How To Thread A Sewing Machine: The Ultimate Guide

how to thread a sewing machineIf you are thinking about sewing something, you will need to know how to thread a sewing machine. Believe it or not, this is one of the most complicated procedures for newbies who have never sewed anything before.

And while threading a sewing machine will take a bit of time at first, with consistent practice you will find yourself threading your sewing machine with your eyes closed and one hand tied behind your back. But until then, you need to practice.

Today we are going to go through all of the different parts of threading your sewing machine, as there is more than one aspect to the process. Each part will have step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow so that you can do it yourself at home.

Part 1: The Bobbin

Step 1: The bobbin is the plastic wheel that holds your thread. The first step is to put your bobbin thread spool onto the pin. You do this by putting your spool of thread onto the top of the sewing machine on the little piece known as the spool pin. You want the spool to turn so that the thread comes off counterclockwise.

Step 2: Now pull the thread out. Yank the thread until it comes out and then wind it around the tension disk that is position on the top of your sewing machine. This part should be on the other side of the machine somewhere above the needle. There might be a small wire attached to the disk, and this will help hold your thread in place.

bobbinStep 3: Now you can thread the bobbin. Take the loose end of your thread and insert it through one of the various holes in the bobbin. You will then wrap the thread several times around the bobbin so that it is secured.

Step 4: Place the bobbin onto the bobbin pin, which is the small pin on the top of your machine very close to the location of the spool pin. Once you have placed the bobbin onto the pin, you can slide the pin to the right in order to fix the bobbin in place so it can be wound. You will definitely hear the bobbin pin make a click sound once you slide it over.

Step 5: You want to start winding the bobbin. Do this for a few seconds by pressing on the foot pedal or the bobbin winding button if your machine is equipped with one. Doing this will make sure your thread is wrapped securely around the bobbin. Be sure to cut the extra thread poking from the hole in the bobbin after a few rotations.

Step 6: Now you will apply pressure to your floor pedal until the bobbin is completely filled with thread. Chances are your bobbin winder will stop on its own once the bobbin is full. Once full, you can take the bobbin off. Be sure to cut the extra thread with a pair of scissors, as the thread is still going to be attached to the thread spool.

Part 2: The Upper Half of the Sewing Machine

Step 1: Put the thread spool on the spool pin, which is located on the right part of the machine. It is the bigger of the two pins on that side. Once your thread is on the spool pin, pull a bit of thread loose.

Step 2: Pull the thread from the spool on the top of the sewing machine and bring it over the top and then through the thread guide. The thread guide is generally a silver piece jutting out of the top of your sewing machine.

Step 3: By following the arrows marked on your sewing machine, pull your thread through the guide and towards yourself. This will involve looping the thread around the tangent discs and then up through the secondary thread guide. By the end, you will have created a narrow U with your thread.

Step 4: You will now need to wrap your thread around the take-up lever and then back down towards the needle. You will recognize the take-up lever as a piece of metal poking out of the secondary thread guide. There will be a hole near the top of the take-up lever that your thread must go through.

Step 5: Pull your thread to the needle. You must pull your thread through the small eye of the needle and then several inches out the other side. Finally, you must pull the thread through the small gap in the metal presser foot, which sits right under the machine’s needle.

Part 3: The Lower Half of the Sewing Machine

Step 1: First, take off the lower compartment cover. The small door to the bobbin case is either under your needle or in front of your needle and to the side. Once this chamber is open, you will see the bobbin case. This is where you must place the bobbin that you threaded in part one.

thread from bobbinStep 2: Start by unwinding a few inches of loose thread from the bobbin. You want just enough thread unwound so that it will catch when you begin turning the handwheel.

Step 3: Gently put the bobbin into the bobbin compartment. There should be a diagram on the compartment itself that will show you which direction your thread needs to be going. Put your bobbin inside with the thread facing the right direction according to the diagram.

Step 4: It is time for exposing your bobbin thread. Because it is still underneath the plate below the needle, you must grab hold of the wheel located on the right side of your unit in order to bring the end of the thread out.

Turn the wheel towards you until the end of your thread has popped out. You can then grab the loose end of the thread and pull on it until there are a few inches exposed.


Congratulations, you have successfully threaded your sewing machine and can now get to work. Don’t forget to have fun with all your exciting sewing projects. After practicing these steps several times, you will be able to thread your sewing machine quickly and easily.

nancy jenkins from get sew

Nancy Jenkins

Nancy is a retired seamstress who loves everything about crafting and sewing. When she is not at her sewing machine, you'll find her coming up with new patterns and designs for her sewing projects. Nancy likes the outdoors, meeting with friends, and cooking.