All sewing machines have a needle stitch plate that is set over the main workspace where the presser foot and needle are located. One purpose of these plates is to cover the bobbin area of the machine; however, they also serve other helpful purposes. Juki sewing machines like the Juki HZL DX7 include special needle stitch plates designed to help you get great results with all your sewing projects.
What Is the Needle Stitch Plate?
The needle stitch plate found on all sewing machines is the removable metal shield inset into the work surface of your sewing machine, covering the bobbin area. They are held in place by a few screws and usually include a smaller, set-in plate that can be removed to access the bobbin area to replace the thread or clean the machine. The needle plate has a smooth surface for fabric to slide across easily and serves as a guide to help as you sew.
Sewing Guides on the Stitch Plate
Most sewing machines like the Juki HZL DX7 include needle plates that are etched with various markings designed as fabric guides to help you sew straight, even seams. Markings may include everything from measured marks that indicate specific seam allowances to different needle placement lines.
These markings help to set your machine as needed and provide a guide to follow so you can keep your stitching straight. An etched needle stitch plate is set with standard seam allowances as well as markings for wider and narrower allowances. It helps keep your stitching straight more easily than trying to "eyeball" it.
Specialty Needle Stitch Plates
Although Juki sewing machines and most other brands include a standard needle stitch plate with various seam markers etched into them, there are also a few specialty varieties available. If you work with leather, suede, and other sticky fabrics, you can purchase a specialty presser foot and needle plate kit that allows these fabrics to slide easily under the needle.
If you make quilts and the stitch plate included on your machine has only the standard seam guides, you can replace it with one that includes diagonal and other guides that are useful when stitching angular pieces or for free motion stitching. Yet to fit your specific machine, the needle plate must include the correct openings to fit the feed dogs on the machine so they are able to work as intended.
Whether you work with the original needle stitch plate that comes with your Juki HZL DX7 or replace it with a specialized one, this plate can make sewing easier and more precise. For the best results from your Juki sewing machine and to sew crisp, straight seams, it is good to get into the habit of using the guides on the stitch plate.
These plates may not be instrumental to the actual function of the machine; however, they are convenient accessories that are included on most sewing machines and can help you create great projects!