Xmas comes early!

Look what goodies came through the post yesterday!

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So far this year has been more productive than the last few. So I’m running low on a few favorite sizes of needles. I thought it’s about time I try bulk-buy boxes of 100. But what shapes & sizes?

It was really hard deciding. It’s just not practical to follow the sewing experts’ advice to choose the right needle & thread for each project. With a stash as big & varied as mine, I’d need a whole warehouse & lots of mullah to do that. Needle manufacturers & their rather generic descriptions & instructions don’t exactly help either. Like really, what is the practical difference between a Stretch needle and a Jersey/Ball-Point needle? What would happen if I use a Stretch needle on a jersey or sweater knit? Can you really spot the difference between the two? And if you can, can you explain why one would work better than the other for one fabric vs another? I sure can’t.

IMG_20150626_175731I do have a pack of Ball-Point needles, but I have not used a single one. Besides, various articles say to try Stretch needle if skipped stitches continues to be a problem even with a Ball-Point. So why not just use a Stretch needle in the first place?

Anyway, I checked my fabric stash for dominate types/weight of fabrics. I also made note of the needle types/sizes I used more often and those that languish unloved in my notion stash. Then I made the executive decision to only order in bulk the smaller sizes of Microtex (60/8, 70/10, 80/12) and Stretch needles (75/11).

Oh do not weep for the other types/sizes. I do have some in my stash. And as you can see I’ve added small packs of other types/sizes in this order as well. And yeap, I now have a spreadsheet to track this stash as well… 🙂

needle-inventory

Now the bulk-buys…For some reason the 75/11 Stretch needles came as 20 packs of 5/pack rather than a box of 100 like the Microtex needles. Which is a shame as I was trying to cut down on wasteful packaging. Of course Twin/Triple-Needles are the worst offenders, or at least the Schmetz ones are.

IMG_20150626_180726I mean come on, you can easily fit 3 such needles in a pack. So OK, they’re not cheap and maybe 3/pack will not sell well. But those of us who use twin needles in lieu of proper cover stitch will have to buy extras sooner or later anyway. In fact I splashed for 15 this time. You betcha I’m consolidating these 15 needles into 5 packs. Save precious sewing space at least even if it doesn’t help save the planet.

So what do you do with your empty needle packaging? I can’t think of a good way to recycle/upcycle them.

And do you think my 603 needles will be enough for my 865 yds of fabrics? (See, you’re not so bad after all! 😉

Now if only I have the right size threads in the right colors to go with these…

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8 comments on “Xmas comes early!

  1. “Splitting hairs series” absolutely love it! And totally agree on finding needles that can work on the most kinds of projects, I LOVE this post.

  2. cejay says:

    I’ve just been sewing a synthetic silk like fabric and merrily pulled out my bag of needles to discover I have loads of ball point needles, lots of stretch needles, but no fine universals left! I’d love to order them in bulk but I’ve never seen anywhere on the net where that’s possible. Do tell!

  3. As I understand it, the jersey needles were designed for first for basic knit fabrics and the stretch needles came later for the spandex/actiivewear type knits.

  4. Siobhan says:

    I’m with you on the stretch/ballpoint needles thing. I always get skipped stitches and other issues with ballpoint needles, in fact I gave up sewing knits because of it. Using stretch needles totally changed that. Why use ballpoint in the first place?

    Empty needle packaging is useful for disposing of blunt old needles. Fill up the package, tape it so it won’t come apart and chuck it in the rubbish. I like to think I’m saving some garbos from a dangerous needle.

    • I collect all my metal bits – eg old needles – in a jar and take them down to my local recycling center which has a scrap metal bin. Not sure if it’s actually acceptable. Just like I’m not sure if my tinsy winsy fabric & thread scraps are really welcome by the textile recyclers. Fingers crossed I’m not making more trouble for the recyclers instead of helping. It’s so hard to be green!

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