Readers tips: Needle organisation.


All started when I posted a picture of my sewing machine on instagram with a pink post it caring the following information: Ball needle size 90: april 27.  I loved hearing all your needle storing methods and decided to share it.

Readers tips to remember what needle you are using:

Besides keeping notes with needle type and date, some readers find helpful to write the stitch setting of their current projects like weatherpixie. 

Instead of using a post-it reader seasaltstitches uses wash tape. Washi tape makes good seam allowence guides too.

Using nail polish, N4xx put coloured dots on top of each needle. Red= regular/grey =stretch.

Reader topstitchedbyanne attaches the used needle to a scrap of fabric she last used as a visual reference.

To store used needles.

Daniellebilder keep her needles in a clear divided “tackle box” where each kind gets it’s own compartment. When she takes one out she places a red button in it’s place so she can store it back easily. Similar procedure used by reader Zoeliviana.

Colette’s match boxes labeled looks very beautiful.

A simple solution could be using something you already have. I think everyone has those tomato pincushion at home. It would be easy to mark each segment with a pen.


Noteworthy comments.

Chrystalclear  buys needles in bulks.She says she is forgetful so she would just change her needles at the start of a new project. I assume they get discarded instead of stored. I hope one of the above ideas would help her out.

Hanna_irina comment made me think she has bionic eyes because I wouldn’t be able to squint at the small print.

How about you? Do you do something similar or have a top tip of your own to share.

I would love to hear it.

Ps: Once I finished using my needles I place them in my very high tech needle holder lol. It’s actually a postcard with felt sewn in the middle. I write on frisson pen so I can erase a type to write another if needed.


Thank you for all the inspiration and sharing your knowledge with me .

  • What great ideas. Mine are a bit of a mess, but once they’re organized I will use the red button tip! Colette’s match boxes are beautiful.

    Not my own idea, but I love La Sewista’s sewing machine needle storage solution. I’ve been on the hunt for a similar pill box, but haven’t found one yet. Here’s her post:

    La Sewista: Needles and Pins

  • I store my slightly used sewing machine needles on a card similar to yours, but I punched holes for the needles to go through instead of using a strip of felt. Mine is even lower tech – I used pencil to label each needle.

    • I do roughly the same card storage, but I confess I stole the entire design from a Dritz needle storage board, right down to using the Velcro loopy portion (convieniently already glued) to shove the needles into. I was always wondering what I was going to use that preglued Velcro for……

  • Great tips…. I do the tomato pin cushion, but I sometimes forget the needle I have in my machine and for me to know it I use a magnifying glass that I keep in the storage compartment in my machine so I always have it handy.

  • Jen (NY)

    Good ideas here, but I don’t think I’d have the patience to do the Collette matchbook method! I mostly use needles which come in a little clear plastic slide box. I draw stripes horizontally across the upper parts of the needles with a Sharpie pen. There’s nothing consistent by type, but from the stripe pattern I can tell which box the needle came from. After using it once, I flip the needle front-side down, so I know that it was the last used. Not beautiful, but it works!

  • Interesting post about a small but important element for sewing a successful garment. In my early sewing days I hardly ever changed the needle. I got the prompt to change it when I heard the ‘popping’ noise you get when a blunt needle goes through cotton or fine lining fabric. Bad habit! I now change needle with every garment I make. Yes it may be wasteful but guarantees a fresh, sharp needle that doesn’t damage the fabric. I also buy needles in the clear plastic slide boxes which are well labelled.

  • Great post with tips I will use. I have a jewellers eye lens called a jewellers loupe which I use to read the needle number when I have forgotten what I have in the machine. These are available very cheaply on ebay and other outlets. I also have an old tablet container with a plastic lid pierced with a hole big enough to fit a needle through. I put old needles into it so they are safe. It will be a long time before it is full!

  • I use Singer needles which are already colour coded – before I used to nail varnish them myself but even the varnish chips off) I tend to keep the alternating ones in a pin cushion, and new ones in the pack. i have yet to figure a way of keeping track of how old each needle is, but so far its all been fine….. the only needle i get bothered by is the silk one and if i am doing an important piece, i will test a scrap to see how the needle is at the beginning

  • Schmetz needles are now colour coded, they’ve been phasing this stock in for a while so most shops ought to have them. but I am hopeless and I can’t read them either any more – I love all of these great ideas!

    • Jen (NY)

      I was glad to read about the Schmetz color coding. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) I have a fairly large stock of the non-coded needles for now.

      • I must be getting old stock because mine aren’t. must rectify immediately

  • I like the tomato pin cushion idea. And they are really inexpensive too.

    • Yes. Im all for cool gadgets but a lot of things in sewing can be done inexpensively.

  • Evania Carvalho

    Nossa! Estou fascinada com o seu blog.
    É tipo a Meca da costura…
    Simplesmente fantástico! Parabéns!

    • Obrigada pelo carinho xx

  • How do you dispose of your old needles without harming anyone? I use a small jam jar that I am gradually filling up with old needles and blunt or bent pins, I am not sure how I am going to get rid of the jam jar when it is full though!!

    • Good question. I attach to a piece of scrap fabric and bin it.