How to Thread a Sewing Machine

Because sewing machines are very similar, when you want to understand how to thread a sewing machine-almost any sewing machine-it's done in much the same manner.

Though many inventors can claim having invented some sort of sewing machine, it was Issac Singer who perfected the sewing machine in 1850, and his sewing machine company is still around to prove it. But while there are many sewing machines and many sewing machine companies, for the most part all sewing machines are manufactured in much the same manner.

How to Thread a Sewing Machine

  • Turn the hand wheel, located on the right, toward you. This will cause the needle mechanism to rise. Turn the wheel until the needle has reached the highest point.
  • Using your left hand, reach under the sewing machine carriage and lift the presser foot.
  • Push a spool of thread onto the thread pin. (This pin is positioned on the top right of the machine, near the hand wheel.) Start the thread and pull it to the left.
  • As you pull the thread across the top of the machine you will find a series of thread holes or passages that the thread will need to pass through. Find the first one, closest to the spool pin and push the end of the thread through it.
  • Pull the thread out the opposite end of the hole and then downward toward the tension assembly. The thread should pass around and under the tension assembly, starting on the right and come back up on the left. When done correctly, the thread will be caught between two discs.
  • At this point, pass the thread through the hook on the left of the tension assembly.
  • Pull the thread through one last lever, again on the left. This level will rise up and down, just above and to the right of the needle.
  • Pull several inches of thread down through the hole and insert the thread into the eye of the needle and pull it through.
  • While the presser foot is still up, insert a wound bobbin into the bobbin casing.
  • Lower the presser foot and pull the hand wheel toward you again until the needle disappears into the bobbin.
  • Continue moving the hand wheel toward you until the needle comes back up again. On its way back up the needle should catch the bobbin thread. Pull both the bobbin thread and the sewing machine thread so that there is at least several inches of each to spare. Now you are ready to sew.
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