28 Oct 2008, 12:41am
Sewing Machines
by Tom


Turning your zig-zag machine into a straight stitch machine.

This could not be easier. You only need two accessories:

1. A straight stitch needle plate.
2. A straight stitch presser foot.

Zig-zag setup on left, straight stitch setup on right

Zig-zag setup on left, straight stitch setup on right

I found them on eBay for my machine, actually for a slightly later model, but they both use the same accessories. My machine is a 337 as I have mentioned before, the parts I got are for a 348.

Remove the zig-zag plate

Remove the zig-zag plate

It is only a matter of removing the zig-zag presser foot, pulling open the bobbin cover, and removing the zig-zag needle plate, then installing the straight stitch plate and foot in the opposite order. Of course if you need to use zig-zag stitches you have to change things back to the zig-zag configuration.

Straight stitch plate and foot installed

Straight stitch plate and foot installed

Does it make much difference? I found the stitches are straighter, lacking that slightly slanted look, and the material does not get pulled slightly into the needle hole. As a result the machine seems to sew more smoothly.

18 May 2010, 5:23am
by Glenn Jacobs


And here I moved heaven and earth to return a nice second-hand Singer back into a zig-zag.

I bought a zig-zag foot. No problem.

I could not find the needle plate, but I bought a tiny “cobalt” drill bit. With patience and oil, I was able to drill the needle plate to zig zag configuration and grind the burrs down with a emery board.

And, you are right, the stitches do not look quite right, and any thin cloth gets pulled down into the needle slot.

I assume you had a zig-zag machine without the zig-zag plate. I say that because it is not just the plate and foot that makes a zig-zag machine, the machine has to move the needle left and right for alternate stitches as well. However, since 80-90% of sewing is straight stitching, it is worthwhile having the straight stitch plate and foot for a zig-zag machine.

In my case I have the White straight stitch machine, as well.

Tom, I noticed you stated the changes resulted in a straighter stitch, lacking that slightly slanted look. What would the presser foot & plate have to do with the straightness of the stitch… isn’t that more of a mechanical issue?

The straight stitch plate results in a straighter stitch because the needle and thread can not pull the fabric as far into the smaller opening in the plate as they can with the larger opening in the zigzag plate. The less the fabric moves the straighter the stitch, it is as simple as that.

And of course that is a mechanical issue, but not in the way you were thinking.

I have a singer 348. It only has the zig zag cam disc and metal plate. I want to do straight stitching with it. I can get a straight plate and foot for it - do I also need a straight stitch cam disc?

OK, first your machine can do straight stitching as is. Changing the foot and plate will allow it to do slightly neater straight stitching. There is no straight stitch cam, you just set the existing cams to neutral (0).

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