Hemming With Twin Needles

Have you ever sewn with twin needles?

They are awesome!

Schmetz makes several different kinds.

This is one of them:

You can find them at Joann Fabrics.

Schmetz makes twin needles where the needles are different widths apart, which is really nice.

Do you see the numbers at the bottom of the package of twin needles?

They read: 4.0/80.

This means that these needles are 4.0 cm apart. You can get them 3.0 and 3.5 in the Schmetz brand.

The “80” refers to the needle size. An 80 is also a size 12. The numbers are interchangeable.

Twin needles also come in a 90/14 for heavier fabrics and a “Stretch” twin to use on swimwear and lingerie.

Last week, I took up some sleeves and the hem on a robe.

I first took out the original double row of stitching.

Then, I figured out how much of a hem allowance I would need for the new sleeves. I always try to duplicate what the manufacturer did, if possible.

In this case, the hem was 2 1/2″.

So, I measured out 2 1/2″ beyond the new hemline and cut off the excess.

Then, I serged the edges:

Next, I pressed up the amount of fabric I needed to:

Then, I threaded the twin needles.

You’ll need 2 spools of matching thread to do this.

If you don’t have 2 spools, just wind some onto an empty bobbin and put that bobbin onto one of the thread pins and put the spool on the other.

Thread the machine the same way you normally do (except at the upper tension disc, I put one thread on the left side and one on the right to separate them there).

Then, just thread each of the needles and it should look like this:

Make sure you line up the edge of the hem under the left needle properly.

You want to catch all of the hem with both needles.

So, I’ll measure out 2 3/8″ from the left needle and put a piece of masking tape there, sticking it parallel to the foot.

That way, the hem edge will be caught by both needles.

Begin stitching on the right side of the garment:

I love using twin needles because the stitching will always be perfectly parallel.

No matter how hard I try, I can never get two consecutively sewn lines to look as good as this does.

Here is a view from the underside:

You can see the serged edge at the top of all this stitching.

The zig zag looking stitches below them are from the twin needle.

This technique works great for T-shirts, swimsuits, lingerie, knit garments of all kinds, etc.

Give it a try if you haven’t already.

I think you’ll love the results!


20 Responses

  1. I have NEVER been able to get such a great line by sewing once around and then a second time around 1/4 inch from the first seam. As hard as I try, I always have a little wave in the seam. This post has introduced me to a whole new world!

    Twin needles, I can’t wait to get some!! Thanks Linda!!

    Just a little question: are the sizes the same on twin needles as on single needles?

    In fact, I’d love it if you’d have a future post on needle sizes and tips. 🙂

  2. You’re not the only one who can’t sew two lines straight side by side. I don’t know anyone who can! I even used to use tape and sew along the edge, but it never looked perfect and it took a long time.

    Thank you for your question about needle sizes. I meant to include that in the original post. I have updated it above. I hope it helps.

    I do have a post that I started many months ago on needles, but never finished it. So I will and post it soon.

    Thanks again!

  3. So glad I came across your blog! I am always looking to learn more about sewing! I am such a newbie!

  4. I cant wait to get some twins also! Im still reading, keep up the great writing!

  5. I am so excited I found your blog! I love to sew…! Thank you for taking the time to teach so many neat things!

  6. How nice to receive your note!

    I was trying to help my sister with a laptop bag lining, and I needed help with the zipper. I googled for help, and your blog popped up! I found the help I needed and decided to leave a comment. I then saw that you are a Christian! I am also a Christian and was blessed by your site! I live in a small town called San Antonio in the beautiful state of Florida. I love sewing quilts and bags and many other things with my four fun sisters.

    We love your blog and will be back! Thanks again!

    • Hi Anita,
      Thank you for your sweet comments. I replied to you on e-mail, but forgot to respond here. So glad you enjoy the site and are a fellow Christian and I love your website. You have a very lovely family!

  7. Hi, thanks for your blog. I found it very useful.

    I hope you can help me as I am having trouble with making top stitch using twin needle on stretchy fabric. I am sewing denim leggings and i wanted to imitate the double stitch on the side seam but it made the seam wavy. do you have any suggestion? thanks.

    • Good question!

      First, I would probably tear that topstitching out (sorry you have to do that) and do the following two things if you can:

      Did I mention that Schmetz makes a twin needle for stretch fabrics?….very important to use them if you can.

      Second thing: Put some stabilizer underneath the fabric as you topstitch the leggings.There are different kinds of stabilizer that you can buy. Check the package to see what is best for stretchy knits. However, I am a firm believer that good old computer paper works too, or paper of that thickness. Don’t use constructioin paper. When you are finished stitching, it should tear right off the back. It may be a little difficult to tear if the stitches aren’t close together. Try it on a scrap first and see if you like the results.

      Let me know if those two things don’t work and I’ll do some more thinking!

      • I am trying a twin needle for the first time on t-shirts that I am hemming. I tried plain old paper to prevent wavy top stitch on knits and it is working perfectly. Thanks!!

      • Awesome! Glad it helped. It’s amazing that there are many remedies that we don’t have to go out and buy!

  8. I LOVE my twin needles, makes hemming, especially knits, look so professional. They also work wonders for attaching elastic to edges of dance, gymnastic and swimwear.

  9. I bought twin needles to try. This will give me the incentive and direction…..thank you very much!!!!!

  10. I can offer Twin Needles in universal size at $2.50ea. I’m located in Montreal, Canada. for more information please E-Mail me at: zeeshan50@yahoo.com or send me sms at: 1-514-756-8211

  11. Hi, I have just tried this! Do you know why the zigzag on the back isn’t forming properly? The bobbin appears as a straight line.

    • Will you see the back? If not, I wouldn’t worry about it. Mine doesn’t look real great either, but no one ever sees it. With mine, it’s just how the machine stitches it.
      Also, I am not sure what you mean by the “bobbin appears as a straight line’. Let me know if that matters and I’ll think on it some more.

    • Hi, just browsing through looking for info on what difference the needle size on doubles makes & saw this comment,
      I think what Cornstalk is saying is that the bobbin thread is not zig-zagging on the back, which means either the upper tension is too loose, or the bobbin tension may be a little tight. If it isn’t too tight to stretch as needed, or too loose and making loose loops on the surface you are probably fine. If it’s too loose tighten the upper tension knob, if it won’t stretch enough then loosen the little tension screw on your bobbin case a tad & see if it helps.
      Have a nice day!

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