The Sewing Place

Tools of the Trade => The Haberdashery => Topic started by: sewingj on June 17, 2017, 11:43:29 AM

Title: how to organise needles?
Post by: sewingj on June 17, 2017, 11:43:29 AM
I`ve just finished sewing 2 things at the same time which required different needles and have ended up with them muddled up! I need to be more organised. 
 If I put them back in the original container I can`t remember if they are part used or brand new - if I put them elsewhere I struggle to identify them again - eyesight is not brilliant so I can`t read the needle without a magnifying glass

Any ideas?
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Efemera on June 17, 2017, 12:21:23 PM
As I say I'm a sewing slut.... whatever is in the machine! Though if I do take one out of the overlocker or coverstitch I have a piece of tape stuck to the machine and I stick it in that.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Vegegrow on June 17, 2017, 12:40:33 PM
I was thinking about this the other day as I usually use a new needle for most customer projects but use them up on curtains and cushions  I was thinking a hanging quilted pad and label each area new used and size then I could put each needle in the right section... would that work do you think?
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Bodgeitandscarper on June 17, 2017, 12:41:00 PM
I always take my needles out of the machine when I finish and put them back in the pack   8)
This means I can always pick the right needle out,  :) but I have no idea how old/used it is  :S
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Stitchalot on June 17, 2017, 13:16:30 PM
I have a separate tomato pincushion marked in segments with a pen, each area labelled with a different type. Once a needle has been used it goes in there, not back in the packet.  Not foolproof but it helps.

Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Lowena on June 17, 2017, 13:22:39 PM
As I only ever use one type / size of needle, it doesn't arise. However, I do change the needle for each project and throw the used one away  :ninja:
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Jo on June 17, 2017, 13:28:19 PM
As I say I'm a sewing slut.... whatever is in the machine! Though if I do take one out of the overlocker or coverstitch I have a piece of tape stuck to the machine and I stick it in that.
Phew! I was starting to feel ashamed with everybody being so organized  :D Glad I'm not alone. I usually change the needle when I notice something is wrong (skipping stitches, machine struggling etc.).
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Hachi on June 17, 2017, 13:36:07 PM
I've seen people using the tomato pincushion like Stitchalot mentioned.
Maybe you can whip up something like this using the soft side of the velcro?
(Supposedly, the flower head pin indicates the needle in use)
(https://thedomesticdiva.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/needlegrabbitmainphoto.jpg)
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: BrendaP on June 17, 2017, 14:42:01 PM
I don't do it myself  :ninja: but I've read that if you keep a post it note somewhere on back of the machine and write the size/type of needle in the machine on that and then if you put a used needle back into the packet leave it threaded you will always know what's in the machine and what is pristine new and what has been used.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: sewingj on June 17, 2017, 15:06:38 PM
Thanks - I  quite like the velcro idea - though in my case I wouldn`t need so many categories.  I don`t have a sewing room so everything has to be stored in a chest of drawers and that would be nice and compact.

I just need to get my act together and make it - it`s too hot for anything this afternoon!
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Ellabella on June 17, 2017, 17:57:05 PM
I have a cheap plastic box the has several sections, it originally held loom bands somebody's child had.

I put different types of needles in their packs in the different sections.  Used but not shot needles are returned to appropriate section but not back into the packet.

I put a pretty glass bead into the section that held the needle when I put it into the machine so I know what is in the machine.

All in all, quite organised for me!
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Bodgeitandscarper on June 17, 2017, 18:09:16 PM
One here to buy https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Feather-Needles-Machine-Organizer/dp/B00AYD3FH8 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Feather-Needles-Machine-Organizer/dp/B00AYD3FH8)

or another smaller type https://www.amazon.co.uk/Singer-Notions-07250-Machine-Organizer/dp/B005HZ5UOE/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_201_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EHW4DVZ7ENCD943PNFCX (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Singer-Notions-07250-Machine-Organizer/dp/B005HZ5UOE/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_201_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EHW4DVZ7ENCD943PNFCX)
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Lyn-J on June 17, 2017, 18:57:35 PM
I have a multi sized needle pack, topped up from non multi sized pack. I keep that in front of the machine. Whatever needle is missing is the one in the machine. I also have a needle reminder built into my machine's software but don't always remember to use it  :S
Some of my needles are coloured coded, but I don't know what the code are  :[
How can you tell the difference between a ball-point and a universal by looking at the markings?
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: elephun on June 17, 2017, 19:32:06 PM
I have this Colonial Machine Needle Pack and it works great for me:
http://colonialneedle.com/Machine-Needle-Pack-TM-.html
The same premise as some of the others.

It looks like there is a newer version that isn't plastic and instead is quilted fabric, which is nice. Colonial Machine Needle Pack II: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/56558/colonial-needle-company/-/machine-needle-pack-ii

I think I've seen patterns for sewing your own similar to the Colonial one on Craftsy before.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: elephun on June 17, 2017, 19:45:27 PM
Some of my needles are coloured coded, but I don't know what the code are  :[
How can you tell the difference between a ball-point and a universal by looking at the markings?

This chart will probably help if you use Schmetz needles.
The colors on the actual needle are hard for me to see for some reason.

http://www.schmetzneedles.com/schmetz-color-code-chart/
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Lyn-J on June 17, 2017, 20:03:25 PM
Elephun, so useful, thanks!
I've just checked my needles - some must predate this as they don't have any colours on them.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Iminei on June 17, 2017, 20:54:24 PM
I can`t read the needle without a magnifying glass

!!!???!!!  :o  Theres writing on needles ???!!!???  :o   :S
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Marniesews on June 17, 2017, 21:02:55 PM
I've got a home made system, pretty low-tech but it works well for me as I use the same needles in my sewing, overlocking and coverstitching machines but swap over from universal to stretch on a regular basis so there can be a lot of part-used needles hanging around and as I use both Schmetz and Organ the colour system only partially helps. At first I used to stick them in the sponge thread support but that wasn't ideal as I sometimes have to cart the coverstitch and overlocker around.

I was given a little sewing bits n bobs box and was wondering how to use it when the idea hit me. I made up a small rough and ready multi-leaf needle case from the scraps of lycra on the table and used my Frixxion pens to mark up the type and sizes (some sizes sharing one leaf) and expected I might use it occasionally and then revert to sticking them back in the packets. But no, it's been working well for me ever since - I must get around to making a nicer looking version sometime.

Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Jo on June 17, 2017, 21:25:20 PM
Haha Imi, yes, there's writing on them :)
I use Organ needles (came with my Brother machine and are the easiest to find in my area). Color codes are:
- blue for jeans
- yellow/gold for jersey
- red for stretch
- no color for universal
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Greybird on June 17, 2017, 21:33:06 PM
I keep the empty needle boxes when they've been used, and if I've only lightly used a needle, I put it into the relevant slot in an empty box, but put a blob of nail varnish on the box so I know it doesn't have new needles in it. If a needle has had heavier use however, I drop it loose into my box of feet, accessories etc. Then if I need a needle for some less than high standard (!) task (e.g. I am about to shorten my garden parasol cover to fit), I can use one of those.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: elephun on June 18, 2017, 00:38:12 AM
What do you do with spent, bent, and broken needles?

Mine go into an empty medication bottle I've drilled a small hole in the center of the lid. When it's full I throw the whole bottle away and no one gets stuck if they have to go into the trash for some reason.

Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Vegegrow on June 18, 2017, 12:45:10 PM
Just made this filing system from a picture frame and a bit of quilted cotton which had a pattern that has easy to see sections .. I hope it will work for me
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Hachi on June 18, 2017, 13:34:38 PM
Vegegrow,
A picture frame! That is brilliant.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Marniesews on June 18, 2017, 13:56:45 PM
Mine go into an empty medication bottle I've drilled a small hole in the center of the lid. When it's full I throw the whole bottle away and no one gets stuck if they have to go into the trash for some reason.

That's a good idea. I usually tape it to something stiff, wrap in a piece of junk mail and tape it again. Neither can go in the recycling bin but your system is probably safer and creates far less waste per needle.  :)
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: washi on June 18, 2017, 19:18:27 PM
I use Organ universals and Schmetz specialty needles. If I swap out the Organ universal needle, I usually toss it as I sew with these 90% of the time, they are likely ready for a change and they are pretty inexpensive. For the Schmetz needles, I tape the case to the machine when I change the needle(s), then return it when I'm done. Used needles get a little 'X' over their slot with a permanent marker and go all the way to the left of the case. The exception are twin needles which I don't bother to mark as they are one unit per case and I use them until they cause stitching problems or I am feeling flush at a sale.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: elephun on June 18, 2017, 22:23:33 PM
Here is the pattern for a Needle Organizer (https://www.craftsy.com/sewing/patterns/-bonus-bionic-needle-organizer-wallet/216170) that's available on Craftsy that I mentioned earlier. It's on sale at the moment, too.
(https://d1a6t1943usoj7.cloudfront.net/v1/bcee1f1a-468b-4782-a41b-05147d1b6eeb/w1920/bonusbionicneedleorganizerwallet_aiid1309996.jpg)


Here is a FREE pattern for a clever Needle Organizer Pincushion (https://www.craftsy.com/sewing/patterns/needle-organizer-pincushion/223147) on Craftsy.
(https://d1a6t1943usoj7.cloudfront.net/v1/29c39fd4-30f0-4386-b30d-f60dfad94824/w1920/needleorganizerpincushion_aiid1378848.jpg)

Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: PollyWally on June 19, 2017, 01:48:30 AM
I keep my needles in a seven day tablet organiser box using a different compartment for each type of needle. Finally sorting my needles out I found I had more than I realised including quite a few stretch needles which I hardly ever use.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Efemera on June 19, 2017, 08:13:56 AM
I'm going to make a confession.... I've been sewing for decades and been sewing knits forever BUT never use a ballpoint needle.. I have some but can never be bothered changing it... I never really give a thought to the type of needle unless it's to change for a big size for jeans...as I said I'm a sewing slut!..I usually just stick to a medium size universal one.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: b15erk on June 19, 2017, 09:13:40 AM
Seeing as it's confession time, I'm a lazy daisy too....  I use just one size needles 70/10 (I think), although I have been known to use a microtex if the fabric is misbehaving. 

Loads of different sizes and shapes in the needle box, but they are rarely (if ever), used.

I took this advice from Peggy Sagers, and it has saved me lots of money and stress.

Jessie
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: elephun on June 19, 2017, 19:22:02 PM
If the one needle sews well for you, there's no reason to change it, IMO.
I do get nice results with a universal needle, but I like the results I get a little better if I switch between Microtex and Stretch needles deepending on the fabric type. I have to change the size depending on the thread and fabric as well.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: washi on June 23, 2017, 17:05:51 PM
Seeing as it's confession time, I'm a lazy daisy too....  I use just one size needles 70/10 (I think), although I have been known to use a microtex if the fabric is misbehaving. 

Loads of different sizes and shapes in the needle box, but they are rarely (if ever), used.

I took this advice from Peggy Sagers, and it has saved me lots of money and stress.

Jessie

I do this too! I used 70/10 the vast majority of the time without a problem. I don't know if it is because I started sewing in the dark ages before all the different needles were available or what, but somehow I decided that 70/10 universals were really all I needed. I go up to 90/14 for jeans, and I have some microtex and ballpoints that I will pull out for finicky fabrics. I recently recieved a shipment of 110/18 universals by mistake and sent them back as I can't imagine when I would ever use them. Especially 100 of them.  :o
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Vegegrow on June 23, 2017, 19:49:19 PM
During my recent splurge on Schmetz needles from Jaycotts I bought some 'metallic' needles   used them today.. what a difference no shredded thread...
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: elephun on June 25, 2017, 18:46:50 PM
That's a good idea. I usually tape it to something stiff, wrap in a piece of junk mail and tape it again. Neither can go in the recycling bin but your system is probably safer and creates far less waste per needle.  :)

If my medication bottle is big enough for razor blades, they go in there, but I'm currently using a narrow bottle. I wrap them in masking tape. Your technique sounds like a good way to dispose of razor blades; more effective and less like I'm going to cut myself in the process of disposing of them! I'll have to remember it.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: Catllar on July 11, 2017, 13:25:20 PM
I store my used needles in one of those tomato pincushion. I've divided it up with a permanent marker by size etc and the needles go in the relevant bit. When I use a needle it is replaced on the tomato by a large-headed pin so I know where to put it back.
Title: Re: how to organise needles?
Post by: HenriettaMaria on July 18, 2017, 19:44:38 PM
I have a little plastic pot that all the sewing needle case/packets (ie, those plastic things they come in) go into for tidiness.  When I use a needle the case/packet it came out of is stored horizontally on top of all the other ones.  If, when I'm done, the needle still has some life in it, it is returned to the case/packet but facing the other way, ie, flat face out (or domed, whichever is the norm for the others).  I start at the left side of the pack and work rightwards.  That way, I know which have been used.  If the next job is a quick repair, say, I'll reuse the old needle, but if it's a big project I'll start with a new one and only reuse the old one if the newer one pegs out before I'm finished (or I break it!).