Hand Sewing Needles - which to buy?

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SandyShoresSandyShores Forumite
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I'm having a sort out of my sewing box and seem to have lots of pins and needles accumulated from various sources - some are probably came with DH's shirts - when shirts with pins in them.

I'd like to start sewing a bit more and would like to upgrade my hand sewing needles.  In the past few years I've mainly done quick repairs or simple fixes (e.g. shortening the kids trousers etc.) so my sewing box is a bit of a mish mash of stuff.  There are needles and pins probably from 30 years ago.  I did buy myself a pack of needles a few years back, but found that they were really sharp on the non-pointy end so painfully stuck into my fingers when I was trying to push them through material.  The needles I bought were a pack of 50 Assorted Needles from Pony - there are still about 40 in the pack and some are so thin I can barely see them.

Just wondering if anyone can recommend best all rounder hand sewing needles.  I'm guessing maybe stick to the better well know brands e.g. Singer.   And whether they are all a bit sharp on the non-pointy end?

I was wondering what to do with my old pins too in case they are becoming blunt, but have just seen an idea for a pin cushion with steel wool inside, so may give that a go.
Mortgage Neutral: £175k to find
Household savings: £2k
MFW 2022 #47 OPs: £55.85/£5000
Christmas Saver: 2022#5 £80/£240
Personal: PBs £600 / ISA £330
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  • BrieBrie Forumite
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    I haven't bought any needles in about 30 years and that was in a different country so can't help with that.

    But for the too pointy on the wrong end you just need a thimble.

    Actually I did buy some needles about 15-20 years ago in this country but they were very heavy craft needles that you might use for stitching heavy canvas or leather.  I've never used them for those purposes but instead have them in the kitchen for sewing up stuffed goose, turduckens etc.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    Anything as thin as a needle is going to hurt if you push your finger on it - I really doubt you will find any that don't feel sharp.
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  • SandyShoresSandyShores Forumite
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    Thanks Brie :smile:, and theoretica :smile:

    I think you are right, a thimble might be the answer - I've seen an ergonomic Prym one that might work for me - seems easier to use than the metal ones.

    I've had a look online at the Pony needle reviews, there aren't loads but they are mainly good - the few complaints are mainly about the eye size.  They are currently selling at £1.99 for the 50 packet (4p/needle), so I might just treat myself to some slightly better quality ones in case that helps.  I've got some older needles that don't seem so pointy on the end, so I might try and find some similar to those.
    Mortgage Neutral: £175k to find
    Household savings: £2k
    MFW 2022 #47 OPs: £55.85/£5000
    Christmas Saver: 2022#5 £80/£240
    Personal: PBs £600 / ISA £330
  • Naturelover22Naturelover22 Forumite
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    John James or Milward.
    John James are bright yellow with a plastic front, I also have some from their crafters range (pale blue in paper packets) and these have been my go to for years since I bought some at a show.
    Clover are also a good quality brand, I have used other products of their but not needles.
    I know what you mean about the Pony ones, I'm not a fan.
    Fashion on the ration 2022. Used 0/66. (2 vouchers)
  • KatiehoundKatiehound Forumite
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    I was going to say that I use long sharp pins- I think they are wedding dress pins? really fine stainless steel.
    Can't help with needles- mine seem to date from the year dot with gold heads! I try to do as much as possible on the machine.
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  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    I wouldn't use wire wool for pin storage. The slighest hint of moisture and it will go rusty along with whatever is in it.
    I have one made with sheeps wool in a cotton circle glued into the base which  is a coffee jar lid. 40yrs and still good.
    Needles? Know which are your most used and take them to a haberdashery shop. Yes, they are still around. They can find you the pack that suits best.
    Those wedding dress pins are great. Bought as an emergency I'm in love. So much easier, pin larger areas and easier to put in, take out. Totally ditched the small ones now.

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  • SandyShoresSandyShores Forumite
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    Thank you Naturelover22, I've ordered 16 pack of John James size 2 needles, they look great and I can always order slightly smaller sizes if I need them.  At £1.89 they are still very reasonable, but three times the price of the Pony ones :smiley:

    Thanks Katiehound too - 100 wedding dress pins also ordered, they look great.  I think I've got a few of those already, no idea where from, but they are really easy to grip.

    Thanks twopenny, can't wait for my pins to arrive.  I'll give the steel wool a miss, but might have a go at making my own pin cushion.  

    I'm making up a small sewing kit to give to my daughter, so some of my purchases can go into the kit.  I think the last thing I need buy her is a small pair of fabric scissors, but not too expensive.  I love my fabric scissors, they weren't hugely expensive but I've kept them only for fabric and they're so sharp and I've had them for years. 
    Mortgage Neutral: £175k to find
    Household savings: £2k
    MFW 2022 #47 OPs: £55.85/£5000
    Christmas Saver: 2022#5 £80/£240
    Personal: PBs £600 / ISA £330
  • KatiehoundKatiehound Forumite
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    From time to time Aldi have needlework tools on offer. Their 'snips' are rubbish but the scissors are fine. I bought pinking shears to replace the really solid hard to work ones (which went to a charity shop!) Worth a look out if you have an Aldi near you.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
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    Many thanks


  • SandyShoresSandyShores Forumite
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    Thanks Katiehound.  We do have an Aldi, but Lidl much nearer - I never thought of them but will keep an eye out.  
    Mortgage Neutral: £175k to find
    Household savings: £2k
    MFW 2022 #47 OPs: £55.85/£5000
    Christmas Saver: 2022#5 £80/£240
    Personal: PBs £600 / ISA £330
  • SandyShoresSandyShores Forumite
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    Needles arrived, they are perfect.  As are the pins - 100 sounds loads but probably just the right amount.  I was really lazy and ordered a pair of Milward's scissors from the net for £7.  I also ordered a cheap set of coloured threads for DD - they are just for any repairs she might need to make - always good to have a few colours.  So we are both well set up now.  Thanks for your help, its very much appreciated :smile:
    Mortgage Neutral: £175k to find
    Household savings: £2k
    MFW 2022 #47 OPs: £55.85/£5000
    Christmas Saver: 2022#5 £80/£240
    Personal: PBs £600 / ISA £330
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