A few days ago I finally got the new stitch plate for my sewing machine.
As you can see on the picture there is a difference in the hole for the needle.
The standard plate to the right and the new straight stitch plate to the left.
It is called a stitch plate and as the name says you can only make straight stitches with it.
On the standard plate the needle hole is a wide slot and it gives you the option to ZigZag or offset the needle to the side. On the straight stitch plate there is only a small centered hole and that is it.
The reason I got the new plate is the wide slot can and often creates problems in thin fabric especially when sewing close to the fabric edge. The fabric often get pulled down into the slot and then seam and the general appearance wonít be as good as it could be. On my machine (Pfaff Select 3.0) it can happen regardless of the needle size settings and so on but not always.
So far I have only made a few tests but I can see and feel the difference. I wish I got it a long time ago because it does make a difference.
Most standard presser feet also have the wide slot and it can also create problems sometimes so I also got a matching presser foot with a small hole. I think this one is called a quilt foot and besides the small hole it has the benefit of markings so you know when to start and stop ( not so easy with a standard foot).
You will see a similar setup on some industrial machines and my guess is they use it for the same reasons.
I wonít miss the ZigZag option because I almost never use it anyway but the needle offset is something I will have to learn to live without but itís a small price to pay for the benefits I got but I can change plate and foot in 1 minute if I want to.
It will cost you a needle if you forget it and try to adjust the machine so I have placed a strip of masking tape over the buttons and dials just in case I forget.
Its worth to take a look in your accessory box to see if you by chance already got it. Its ďfreeĒ on some old machines you get just by rotating the stitch plate
It isnít free to get these items so if you only intent to sew a few DIY project itís a bit expensive and likewise if you donít have the problem.