#dikamakatsaria + [tutorial]

How often do you change your needles?

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I remember hearing once upon a time that you retain more information if you explain a subject to someone else, rather than just reading it. This could be a big lie, kind of like "if the wind changes your face will get stuck that way" or "watermelon seeds will grow in your belly", except it's not mean and won't give children nightmares and I've got to write about something here, right? Especially now that I have followers! Real followers with computers, and keyboards, and pins!

So today we're going to be talking about Needles!

So why needles? Well I have just purchased some gorgeous stretchy Jersey in houndstooth for my dress and some stretchy needles to go with it, but... what's the point? (haha! Pun! I bet you weren't even expecting that and then bam! A pointy pun!) So I thought I'd do a little mini-tutorial / how to guide all about needles. Brace yourself people, it's a long'n.

Why do I need to change my Needle? Well a blunt needle can make your fabric snag or pucker. A needle too big for your fabric acts like a 'cannon ball', and a needle too small / not strong enough for your fabric can snap. Basically wrong needle = possible ruined material. After the amazing effort and love you've put into the fabric, plus the money - why risk it?

How often should I change my Needle? So far I've read you should change your needle every new sewing project, every three spools of bobbin thread, or whenever it 'feels' like you need to. Obviously you might need to change it for the fabric (just like I am with my new super stretchy Jersey). What about you? How often do you change your needles?

What are the parts of the Needle? Um.... the pointy bit and the other bit? Oh, and these ones:

Shank - This is the bit that goes into the machine. It has two sides- a Round Side on the front which has the name and number of the needle, and a Flat Side that goes against the rear of the machine. This makes it super easy to make sure you've got the needle in the machine the right way.

Shaft - Don't think dirty thoughts! Ha! Now you can't help it! The shaft goes from the shank all the way to the point of the needle. The size of the shaft (thickness) determines the size of the needle.

Groove - You can see this running down the front of your needle, this protects the thread like a little cubby hole or super fashionable metal jacket.

Eye - This is where the thread goes! The eye can't be too small for the thread and there's a really easy way to check. Put some thread through the hole, now turn the thread on an angle so it's like a flying fox. Can the needle fall smoothly down the thread? If it gets stuck you might need to use another needle.

Point - Oh you clever cookie I think you've got this! This is the bit that penetrates the fabric and it differs too. I'll get to that in a minute...

Scarf - This is a small indentation on the back side of the needle, just above the eye. It helps pick up the bobbin and consistent stitching. So, the things that affect which needle you want is the size of the shaft, the eye hole, and the point.

How do I know what the sizes mean? There are usually 2 sizes on a needle, one is the European size and the other is American. (Why are there two different systems for everything? Can't we just get along numerically!) Basically the bigger the number, the smaller the needle.

How do I know which type of needle I need, and size?

VIA How often do you change your needles?