I’ve made thread loopers in the traditional way by hand. But usually when I get to the stage of making the looper it means I’ve nearly finished whatever I’m making and I want a quicker way to do it. That’s when the machine stitched looper comes in. I also find it stronger than the more conventional way.
Here’s a hand stitched one I made when I attended the GBSB Sewing With Silk class. This was the first hand stitched one I’d ever done and wasn’t too neat and also a bit too big.
My next attempt was much neater, but just as time consuming:
When I made my recent colour blocked dress I went back to my favourite
lazy way and used the machine and had it done in about 2 minutes!
Take a long length of matching (or contrasting!) thread and fold it in half, then twice more so you will have 8 strands of thread:
Set your machine to the widest zig zag stitch. The stitch length doesn’t matter as you’ll be pulling the threads through not the feed dogs.
The idea is to stitch over the strands of thread with a zig zag which binds them all together.
The thread needs to be held taught and fed through evenly.
So you can start near the end of the thread without fear of catching your fingers take a length of thread about 6-8 inches and loop it through one end:
Position the thread under the presser foot. The thread you can see below is the 2 strands that I looped through. The 8 threads just peak out from the presser foot – too close to hold with your fingers!
Keep the threads taught – pulling from the back and front.
Off you go……..Stitch away! If feels strange that the needle is disappearing into nothing, but just feed the threads steadily through until you run out of thread.
I’ve used 2 contrasting colours so you can see the different effects where I fed it through faster or slower.
You should find a piece that’s good enough to use. If your stitches are a bit sparse and you’ve run it through to fast, don’t worry – you can run it through again and stitch over it.
I find these super easy to make but they can be tricky to attach to your garment depending what you’re using it for and on the type of fabric.
For my recent denim dress I stitched it to the bias binding I was using to finish the neckline. As I don’t like anything coming unstitched I got carried away and went over it quite a few times!
Then I stitched the bias trim in place.
It doesn’t look too neat on the inside on the outside it is!
Another way to attach it would be to use a needle with a large eye and thread it through. This might prove to be too thick with some fabric, in which case you could experiment with using less threads.
Other uses for these quick little thread loopers are belt loops and also if you add a press stud they’d make good bra strap stays.
Hope you find this mini tutorial useful and if you know of any other uses for them please tell!!