How To Thread A Sewing Machine Needle With Poor Eyesight

Sewing with poor eyesight does not have to be an impossible task. With the correct set up and equipment, combining both form and function, sewing is achievable with any level of vision. Below are some simple steps on ‘How to thread a sewing machine needle with poor eyesight’ to help those with poor eye sight to get started.

Firstly, ensure the clearest visibility possible by gently adjusting the area you are working in. It is recommended you work in a lighted space such as a bright room or near a window to maximise natural light. Additionally, feature magnification devices such as a slit lamp, head magnifier or electronic loupe may be used to provide clearer visibility when threading a sewing machine needle.

When threading the needle, begin by making sure the right amount of thread is attached to the needle. Experts suggest counting the appropriate thread length by estimating the number of hand lengths the thread should measure. If threading a more complex curved needle, instead of counting the thread length, measuring a distance of one pant length typically suffices.

Once ready, lay the thread across from the spool to the eye of the needle. With poor eyesight, the thread may appear thinner, harder to see and becomes difficult to manipulate. To facilitate the thread’s entry into the eye of the needle, it is recommended to moisten it with saliva or by passing it through a waxed thimble.

Following these simple steps, thread the needle by using the machine’s built-in thread guides. Gently place the thread into the smallest of the machine’s thread guides, then laterally slide thread along the thread guide until it has reached the eye of the needle. That said, not all machines are designed the same, so it is important to consult the manual that came with the machine to gain a better understanding of the individual threading process.

Moreover, for those of us who sew frequently, investing in needle threaders will make threading much easier. Needle threaders are cleverly designed to help us quickly loop the thread through the eye of the needle, simplifying the threading process with minimal frustration.

Where to Purchase Quality Thread

When selecting thread for your sewing project, it is important to purchase quality thread as it is generally more durable and less likely to break or tangle while stitching. When it comes to purchasing thread, one should always consider the fabric being sewn, as the thread will affect the look, strength and utility of the final product. Popular yarns used in sewing are cotton, silk, linen and wool, and each of these may be sourced from a variety of companies and vendors.

Highly rated thread collections can be found at a wide array of places such as sewing stores, craft stores and online marketplaces. In addition to purchasing thread collections, you may also buy thread in bulk for intense projects such as large scale quilting or to refill your stash. Buying in bulk can often be cost-effective and is especially helpful for those with poorer eyesight, as it minimizes the need for threading.

Though these methods of buy may sound challenging for those of us with poor vision, it may be helpful to find an experienced friend or seamstress who is able to help in making these selections. That said, it is important to ensure the thread chosen is not only suitable for the job but also within your budget.

Tips for Visually Impaired Sewers

Although threading a needle may seem like a daunting task for those with poor eyesight, it is important to remember that sewing is achievable with any vision limitation. Here are a few additional tips to get you started:

Begin by using a larger needle; as a general rule, the thicker the fabric, the larger the needle should be. Larger needles provide a larger eye, which can be manipulated and threaded with greater ease. In addition, use contrasting colours when selecting fabric, thread, and bobbins. Although it may be tempting to opt for navy-blue thread to construct the deepest of blue garments, it is highly recommended to select contrast coloured thread, such as a bright blue, for greater visibility and contrast. Finally, establish a clean and organised workspace by investing in magnified lighting and a specialised, adjustable chair for additional comfort.

Sew with Poor Vision in Mind

Sewing, even with poor eyesight, is highly achievable and should not be a task to be feared, but viewed as a challenge. Creating your own garment from design to completion, with or without the aid of visual aids, can be a hugely satisfying experience. Whether you opt to employ the help of an assistant, magnification devices or simply the strength of your own vision, threading that needle is all part of the reward and a reflection of your hard work and determination.

The Benefits of Sewing with Poor Eyesight

There are numerous benefits to sewing with poor eyesight. For starters, sewing can provide a sense of accomplishment as a garment is completed and can even be a means of therapy, a tool to aide self-esteem and confidence. It can also renew a sense of identity and familiarise oneself with the planning, measuring and creative process associated with sewing. Moreover, sewing can be a way to save money and to acquire a new set of skills. Finally, within a hobby such as sewing, friendships and relationships make be form, increasing an individual’s self-worth and value.

Seek Expert Guidance

If you are having difficulty with your sewing projects, remember it can be helpful to seek support from experts in the field. Professional seamstresses and support groups for those with special needs are often available in towns, cities and communities. In addition, resources such as, offer tutorials, workshops and support groups for those looking to enhance their skills. With the right guidance, support and determination, those with poor eyesight can confidently thread a sewing machine needle.

Accessible Equipment

Like any hobby, the correct equipment is always an essential aspect of sewing. Those of us with poor eyesight should ensure we equip ourselves with the appropriate tools and accessories for the best possible user experience. Such tools may include adjustable magnifying lights, LED magnifiers, magnification glasses, adjustable needle threaders and needle guides.

For those looking for more accessibility, electronic sewing machines offer a more viable means of threading, as they often contain preset threading options, highlighting and focusing on the bobbin and threading structure of the machine in question. These electronic sewing machines also come with a range of additional features, such as automatic garment threading and intricate sewing options, to suit the needs of all sewers.

To conclude, with the right preparation and dedication, those of us with poor eyesight can confidently thread a needle and complete a garment of high quality and style.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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