One of the smallest and one of the most important accessories/parts of your sewing ensemble is your sewing machine needle.
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I ran across a blog post by It’s Just Me entitled Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread over the weekend that made me realize that not everyone knows how important it is to choose the right needle for the job and to change your needle OFTEN! Charlie of qubeequilts, author of It’s Just Me, is a quilter and quilt designer who has some great information and sources to help you decide when to part with that tiny little sword so you are not clubbing your fabric to death :-)

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I learned my lesson when I first started doing alterations, 27 years ago. It was literally a magical moment when I realized how much easier it was to sew when my need was fresh. Silly you say ~ if you know, it seems silly ~ if you don’t, change that one thing and you’ll see! My needle of choice, Schmetz, has a very informative guide that tells you everything you have ever wanted to know about machine needles and were afraid to ask :-)

I think every seamstress will have their “go to” needles in terms of size and type ~ based on the kind of sewing they do and how much time they are at their machines. Do I change my needles often? A resounding YES!   Do you?

ready, set, go change your needle!  ((hugs)) rosie

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7 Responses to Tool Time

  1. rosie says:

    Thanks JoonToons :-) I love your successful needle changing story!

  2. Aubrey says:

    One thing that helps me is, whenever I leave my sewing area I take out ALL the needles in every machine. That way I never forget to change out the needle at the start of a new project. :)

    • rosie says:

      That’s a great idea, Aubrey! That would take the mystery out of it, too, for people who don’t sew as much as we do. When you finish a project before you put away your machine ~ through away the needle.

  3. JoonToons says:

    for some reason, i was MEANT to read this post first thing this morning.

    i’m somewhat okay about changing my needles usually, but have slacked lately due to not getting enough sewing time.

    so as i sat down at my machine this morning, i thought about your post, pulled out the needle and ran it over my finger. i could actually FEEL a tiny little shredded metal bit on one side of the tip! that can’t be good for any fabric.
    so i started fresh with a new needle and admired how perfect the stitches look.

    half an hour later, my grandmother was at the door with a sad look in her face and an even sadder looking skirt in her hands. “i need a seamstress” she said. thing is, she’s a waaaaaaay better seamstress than i’ll ever be.
    she showed me her sad attempt at taking in that skirt along the sides. the stitches looked awful and were already coming apart. had it not been for the “fresh needle!” being on my mind this morning, i would’ve gone and checked her machine and done all sortsa things to try and help her. but instead i said, “try a fresh needle! i should have some more microfiber needles here. those should work better.” and of course, it did the trick.

    apparently i really impressed her. which i think is hilarious and awesome and i have YOU to thank for it.

    long story short, always start with a fresh needle AND make sure you use the right KIND of needle for each different type of fabric. ;)

  4. Paula L. says:

    This is very useful information! I tend to forget to change the needle so thanks for the reminder.

  5. Anne says:

    My husband got his start in life as a sewing machine mechanic for Singer, back when they still had in-home service and area service centers–long time ago. He was later a mechanic for a large, industrial producer of rainwear and sportswear here in Baltimore. His advice? Change the needle after every garment. If it’s a big project, change it at least halfway through. He can still relate any number of stories about encountering needles that had been in use for years and years, causing troubles as they went. And whatever brand you use, always pick the correct needle for the fabric you’re using.