Many sewing projects require a bit of hand sewing to finish up a job. Not every machine can sew on a button or do a hem stitch. So, first things first -- let's thread the needle.
Threading a Needle
For Eagle Eyes
- Choose a hand sewing needle appropriate for your project.
- Select the right thread for the job.
- From your spool, reel off a length of 18 to 24 inches.
- Using sharp scissors, cut the thread at a 45-degree angle.
- Pass the freshly cut end through the eye of the needle. It's easier if you slightly dampen the end of the thread first.
- Pull the thread through the eye about 4 or 5 inches. This is the end that will remain unknotted.
For Everyone Else
Using a needle threader:
- Push the loop in the needle threader through the eye of your needle.
- Holding the needle and threader in one hand, pick up the thread and push it through the hole in the needle threader until it's about 4 or 5 inches through the threader.
- Gently pull the needle threader back through the eye of the needle.
There are also self-threading hand needles that have a slot into the eye of the needle. Some have slots on top and some on the side. You simply gently glide the thread to the notch next to the slot. It will catch and then you can snap the thread into the eye. Ta Da!
- Additional light helps.
- Beeswax can be used to stiffen the end of the thread and make it easer to poke through the eye.
- Place a contrasting color behind your needle to make it easier to see.
Tying a Knot
It's actually really easy, but you may need to practice a few times until you get the "feel" of it.
- Hold the thread between you thumb and index finger.
- Wrap a loop of thread completely around the tip of your opposite index finger (just at the base of your fingernail).
- Close your thumb over the loop.
- Keeping the thread taut, use your thumb to roll the loop towards the end of your index finger.
- Just as it slides off, use your middle finger to step on the loop and hold while you pull the thread into a tight knot.
Fabric designer, Heather Bailey, has a knifty "knot" tutorial that shows another way to tie a knot.