How to Thread A Sewing Machine

I assume many beginners are a bit confused by sewing machines. I definitely won’t admit to how long I actually owned a sewing machine before I started using it. It’s the worst excuse in the book but honestly, I’m not one for instructions. Sitting down with a manual on how something works is not my thing and I let something as simple as that delay me from getting going.

It wasn’t until I signed up for a class at Joann Fabrics that I felt comfortable using my machine. That is always an option if you have one in your area, but sometimes it’s easier to learn right in your home.


I use the Singer Patchwork, as seen above, and while machines vary a bit in how they’re threaded, it tends to be a similar process. If you have access to the instruction manual, it will be your best bet in explaining the steps for you specific model. If you don’t have that, the brand’s web page and Google are you best friends! I’m almost certain someone somewhere has posted about your brand in great detail.

If all else fails, you can typically find a small graphic on the top of your machine showing how to thread it so to fill a bobbin and also to thread it to prepare for sewing. When in doubt follow the image on your machine.

The Bobbin

The first thing you’ll need to do is thread your machine so it is ready to fill a bobbin. You’ll do this with whatever thread you’ll be using to complete your project.

Step 1– load your spool of thread on to the spool pin


Step 2 – grab hold of the thread and feed it under the thread guide


Step 3 – pull the thread under the pretension guide like below


Steps 4-6

Step 4 – loop the thread around the bobbin winding tension disk

Step 5 – pull the thread toward the bobbin winder shaft

Step 6 – pull the end of the thread through a hole in the bobbin

Step 7 – gently press the bobbin onto the shaft with the thread coming out of the top of the bobbin as seen below. Push the bobbin winder shaft towards the right


Now you’re ready to fill the bobbin! Press down on the peddle and fill. Once the bobbin is completely gull cut the thread leaving a few inches as seen below and snip the thread coming out of the top of the bobbin as close as possible.


As seen below, remove the bobbin cover plate and insert the bobbin making sure it rotate counter clockwise when you pull the thread.


Pull the thread through the small groove and pull to the left.


Threading the Needle

Make sure the machine is still threaded like steps 1-3 (spool pin, thread guide, pretension guide). Skip the part where we looped around the bobbin winding tension disk.

Now, following the number printed on my machine, replace step two with pulling the thread down the front face of the machine towards the tab shown as number 3. Loop under number 3 and pull the thread up towards number 4, the take up lever. Loop around the take up lever finally pulling the thread down towards the needle.


Thread the needle like below. Some machines have automatic needle threaders but I have not shown that here as threading a needle can be done by hand.


Holding the thread loosely with your left hand use the right to turn the hand wheel towards you. This is will lower the needle – continue turning until the needle comes back up to it’s highest position. Lightly pull the top thread that is in your left hand. The bobbin thread will appear popping up through the needle plate. I use my thread scissors or seam ripper to pull the bobbin thread up. Grab both threads with the left and and pull out just a few inches.


Once you pop the bobbin cover plate back on you’re ready to sew!!

Good luck and try not to become frustrated with pulling the bobbin thread up. This can be a bit confusing while doing it for the first time. Keep trying!

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