How to Use a Quick Stitch Sewing Awl

Written by susan kerr
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Heavy-duty sewing machines make quick work of repairing upholstery, cushions, sails, and tote bags. These machines are very expensive and bulky, so it does not make much sense to buy one for an occasional repair job or for making a gym bag now and then. A Quick Stitch sewing awl is small, inexpensive, and easy to use. With a little practice, nearly anyone can sew a straight seam, one of the primary components of every stitching job.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Needle to fit the sewing awl
  • Waxed thread
  • Yard stick or measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pliers (optional)

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  1. 1

    Unscrew the head lock of the sewing awl and select a needle appropriate to the task. There are two straight needles and two curved ones.

  2. 2

    Turn the awl around and remove the end cap of the handle. Locate the end of the thread on the spool and push it through the hole in the handle. Drop the thread spool back in its place, then screw the end cap back on.

  3. 3

    Place a loop of thread around the nail head on the handle, making sure that the working end passes underneath the thread coming out of the handle's hole. This nail head helps you control the tension on the thread. Make sure the thread fits into the groove in the handle. Thread the end through the needle's eye.

  4. 4

    Push the needle of the awl through the fabric and then draw out a length of thread equal to the length of the seam you want to sew plus another three inches. Draw that entire length of thread through the fabric where the needle is located. Secure the thread at that point with the hand you're not using for sewing.

  5. 5

    Pull the needle out of the fabric and reposition it for the second stitch. Use the awl's handle to push the entire length of the needle through the fabric. Pull back on the awl until a small loop is formed. Pull the whole length of thread back through this loop, maintaining tension on the thread with the hand not doing the sewing, then pull the needle out.

  6. 6

    Pull evenly on both the thread's loose end and the awl. Feed out a little more thread between the fabric and the needle and make another stitch like the first one. Repeat this process until you come to the end of your seam.

  7. 7

    On the last stitch, don't pull the remaining thread through the final loop. Pull out the loop itself about three inches. Cut the thread and remove the sewing awl. You should have two thread ends on the same side of the fabric. Tie a square knot with them to fasten off the stitching.

Tips and warnings

  • You can buy additional needles and spools of waxed thread at a local hobby shop.
  • Use normal safety precautions. The needles are very sharp and can puncture fingers and paws. Don't leave them lying around where children and pets can pick them up.

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