Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Tutorial Tuesday: Needle Guide & How To Use Twin Needles

Today's tutorial focuses on a very important aspect of sewing - choosing the correct needle!

Having the right needle and knowing how to use it will take your projects to the next level so whether you are a beginner or an expert sewist, this is something everyone should know!

There are loads of great guides and tutorials about needles, we've selected a few of our favourites below, aswell as on our Pinterest Page

Guide to Sewing Machine Needles

The Sewing Directory has a great general guide HERE written by Ann Haughton.

Threads Magazine has a more detailed guide HERE, showing all the different types of needles and also including troubleshooting tips for using them.

The main things to remember when sewing with knits on a standard machine are to use a stretch needle or ballpoint/jersey needle.  Both can be used for knits, the main differences are as follows - 

Stretch Needles - Have a rounded end (slightly less than the ballpoint needle) to penetrate between the fabric threads, also has a deeper "scarf" (indentation that allows a longer thread loop to form to prevent missed stitches).  Generally used for more stretchy knit fabrics like lycra, cotton lycra etc. 

Ballpoint/Jersey Needles -  Have a more rounded end to penetrate between the fabric threads. Generally used for standard knit fabrics like Cotton Jersey, Ponte, Hacci, French Terry etc.

Kennis from Itch to Stitch has done a very interesting blog, experimenting with both types of needles on various fabrics.  You can see the article HERE, (and her lovely patterns HERE!)

It is always wise to test your needle on a scrap of fabric before starting your project and change it if it isn't working.  

It's also advisable to replace your needle after 4-6 hours of sewing or after each project is finished.  This may sound excessive, but your needle is the most important part of your sewing machine so a new one will always make sewing easier and give you better results!

Sewing with a Twin Needle

If you don't own an overlocker, twin needles are a great way to sew hems, sleeves and even necklines, using a regular sewing machine. 

They are cheap, simple to use, and give a professional RTW finish.  You can use the same colour for both threads or use 2 different threads to make a feature of your hem/sleeve/neckline.

Again, when sewing with knits, always use a Stretch or Ballpoint/Jersey twin needle .

Maria Denmark has an excellent guide to using twin needles HERE.  

Maria shows how to get your twin needle set up perfectly with the correct tension and stretch.
She then shows you how to achieve a perfect finish using interfacing on the hem.

There is also a fantastic video tutorial for using twin needles by Easy Sewing For Beginners HERE which guides you through setting up your needle, threading, and sewing.

So now you have all the information you need to make those perfect hems, sleeves and necklines!
Don't forget that our January Sale is now on, with 20% off all fabrics and lots of additional sale fabrics reduced by up to 60%!!! The sale runs until Sunday 8th so grab a bargain quick!  Below are just a few of the many fabrics on sale - 

For more ideas, patterns and tutorials, follow Girl Charlee's board on Pinterest.
Don't forget to sign up for our email updates to keep up to date with all our New Fabrics, Sales, Giveaways and all our Knitty News!  Click HERE to sign up! 

Happy Sewing!
~ Mark & The Girl Charlee Team

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