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Using the Double Needle, WITHOUT the 2nd spool holder

Have any of you fallen in love with your Double Needle?  (Not sure what I’m talking about?  Go here.)


(And not sure if your store carries Double Needles?  Here’s a variety pack of Double Needles online…with FREE shipping!)


If you’re new to sewing…….that double needle can help you create that super crisp double line that you see on your clothing, usually along hems and seams.  Go on, look down at your shirt hem, there’s probably a double seam down there.  See?  [But just to clarify, most store bought clothing has a double seam hem created on a coverstitch machine.  And that’s a certain type of serger machine (some sergers also convert to coverstitch machines).  And if you want to spend a nice chunk of change on an coverstitch machine to make pretty hems, go right ahead…..but if not, get a double needle.  And then follow my tutorial here.]


I use my double needle a lot.  In fact, I think of reasons to use it because I love that crisp double line.   Here are a few examples.

Using the double needle, without the 2nd spool holder
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Using the double needle, without the 2nd spool holder
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However, a very common question/frustration I receive in my inbox, is that your machine doesn’t have a second spool holder for that 2nd spool of top thread.  (And putting two spools on the same spool, like I showed here, has created a tangled mess for you.)   See that spool holder on the right??  That thing flips up for me to use for a few different reasons……..and one of them, is to hold my 2nd spool of thread for the double seam.  And some of you may have that 2nd holder too.  And yes, it keeps those two threads better separated.




However, some of you don’t.  And may have been afraid to try using the double needle because of it.  (Or maybe you’re one of those who had trouble with the last tutorial because your two threads twisted on the same spool holder.)


So here’s a solution……..make your own!  Out of a dowel.




I just cut off part of a dowel (that was small enough for my spool to slide onto) and taped it vertically right to the side of my machine.  Then I slid the green spool of thread to give my top thread enough height so that the thread was free to spin.  (You may not need that “spool lift”…..depending on if the side of your machine jets out a bit like mine does where I taped the dowel.)  Then I placed the spool color that I needed on the top and made sure that the thread could pull freely.  Now my 2 spools of pink are ready to go………just like they would be with a built-in 2nd spool holder (shown above).



Now, pull your two strands of thread……and thread them through your machine, just like shown here.  And then follow the directions to use your double needle.

HINT:  You don’t have to have 2 spools of the same color.  The second spool could always be a loaded bobbin, in case you don’t want to purchase 2 full spools of a color you may not use very often.



Now, are you still worried whether or not your machine can work with the double needle??  If it can do a zig-zag, it can probably function with the double needle.  Just be SURE to use your zig-zag presser foot.  Not sure what that is?  It looks like this.  And has a wide open mouth to let the needle go back and forth for the zig-zag.



And there are different widths of double needles (how far apart the two needles are) but be sure that your double needle fits through that opening in your zig-zag presser foot.  This double needle is size 4mm and it’s the only one I use.  (However, here’s a variety pack of Double Needles online, with FREE shipping!)



And then sew away……..and create some practice double seams.



Here’s a view from the back.  My bobbin thread was white, so you can see how it looks.  Kind of a funky little zig-zag.



But because of that zig-zag, it allows the fabric to stretch.  That’s why I love using the double needle while sewing knit fabric.  It gives me my nice polished double seam hems……but still allows the fabric to stretch.  (This view is from the back side, to show the zig-zag stretching.)

(Animated image tutorial here.)
So don’t feel left out if you have an older machine or a more basic machine, without that 2nd spool holder.  You can still use that good ol’ double needle.  So go on and give it a try……and fall in love like I have.
And then make something new! :)
 (***And remember, if you can’t find Double Needles in your local store, here’s a nice variety pack online, with FREE shipping!)


Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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