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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Twin Needles 101 ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Twin Needles 101
Start at the beginning; please speak slowly LOL!
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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KS USA
Member since 12/13/08
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Date: 5/15/12 5:37 PM

I've read a lot of the threads on getting good results with hemming knits using twin needles... but they all start with the assumption that you have the slightest idea what you're doing!

I think I understand the last half of the process... but I have absolutely no idea how to get started. I have a needle (one came with my first machine), I have two lovely spool pins... and now what?

1.) How do you thread the machine? I think I heard once that the thread has to come off the spools in opposite directions; is this true? Do the two threads follow the same thread path and diverge only at the point of threading the needle? Or are they supposed to go on either side of the tension disks? (And how can you tell?)

2.) I don't even know enough to come up with a 2!

Can someone walk me through the process from the very first steps?

Thanks!!

------
~Gem in the prairie

momtoesther
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momtoesther
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 5/15/12 8:02 PM

Quote: stirwatersblue
I've read a lot of the threads on getting good results with hemming knits using twin needles... but they all start with the assumption that you have the slightest idea what you're doing!



I think I understand the last half of the process... but I have absolutely no idea how to get started. I have a needle (one came with my first machine), I have two lovely spool pins... and now what?



1.) How do you thread the machine? I think I heard once that the thread has to come off the spools in opposite directions; is this true? Do the two threads follow the same thread path and diverge only at the point of threading the needle? Or are they supposed to go on either side of the tension disks? (And how can you tell?)



2.) I don't even know enough to come up with a 2!



Can someone walk me through the process from the very first steps?



Thanks!!

I am no expert, and might be giving you wrong advice, but this works for me.

- remember to still match needle to fabric. Stretch needle for knits, regular for wovens with matching size as well.
- I thread along the same path. I've never worried about direction of thread and have never had a problem. One of my spools sits upright and one horizontal.
- if you are sewing a hem on a stretchy knit, use wooly nylon in the bobbin. I never do, and occasionally have hems that pop. Not near as often as a plain straight stitch though, but enough that it bugs me. My preschoolers are particularly hard on hems.
- if you are having 'tunneling' problems, decrease your bobbin tension or use a light stablilizer (I use tissue paper).

Maybe someone more knowledgable can chime in.
Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild  Friend of PR
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<
thumbsup 2 members like this.


Date: 5/15/12 8:13 PM

I am going to type very slowly so you can get what I'm saying.

Twin Needles are--for most machines---needles that are fused together. This is with the exception of a Singer Touch and Sew, which you can use two individual needles, and need to keep the same size for each. (I'm mentioning only the Touch and Sew because out of my seven machines, this is the only model I can do this with)

Twin needles come in sizes that indicate not only the typical needle size, but also the space between the needles. The reason for the space is how big your feed dogs are, and how much distance you want between the stitching lines.

Threading the Machine: This depends on the brand and model of machine you have. On my T&S, there is another spool, and the threads follow the same paths until they come to the tension discs. One thread goes in front and the other in back. On the Janome, that also has another spool, the threads follow the same pattern all the way down to the needle, which is where they diverge. Your sewing machine manual will show you the proper way.

Thread must be the same weight as the other, and I'd suggest you use the same type--polyester or cotton. I wind a small bobbin to use as my second spool, only because I'm too cheap to buy two--can't stand to have two spools of the same color!

When stitching, stitch on the outside (right side) of the fabric. This is because on the inside, because there is only one bobbin, you will see a zigzag pattern--don't panic, this is normal. Just learn to sew the hem on the right side of the fabric.

When I'm stitching a hem, I'll run my finger ahead of the needle, making sure the needle is going to catch the raw edge underneath. Sometimes I'll pin a hem with the pins parallel (instead of perpindicular) to the hem about 1/4" away from the hem edge and use the pins as markers--removing them as I sew.

Truly, it's not as scary as you might think and the results are beautiful--something I can't get on my serger and something not as nice when I sew the hem twice.

Hope I've helped.
-- Edited on 5/15/12 8:21 PM --

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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jannw
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jannw  Friend of PR
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WA USA
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 5/15/12 9:10 PM

Do check your manual..on my machine I use the two spools (one spool and a bobbin) as was mentioned and it is threaded exactly the same way all the way to the guide above the needle..one thread into the guide, one skipping it...My threads come off the spools in the same direction..do a test first on the fabric..if you get some tunneling, you may need to loosen the upper tension. If you tighten that tension, you can make pintucks..that's really fun!

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 5/15/12 11:46 PM

Get this book. It can be a life saver when doing detailed sewing techniques.

My old Bernina had a split for guiding the threads separately through the tension. None of my other machines has this, so I hold onto both threads to keep them separate for needle threading. Then thread right needle first and left needle last.

What are the instructions in the manual for your machine?

ETA: Have you seen this video?


-- Edited on 5/15/12 11:52 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

goosegreen
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goosegreen  Friend of PR
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AUSTRALIA
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Date: 5/16/12 1:02 AM

Another tip from Sandra Betzina which I love....use some Lite Steam a Seam 2 under the turned up portion of the hem. I usually stick it down along the raw or overlocked/serged edge, peel off the paper, turn the hem and press to fuse. Then...use your twin needle as others have mentioned. Easy peasy.

------
Alison in suburbia - Sydney Australia
My sewing blog: http://nosilasews.blogspot.com/

Keeper of the flock - Janome MC8000, Janome MC4900QC, Elna Elina 40, Husqvarna Rose, Janome DC2101, Singer 201K, Elna Contessa, Janome My Excel 18W, Janome 634D & 534D overlockers, Janome Coverpro 1000CPX.

lisalu
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lisalu
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Date: 5/16/12 8:22 AM

On my Singer 503, it can take either a twin needle OR two needles, but that may vary by machine. It has twin spools and I wind a bobbin for the second spool. It also has double tension discs so theoretically the threads are separated there, but I usually just run them together and never have any problem. The only place the threads are separated is the very last thread guide before the needle, I only put one thread through there.

As far as the actual stitching goes, I'm no expert since I don't hem knits very often. (I usually do the twin needle thing for decorative stitches.) The few times I've worked on knits I have found it challenging to keep the fabric from tunneling. I think in addition to using the proper thread/needle for knits you need to slightly increase your stitch length and decrease your presser foot pressure to get best results.

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

Lynz

Lynz
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UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 6/4/08
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Date: 5/16/12 8:51 AM

I always use steam a seam lite 2 before I sew over with the twin needle. I used to have trouble with the threads looping but now I turn one of the spools so it is running in the opposite direction
I also sew with a slight zigzag which is not noticeable but seems to give a little extra stretch.
I sew with a long stitch (3-3.5)
Finally I always do a good few tests before I let myself loose on the actual garment.

goosegreen
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goosegreen  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 5/17/12 2:32 AM

One other thing....if you have a machine like mine that has the default straight stitch at the left hand position, make sure it's in the centre or you will break the needle/s.

------
Alison in suburbia - Sydney Australia
My sewing blog: http://nosilasews.blogspot.com/

Keeper of the flock - Janome MC8000, Janome MC4900QC, Elna Elina 40, Husqvarna Rose, Janome DC2101, Singer 201K, Elna Contessa, Janome My Excel 18W, Janome 634D & 534D overlockers, Janome Coverpro 1000CPX.

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