4 November 2015

Five Tips for Threading a Sewing Machine Needle

Tips for Threading a Sewing Machine Needle - Tilly and the Buttons

Tips for Threading a Sewing Machine Needle - Tilly and the Buttons

When you’re itching to get on and sew, the last thing you want to do is fall at the first hurdle – threading the sewing machine needle!

Maybe you're lucky enough to be able to thread a needle with your eyes closed, but many people find it tricky – particularly if your eye sight isn’t top notch. In fact, it’s one of those things students on our Make Friends with a Sewing Machine class often need help with. So today I thought I’d share some tips on threading a needle with ease...

Tips for Threading a Sewing Machine Needle - Tilly and the Buttons

1) Trim the thread end

Your thread may well have fluffy bits at the end that are getting in the way when you try to insert it through the eye of the needle. Grab a pair of scissors and snip off the end - if you cut at an angle it'll be even easier to get it through the tiny hole.

Also - lick it! Yeah I know it sounds gross, but we’ve all done it, non? Licking your finger and tightly pressing the end of the thread with your wet finger and thumb can help seal any fraying ends of thread. Sssshhhh!

2) Shed some light on the situation

The eye of the needle is teeny tiny – trying to get thread through it in a dim or shadowy room is really hard. Get some extra light with a desk lamp or the torch function on your phone. Of course you can always use the light of your sewing machine too – just be extra careful you don’t accidentally start sewing when the machine is on!

Tips for Threading a Sewing Machine Needle - Tilly and the Buttons

3) Highlight the eye of the needle

Place your finger behind the eye of the needle and you should find it easier to see exactly where you’re trying to insert the thread.

Five Tips for Threading a Sewing Machine Needle - Tilly and the Buttons

4) Hold it close

Hold the thread as close to the end as you can while still having a few mm to insert through the needle. That way you'll have a lot more control over getting it in the right place than if you are trying to thread a couple of centimetres.

Tips for Threading a Sewing Machine Needle - Tilly and the Buttons

5) Use an automatic needle threader

If all else fails, there are gadgets! Many sewing machines have an automatic needle threader attachment included. Check your sewing machine manual in case yours works a little differently, but on our Janome DKS100 machines what you do is this... Pull down the little lever to the left of the needle as far as it will go - if you look closely, you should now see a teeny little hooked wire through the eye of the needle. Wrap the thread to the left and under the plastic hook in the middle, pull it to the right just in front of the needle, hooking it into the little wire. If you let go of the lever on the left - or push it up - the wire should pull a big loop of thread through the eye of the needle.

If you don't have this on your machine, or if the little wire breaks (as they can do easily), you can try out a separate needle threader, such as this one (I haven't tried it myself, it just looks good).

Tips for Threading a Sewing Machine Needle - Tilly and the Buttons

Remember to check that the thread is going from front to back through the needle and that it isn't twisted.

I hope you found this helpful! Do you have any tips on threading a sewing machine needle?

If you liked this post, you may also like Common Sewing Machine Mistakes and How to Fix Them

8 comments:

  1. I have no problem threading the needle. What I struggle with is that dumb bar it has to go through just above the needle. Any tips for that? (I have a Brother, if that makes a difference.)

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  2. My favorite trick is to put a piece of white paper (any scrap will do) under the pressure foot while threading. It makes the area much lighter.

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  3. Big thumbed me takes off the presser foot to get more room/light. When that fails, I have taken the needle off the machine to thread it. The Hero threading tool works really well, but not for the small gauge needles.

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  4. You can hold a small piece of paper behind the needle (as far back as you can hold it, not touching the needle). It makes the needle hold much more visible. That said, I totally love that my new machine has an automatic needle threader.

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  5. When I want to change the thread color say from red to black I keep the needle (and the machine threaded) with the red thread and cut the thread close to the spool. Remove the red spool and replace it with the black. Tie the leftover red and new black together. Going back to the needle I pull on the red thread until the small black and red knot comes through the eye of the needle. Hope that makes sense.

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  6. I have a bunch of gadgets to help with this problem, so what do I do, pull my Ott light down and thread as I have before my automatic threader was broke by a repair person. The white card trick is a very good one and I keep a piece of cardboard from a trim packet for this reason but never think when I am working in the "zone".

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  7. I have a bunch of gadgets to help with this problem, so what do I do, pull my Ott light down and thread as I have before my automatic threader was broke by a repair person. The white card trick is a very good one and I keep a piece of cardboard from a trim packet for this reason but never think when I am working in the "zone".

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  8. I had fixed my problem, thank you for the tips.

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