How to Thread Your Sewing Machine

A lot of people asked me to start with the basics of sewing, so today I’m going to show you how to thread any type of sewing machine.

All regular sewing machines use two threads to make a stitch: the bobbin which is the lower thread and the needle - or top - thread.

We use the same spool for both.

Tools and materials:

  • Spool of sewing thread
  • Empty bobbin
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
Sewing machine

1. Fill the bobbin

All machines follow the same basic system.

Filling the bobbin

Place your spool of thread at the top of your machine. Yours may be upright or horizontal.

Bobbin thread

Follow the guide printed on your machine for the bobbin thread.

Filling the bobbin

Feed the end of the thread through the hole in your bobbin.

Filling the bobbin

Put the bobbin on to the winder and push it over to the rubber stopper.

Filling the bobbin

Press your foot pedal until the bobbin is full, and cut the thread.

Remove the bobbin from the winder.

Bobbin thread

2. Feed the top thread

Follow the guide printed on your machine to feed the thread down to the needle.

Note that the thread should never cross over itself.

Threading the needle

3. Thread the needle

If your machine doesn’t have an automatic needle threader like mine, pass the thread through the hole in the needle from left to right.

Bobbin thread

4. Pick up the bobbin thread

Hold the bobbin with the thread coming from the left side, so it looks like the letter P.

Bobbin in bobbin case

Place it in the bobbin case.

Pull the thread clockwise until it latches on to the hook, and the bobbin should spin.

Bobbin in bobbin case

Hold the thread from your needle so that it’s facing towards you.

Turn the machine wheel manually and it will pick up the loop of bobbin thread.

Pull it through.

Replace the bobbin cover.

Bobbin in bobbin case

When you’re ready to sew, take both threads under the presser foot from front to back.

How to thread your sewing machine

I hope that solved the mystery of how to thread your machine!

Practice a few times and you’ll be a pro in no time.

Let me know in the comments if this was helpful and what else you’d like me to teach.

Next, learn How to Sew a Zipper Pouch for Beginners.

For more sewing content, follow me on TikTok: @kenjahb

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation