tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

Our regular contributor, Shelley, is back today with some fantastic tips for twin needle hemming on knit fabrics. Let’s hear more from the lady herself.

Have you made any garments for your kids, or yourself, using knit fabrics? There’s been lots of inspiration for t-shirt sewing recently and I’ve realised that a lot of the tutorials and pattern modifications that I’ve shared here in the past have involved knit sewing. Today I want to tell you the story of my history with twin needle hemming. It’s part sewing evolution story, part cautionary tale and hopefully a bit useful. Please feel free to share any tips or tricks you might have as well in the comments below.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

When I first started to sew knit garments for my kids I used a zig zag stitch on my hems, or experimented with a sewing machine lettuce hem and I was happy. For the most part. But I dreamed of a knit hem that looked like the shop bought t-shirts.

I heard about twin needles and set off to find out if my sewing machine could use them and to buy one.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

I was happy to learn that pretty much any sewing machine can use a twin needle and so I purchased one. Just one twin needle for a beginner. I went home and immediately broke my new twin needle as my sewing machine was still set in zig zag mode after constructing my t-shirt. First lesson learned.

Twin needles come in various widths and needle types. I probably only need to have the stretch twin needles, but I confess to being a bit blasé about needle types, hence that Universal one has snuck its way into the collection. I tend to use a 4mm twin needle for kids garments and a 6mm for adult garments, purely because that’s what looks about right to me.

So I bought another twin needle, and a spare, and stitched my first double hems. They looked great from the front:

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

Although perhaps not quite right from the back.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

It was only after a couple of wears that I noticed the kids were breaking the hems. The bobbin thread was snapping when stretched and the needle threads all “popped.” I realized that for the hem to stretch the bobbin thread needed to zig and zag more in order for it to have the potential to lengthen.

When the needle threads appear on the underside of the fabric like that, the sewing machine manual will tell you to increase your needle thread tension. So I did.

Here you can see, from left to right, the effect of increasing needle thread tension on the bobbin thread:

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

The problem with increasing the needle thread is that, while the bobbin thread zig zags nicely, the needle threads draw together and the double hem ends up creating a tunnel effect. Here are the same three hems seen in profile. The increased needle tension gives this lumpy seam finish seen on the right.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

And still, they broke.

Now, that happens with shop bought garments too, but I wasn’t satisfied with my lumpy one-wear-hems. I posed the question of what to do on the forum and Liesl introduced me to Woolly Nylon.

Woolly Nylon

Woolly Nylon is a multi-filament nylon thread that is wonderfully strong and has a bit of stretch to it. You’ll find it in a few colors, but you can probably get away with just having one cone each of black and white, or perhaps even only grey.

By using woolly nylon for the bobbin thread you get a stronger, stretchier double hem. However, the woolly nylon has more “drag” than a normal thread, so the tension problems were exacerbated.

I figured if I couldn’t raise the needle thread tension any further, and I didn’t want to anyway because of the tunneling, I’d have to lower the bobbin thread tension.

How you do this will be different for every machine, but I’m sure it’s achievable for every machine. I imagine there are fancy machines out there with bobbin tension dials. If you have one, then lucky you. Dial down your tension, sew your hem, then dial it back up for regular sewing.

My basic machine has a bobbin casing, like this:

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

When you remove the footplate and take the bobbin casing out you’ll see a little screw that can be adjusted to change the tension.

TIps and tricks for twin needle hemming

I was a bit wary of fiddling too much with the screw, as I worried I might not get it back to a good setting for regular sewing. So I made a small financial outlay for a second casing. That one I dialled all the way out to “super loose”.

Thankfully, my new super loose bobbin casing doesn’t have the red arrow of my original, so I can tell them apart. A bit of nail varnish or correction fluid would work to mark which was which had they looked identical.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

And now I could sew a nice, flat, strong and stretchy twin needle hem.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

You can see here that I’m using a cotton lycra with its notoriously curly edge. It’s a great fabric for sewing kid’s clothes, but trying to hem the unfinished edge can be a nightmare.

At this point in the story I was hooked on sewing knit garments for my kids (no ironing!) and I was now the happy owner of an overlocker. Finishing the fabric edge with the overlocker makes it lie flat, behave itself better, and adds some stability to the fabric to help prevent the dreaded tunneling.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

I thought I had twin needle hems licked and then I started to sew more for myself. What was working on cotton lycra was not working with lightweight jersey fabrics.

To prevent tunneling when sewing a lightweight knit fabric you’ll need to stabilize the fabric further. Overlocking helps, but a thin strip of knit interfacing, fusible webbing, or a wash away hem stabilizer will do wonders. Where maintaining the fabric’s full stretch is crucial, the wash away hem stabilizer will be the best product for the job. Buy bigger sheets and use a ruler and rotary cutter to cut it into 1/4″ strips to make it cost effective.

Here’s a rayon jersey that’s hemmed with my final “perfected” twin needle hem on the left, and then again on the right, but this time with a thin strip of stabiliser underneath.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

It takes me only a minute to swap over my bobbin casings and insert the twin needle. When I remember to, I also swap to a walking foot. This does help prevent the fabric getting stretched out as you sew, and stops me getting stuck on the side seam bumps. I’m not convinced it’s essential for hemming knits, rather it’s the icing on the cake.

Tips and tricks for twin needle hemming

Sometimes the needle threads get a bit twisty and knotted together. If you’re going to hem a dozen t-shirts in a row, you may have to stop and rethread your needles half way through. I’ve definitely noticed that using cheap overlocker type thread for the needle threads leads to a hot knotty mess quite quickly. Stick to good quality threads up top.

Does it make any difference which direction the two needle threads unwind in? I honestly don’t think it does. But, if things are getting knotty, you won’t do any harm in flipping over the second thread spool. I never remember to make a note so I can record any statistically significant difference….

I’m happy to say that when I rummaged through my kid’s wardrobes to find a t-shirt with a “popped” hem to take a photo, I couldn’t find any. They’ve all been outgrown and handed on now and become someone else’s mending problem!





  1. Emily

    Thanks for this article – I’ve also had the problem with my kids popping the hems of their shirts! So frustrating. I’ll have to try out lowering the tension on the bobbin thread. I was just looking on Amazon and they actually sell a low-tension bobbin case for my Janome, specially marked with a little blue triangle.

    1. Oh that’s a nice solution Emily

    2. Dani

      i have a Janome decor excel 5018 how do i adjust the tension so the right needle doesn’t slip stitch and the left needle is ok am confused i have the top threads separated but threaded together then seperated in the hook and threaded yet right needle slips

  2. Enbee

    Thanks for this! I’d trawled through the forums and have implemented many of these tricks with my double needle hems. I will say that for my machine, a walking foot is *essential* for working with the double needle. If I forget to use it, the leftmost needle thread drops stitches like crazy.

    1. Best advice is always do what worked last time! Thanks for the kind comment.

  3. All great tips. I got so frustrated with my machine (which hates doing any sort of zig zag on knits) that I finally got a coverstitch. But before I did that I did find that my machine much preferred having both the threads come off the two spools in different directions when using a twin needle. Otherwise I would get tangles. But this may just be my machine’s personal quirks.

    1. I almost wish I hadn’t figured this out so I could justify a coverstitch machine! I recalled your winding direction troubles, so I’m not dismissing it as real…

    2. Ahhh- You might have just solved my problem- I have the two threads coming from ‘behind’ the spools, through the up and down tension- thingeemebobses, but the left thread (yep left’s not called sinister for nothing) ‘strips’ itself till it snaps.

      I always wondered what that was- Still do- but one other issue was the tangling- and since the threads are formed in a spirally way- if they spiral around each other it can create a problem- so what you are saying- in a way- to have the threads spiraling ‘away’ from each other could definitely help- I reckon. I’m going to try that out! Thanks 🙂

  4. Marcy

    Thank you, awesome timing! I just bought a twin needle so I can hem the Maritime shirt I’m making for myself. I really appreciate reading all these tips before I try it out.

    1. Great! Glad to be of help, and I’m sure you’ll love the Maritime pattern.

  5. Sherry Kelly

    According to Nancy Zieman, the 2 thread spools should be unwinding in opposite directions. I tried it, no thread tangling!

    1. Great, glad to hear it works for you. We need a randomized, double blind trial of spool winding directions! 🙂 I flip one if I’m getting tangles, but I can say conclusively if it makes a difference for me….

  6. Su

    Thanks for this very clear article. Good to have the info in one place.

    Shelley can you answer something for me please?

    I’ve seen that you should wind woolly nylon onto bobbins by hand, so it is not too tight… but how do you judge how loose/tight to wind it?

    1. Su, I just heard that a day or two after writing this article. I guess if you hand wind the bobbin it will be lower tension so you may not need the altered bobbin casing tension. I wind mine by machine. The big spools don’t fit on the machine so I hold the bottom of the spool, keeping my fingers clear of the thread, and hold it horizontally as if it were on the machine.
      Hope that helps.

      1. Su

        Oh wow, that’s much tighter than I imagined! That’s a very helpful guide – been trying to find the answer to that for a while, so many thanks 🙂

      2. Leaving this here for future readers – I found out the hard way today that if you thread your bobbin by machine with this stuff, you should use a metal bobbin! I should post a picture somewhere – my popped, expanded plastic bobbin is pretty impressive.

      3. Wow, Enbee, that’s crazy! I haven’t had that happen with plastic bobbins (yet?) and my machine certainly doesn’t like sewing with metal bobbins.

      4. Sorry to butt in, I came across this blog by accident and find it immensely fascinating and helpful although I’ve been sewing for 50 years (jeepers- I haven’t seen that in black and white before- scary) but what I really want to say is this:

        be careful using metal bobbins!!! NOT every machine can handle metal bobbins-
        I got a Bernina a couple of years ago with plastic bobbins of which two snapped soon after. I thought “What Cheapskates!” and went to buy more metal ones-
        When the salesperson asked me what machine they were for- she warned me that the newer machines have a magnet underneath the bobbin case and when you use metal bobbins that upsets the rhythm of the stitches with the results to follow.
        So it’s plastic ones for me now with slightly less thread on them to avoid snapping.

      5. I fooled around with the double needles with similar frustrations, and then I found out about the coverstitch machine. Bought one by Brother that is a breeze to thread. Its wonderful to have a machine dedicated to the double stitch look and not to have to make all those adjustments. I enjoyed your article anyway!

  7. Wooly nylon thread has just been added to my shopping list. Great article Shelley. You always make me laugh!

    1. Anna I’ll swap you a few pre-wound bobbins for that tote bag tutorial! 🙂

  8. Great post, Shelley. I’m all too familiar with the ‘tunnel’ effect… definitely going to try that stabiliser tip!

    1. Cheers Marisa. I think Anna buys hers online from stitch56 if you need a local source. (I chop up the Spotlight sheet stuff)

  9. my tip is: buy the twin needles when needles are on sale, they can be pricey :o)

    1. Very good advice Colette!

  10. Renee

    Thanks Shelley! I’ve been looking at my kids’ popped hems. Now I know what to do next time.

    1. I hope it helps Renee. I no longer mind so much if my kids tuck their knees up under their t-shirts!

  11. Great post, Lightning. I flip one of my spools when I double-needle hem and have found that it really does help to prevent tangling.

    1. Looks like the flipping advocates have the numbers. I’ll have to start paying more attention to my methodology!

  12. Great Post! I learned a lot from this, I am off to buy some woolly nylon now! 🙂

    1. Thanks Maaike!

  13. sarah

    I’m unclear on something. If I need a stretchy hem, will a regular twin needle using the straight stitch result in a stretchy stitch? Or do you need a “stretch twin needle” for the hem to be stretchy? Thank you!

    1. Sarah the stretch comes from the zig zagging of the bobbin thread and it’s ability to straighten and lengthen when stretched. That happens regardless of what type of twin needle you use.
      The “type” of twin needle is more to do with the sort of fabric you’re sewing. A “stretch” or “ball point” needle is used for sewing knit fabrics to avoid damaging the fibres of the fabric and holes appearing along your seams.
      I hope that helps.
      I assume that twin needle use in woven/non stretch fabrics would be purely decorative (eg perfect parallel topstitching). I’ve never done it that way, so I don’t know why one would use a Universal twin needle, or why I ended up buying one… 🙂
      Hope that helped.

  14. Thanks for the tips in hemming knits with double needle! I’ll have to definitively try the Woolly Nylon.

  15. Lots of great snippets! I’ve been struggling with mine and given up on my twin needle in a bit of a huff. Will try your suggestions!

  16. HannaLouise

    A universal needle is handy when stitching poly cotton or a polyester with slight give as it is between a sharp and a ball point needle.
    Wind woolly nylon onto the bobbin by slowing down the rate of winding if you have this feature available – not all machines accept metal bobbins.

  17. Maria

    What brand of “walking foot” do you use? I just purchased a mid priced Juki and in the shop where I bought it, we tried two brands and neither one would allow the twin needle to pass through the bobbin plate. I do like your solution using the secondary bobbin case with a reduced tension.

    1. Maria

      I’ve also used knit stay tape in the hem of stretchy fabrics prior to using the twin needles. But it still changes the lay of the hem line. I bet the walking foot would help this.

      1. A walking foot does seem to be the icing on the cake when it comes to knit hems for me. But I know other people for whom it’s more like the eggs in the cake, as their machine just hates knits without it. The important thing is to find a walking foot that fits your machine. They’re not always cheap, but it’s safest to buy the same brand as your machine. A generic model might fit, or it might be a waste of money…

  18. Paula Beaudet

    What about using the stretch stitch selection with the twin needle and the walking foot?I have just begun to sew. will this tackle the problem of hem breaking?

    1. Hi Paula, sorry for the late reply. You MUST use a straight stitch as any type of stitch that moves the needle side to side will smash your twin needle into the foot plate (done that by accident). If, by stretch stitch, you mean the forwards a bit, backwards a bit, triple stitch; I suspect it would turn into a hot mess of bobbin thread tangle. I’m lost tempted to experiment on your behalf…. 😉

      1. Jackie Feltham

        The triple stitch works wonders. I use it all the time if I want the parallel lines to be a little obvious.

      2. Jackie Feltham

        I have a Pfaff 7570. It has a button to press when using the twin needle. It will work if not engaged, but if this function is engaged the machine will not allow you to select stitches that are not compatible with a twin needle, i.e. anything that doesn’t stitch in a perfectly straight line.

  19. Laura

    Question in regards to twin needles use as a top stitch/hem… I’m starting to get into top stitching neck bands and I can’t figure out how, if possible to make the top stitch two parallel straight lines and the bottom zig zag.. i know I need to get wholly nylon thread for my bobbin to help make the neckline stretch without breaking the thread but I swear I’ve seen ppl use that option but can’t seem to get any help from my owners manual. Help!

    1. Laura that is exactly what you get as soon as you use a twin needle: two parallel lines of needle stitching with the bobbin thread zig zag going back and forward underneath. Just insert the twin needle, thread both eyes, select a straight stitch and there you go. Everything else I’ve described is just tinkering to make it a more, durable hem. Good luck!

  20. tess66

    Thank you! thank you! thank you!!! You saved my nerves… <3

  21. loopner

    I have used twin needles in the past, with good results. I now own a newer Janome and use a walking foot almost all the time.
    I am not having luck with the ball point twin needle and am baffled as to why. It seems to stitch well for a bit then begins knocking and stitching badly. I always have the two thread spools coming off in different directions. I am beginning to think it is my walking foot in combo with the twin needle that is the problem. Any hints would be appreciated

    1. That happens to me with my walking foot too sometimes (also a Janome user) and I find it’s because the screw holding the walking foot to the bar comes loose after stitching for a bit. It never comes loose with the regular foot, so I always forget about it potentially happening. Could that be it?

    2. Have you tried cleaning out the bobbin case? take everything out and carefully remove the lint. I sew an awful lot and have to do this regularly to avoid skipping etc.

  22. Jos

    Thank you! I found your tips and bought another bobbin casing, something I would never have thought of. It took me quite some time to find a good balanced stretchy hem. But it worked in the end! Your article is the only one that discusses technical problems with the twin needle in such depth. I am so glad you took the time to write it down!

    1. Thanks Jos, that comment really made my day! I’m so glad you’ve got the double needle thing working for you now.

  23. Tangled threads

    I’ve used your twin needle / woolly nylon method with great success turning my 40 yr old machine into a great stretch fabric
    hemming tool. I’ve ordered some of the texturized polyester thread to try out next.

  24. Tangled threads

    Update on my previous comment. I received the textured polyester thread and it appears to work similar to the woolly nylon.
    If so, this would be a good choice due the better temperature tolerance of polyester over nylon. Also, right now the polyester
    textured thread is available at a great price. I bought a cone of 8500 yrds for $3.00. Even at the usual price of $13.00 it’s probably the last time I’ll have to purchase it.

    1. That’s great to hear. I guess if you hot wash, or tumble dry garments then heat could be a concern.

  25. Karen

    Thank you! I was trying to use a twin needle for the first time and having no good results. The combination of the walking foot, mounting the thread spools in the reverse of each other, cleaning out my bobbin and tension areas with a fine brush all helped. But I did not really have success until I hand wound some fuzzy/textured thread on the bobbin. Still had one bobbin thread break, but really, beautiful results. Whew! (it was a hem I was doing for my mom)

    1. Nothing like sewing for your mum to increase the pressure! Glad you got a hem you were happy with.

  26. Judy

    Thank you! And yes, having the spools unwind in opposite directions was the tip that is absolutely essential for some machines, mine in particular (jamming and bird’s nest form on bottom side every inch otherwise.)

  27. Nicole

    Thanks so much for a great tutorial. Can I ask with twin needle sewing, how does one finish off the threads? When I use a single needle I can backstitch/reinforce and trim and be done, but I’ve found with twin needle stitching that’s not an option and don’t particularly want messy knots on the underside or perfect stitching unravelling either

    1. Oh good point Nicole. You’re right that backstitching or lockstitching will probably create a hot mess of tangled threads. I tend to use the woolly nylon bobbin thread to pull the two upper threads through to the wrong side of the fabric then I tie them either to each other in a square knot, or altogether with an overhand knot.
      Of course, if I’m sewing a hem I’ve come full circle and I have the starting threads (1 woolly nylon, 2 upper threads) as well as the ending threads (1 woolly nylon, 2 upper threads). I simply tie three against three with a square knot.
      Hope that helps.

      1. Jackie Feltham

        I just backstitch with a couple of tiny stitches. Works well. If in doubt, and the end will be hidden in a seam. run a couple of zigzag stitches over the end. I also use this on serger seams.

  28. Yvonne Ballard

    Thankyou! Thankyou!
    Your article just made twin needles on knits infinitely easier for me.

    1. That’s great to hear Yvonne!

  29. Gale

    Thank you SO MUCH for this. I looked all over for solutions to the non-zig-zag on the underside when using a twin needle and yours was the most clear. I had a spare bobbin case so I loosened that sucker a bunch and got a perfect ziggy zaggy with my woolly nylon thread and a great double stitching on top.

    1. Oh I’m delighted Gale. So happy for your success. Thanks!

  30. Kirsty

    Hi Shelley, I’ve only just started experimenting with twin needles and was tearing my hair out when I came across your excellent article. My problem is that the right side of my twin needle works perfectly while the left side is just not catching the bobbin thread at all (or maybe 1 stitch out of 20 literally!) I have a singer starlet and phoned up singer who suggested using a schmetz instead of a klasse twin needle….(could it really make that much difference???) Do you think a walking foot as per Enbee’s 16 February comment might do the trick? Or any other thoughts? I’m really keen to get going but feel at a bit of a stand still just now!

  31. Kat Brown

    Hi Kirsty….I’m having the same problem and I read another comment about having skipped stitches with the left side. So weird that it’s only (or mostly) with the left thread, isn’t it? Too late today to run to the store but tomorrow I’m going to get some wash out stabilizer, try loosening my bobbin tension, and using my walking foot. I’m also going to look for the wooly nylon for bobbin thread but I’ve never seen it. I’ll report back!

    1. Tough to say what it is, but you’ll probably need to do a little testing to determine what works best. You might need a different needle, thread, walking foot, etc. I’d suggest just trying one change at a time until you figure out what works best for your machine.

    2. Kirsty

      Many thanks Kat, so frustrating isn’t it! I availed myself of all of the above with great results! I found Woolly nylon at a specialty sewing shop rather than one of the chain sewing shops (I’m in Australia) but I also saw it readily available online. I hand wound the woolly nylon onto the bobbin and must have wound it a bit loosely as I found I didn’t need to lower the bobbin tension. Hope things sort out for you!

  32. Kirsty

    Very many thanks Liesl, for your helpful reply. I changed the Klasse twin needle I was using for a Schmetz and bought a walking foot. This combo seems to have resolved the issue! I’m so glad to have this resolved…I celebrated by sewing the Maritime top! I’m so pleased with it! Hearty thanks once again.

    1. Kirra

      Interesting…. I just bought the Klasse twin needle…. wonder if I should of bought a schmetz now instead. Haven’t tried it out yet ( today’s job) also spotlight does have woolly nylon sometimes but it can be hard to find. There. I had to ask.

  33. Kat

    In follow-up, today I got a new twin needle that was marked “stretch”. So I tried using that along with my walking foot and not a single skipped stitch! Oh, and I also loosened the tension on my bobbin cassette a bit.

  34. Oh that’s great news for both of you. I’ve always found that if and when the twin needle plays up it’s the left side too. Must be to do with the the way the needle and bobbin interact. A new needle has been the solution most times for me too. Good to hear you have lovely hems now!

  35. Anita

    Wonderful post full of very helpful hints! Thank you so much! I’m having tunneling problems hemming a ready-made very stretchy lightweight piece of athletic gear. Tried a wash away stabilizer for embroidery that I had on hand, but it didn’t help, wondering if the type you mentioned is different. Think I will look into stretch interfacing, though I do wonder about maintaining the garments original stretch.

    I also have a Janome and when I thread for a double needle I keep the 2 threads together until just before the needle, then there are two final bars to pass the thread behind, one to the side just above the right needle and then the one that is in front of the needles (for the left needle) – separating the threads this way has gotten rid of the twisting. (Hope that make sense.)

  36. Barb Alsko

    This is such an informative article. Thanks so much!

  37. Kirra

    Thanks so much for this! I’m new to knits and looking to do a more professional hem. I just bought a twin needle (klasse) so we will see how it goes with my walking foot and woolly nylon in the bobbin (I have a husky). That’s today’s job. I really wish I had bought a overlocker with the cover stitch option now but at the time I was like ” no way will I be sewing knits!” I really don’t know what I was so scared of!!!

    1. Kirra

      Update… so with my twin needle I do get a lot of tunneling on my light knits and cotton Lycra. My sewing shop lady advised me to use a smaller needle ( I have a 4mm) so I am going to try a 2mm and a 3mm along with a second bobbin case that I can play with. Will let you all know how that goes. Today I will try tear away stabilizer for my hems 🙂 thanks again for this awesome article!

  38. zekia

    I have tried all possible tension levels on my sewing machine, but I’m still having the tunnel effect. I have also tried applying stretch stabilizer, still problem not solved. Any ideas?

  39. Sarah Mobley

    Thank you for this post! I have experienced the exact same issues as you, and I’m hopeful that your solutions will work for me as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  40. Jennie

    Always have problems with twin needle sewing. Will try your tips and see how it goes.

  41. Jackie Feltham

    To those dreaming of a coverstitch machine, I honestly prefer the twin needle method. i did experiment with the machine enough to get the results I want, but find that it is easier to adjust your machine for a twin needle, that get the coverstitch set right. I am going to try it with the binder attachments for elastic. If I don’t like that procedure, I’m going to sell it. BTW, if you have the room, get a second or third sewing machine. I sewing leather and denim. have 2 set up at one time, sometimes one threaded for the lining and one for the fashion fabric, sometimes one threaded with a twin needle and one for regular sewing. I also have a 50’s era Kenmore for sewing leather and denim. You only need one high tech new machine. The 60’s and early 70’s machines can be obtained at a bargain, and with a good service check, will last you for years. Obviously budget the cost of the 1st service into the price of the machine.

  42. Christy

    Why is the right line skipping stitches? This happens when using a knit foot and walking foot.

    1. Hi Christy, others have had similar problems and I suspect it comes down to the needle or machine. If the timing is out or the needle is asymmetrical (damaged or worn on one side, or just badly manufactured in the first place) in any way I’d expect skipping. First thing I’d try is a different needle.

  43. Kk

    Thank you so much for the article! I learnt so much from it! I recently started sewing with knit cotton fabric for my daughter and got so frustrated with the hemming. You lighted my way! Thank you and keep up the good work. I’m subscribing!

    1. Thanks Kk!
      I hope it works well for you. Sewing kid’s clothes with knit fabrics is the best. Cheers, Shelley

  44. Katie M

    Oh my goodness – you are brilliant. I have NEVER been able to get twin needle stitching to work. It always pulls & snaps, I never get a zig zag on the back, and the two stitch lines create a ridge. This worked first time & I didn’t even adjust my bobbin tension. Pure genius!

    1. Ha ha, thank you Katie. So glad it helped

  45. Jenn Y.

    This. Is. Pure. Gold. Thank you SO much. I literally nodded at EVERY photo and step through the first half of your troubleshooting process and had come to the sickening conclusion that I would need to adjust bobbin tension (screwed up my old machine doing that several years ago), and now I will get myself an extra bobbin case. Thank you!!!

  46. Denise Mueller

    Thank you so much Shelley for this information. I will try your suggestions as I have some tunneling happening. I will get a 2nd bobbin case so I can reduce the tension without screwing up my regular sewing.

    1. Thank you. I’ve just bought myself a new sewing machine so I’m back to tinkering to get my set up just right too.

  47. Emilie

    Thanks for all the tips. I am also getting frustrated by those breaking hem. I might try to lower the bobin tension. As I have tried with wooly thread and t he hem was still breaking, so maybe adjusting the tension might be the solution!

  48. Kate

    Hi, this blog post was very helpful thank you! This is my first time sewing a t-shirt and using a knit. I have an overlocker and want to neaten the raw edge of the sleeve (lightweight jersey merino). Problem is, the overlocked stitch seems to have no stretch in this direction, it’s fine everywhere else in the garment. Is it just a matter or adjusting tensions on the overlocker for doing the sleeve hem?
    Pretty happy with the twin needle outcome, although after reading this I’m investigating how to get my bobbin casing out to adjust the tension/buy a second casing.
    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

  49. Malin

    Thank you for showing me how to adjust the bobbin tension!!! Our machines look very similar – I have a Husqvarna Emerald, and the manual doesn’t provide this information.

  50. Dani

    Hello from Australia here i have looked and read most of your comments and responses but i cannot work out my problem
    i have done all that is mentioned here except change the bobbin case i have a Janome Decor excel 5018 i have some hems to do polyester t-shirts and needs twin needle stitching currently left needle ok the right is slipping needle tension on 2 any other advise thankyou

  51. Carol Broscheid

    I just ordered a second bobbin case and am hoping I can duplicate what you did to get a twin needle stitch with a bobbin thread
    that zig zags. I’ve had this machine for five years and have never been able to utilize the twin needle. Thank you for solving this mystery!

  52. Carol Broscheid

    My extra bobbin case arrived today and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I loosened the screw and did some double needle stitching on scraps of knit fabric. Magic! I can easily stretch it and no broken threads. And I found out that the straight bobbin thread when twin needle sewing is a “feature” of Janome machines.

  53. Krystian

    Tweaking bobin tension on my emerald 118 did a job, thanks!

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