How To Change Needle Position On Sewing Machine


It is important to know how to change the needle position on a sewing machine. Not only can it improve the quality of the stitch, but it can also help to avoid jams and malfunction of the machine. It can also save time and energy when threading a machine and ensure the occasional stitch doesn’t end up in an awkward place. Here, we will explain in detail the steps required to change the needle position on a sewing machine.

What is Needle Position?

The needle position refers to the angle and direction of the needle inside a sewing machine. The angle of the needle helps to determine where stitches will be placed when sewing. When you feed the material through the machine, the needle goes through the material, ends up at the bottom, and then moves back up to the top, creating a stitch. Depending on the position of the needle, the stitch will either be placed right on the edge of the material or inside an inch or two. This allows for more precise sewing of more intricate details such as binding, top-stitching, and hems.

Positioning the Needle

To change the position of the needle on a sewing machine, begin by removing the bobbin from the machine and turning off the power. Then, place the bobbin back on the left side of the machine and take off the needle plate in order to gain access to the needle. This can normally be done by loosening two screws located on either side of the needle plate. Take the old needle out of the needle clamp and insert the new needle. Make sure it is placed securely in the clamp and that it is positioned at the right angle.

Adjusting the Needleplate

Next, adjust the needle plate by spinning the tension dial located on the right side of the machine. Turning this dial clockwise should bring the needle a little higher and counterclockwise should bring the needle a little lower. Test the position of the needle after each rotation of the dial, stop when you have reached your desired position. You may need to adjust the needle a few times until it is in the right position and tension is consistent throughout the sewing project.

Securing the Needleplate

Once the needle is adjusted, secure the needle plate and the needle. To do this, turn the machine back on and run the machine for a few seconds to make sure that the needle’s position is correct. Once you are confident with the position, turn off the machine and tighten the screws. Make sure that the screws are tightened securely and that the needle plate is secure and in place before continuing with your sewing project.

Threading the Bobbin

Once the needle is in the correct position, it is time to thread the bobbin. The bobbin thread is used to create the understitch, and getting the bobbin correctly threaded can help ensure good stitch quality. If the bobbin is not correctly threaded, the stitches may be loose or too tight. To thread the bobbin, start by removing the bobbin cover and installing a new one if necessary. Then, thread the machine with the upper thread and pull the thread through the bobbin. Once the bobbin is threaded, replace the bobbin cover and rearrange the tension.


Changing the position of the needle on a sewing machine is an important step for improving the quality of your stitching. Taking the time to correctly adjust the needle and correctly thread the bobbin will go a long way in helping to avoid issues such as thread tangling and jams. Additionally, adjusting the needle plate should help create more accurate stitching, which in turn can reduce the amount of time needed to complete a sewing project.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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