The Sewing Place

Help inserting needles


Help inserting needles
« on: June 08, 2018, 11:16:21 AM »
Is there any wee tool that would make needle insertion and removal easier?

I'm finding it more difficult to get needles in and out of my Elna overlocker, and there's one "hole" in particular that's an absolute nightmare. It's so "tight" no matter how much I loosen the wee tightening screw.

I also find my hands are slipping off the needles when removing them, so I'm not getting the pulling power I need to get them out of these stupidly tight spaces.

This never used to be a problem so I'm assuming it's age related. I'm not sure if that applies to me or the machine at this stage.

Help - apart from tweezers ( which I find dodgy as I drop the needle a lot with them) is there anything else that will help with the fiddly task??


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 11:20:16 AM »
For gripping needles I have these.

I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 11:26:25 AM »
I've seen a gadget that has a small hole in one end into which the needle is inserted (it might have been on a cleaning brush). You then hold the gadget instead of the needle when putting the needle into the machine.

I guess stabbing the needle into a piece of card would have the same effect.

Edit: I just reread your message and realised that it getting the needle out rather than in that is causing problems, but using the gadget/card might allow you to wiggle the needle more easily without fear of it disappearing inside the machine.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 12:11:40 PM by StitchinTime »


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 11:33:48 AM »


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 11:52:19 AM »
My coverstitch machine actually came with one of these inserter tools.
At leisure on the leisure penninsula


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 12:08:34 PM »
Don't you have a needle holding thingy with your Elna?  Mine has one on the other end of the needle threading gadget (which I've never mastered).  It's a semi circular shaped hole so that the needle sits in the right way round.  I always use it, for my Pfaff as well, as it is much easier to feel that the needle has gone all the way up into the hole.
Life's too short for ironing.


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 14:38:06 PM »
Thank you! I've ordered the needle inserter and hopefully it'll be a less fiddly task soon xx


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 19:34:10 PM »
Hi @Bloobell everyone is correct we all seem to have the same brush needle catcher jobbie ... while you are waiting for yours you could perhaps use a small ball of prestick/blue tack/ticky tac .... just make sure to wipe off the needle after using ... however that needle/brush inserter will only be good enough for inserting and basically 'catching' the needle. When I unscrew my needles they drop out, you say yours are getting stuck so I wonder if there is another problem instead .. could it be the needle heads are too big??? (ie incorrect needles for the machine)


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2018, 21:49:33 PM »


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2018, 23:03:24 PM »
I've got that type, Surestitch, and I found that the bit the needle fits into (as in the picture, rather than the needle threader end) is too long to use it in my overlocker or coverstitcher. I filed it down to half the length and now it works perfectly in those machines as well as my sewing machines. I find it grips the needle a little better than the brush type as the hole in that is circular and the needle swivels around in it very easily.

The threader was a little more fiddly to learn to use initially but it works well once you've got the knack.
Aka Jacky F in a former life...


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2018, 18:34:02 PM »
@Bloobell if you find one side is a bit tight, try loosening the other side slightly as well.  This advice came from an engineer.


Re: Help inserting needles
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 15:42:42 PM »
My needle holder has arrived safe and well, so fingers crossed it helps me. Thank you all!

I genuinely am puzzled by the "not fitting in the hole" problem - the needles go in all the other four slots, but not the far left one. To be fair, it's the least used position so perhaps it NEVER was the right side (ie a manufacturing problem) but I've never noticed. I may indulge in replacing the needle bar at some point. I've just replaced the presser foot lever as the plastic had gone brittle and snapped, so the next thing will probably be the needle bar.

Overlock needles don't go in, but plain old Schmetz sewing machine needles do. Go figure. I'm just going to use these, as my coverstitch function is happy to work perfectly with size 90 universal needles but not the proper ones!!