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Guide to Understanding Sewing Machine Needle Position

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What is Sewing Machine Needle Position
A photo showing three needle positions.

Sewing Machine Needle Positions

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
You've had a sewing machine for years and it's time to move to a new machine. It seemed super when the dealer shows the machine, until you go to actually sew and the pressure foot that you're used to as a guide isn't with the machine. The dealer showed you that your new machine has many needle positions. Those needle positions replace that machine foot and give you more control... even if it takes time to adjust to the change, it's worth it!

If your machine has zigzag capabilities, it most likely has needle position adjustments. The photo shows three positions. Most new sewing machines offer more than shown here.

The needle position option allows you to use guides on your presser feet and adjust the position of the sewing machine needle, to have the stitching placed exactly where you want it.

On almost all machines, using a straight stitch and changing the width of a zig zag stitch on the machine allows you to sew a straight stitch with the needle position changed. Align the machine foot where you want it and change the "zig zag width" to gain the stitching line that you want.

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