My Husband "Subvet" says that when our first son "Sonshine" was born the sun rose on our world, when our second son "Gator" was born the sun laughed and when our daughter "Sugars" was born all the flowers bloomed. That says it all.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."

Your mind is the garden, your
thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds. — William

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sarah's Simple Sewing Secrets.

How to thread a needle with your eyes shut.

Or more accurately, How to thread a needle without looking for the tiny hole.
Yup, it's true. It takes practice but it can be done. And it's darned useful cuz the first thing that most sewers have a hard time with is threading the needle as the eyesight declines.

So, here's what you do. I'll try to get hubby to take a pic during the day to add to this post, it might help. But for now use your imagination and act this out with me.

I must start with a disclaimer. I thread needles left-handed. Always have. There are several things I do south/pawed even though I am right-handed and this is one of them so you may need to reverse the hands.

OK, here we go.

Lay in front of you a needle with a medium hole and a length of thread. Black is good to start with as it is more easily seen.

Hold up both hands.

Pick up the needle in your "right" (non-dominant) hand. Turn the needle so that you can not see the hole, or any part of the hole. Hold with thumb and index finger, bracing with middle finger if needle is long. Hold firmly, you don't want it to shift or turn on you.

Pick up the thread with your "left" (dominant) hand. Hold between thumb and index finger very close to the end. about 1/4 to 3/8 in from end. lick end of thread to stiffen. If there are straggling pieces of thread then cut the end clean. It helps to cut the end of the thread at an angle (about 45 degrees) so there is a point on the top. Again, hold the thread firmly.

Now, lay the middle finger of your "left" hand on top of the index finger of your "right" hand. and the ring finger of your "left" hand on top of the middle finger of your "right" hand. Press the two hands together at the overlapping fingers firmly so that both hands will move as a unit. This is the trick. My hands tend to shake periodically, but I hardly ever have trouble threading needles because when they're resting firmly on each other then if they shake, they do so in unison and it doesn't mess up me finding the hole that I'm not looking at.

Move ONLY your thumb and index finger of the "left" hand forward, putting the thread through the hole in the needle.

Here's a couple of pointers.

Almost all needles have the hole at the very top of the needle so aim your thread just barely below the tip of the needle.

Be sure that you can not see any part of the hole when you look straight at the needle, this will ensure that the hole is directly in front of the thread you are holding.

If you want to look at the hole at first to practice, do not turn the needle to see it, rather turn both hands so that the placement does not change.

Practice doing this many times. You want to teach the placement to your hands till it feels like second nature.


Again, I'll try to get a video of me threading a needle put up later in the week so check back.

Sew a little love in your world this week!


Diane@Diane's Place said...

Believe it or not, as bad as my eyes are I've never had a problem threading a needle. I do something very similar to your method, but a little harder to explain.

Stephanie D said...

I cannot even BEGIN to figure this one out! Holy Cow! Color me clumsy.

Did you know that needles have a front and a back, and if you can't get it in the front, most times you can get it in through the back of the eye?

Oh, and John James makes needles with larger eyes--even quilting needles. They are a little expensive, but a terrific quality.

ellen b. said...

The older I get the harder it is for me to thread a needle. Since I need all the help I can get I'll be back to see that video...

nancy said...

Sounds very good and I Will try it. I'd love to see a picture too, but I think I have it. Thank you for the tips. they are always great.

Linda said...

Okay, I definitely need some video help on this one as I'm having some trouble figuring it out without the visuals! I'm also having a horrible time threading needles these days and let me tell you, that is so freakin' frustrating I can't stand it! I don't know how many times I've had to hand it over to Amanda and ask her to do it.

Ah, old age ... ugh!!

Pen of Jen said...

Well I am glad I watched the video first! This makes sense the need to learn to do without looking. Now with the video, I am off!