Saturday, August 4, 2012

A numeric approach to the seamy side of life: a very fast and esoteric follow-on for people who sew

Two people dropped me a note asking where I found out how thick a No. 5 sharp was, which they've been wanting to know, apparently, for years.   I had to look  that one up too, and searched for a while before finding the basic info at Prym's catalog website.  And then digging through half a dozen crafting websites.  The note from my crafty friends brought me to the blinding realization that this wasn't actually available anywhere easily in any place I could quickly find on line.

So as a little nod to everyone who likes to make stuff, here's what some research, checking needles from my sewing kit (so I got interested, so sue me) with calipers (because Prym and Simplicity both tend to round needle diameters to the nearest .10), and extrapolating led me to. This might be more useful for model-builders and miniature-makers than for seamst(ers)(resses) anyway, since at least it tells you what size hole a given needle will poke.

For the much too interested: Basically American needle sizes and European are arbitrary number sequences. 

An American No. 1 needle is a millimeter thick.  Each successive number is .05 mm thinner.  Having found a couple of Simplicity hand-sewing needle converstion charts, it became immediately clear that the European system is simply the American number plus 19; the advantage of this for Europeans would seem to be that their shoe and sailmaking needles can all be on the same scale.

 No warranty implied!  If you end up using the wrong needled to sew your zombie together and the first time he flips a guy off his hand flies backwards over his head, it's your problem (and his) not mine.