Best way to thread your sewing machine

If you read the 18 sewing machine problems you may face in your sewing life sometime or the other outlined in this post,  you will realize that properly threading the sewing machine is the solution for most of the them. The first thing to check if you get a whiff of most of these problems is to check that all the steps  in the threading sequence has been complied with. Threading the sewing machine the right way is a very important first step which shouldn’t be taken lightly at all . So you are on the right track in reading this.

First thing I would advice you is to go and read your sewing machine manual ( after you have read this post ofcourse); if you donot have the manual please get one pronto – check this post for a downloadable version of the sewing machine manual for your particular brand of sewing machine. I will be outlining the general principles of threading a sewing machine here which is similar for most machines.

Checkout this post on the different parts of the sewing machine to make sure that you know your machine as well as the post on more details about the best sewing machine brands and how to use it.

Step 1

Wind the bobbin before threading the machine
Wind the bobbin with the thread you want on the back of your fabric. Mostly we use the same colour thread but at times like when joining different colored fabric pieces we will be using a different coloured thread on the bobbin from the upper thread ( upper thread,as you know,  comes on the face of the fabric).


You will be placing the empty bobbin on the bobbin thread pin and the thread spool to fill the bobbin on the regular pin. Ensure that the empty bobbin is securely pressed on the pin so that the thread doesn’t end up winded under the bobbin. It happens – to careless people, believe me.

Get the tail end of the thread and pull, extending it to the bobbin through the thread winding guide ( The thread guide is a mechanism through which you extend the thread to the bobbin).Pull the thread to the top through the hole on the bobbin from down. This ensures that the thread ends up on the bobbin. Sometimes I just skip this and wind the bobbin manually once or twice and leave it at that – I do this when some of my bobbins have holes smaller than the eye of the needle.

Now you will have to ensure that your sewing machine is on a bobbin winder mode. Each machine has a different type of system here. Check your manual about this. When this mode is on, the sewing machine needle stops moving and only the bobbin winding will be carried out. Some machines have this engaged by moving a lever in the center of the hand wheel. My machine does this when I move the bobbin pin to the right.

Press on the machine pedal so that the bobbin starts winding. (Notice that the needle is not moving). Continue operating this till the bobbin is almost full.Most machines will have a sensor near the bobbin pin to tell the machine when to stop.

Remove from the bobbin spindle and disengage the bobbin winder.

I would advise you to power off the machine at this point. This is so that the machine does not accidentally start when you are threading it.

Step 2

Take the bobbin and insert it to the bobbin case. You may have a separate bobbin case or joined bobbin case depending on the machine.The way you insert the bobbin is most probably indicated on your machine or else definitely in the manual

Step 3

Keep the thread spool on the thread pin. Turn the handwheel towards you so that the needle is raised the maximum.

The thread pin may be horizontally placed or vertically placed depending on the machine you have. If it is horizontally placed do place the spool cap a small round cap to secure the thread spool in place.

Guide the thread end through the thread guide. Most machines will have engraved indication as to the direction you should take the thread end towards the needle.Take extra care around the tension guide as a miss here may be difficult to notice . Also donot pass the thread through the bobbin thread guide.

Step 4

Just above the needle most machines have a lever through which the thread is guided . Thread the needle through the needle eye. Checkout the post on the many ways to thread the needle if you have difficulties there.Many easy ways to thread the hand needles and sewing machine needles are outlined  in the post. Ensure that the needle is threaded just the right way mentioned in manual. My machine needle is threaded from the front to the back but yours may be different. Leave enough tail of the thread.


Then there is the convenient needle threader which is a life saver for many. If you have  a sewing machine with a needle threader definitely use it. I have a brother sewing machine and checkout the way to use needle threader given in their official website . I suppose the same procedure is applicable for most machines

If you are using a twin needle you will have the additional steps of changing the needle, pressure foot and attaching an additional thread pin for the other thread spool. You may not be able to use the needle threader with the twin needles.

Step 5

Hold the thread end and move the hand lever so that the needle goes down and brings up the bobbin thread.Pull the bobbin thread tail.

Step 6

Hold both the thread tails and bring it to the back of the needle. You can start sewing now.

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