs.  If you do a lot of work in the center needle position or if you often work on fabrics that get sucked into the plate, you may want to consider getting an optional straight stitch plate.  Most machines have this accessory available, but if you’re not sure, check the Husqvarna Viking (page 94) or Pfaff (page 64) online accessory catalog or give Bonny and Frank a call.  If you own an embroidery machine, you may want to consider purchasing the straight stitch plate (if your machine did not come with one) for stitching out your designs.  Using the straight stitch plate doesn’t allow the material to move up and down as much during stitching, giving the material support which allows the stitches to seat themselves without distorting the fabric.  If you do use the straight stitch plate for your next project, remember to choose the Stitch Width Safety option that is found in your machine’s Settings Menu.  This lets your machine know it cannot stitch out anything but a straight stitch in center needle position. 

Here are the three stitch plates I have for my Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond Royale. The top left zig-zag plate came with my machine: it displays metric measurements. The bottom left is also a zig-zag plate but it displays measurements in inches. My straight stitch plate is on the right.
This zig-zag plate has a 7mm opening, which is the widest stitch width my machine can sew.
The straight stitch plate has a restrictive opening which supports the fabric as the needle penetrates it. Nothing gets sucked down the opening of this stitch plate!
The zig-zag plate allows the needle to move all the way to the left,
… all the way to the right and everything in between.
The straight stitch plate only allows the needle in one position: in the center.
Remember to tell your machine it cannot use a needle position other than the center one by choosing the Stitch Width Safety in the machine’s Settings Menu. If you do not remember this step, your machine will sew any stitch and you will have a broken needle that breaks in a very dramatic event!

Happy Sewing!