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February 2016

Hello <<First Name>> 

How often do you change the needle in your sewing machine?
Have you ever? 

So many problems such as skipped stitches, clunks and general sewing machine misbehaviour can be fixed simply by changing your needle.  They do dull with use over time and should be changed every 10 or so hours of sewing (unless you're like me and snap them more often than that... oops to sewing too many layers at once).  So this issue of the newsletter I'll take you through the different types of needles, what the numbers means and how to change it.  Scroll down to read more.

Also I would love your help....  I've put together a small 10 question customer survey to get to know you all a little better.  It's very simple; about if you can sew, what sorts of things you enjoy (or have aspirations) to make and where else you like to hang out online.  If you'd like to help me out, you can find the survey....

Lastly in this issue is the release of One Thimble Issue 10.  Wahooo!  I gave you a peek last newsletter of the Clubhouse Cushion I contributed but can now show you the full thing.  It's a giant floor pillow perfect for the cubby or teens bedroom.  Scroll down to see.

Until next time,
Happy Sewing, ♥ Sarah x

Sewing Machine Needles


Types of Sewing Machine Needles

You wouldn't think there would be a great deal of difference in such a small object but there are subtle differences in the needles that make them more suitable for different fabrics and can literally make or break your stitching.  For example, a sharp needle pierces woven fabrics as it sews where a ballpoint or stretch needle spreads and moves the knit fibres so you don't end up with any ladders; denim needles are nice and thick; leather needles have a sharpened eye so it can more easily pierce the hide and a Universal needle has a slightly rounded point and is ideal for everyday sewing projects.

What Do Those Numbers Mean?

Can you see on the image above the numbers 80/12 or 100/16?  This is the standard measure for sizing needles.  That number gives you the gauge or width of the metal shank.  The smaller the number, the thinner the needle.  Finner needles are more suited for lighter weight fabrics.  The reason there's two numbers is that one number is metric(70, 80, 90) and one imperial (9, 10, 11).

When to Change Your Needle

If you are starting to get tangled a lot or drop stitches then changing your needle is a good first fix to see if that sorts it out.

As a rule of thumb, it is best to change your needle every 10 hours of sewing or every second project.  Replace damaged needles as soon as possible to reduce the risk of nicking and damaging your bobbin case as it swings past.   If you do actually snap a needle, this can throw your machine’s timing out in which case you'll need to get it professionally serviced (yes, I’m speaking from experience ~)

How to Change Your Needle

Step 1: Hold the needle with your left hand and undo the screw at the top of the needle clamp with your right hand.  You may have a tool like this one or a screw driver that came with your machine to help you with this task.  Holding the needle stops it from dropping down inside your machine.
Step 2: Remove the needle by pulling down and away from the clamp.
Step 3: Insert the new needle with the flattened edge towards the back of the sewing machine.  Push the new needle up inside the needle clamp as high as it will go.
Step 4: Use your fingers initially and then your tool of choice to tighten the needle clamp screw.  The tighter you can make this, the better.  A loose clamp may leave the needle down in the fabric you are sewing.
Step 5: Re-thread your needle, pushing the thread from front to back.  Discard your old needle safely.  All done, you’re now ready for sewing.
As I mentioned above, I'd really like to learn more about you.  
Do you want to learn how to sew?  What inspires your sewing journey?

I've put together a series of 10 quick questions which I'd love you, as a newsletter reader, to complete.  It shouldn't take very long, maybe 10 minutes.

It doesn't matter if you've never actually bought anything from me in the past, just having your input as part of my wider online community is valuable.

Thank you x   Complete the Survey

One Thimble - Issue 10

It's finally released and I'm thrilled to part of the contributing pattern writers.  For just A$25, you get the following patterns and tutorials (which is really good value considering most indi PDFs are about $10 each).  You can purchase the PDF patterns individually but you have to buy the magazine to see the articles.

You will receive the following PDF patterns/tutorials:
– Willow Dress (size 2-10)
– Claudia Dress (size 2-10)
– Willow Shirt (size 4-14 years)
– Jolie Skirt (size 12 months – 14years)
– Playproof Dungarees (size 2-16)
– Enid Slouch Beanie (size 12 months – adult)
Clubhouse Cushion -  this one is ME!! 
– Adventure Case
– Treasure Map Embroidery *
– Adventure Flags
– Pretend Play Adventure Kit *
*Requires handsewing 

It ALSO has the following articles & tutorials:

– How to install a prong back turn lock
– How to sew with faux fur
– All about interfacing
– Results of Katie’s pre-washing experiments
– How to make a Reverse Applique Pillow
– How to make a reusable colouring in mat
– How to pattern hack the Bonfire jacket to a cardigan
– Instagram Marketing 101
– Time Management Tips
– Trending fabrics and much more

If you’d like a closer look  at what’s included you can check out the Sneak Peek Magazine HERE and if you'd like to purchase a digital copy of One Thimble Issue 10 please click HERE  or on the image above **

I'll have a special week of 'Meet the Contributor' on the OT blog in early April with a video tutorial, an interview and a bonus additional pattern. Sqeeeeee :D 

** This is my affiliate link meaning that you support me just a little while also supporting One Thimble.  

Sewing Needle Inspiration & Tutorials


Have you ever wondered how they make sewing machine needles?  Here's a 9 minute video showing you exactly that  (it is the English after 30 second mark).  
Watch it here - SCHMETZ Sewing Machine Needles - The Making of a Needle

Before you throw an already blunt needle away, use it to perforate paper.  Use a straight stitch to make perforations you tear along or fancy your invites up with a decorate stitch.  Tutorial of how to do this by Oh SO Beautiful Paper.  Read Tutorial..
And talking of sewing paper, I love this idea by Margaret of Rainy Day Colors.  Make sure that you swap back to a nice sharp needle when you return to sewing fabric.
Twin needles give a professional finish to the hems of your knitted garments.  Melissa over at Melly Sews has a great tutorial here....  Read More

Karen of Sew What's New has made herself a needle organiser that keeps both needles and information organised.  I love the little slip pockets she's included.  Find out exactly what she did here...  Read More  
About Sarah

Hi!  I'm excited that you've subscribed to my newsletter and even more that you've made it all the way to the bottom.  

It's my goal to teach you how to sew, no matter where you live. To inspire others to drag out their sewing machines and make it come to life.  I want you to share that tingly feeling of pride in saying "thank you I made it myself". 

I live on a wheat and sheep farm in the Western Australian Wheatbelt region.  When I finally pull myself out from behind my sewing machine, you’ll find me tending a sadly neglected garden with a G&T in hand while the kids bounce on the trampoline. I may also be found occasionally in the sheep yards helping my farmer husband.
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