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If you love to sew, but your eyesight makes threading a needle, put a piece of white paper behind the needle. The contrast will make it much easier to thread the needle. On a sewing machine, slide the paper between the needle and the presserfoot
Source: An article on how to live with diminished vision (common problem among the mature).
By MargaretGadd from El Paso, TX
My grandmother couldn't see too well, but she was always hand sewing something. I suggest that when you visit a legally blind person who likes to sew, help them out by putting several needles on a spool of thread. They can take off one at a time with more needles to use as they need without having to thread them.
If you cannot see well enough to thread your yarn directly into a big eye needle, and have a hard time pinching the end to make it fit into the eye, you can make simple needle threaders using a piece of thin but stiff plastic, such as those that come in product packaging.
Just cut it into strips, up to two inches long, and up to one inch wide. Fold each strip in half, as you would a hot dog bun, making a permanent crease. Sandwich the end of the yarn into the strip, as you would put a hot dog into the bun, making sure the tip of the yarn does not go beyond the tip of the threader. Slide the strip-encased yarn through the eye of your needle until you are certain the yarn is threaded through, then pull the strip free. Alternatively, you can first slide the empty folded strip part way through the eye, unfold the other end, clasp the yarn inside it, then slide it through.
If you're having trouble threading needles, buy some with slots at the top. Just insert thread from the top. The thread won't come out unless you tug on it.
Cut your sewing thread at an angle to thread it through the hole easier.
One way to easily thread a darning needle with a large eye is to fold a thin, rectangular sliver of paper in half the long way, sandwich the end of the thread into it as you would a hot dog in a bun, then slide paper and thread through the eye of the needle.
When starting a large hand sewing or needlework project, thread several needles when you begin. Then you won't have to stop and keep threading needles as you work.
If you have trouble threading your sewing needles you are not alone. This guide contains tips about using a dental floss threader to thread needles.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
When threading the needle, where you will hold the needle in front of you:
I hold it with my left, put the thread in with my right (I'm right handed), usually looking down slightly, but if the light is bad, I find myself looking at eye level. No idea why, just how I've always done it!
For hand sewing needles I hold it below eye level and use my Dritz needle threader. I make no apology for this. One important thing I learned from my mama. Natural sunlight is better than electric lighting when your eyes go haywire in middle age. She always did her hand sewing at a window on a sunny day or on our big front porch, weather permitting.
I found a Singer 6235 by the dumpster. It runs. I can adjust tension, only if I knew how to thread the dang bobbin. I have the manual but still think I am threading it wrong or the winder reverse might be on. Don't know by the manual how to thread it. It is different from the many other types I have sewn with.
By Grace Thomason
It's different because this is the 'self-winding bobbin' model sewing machine. For this machine to sew properly you MUST use the correct bobbin - it's got a slot across one half of the flat top of the bobbing. You CANNOT use any other bobbin for this particular machine.
You write you have the manual so look on pages 14-16 for the insertion instructions - but remember, for this machine to function, you MUST use the one and only Singer self-winding bobbin. The manual freebie on the Singer site has very clear instructions for winding in place AND inserting a pre-wound bobbin. Here's a link to a pdf - you can open it on your computer and enlarge the diagrams for easier following:
All bobbin thread on any machine including this self-winder model is wound in the same direction (anti-clockwise) no matter if wound on a separate spool function OR in the machine using the self-winding function, and so when placing the pre-wound bobbin into this machine, you want to be sure the slotted bit of the bobbin is pointing towards the back of the machine, and is seated with the slotted flat part UP - towards you.
Lucky find, this is a pretty good machine if you understand you have to use a specialty Singer bobbin. I suspect it was by the dumpster because the previous owner couldn't understand he/she had to use the specialty bobbins.
Still, I'd spend the money to have the machine checked over and serviced (includes cleaning and any oiling needed) by a professional repair tech. For under $100USD or £80GBP (Google for currency conversion if not in the US or UK), you could have a really nice machine that should last you several years.
Great advice! At last I can comfortably keep my mouth shut! Good job!
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Do you have trouble threading a needle? Try holding the needle and thread against a contrasting background; a dark color if you're threading a light-colored thread, and a light-colored surface if you're threading a dark-colored thread. It really helps your depth perception.
You have to try this one! Instead of wetting the end of the thread, try wetting the eye of the needle instead. You'd be surprised. It really works. (02/14/2005)