Friday, July 20, 2012

Threading a Sewing Machine

Skill Level: Beginner
Skills Attained: Threading a Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Machine
  • Spool of Thread
  • Bobbin (This is included as one of the parts with the sewing machine.)
As part of my blog, I want to include some basic instructions that will help get you started on the projects I describe in my posts. Many of the projects I include assume a basic level of knowledge to begin the project. So, for those of you that are true beginners, I want to provide you with some fundamental skills. For example, in my sewing projects, I assume that you know how to use a sewing machine. For those of you that have never used a sewing machine, this post will teach you how to thread a sewing machine. The instructions I provide below are based upon a Singer Model 7442. I understand there are a variety of types and styles of sewing machines, but the basic parts and steps should apply to most sewing machines. 

There are three main steps in threading a sewing machine: 
  1. Winding the Bobbin
  2. Threading the Top Thread
  3. Threading the Bobbin Thread
The instructions below break down these main components to threading a sewing machine. For each of the three steps I have included step-by-step instructions with pictures and an instructional video at the end of each section. 

Winding the Bobbin

On the top of your machine, there is a spool pin to place the spool of thread. Slide the spool of thread onto the spool pin followed by the spool pin cap to secure the spool of thread. 

Unwind some of the thread and guide it through the thread guides as shown in the picture below.

Insert the thread through the hole in the bobbin.

Make sure the bobbin winder shaft is in the left-most position. Slide the bobbin onto the shaft so the hole with the thread coming out is on top. Slide the bobbin winder shaft to the right position. 

Hold onto the thread coming out the top of the bobbin and press gently down on the foot control with your foot to start the machine. The bobbin will begin to turn. When the bobbin is full, the bobbin will automatically stop turning. 

Slide the shaft to the left position; remove the bobbin; and snip the thread leaving a 6 - 8" tail. 

Threading the Top Thread

Before you begin, do the following: 
  1. Make sure the pressure foot lifter is in the up position to ensure proper thread tension. 
  2. Raise the needle to the highest position by turning the hand wheel on the right-side of the machine. 

With the spool of thread still on the spool pin secured by the spool pin cap, unwind some thread and guide it through the thread guide. This is where the steps will vary depending upon the type of machine. Most machines have either arrows or numbers that guide you through the steps of threading the top thread. On most machines, the top thread passes through the following:
  1. Initial Thread Guide 
  2. Pre-Tension Guide
  3. a) Tension Discs and b) Thread Take-Up Lever (On my machine, this is two separate steps, but this is one step for some newer machines.)
  4. Eye of the Needle (Be sure to thread the needle from the front to the back.)
Steps #1 & #2
Steps #3a & 3b
Step #4

Threading the Bobbin Thread

The bobbin may be top-facing (horizontal bobbin) or front-facing (vertical bobbin) depending on the machine. Also, many front-facing bobbin machines have a bobbin case that you insert the bobbin into before placing it into the machine. The instructions below are for a top-facing bobbin. The same basic steps should apply for a front-facing bobbin.

Top-Facing Bobbin
Before you begin, raise the needle to the highest position by turning the hand wheel on the right side of the machine.

Take off the bobbin cover plate by sliding the release button to the right.

Drop the bobbin inside the bobbin chamber ensuring that the bobbin spins counter-clockwise when the thread is pulled. This is extremely important as issues will arise if the bobbin is inserted the wrong direction.

Along the bottom edge where the bobbin is inserted, there are two small slots. Slide the thread through the slot on the right (Slot #1) and pull to the left (Slot #2). Pull out about 6 - 8" of thread.

Turn the hand wheel on the right side of the machine causing the needle to go down and up. This will cause the top thread to catch the bobbin thread. Once the needle is in the up position, pull the top thread so that the bobbin thread comes up through with the top thread.

Put the bobbin cover plate back in place.


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