Threading your sewing machine is a quick and easy process once you know how. This post may look long, but practise it a few times and you'll soon be threading up in seconds, I promise.
Machines vary, so some of the parts on my machine (a Janome J3-18) may be in different positions to yours, but nothing will be that different that you won't be able to work it out.
Ready to sew? Let's go!
1) Wind the bobbin
A sewing machine uses two sources of thread – the spool (or reel) of thread that sits on top of the machine and the bobbin of thread that comes up from below. You buy the spools of thread in the shops and the bobbins come empty – so before threading the machine, you need to get some of your chosen thread off the spool and onto the bobbin.
Place the spool of thread onto the spool pin (the prong sticking out the top of your machine). Some spool pins stick upwards, others stick out towards the left and have a plastic cover to hold the spool in place. The thread should be coming out from behind towards the left. Unravel a few inches of thread, pull it to the left and wrap it round the front of the little nubbin sticking out on top of your machine. Thread a little up through the tiny hole in the top of the bobbin and wrap it round a few times so it’s coming out round the back and towards the left. Place the bobbin on the bobbin winder and flick this towards the right to secure it in place.
On many machines, if you pull the handwheel out you can wind the bobbin without the needle going up and down. Switch your machine on and, holding the thread sticking out of the bobbin for the first few seconds, press your foot down on the pedal to start the thread winding from the spool onto the bobbin. If the thread ends up on the bobbin winder rather than on the bobbin itself, you may need to switch the direction the thread is being wrapped. Keep winding until the bobbin is full of thread (or as much as you need).
Snip the thread to separate the spool and bobbin, before flicking the bobbin winder to the left to remove the bobbin. Now turn your machine off so you don't accidentally sew over your hand doing the next part.
2) Thread the spool
Now you need to thread your machine – you start with the spool thread from the top and do the bobbin thread after that.
The thread should be coming out from behind the spool towards the left. Now you need to guide the thread down to the needle - your machine will probably have arrows directing you so you can’t go too wrong. Pull it round to the left of the first hook, then down through the first ditch (1), up the second ditch to the left (2), round the second hook (3), and back down the second ditch again (4).
3) Thread the bobbin
The bobbin thread goes in the bottom of the machine. On some machines it's positioned horizontally directly under the needle – flip off the little plastic lid and insert the bobbin. My machine is front loaded, meaning the bobbin is positioned vertically - you need to remove the arm on the front left of the machine and flip down the cover to reveal the bobbin holder.
Now you need to get the bobbin thread up to the surface of the machine, using the spool (upper) thread to fish it out. Holding the spool thread in your left hand, turn the hand wheel with your right hand for one rotation to move the needle down and up again. Now gently tug on the upper thread with your left hand and a loop of the bobbin (lower) thread should emerge to the surface with it. Use small scissors or a pen to pull out the loop of lower thread. Close the cover, put the arm back on your machine... et voilà!
You’re ready to sew!
Before you do that, it’d be a good idea to pull your thread out from whence it came and practise rethreading a couple more times. I promise that, once you do that, you’ll realise that it’s actually a quick and easy procedure, and not as complicated or time consuming as this long tutorial makes it seem!
Now read How to Stitch: Part 1
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