Double Needles - Now I Know!


Welcome welcome! I want to start this week off with a big THANK YOU to those who have commented on my posts recently. I read every single comment and love hearing from all of you!

Recently I asked for help....

Sewing and Quilting Help

Photo by Fernando Venzano on Unsplash

This week, I want to say an extra, extra big thank you to those who commented on my double needle post from a while back. I learned (pun alert!) sew much from you, wise readers! And now I want to share the wisdom with those of you who, like me, had no idea what a double needle was for.

Here is a summary list of the findings from readers:

  1. Double needles are typically used for stretchy materials and hems in clothes making.
  2. When hemming, a stretchy thread in the bobbin is recommended (wind it by hand!).
  3. The top lines are parallel, as the double needle would have you imagine. However, underneath you end up with a zig-zag line, since you still only have the one bobbin.
  4. If the bottom thread is pulled, the whole thing can potentially unravel. (yikes!)
  5. You should be careful to have a wide enough foot with space to accommodate the double needle, lest it crash into the foot and break.
  6. Threading the needle does require two separate spools of thread.
  7. Using a double needle for free-motion quilting might not be possible, as they lend themselves to straight lines.
  8. General recommendation is not to use for quilting, except perhaps to bind. But beware corners - as those can be tricky!
  9. Practice before you proceed! Many readers mentioned all kinds of tricks they use, and it sounds like you might need to stumble your way forward with some trial and error.

My takeaway is that I should probably not try this for quilting because it is finicky, doesn’t look good on the back, and has the potential to unravel when caught.

However, I’m sure lots of you make clothes or have to hem skirts/pants, so a double needle might be a handy-dandy tool for you to have in your sewing kit. One reader advised that when they get dull, they have trouble picking up the bobbin thread - so keep your needles fresh! As always, Quilter’s Mart has you covered - click here to get your own double needles!

Sewing Double Needle


Thanks again, everyone, for your contributions, tips, and tricks. I learned so much!

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  • Carolyn Knees
Comments 4
  • Patricia

    I did use double needles on a quilt top but sewed those lines before sandwiching it. It doesn’t look as attractive on the back otherwise. I still struggle with them on fine knits as they create a tunnel effect unless you use interfacing in the seam allowance.

  • Renee Echegaray
    Renee Echegaray
    I am brand knew to sewing . For reason I was interested in when to use a double needle or even if my machine could use one. So I read almost word for word as you stated. ☺️ I have already learned so much from watching your videos. You are so clear and to the point.

    Thank you 🙏😁 from Grand Prairie Tx

  • Samni Bell
    Samni Bell

    I have also used the wide double needle when I am quilting a smaller quilt, this works well and looks nice on the strait lines, slow around curve lines. I don’t use them often but love them when I do work with them.

  • Judi

    I took a class several years ago at a Martha Pullen event. We used double needles to do free motion waves on dupioni silk before lining an evening purse. Double needles are also used for pintucks. Pintucks are often found on blouses, baby clothing and heirloom dresses. They are very decorative. It is really neat to do pin tucks in horizontal and then vertical rows on a pocket. Double needles are also used to hem knits and fine fabrics.

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