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Discovered a great new tip !

Susan -homedecsewing | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi Everybody, I just had to tear myself away from my machine to share  this new discovery with you all. I’m pretty good at threading needles, but lately its been getting a bit frustrating that my vision isn’t what it used to be so I just had a  great idea, so simple I can’t believe that I never thought of it before. When changing a machine needle, I threaded it BEFORE putting it in the machine ! What an easier solution than getting up under the machine trying to see that little hole . Even using a needle threader is easier doing it before installing it into the machine . Hope someone besides me thinks this is a good idea. Such a little thing, yet I was so thrilled I had to tell someone. So there you have it. Save the applause please, lol .love you guys, Susan


  1. BernaWeaves | | #1

    Great idea!

    I just bought a new machine that threads the needle for you.  I LOVE IT.  Worth the entire price of the machine.  I didn't even know they did that until I took a class and my teacher showed me.



    1. katina | | #2

      Hello Berna

      May we ask what this machine is? Sounds fabulous


      1. BernaWeaves | | #7

        I bought a Janome.  However, Janome makes a lot of the other brands out there, too.  Plus, other brands not made by Janome have the same auto threading feature.

        The way I found out was, I was taking a sewing class, and one of the ladies in the class was having a hard time threading her needle.  The teacher walked over and said, "Why don't you just use the automatic needle threader on the machine?"  She didn't even know it was there or how it worked.  The teacher showed her, and we all looked over her shoulder.  I pretty much said, "Wow!  I'm buying a new machine."  Of course, my other two machines are Singer's from 1902 and 1930, so my new machine does lots of cool stuff that the old ones can't do.  I actually enjoy sewing now.

        I'd recommend walking into a Sewing Machine dealer and just asking them to show you how the auto needle threader works as it's easier to understand the instructions in the manual if someone shows you first.  You might find out that your machine already has this feature and you didn't know it.


        Edited 6/18/2008 8:15 am ET by BernaWeaves

        1. katina | | #8

          Berna, thanks for this. No, I certainly don't have a threader in my machine, and will check out the Janome when I can.

          I've been meaning to ask you about your weaving and knitting - whether you use knitting yarn in your woven fabric, and then use some of the yarn in knitted, co-ordinating pieces? The possibilities are very exciting. I expect a should start another discussion.


          1. BernaWeaves | | #9

            No, I don't use knitting yarn in my weaving.   I did once, early on, and it was a disaster.  Knitting yarn is designed to be elastic, and weaving yarn is designed NOT to stretch, so you can keep it under tension while you weave.  If you've ever knitted with a non-elastic yarn (like linen or many cottons) you know how hard it is to knit with.  Well, if you try to weave with bouncy stretchy knitting yarn, you can't get even tension or a good shed (the opening needed to throw the shuttle through). 

            Also, I don't like the look of knitting and weaving with the same yarn.  Because the texture of the cloth isn't the same, the colors end up looking off, even if it's the same dye lot.  About twenty years ago there was a fad for woven skirts with matching knitted tops, and I thought they looked dowdy back then, so I've never tried to replicate that look.  I prefer items that go together, but don't match.  It looks more modern.  I find that if everything you wear looks handmade, it's just too much.  I prefer to have one fantastic handmade item, and then the rest storebought as a background.  (That doesn't mean that other items have to be storebought, they just have to look normal, if you know what I mean.)


          2. katina | | #10

            Amazing what you learn here. I've seen so many scarves and shawls woven with knitting yarns in the weft, that it never occurred to me that the yarns used are different. Makes sense though. I ask because I've seen some gorgeous jackets in Italy with cuffs and shawl collars handknitted in yarn that matches the woven fabric body of the item. I wonder if the matching yarn WAS the same, or if it was spun differently? Of course, the price of these was way out of my budget!

            Thanks - Katina

          3. fiberfan | | #14

            I have woven with knitting yarns with no problems.  My favorite shawl is woven from Brownsheep's Naturespun fingering weight yarn.   This page on my web site has a picture of the warp, a closeup of the fabric and a picture of one end of the shawl. 


          4. katina | | #20

            Joanne, that's truly lovely. Thanks very much for sharing.


        2. sewchris703 | | #12

          When I bought my "new" Kenmore, it came with a needle threader.  I had had it for a couple of years before realizing it.  And that's when I found out that it was broken.  But I've never missed it.  It's just than now when I thread needles (either machine or hand), I have to take my glasses off.  Sometimes, I get lucky and can thread the needle with my glasses on.  Most of the time, I can thread the serger with my glasses on.  I think it's because I lean back away from it instead of toward the machine.


          1. BernaWeaves | | #13

            I think Janome makes the Kenmore's now.

          2. jjgg | | #16

            I taught a class recently where one of the students had a (Brother) machine that automatically threaded the machine and needle. We needed to use a twin needle for this class, no one could figure out how to manually thread the machine to use the twin needle!Many of the newer machines come with a needle threader, they are great to use ( but don't work well for a small needle)

          3. sewchris703 | | #17

            Yes, they do.  At least, they make some of the Kenmores.


          4. GailAnn | | #28

            Good to know that.   Gail

    2. moira | | #5

      I don't know if you also have the Bernina Aurora which has a needle threader - at first I thought it might be a gimmick but once I figured out how to use it, I realised how valuable it is. But the idea of threading before inserting the needle is a very good second best.

      1. Stillsewing | | #6

        Threading a needle is always a pain! Even when my eyesight was A1, I always seemed to use a needle with too small a hole when hand sewing and didn't have the patience to thread it without a lot of under the brreath comments. Later like you I was often driven to removing the needle from the sewing machine to thread it. Now however I have no problems since I bought a fantastic sewing machine in 1995 which threads the needle for me. It took a while to get used to it -- maybe a day -- and i haven't looked back since. It's a PFAFF 7550, now obselete but a brilliant machine.

    3. autumn | | #15

      I bought my daughter a cheap Singer at Target. It works fine,and has the automatic needle threader, but I can't figure out how to work the !#$%^ thing.

      1. BernaWeaves | | #18

        Autumn:  Try this:



        I just searched on GOOGLE for "automatic needle threader on sewing machines" and this little tutorial for Singer showed up right after the patent information.

        Just as a comment, you won't be able to see the little hook that goes through the eye of the needle, but you don't need to.  You push the needle threader down, hook the yarn around the left, bring it to the right and release the threader and the yarn at the same time.  If it doesn't thread, then you probably have raised or lowered the needle to the wrong position.  Once you get it right, you get it, and it's great.  It's kinda like riding a bicycle.  Once you get your balance, you never forget how it feels.


        Edited 6/18/2008 2:50 pm ET by BernaWeaves

        1. autumn | | #19

          Thanks, I'll try that. Sounds like more trouble than threading it the old fashioned way. When I got so I could not see the needle eye, I had cataract surgery and that solved the problem.

          1. BernaWeaves | | #23



            No, it's super easy.  They just show you every step in the video to try and be thorough, but when you actually do it, it goes zip and it's done.


          2. autumn | | #24

            Thanks. I looked at the video and it looks very clear. I forwarded the web site address to my daughter, whose machine it is.

        2. User avater
          JunkQueen | | #21

          Thankfully, on my machine, I have only to pull the thread to the left, thus through the last thread guide, and punch a button for the automatic threader to do it magical deed. Before having this machine, I kept a cut strip of white index card about 1"x2" to slip behind the eye of the needle so I could see it better when I got ready to thread it. I still use it for my serger needles, and I also use the magnifying visor for that, twin needles, and hand needles.

  2. katina | | #3

    Thunderous applause coming your way! Thanks for this.


  3. rekha | | #4

    Bravo. This will also slow down cervical spondylitis

  4. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #11

    Thank you, my eyes thank you, my back thanks you.  Sometimes the simplest answer is right in front of us:)   Cathy

  5. dressed2atee | | #22

    wow, never thought of that!  I have a threader but it doesn't always work with deco tread, I'll give your idea a try next time, thanks

  6. woggy | | #25

    Years and years ago I read a tip in a sewing magazine that a sewer shared from her grandmother:Lick your thumb nail of the hand not putting the thread into the needle. Put this thumb (with the licked nail facing the eye of needle) behind the eye of the needle and put the thread up to the eye of the needle - somehow, someway the thread is drawn through the eye of the needle and it is threaded!Works like a charm and I have been doing it ever since I read that tip.Woggy

    1. Susan -homedecsewing | | #26

      Its 11:40p.m. or I'd give er a go, lol. I love that one. just got done picking the hem out of some sheer drapery panels, now to beddy by I must go!

    2. rekha | | #27

      What you are doing by wetting the nail is to create surface tension. The moment the thread exits from the needle, it gets wet and drawn out

    3. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #29

      This is a wonderful tip that I had never heard! Yesterday I was struggling threading a sharps, so I stuck it in my pin cushion, licked my left thumbnail and proceeded as you mentioned in threading a machine needle. Viola! Instant success. Thank you.

  7. jeanfm | | #30

    Now a days most new machines do have needle threaders but your idea is a great alternative for those who don't. Another suggestion that no one has mentioned is to moisten the eye of the needle instead of the thread. If you are a consummate thread 'licker', moisten the thread BEFORE you trim the end. Good luck Jean

    1. Susan -homedecsewing | | #31

      good suggestions.  I love how we over think everything, don't you !  Happy Sewing   Susan

  8. NewHampshireRobin | | #32

    As a forty something, I think that's GREAT idea - even when you aren't changing the needle.Thank you

  9. Tnuctip | | #33

    I have a Husqvarna Quilt Designer with its own threader, a Janome Coverstitch (3 needles to deal with) and a Babylock serger (auto looper threading - bliss!). 

    The Janome came with a hand held threader that is excellent, and is available seperately. It has a retracted forked metal tongue that goes through the eye when you slide the threader down the needle and a small hook on the handle to catch and pull the thread loop through.  You dont have to be able to see the eye to use this either.

    Worth a look before getting a new machine.

    Incidentally, I've had a computerised machine for 3 years and one of the first things I did was to cancel lots of the auto functions - foot lifts when needle down,  and auto foot lifts when you pause, and I can't manually adjust tension anymore- so new machine have drawbacks as well as advantages.

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