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Topic: Sewing Machine Needles Questions  (Read 2816 times)
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« on: December 04, 2008 05:09:11 AM »

I have been sewing for many years, but I've never been able to come up with a good resolution to the following issues:

  • How do you remember what size/type of needle is in your sewing machine; and
  • How do you dispose of your broken/spent needles?

I have tried to remind myself of the needle size/type by writing on a piece of paper (which I always lose).  I've also tried writing on a piece of masking tape and attaching it to the front of the machine (looks tacky and leaves a sticky residue).

I recently have thought of trying to use a dry erase marker, but I'm chicken to write on my machine.  Possibly I could create a cute laminated paper tag of some sort, attach it to the machine and use a dry erase marker.

As far as disposal of the needles, I have saved them, and I have tossed them (which makes me feel incredibly guilty).

I appreciate your input.  TIA.
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2008 06:49:54 AM »

  • How do you remember what size/type of needle is in your sewing machine; and
  • How do you dispose of your broken/spent needles?

The second question is easier.  Years ago, someone suggested shoving the spent needles directly into a tomato pincushion, which I have done.  Broken needles are a challenge.  I usually encase them in something like an envelope that is already in the trash.

As for the first, I generally toss needles after one or two garments, depending on how much sewing is involved.  If they are still useable, I will often store them in another tomato pincushion that I have marked with various sizes.  I put the needle in the appropriate size place.  If all else fails, I get out my trusty magnifying glass and a good strong light and read the size on the needle.  (I only use Schmetz and the size is etched on the top of the shaft.) 

I, too, am curious about what others do.

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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2008 08:06:39 AM »

There is a notion you can buy called a Needle Grabbit that helps you keep track of what needle you are using in your machine. It's the last item on this page:

You can also get little Post-It flags in different colors, which you can tape on your machine assigning a different color for each type of needle - blue for Jean needle, red for Microtex, etc.

The marked pincushion is a great idea if you can reuse a needle.

As far as disposing of the needles, I poked a hole in the top of a prescription bottle and put my old needles in there.
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2008 08:40:26 AM »

There is a notion you can buy called a Needle Grabbit that helps you keep track of what needle you are using in your machine. It's the last item on this page:

That's pretty cool and would be simple enough to make.  Thanks for the ideas!
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008 04:56:12 AM »

i only buy my needles from the smaller stores which have both had my machine there for maintenance, so i think they already know which needles i will be needing.... but for years (three) i had the information in my cell phone Cheesy

i just put the needles into the trash.. i used to put a piece of scotch tape on the pointy end, so that it wouldn't be floating around my flat later on and stab my (or my dogs) feet. now i don't do that either, i'm soo lazy.

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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008 04:54:02 AM »

I keep an old Altoids (mint) tin in my sewing area.  Broken, bent and old needles and pins go in there.  When it starts to get full, I toss it out.  An emptyold  prescription bottle works too.

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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008 04:49:47 PM »

I kept saying that I was going to sew up a little cozy to attach to my embroidery machine which I could put the packet of needles that I was using in it so I knew right off the bat what was in the machine - now my embroidery machine only takes one size so that won't be an issue but for my sewing machine I put the packet of needles that I am using and put it in the fold up flap on the top of my machine so I know what is in there at the time.

You can probably make a cozy of some sort to hold your needles and somehow attach it to your machine - even if it is using a velcro dot - kind of like a small gift card holder but for your needle packets.  I buy my needles in bulk online so I get these nifty little organ needle packets that hold 10 needles - reminds me of chewing gum with a foil inner wrapper and a nice paper wrapper on the outside.  Hmm.  I should make one for my sewing machine but the packet in the top flap is working okay for me now Grin

As far as chucking old needles - I do just that - chuck them.  I just drop them in the garbage can.  My garbage gets cleaned out by me.  I have a bag lining the can so when it's full I just tie the bag in a knot and all the trash just gets chucked.  I have never worried about a special way to dispose of old needles.

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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2008 06:40:11 PM »

I mark my needles with a Sharpie, no marks = regular, 1 mark = ball point, etc.

I use an old wine cork for disposing of old needles ... thanks to the DH, no shortage of wine corks around here!

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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2009 09:28:29 AM »

As far as remembering what's in your machine, you could eliminate the problem by just putting your needles away when you're done sewing. That way you always start fresh for the next day, or if you only do one project at a time you know that needle is the right one for that project. I like Ambimom's idea of having different pincushions. I usually just put them back into the plastic thing they come in though.

I never thought about doing anything special to dispose of needles. Usually if they just get dull or a little "hangnail" thing on the tip I keep them in a pile on the desk next to my machine, even though I know I won't use them again! When it gets messy I just throw them out or I put them back into one of the plastic things they come in. Really broken ones end up in my cuttings bag or in the plastic tray that's built into my machine table for threads. I keep a plastic bag next to me to throw threads, seam trimmings, etc. so that I can throw it all away at once.

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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2009 06:11:41 PM »

Hmm... all of my needles have their size etched onto them!  I usually discard the needle after each project, so needles only stay in my machine during a current project.  I record in my project notebook what needle I used, so I know by referring to that which one is in the machine in case it isn't marked.

As far as getting rid of old and broken needles... I usually just throw them away with all of my scraps during each project.  I usually find a cup or something in the trash to put the needles into to be safe.

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