Monday, January 6

Needle Positioning Pointers

Some pointers on needle positioning might be helpful to some of you beginning sewers. Many sewing machines sold today give you the ability to adjust the position of your needle.  Mine defaults to LEFT and has a button for CENTER.  It also has a button to move the needle left or right by small increments.

First, I'll show an example of double row topstitching with the needle in the left position.

Here I have the needle positioned on the left.  I have lined my folded edge up with the center mark on my presser foot.
With my needle position unchanged, I have sewn a second line of stitching with the folded edge of the fabric lined up with the right side of my presser foot.
Here is my second example: repositioning the needle instead of the fabric.  I have adjusted my needle position toward the right and have lined the folded edge up with a mark on my presser foot that is near the right side.
Now I have adjusted the needle position to the left, and have the fabric lined up in the same manner.

You can see that the look is similar to the first example.  Both methods work and work well, it's strictly a matter of preference.
Now let's see an example of stitching with a double needle.  Double needles are available in different widths and have two needles coming down from one shank.  If your sewing machine zigzags, you can use a double needle.  The zigzag capability provides the wide needle opening that you need in the needle plate.

This photo shows the two spools* of thread I am using with the double needle.  Both threads go through the same path until you get to the needle, then you separate them.

This is how the needle looks when my machine has the needle in the default position.  Notice that the left needle is not over the opening in the presser foot.  If I tried to sew with the needle in this position, I would break it for sure!
Now I've got my needle centered, and am ready to sew.  Just to be clear, my needle is in the center position and  my machine is set to do a straight stitch.
Here I have the fabric lined up with a mark near the right edge of my presser foot—one stitching effort, two lines!
Here's why I love to use the needle for hemming casual knit garments.
It is slightly more stretchy than two lines of regular straight stitching, because the bobbin thread zigzags on the back.  This also helps to create a clean finish on the inside of the hem!

Let me know if these pointers helped you or if you have pointers of your own to share.

Sew happy!

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