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Stitch Width & Needle Position Adjustments - Parts of a Sewing Machine

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Stitch width and needle position adjustment on A Singer 237

Stitch Width adjustment on a Singer Fashion Mate Model 237

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

The Purpose of Stitch Width Adjustments:


  • Stitch width adjustments allow you to vary the width of the stitch. This adjustment became available with zigzag capabilities being built into sewing machines.

  • The maximum width available varies with the sewing machine. Refer to your sewing machine manual and practice making adjustment on a scrap of fabric before sewing on your project.

Using Stitch Width Adjustments for Needle Position:


  • Some sewing machines offer you left, right and center needle positions, but you can adjust those settings by making adjustments in the stitch width.

  • Most electronic machines have needle position built in to the stitch width adjustment. Adjusting the stitch width changes the needle position on a straight stitch. Where the needle falls in alignment with the presser foot changes with the stitch width adjustment.

  • Experiment with needle position when you are setting seam guides.

Decorative Stitching with Stitch Width Adjustments:


  • Decorative stitches take on a drastically different look by making the stitches wider. Experiment on scrap material and always check your sewing machine manual to know your sewing machine options.
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