Ivan Zamorano

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Hand Sewing Tips and Tricks for Newbies – Needles Thread and Beeswax

Hand Sewing Tips and Tricks for Newbies – Needles Thread and Beeswax

Hi! Lori! Maker High and today we’re going to talk about Tips and Tricks for hand sewing. First, we’re going to talk about choosing the needles. Now, I tend to go with Dritz. They are my preferred brand. They are very solid. They are very sturdy, and they are really sharp. That’s what you want to look for in a needle. I think you should be able to choose any brand that you want to, but I am going to warn you away from two. First, and foremost, I am not a fan of Singer needles. Especially the kind they sell at the Dollar Store. They tend to break and the aren’t very sharp. And then the ones that are the Hobby Lobby brand… like, just DON’T even to there. Don’t even thinks about it. They tend to sliver and I’ve gotten metal slivers in my finger before and it hurts and it’s happened to me more than once. You would think I would learn after the last time… But, yeah, just DON’T do it. Now, when you actually go to pick out your needles, I tend to go for the size 7 sharps. These are a very good all purpose needle. Especially since they come in packs of 20. If you don’t do a lot of hand sewing, it’s good to have these around…just in case. Ball point needles are really for specialty fabrics like jersey and that kind of thing. Faux Fur I usually use ball point needles… But for general, every day use, sharps are probably the way to go. So, the next piece of advice is safety…and don’t run away yet! I know, I talk about safety a lot and I am very safety conscious, but this is important if you’re going to be hand sewing, and that is to make sure you always use a sharp needle. The reason for that is if you have a dull needle and you’re pushing it through your fabric, you have to push harder and you have a better chance of stabbing youself with it and it hurts. You will bleed, and I don’t want that for you. So, a really good rule of thumb is to start with a new needle every project and that way you know that it’s as sharp as it can be. So, one of the things that I have both in my sewing kit and in my maker kit it a hunk of beeswax. I also carry a hunk of soap and you can use that instead if you want to try to cut down on costs. I’ll explain why I have both of them in another video here shortly. But, basically, what you’re going to want to do is take your needle, the very edge of it and run it through your beeswax It will help lubricate it, and help it get through the fibers and then you want to run your thread through as well because it will help stregnthen it and again will help it glide throught the fibers a lot easier, and it will also help it from tangling up toward the bottom. If you are accident prone, I recommend buying a thimble. You can usually find them for about $2 at the fabric store. You’re going to leave it on your middle finger and that way when you are running your needle through the fabric, that’s what it’s going to run into. It’s going to protect your finger from getting stabbed. So, the next piece of advice I’m going to give is to practice on scrap fabric. After you have already cut out whatever your pattern is take some scraps, and whatever stitch you’re going to use, if it’s your first or second time doing it, just practice a little bit before you start on your actual project because it’s easier to mess up something like that then it is to get started on something and get frustrated with it. Tiny section…this little…tiny….*shakes beeswax*….thing… *Off Screen “Container?” CONTAINER!!! That is the word I was looking for! So, another REALLY important piece of advice is to not buy cheap thread. It will break and you will get frustrated. Nobody wants that. I really like Gutterman thread. You can get about 110 yards and it’s about $2.50 retail. And you can usually find it for half off or buy one get one free or something like that. but, really, you’re generally going to pay between $1.50 and $2 for this, if you can find it on sale or if you have a coupon or what have you. But, buying this vs. buying the GIANT spool of dollar thread, you’re going to see a real difference and the thing is…if you’re hand sewing you’re probably not going to go through this much on your first project so save yourself the time and the frustration and just don’t get cheap thread. So, basically, those are the pieces of advice that I have if you’ve just started hand sewing and it’s a really good just sort of like primer before you get in there, before you get going I’ve got a couple of other videos about how to tie a knot and how to thread a needle, and that kind of thing. But, really, have fun with it Don’t be overwhelmed by it. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments below. If there’s a lot of interest in hand sewing, I might do another series of like more advanced moves for hand sewing. Otherwise, in the meantime, subscribe and we will be doing a series of videos next week that have been lead into by the series that we’re doing this week.. So, make sure you tune in then. Okay, It’s Lori from Maker High and I’ll see you next time!

8 Replies to “Hand Sewing Tips and Tricks for Newbies – Needles Thread and Beeswax”

  • Great tips. The most sewing I've ever done is patching my wife's work clothes and holes in her socks. I would like to learn some basics so I can keep our clothes and such going longer. I hope you have more videos. I'm gonna check out your channel. Thanks for the tips.

  • iv never had a problem with singer needles… my aunt jean who was like a master crocheter/knitter/sewer had them and I ended up being able to get them when she passed. they've never failed me yet. maybe cause they were the older style. either way I'm running low cause I keep losing them and I'll be switching brands for the simple fact of Idk where she got hers. xD

  • I love hand sewing. It's a very relaxing hobby, and fits in well for any historical reenactment hobbyists too.
    One modern tip I'd like to give is that instead of beeswax (which sometimes is hard to find) I like to use silicone putty to condition my thread. It's the stuff you buy to use as a waterproof earplug, that's kind of like a clear putty blob that's only slightly sticky. It's easy to find and inexpensive in the medicine aisle. I like to smoosh a blob of it onto the end of my Gutterman thread spool (I agree they're the best!) and then store the whole thing in a prescription medicine bottle to keep it handy in my sewing kit. That way the thread conditioner is always right there when I need to run a length of thread through as I'm sewing a project.

  • Since we're chatting, I'll give one more favorite tip: Homemade leather thimbles! I never liked using the metal or even plastic kind. I tried the stick-on kind, and they had some advantages, but weren't ideal and didn't last. Then I bought an old leather bomber jacket from a thrift store, which turned out to have holes in it. So I cut it all apart along the seams to harvest the nice thin, supple leather from it. I cut out a semicircle big enough to wrap around the end of my finger, then sew it up the back and run a gathering stitch along the curved tip. I pull that really really tight, and it gathers up nicely. The seam goes up the back of my finger and the gathers end up over my fingernail, so my entire fingertip is protected and I can push on that needle from any angle I want. Plus I get to retain a lot of feeling in that finger, and dexterity, and the needle never slides around.

    I know this is a somewhat vague description. And one drawback of trying to sew your own leather thimble is that you really kinda need a thimble already to attempt stabbing through something as tough as leather! But for people who sew by hand very much I'm sure the advantages would be obvious. It is always going to be a custom fit because you make it yourself, and it is so comfortable I often forget I am wearing it at all.

    P.S. the leather I got from that bomber jacket would be enough for a lifetime supply of thimbles, as well as being plenty to make a few nifty drawstring bags from and other various crafts.

  • I started hand sewing I find it relaxing from all my mommy stress while my kids are in school, and I have been looking for everything in my house that needs sewing 😄 and I been sewing my husband's jeans BUT it is very painful on my thumb to hold and push the needle thru since jeans are so thick!! Is there something I can use on my thumb other than a bandaid for hand sewing????

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