Firstly, don't be afraid to use a twin needle! It may look tricky but with a little practice it is simple to do and gives your garment that professional finish.
The technique gives two parallel stitches on the top of the hem and a small zig zag underneath which allows some stretch when taking the garment on and off.
We'd recommend experimenting on bits of scrap jersey when trying out this new technique, as you are essentially sewing upside-down! Follow these simple steps and you'll be using a twin needle with ease in no time at all...
1. USING THE CORRECT NEEDLE
A twin needle has a forked needle that gives two lines of stitching when used. There are different widths of twin needles available to buy, select the width you like the look of for your garment. Although, most sewing machines come with one.
2. THREADING UP
You will need-
-A twin needle has the same flat side as a regular needle and when inserted will face the back of the sewing machine. Make sure your extra spool pin in fitted to the top of your machine (your manual will show you where) ours sits on the bobbin winder.
-When threading, start with with your main upper thread (pink) and thread it manually through the left needle. The second thread (green) should be threaded through the right needle and not to be hooked behind the needle bar (this is something Brother recommend for our machine).
-Then, insert the bobbin as normal.
3. NEEDLE POSITION
The needle position should be in the middle when using a twin needle, you don't want to start sewing and find the needle is in the left position and hit the foot and break. Just use the handwheel to bring the needle down and check before sewing!
4. STITCH LENGTH
The standard stitch length is usually 2.5, however we recommend increasing the length to 3.5 or 4.0 as this will allow the twin needle to stitch through your fabric with ease. The thick parts of your hem (usually over the shoulder or side seams) can be tricky so you may have to use the handwheel to bring the needle over these thicker bits! You can change to a walking foot at this point if your machine is struggling.
5. PREPARE HEM
Usually when working with jersey fabrics hems would be overlocked first on an overlocker or using an overlocking stitch on the sewing machine. After doing this simply turn under once to create a hem and start stitching! The first time using a twin needle it might be a good idea to give your hem a press and possibly use some pins to keep the hem in place.
6. GET SEWING!
With the right side of your fabric facing up, start sewing! It's worth making sure your overlocking is being caught when sewing, if the stitching is too close to the edge of the hem it can curl up when being worn. (See pic below of the correct position to sew) Take it slowly and try and keep the stitching an even distance from the edge all the way around the hem. We recommend a 1cm allowence from the edge of your fabric.
7. FINISHING OFF
When you've finished sewing your hem it's good to knot off your threads, this can be done one of two ways. Either:- pull the threads through to the back/inside of your garment and knot by hand. Or (an easier option!) use a lock-in stitch by going forward and then backwards on your machine by two or three stitches to make sure your line of stitching doesn't unravel.
Finished hem with knot by hand Finished hem with lock in stitch
Hopefully these helpful tips will give you the confidence to try twin needling! Please comment below with any other tips you'd like to share.
For some easy to follow patterns using jersey follow the link below.
Our 'Jersey Batwing Top' is popular with beginners and improvers wanting to try out jersey for the first time. The new 'Dipped Hem Top' kit is another popular jersey project that has just been released!