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How-to

How to Thread a Twin Needle | Video

Learn how to set up your sewing machine to use a twin needle.

Threads #183, February/March 2016

Evamarie Gomez and Stephani Miller; Videographer: Gary Junken

Sewing with a twin needle is an easy way to create beautiful embellishments on garments from even the simplest machine stitches.

In this video tutorial, you will learn how to set up your sewing machine to use a twin needle. This includes the process of threading the machine.

For most of us, a twin needle is a utilitarian notion that makes quick, neat work of hemming stretchy knits. Set your machine for a straight stitch, and the needle creates parallel lines of topstitching on the fabric’s right side, and a zigzag stitch on the wrong side. But you’ll discover the twin needle’s decorative potential by experimenting with other stitches.

Find out more in “Twin-Needle Stitching,” Threads #183 (Feb./March 2016), by Gail Patrice Yellen, who shares her techniques for creating innovative designs using this notion.

Insider members can learn additional decorative techniques, in “Working with Twin Needles,” from “Terrific Twin Needle Effects” in Threads #107 (June/July 2003), by Carol Laflin Ahles and the video “Texturizing Fabrics: Pin Tucks with a Twin Needle,” with Threads Contributing Editor Judith Neukam.

Do you use or have you used twin needles in your sewing? If so, what is the favorite decorative detail you’ve created with twin needles?

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  1. CarolBsloft June 25th

    I have been afraid to try any stitch other than a straight stitch. What stitches will work with a twin needle? I have a Brother Embroidery machine, it does many stitches.

  2. User avater snkemp April 30th

    Totally fantastic. I tried it before, but see where I made my mistake. Thank you

  3. StarrMarlene April 30th

    My Pfaff machine has a further setting for twin needle sewing. It works without using the setting, but not well; it woks much better when I engage that setting. Also, you need to sew a bit slower than normal as the bobbin thread has a lot of extra work to do to keep up with the two needles. Back stitching does not look nice so just use a pencil or your stylus to pull the threads longer before you cut them, then pull them to the wrong side and tie off.

  4. User avater KatMW March 25th

    Your video tutorials are always informative and on point. No excess rambling. Way to go!

  5. beautifullion221 March 23rd

    That was very good. I always had troubles with twin needles and never used them in fear I will mess something up. Now I will know how to do it.

  6. user-5882581 March 7th

    I have never used a twin needle in the past,but I purchased t.need for my new machine.I can't wait to have a free day to try out all the functions!

  7. User avater GmaCma February 10th

    I teach sewing at 4-H workshops and we love to put in hems with the twin needles on knits, particularly on t-shirt sleeve hems and at neckline. Great way to give stretch that launders well.

    I did not know until this video to place only 1 thread in the last thread guide - we have always placed them both there but can't wait to try this.

  8. tcsewhat February 6th

    also read your machine manual. some brans require that one specific thread go in the right needle and the other in the left needle. Check to be sure.

  9. User avater eatsallinsects February 2nd

    I would like to see instructions for threading a triple needle.

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