Several of you have asked about needles and which type is best for sewing on specific fabrics.
As you know, the right needle is of the utmost importance and sometimes we ignore it totally until something goes wrong. Generally, we don’t change needles often enough. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say “I only change it when it breaks.” It makes me cringe, as the needle determines the stitch quality for the entire garment–not only how well the stitches are formed that hold the project together–but also the appearance of any visible stitching, like topstitching, buttonholes, etc.
Please download and read Guideline 22.115 Sewing Machine Needle Chart, as it details not only what we’d consider standard sewing needle types, but also the specialty options that you may be less familiar with. Just like having lots of fabric in your stash, you need lots of needles in your drawer, so you’ll have the right one to match up with the sewing situation.
A question that comes up frequently is about needles for knits, especially lightweight fabrics like golf shirts and T-shirts. A stretch or ballpoint needle works best on these knits. The rounded or semi-rounded tip goes between the fabric’s fibers, not through them to damage the knit (and potentially cause runs or make holes). Both types are also available as double needles, so you can make professional looking hems with two parallel rows of stitches.
So, invest in several needle types to match up properly with the things you’re sewing and remember, there’s no one-type-fits-all needle!