Sewing Without Seeing

by Maurie Hill on April 30, 2013

Picture of spools of colorful threadI like the idea of sewing but even when I had perfect vision, after each and every project, I would swear to myself that I would never sew again.  For those of you who still enjoy the battle but struggle with threading those pesky needles, here is a link with some great low vision sewing and crafting techniques.

If that’s not enough, my low vision sister has her own methods that she’d like to share:

  • I use a wire needle threader and fine crochet hook to thread needles.
  • I use my i-loview magnifier to read the dials on my sewing machine.
  • I have a CCTV close by to examine my work and see how badly I just sewed something.  Plus, it’s helpful to read directions.
  • I like doll clothes patterns because they use thick black lines on white paper.
  • I use my fingers to feel the edge of the fabric when going under sewing machine needle.
  • I make up my own simpler methods if I can’t do it the way the directions say.
  • I often use a seam ripper to rip out my mistakes and then try it again.
  • I stop when I’m frustrated and think about how I can accomplish my task another way.
  • I don’t do things I know I can’t do.
  • I have painstakingly organized my craft items so that it’s easier to find exactly what I need.
  • I ask salespeople to help me find what I’m looking for.
  • I ask other people shopping or the salespeople to verify thread color.

But most importantly, she advises, “I never sew unless I really feel like it.”  That may be half the battle – for me, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like it :)

  • Tom Coburn

    lol. Bosma showed me the wire needle threaders. Before that, I always used self-threading. Self-threading are ok as long as u don’t pull the thread too tight. for basic stuff like heming or sewing on a button self threaded work just fine, but for finer projects, wire needle method does work better. I don’t have enough remaining vision to use my i-lo-view to see dials even on the highest magnification. however my full size CCTV at 60x magnification u can see the smallest eye of a needle with that thing. I use my Optelec CCTV all the time for things like getting out splinters in my fingers and so forth :) its a pain to read with the i-lo-view half the time, the rotating table on a CCTV makes reading anything so much easier, but not everything fits under there, so thats where the i-lo-view comes in handy, if u have enough ramaining vision to see it. my wife can use it pretty well but me not enough remaining vision left

  • Darius D. Rickard

    thank you for sharing that thread.

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  • Brittsbro

    My mother has the same problem with being a low-vision sewer and I was looking for some ways that she could still do what she loves without all of the struggles she has to endure. This information is perfect! I will be printing it off and passing it along to her. Thank you very much for these techniques!


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  • Paccana

    “I use a wire needle threader and fine crochet hook to thread needles.” This one is especially helpful, I always do this.

  • yamatomesin

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