Threading A Sewing Machine Guide With Tips

Threading a sewing machine is not that hard at all. There are some basic things you will need to do to make sure you thread the sewing machine correctly.  

First Off, Use the Correct Thread

Be sure to choose the correct thread for your sewing project. You don’t want to use the wrong type of thread and have your project not hold up over time. Check out a previous article where I go very in-depth about Sewing Thread; different kinds of threads for sewing. Essentially, don’t go cheap on your thread so you can save a little bit of money. Use good quality thread and the type of thread that you should be using for the application of sewing you are doing. My biggest pet peeve for is people who use serger thread as a sewing thread. Serger thread is cheaper, but it is also not as strong as regular sewing thread.  

Grab your manual for your sewing machine. Your manual will have a picture diagram of how to thread your sewing machine. If you can’t locate your manual or never had one, then don’t worry, it isn’t hard to figure out how to thread.  

Next, you will wind a bobbin with the thread you want to use.  

How to wind a bobbin

Start by checking your manual if you have one. If not, take an empty bobbin that has no thread on it and put it on the bobbin winding holder. Some bobbins have a top side and a bottom side. Make sure you know which is the top and bottom. Place the thread onto the correct spool holder according to your manual. Next, thread the sewing machine for bobbin winding. Threading for the bobbin winding is different then threading the sewing machine for regular sewing. You usually do not thread the needle to wind the bobbin.  

How do you thread a bobbin?  

Threading the bobbin in your sewing machine will depend on if you have a top-loading bobbin or a front loading bobbin compartment.  

For top-loading sewing machines

Slide or open your bobbin cover off the sewing machine. Now when you put the bobbin in a top-loading sewing machine, you will hold the bobbin with the end of the thread coming off the bobbin in the shape of a “P,” not a “Q.” By using this “P” method, it will ensure that you put the bobbin thread into the machine the correct way and not backward.  

For front-loading sewing machines

Open the front door to the bobbin compartment. Next, raise the little slap on the bobbin holder and pull out while lifting it. Hold the bobbin so that the thread comes off the bobbin to the left. By holding the bobbin like this, it will mean the thread and bobbin doing are the letter “P.” Next, place the bobbin into the compartment with the thread coming off the bobbin in a clockwise motion. There is a little track on the bobbin hold you will put your thread into, and it will sort of snap into the holder. If the bobbin thread doesn’t snap into the holder, it will not have correct tension on the bobbin thread, which will make the sewing machine not sew correctly. Now hold the little lever up on the metal bobbin holder that you just placed your bobbin in and thread through. Now, place it back into the sewing machine. Close the compartment front and hold a long piece of thread that is threaded through the sewing machine needle. Now rotate the handwheel one rotation towards you, and this should make the bobbin thread catch and come up through the throat plate. You are now ready to start sewing.  

Why is the bobbin thread not coming up?

If you are having different issues with the bobbin thread coming up from the throat plate, there are plenty of reasons why this may be happening. First, off is the sewing machine threaded correctly for the spool of thread and the bobbin. The next thing to check is if both have long enough pieces of thread coming through the sewing machine needle and the throat plate. (The throat plate is the metal part of the sewing machine that the needle drops down into to meet up with the bobbin thread.) Now take and hand turn the wheel around towards you while with the other hand holding the top thread with your left hand. By rotating the wheel, you should make one full rotational stitch and pull the bobbin thread to the top side of the throat plate.  

Another issue with your bobbin thread could be it isn’t wound on the bobbin correctly. Take a look at the picture and see the correct one and the one that is loose and incorrect. The good thing is that you can rewind that loose bobbin onto a new bobbin correctly and not waste any thread in the process.

Why does my sewing machine not stitch?

If your sewing machine isn’t stitching, then make sure the machine is threaded correctly. I know that I may sound like a broken record, but just by doing this one thing, it will fix several issues with your sewing machine. Make sure your bobbin thread is coming up through the throat plate in the sewing machine. Is the thread caught up top on the spool spindle and not coming off the spool.   

Why is my sewing machine bunching thread on the bottom?  

When the thread bunches on your sewing machine, that most likely means it is not threaded correctly. Remove the spool of thread and start over. Make sure the pressure foot is in the up position and not down. If it is down, then the thread will not go into the tension disks correctly. You should also take out the bobbin and put in back into the sewing machine. Check your thread and make sure it is for a sewing machine and not hand sewing or a serger. Rethread the entire sewing machine. The top thread and the bobbin thread. Nine out of 10 times, this will fix your problem.  

How to fix a sewing machine that keeps jamming?

To fix a sewing machine that keeps jamming first unthread the sewing machine. Take out the bobbin and the top spool of thread. Next, if possible, take out the bobbin compartment. Check your manual instructions on how to do this. Now you need to make sure there are no threads under the bobbin compartment or lots of lent and dust. If so, clean them up. Recheck your manual to see what parts of your sewing machine should be oiled if it needs and how often this needs to occur.  

How do you take the thread out of a sewing machine?

How do you unthread your sewing machine? First off, make sure the sewing foot is in the up position and not down. If it is down, then this means the tension disks will be engaged, and you could potentially mess up the tension by pulling and forcing the thread to come out of the disks. Some people will actually clip the thread at the spool and pull the thread through the needle out of the sewing machine the way the machine thread feeds. By doing this allows the thread to keep going in the direction it was woven and intended to go verses going backward and possibly, leaving small fibers or snagging on the inner parts of the sewing machine. By using this method, it is better for the sewing machine in the long run. You will waste a little bit of thread by doing this snip and pull out.