Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tools of the Trade

One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go 
and duct tape to make them stop.
~ G. Weilacher

I always bought my hand sewing needles at Joann's and never thought twice about it.

Then, one time I ordered something from a small sewing-related business.  There was a mix up in the shipping and I initially got the wrong package (full of fishing lures, no less!) - as an apology, the third-party shipping person threw in a package of hand sewing needles.

She commented that these were the favorite of the owner of the sewing business and I remember thinking it was an odd comment - who cares about hand sewing needles?  How could one differ from another?

Man, was I in for a surprise!  The needles were awesome - they were sharp and strong, but had a bit of flexibility in them and it was a delight to sew with them!

Okay, maybe "delight" is stretching it...  ;)

But it was noticeably easier and more pleasant to hand sew with these needles than the needles I had been buying up until then!

Unfortunately, over time I ran through the small package of needles and was not able to remember what brand they were (or, truth be told, who had recommended them - yikes!)  :(

So, I've been on an internet-research-hunt to try to find a highly recommended hand sewing needle.  It's actually been a little bit more difficult than I had expected - lots of reviews for machine needles, but not much on hand sewing needles.  Eventually I ran across this site for Thimblelady and ordered a package of her needles.

Apparently the package took a detour on it's way from Australia to the States, but eventually it arrived and I tried the needles for the first time - to hem my new pants.  Good news!  I like them!

I don't think they have quite the flexibility of the other ones, but they were sharp and strong, and it was easy to sew with them.  :)

As a bonus, she also threw in these 2 "bobbins" of thread - without plastic sides:

The thread is tightly wound and seems to stay in the bobbin shape.  I used this thread to hem my pants and it held a tiny bit stiffer than normal thread, making it really easy to thread the needle!  (I'm wondering if the thread is treated somehow...?)  But during the sewing itself and afterwards, it seems pretty normal.  In other words, so far, so good!  

While I like these cute little "bobbins", on her website it appears as if you must order 144 of them at a time (for about $60) - I don't think I need or want THAT much!  ;)

How about you - do you have a favorite brand of hand sewing needles?


  1. I like 'Millward' hand needles in the 'Betweens' sizes, or the 'John James' ones in the same size. And I think that those "Bobbins" are are a time-saving style used in the production industry - no need for machinists to stop + re-wind empty bobbins I guess :) (hence the large quantity for a minimum number to purchase those bobbins - as a factory should get through loads of them).

    1. Oooh, thanks for the recommendations, Claire! :)
      And for the explanation of the "bobbins" - I did not realize that! Very cool... ;)