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how to thread a sewing machine // #DIYwithDami // YouTube

Updated: Sep 25, 2022

Welcome to the first instalment of #DIYwithDami where I take you along my sewing project journeys!

I chose the song Mac Ayres - Get to You Again in this video because I genuinely want to get into sewing again! This is the beginning. My voice sounds horridly high in the video, but I tried my best to demonstrate how to thread a front-loading bobbin sewing machine. A great video for absolute beginners who may have plenty of project ideas but don't know how to sew! Grab your family's dusty old sewing machine or buy a relatively cheap starter one if you're passionate about learning a new skill. Some reputable brands are Singer (the brand of my sewing machine), Brother, Janome and Bernina to name a few. Let me know what sewing machines you use, if your preference is front/drop-in loading bobbin machines and beginner friendly projects you have or plan to execute!

To start off, place your sewing machine close to a power outlet on a flat, sturdy surface. Plug in your sewing machine and place the pedal around your feet where you’d be most comfortable. Choose an appropriate thread for your project, it could perhaps be closely matching your fabric, one of the colours in a pattern or a contrasting stitch to your fabric – use your artistic license!

Sewing machine and thread
Choose your thread.

Now that I’ve chosen a thread, I need to now actually thread the machine. In the removable sewing table, there is a space for accessory storage where I choose to keep all the standard accessories that came with the machine as well as addition ones I’ve bought. I will possibly create a post on which extra accessories I have bought for my machine. In this you’ll find the spool holder (the thing that holds the thread in place) as well as the bobbin and bobbin case.

Sewing machine spool holder
Spool holder.

The spool thread holds the upper thread and the bobbin holds the lower thread. Most sewing machines have directions on them to show how to thread it as you can see from the numbers decaled on the machine, this is a front-load bobbin machine as opposed to a drop-in. I’m used to working with front-loading machines and some find drop-in versions easier but it’s really down to personal choice.

Bobbin case
Bobbin case.

(1) Pull the thread around the little back panel that sticks out not the metal one next to it – that’s for winding the bobbin.


(2) (3) Pull the thread down and (4) around the metal take-up lever I’ve pointed to then (5) secure the thread behind the little barrier in front of the needle.

(2) (3)

Next is to thread the needle, which is a lot easier if you chop the scruffy part of the thread off first with scissors. I’ve had these red Maped left handed fabric scissors since I studied textiles for GCSEs in 2013. They’re not quite sharp enough but I try to use them anyway since my teacher Ms. Moore engraved my name in it and it really holds some precious memories.

Left handed scissors
The struggles of being a leftie.

If you want to lick it, go forth, but I don’t find it necessary. If anything, you can get someone to help you if you’re struggling. When doing this, as well as securing the thread to the take-up lever, use the handwheel to gauge the optimum position for your precision. Make sure to guide the thread under the presser foot in preparation for the bobbin.

Threading the needle
Thread the needle.
Guide the thread under the presser foot
Guide the thread under the presser foot.

For the bobbin, place the it in the bobbin case so that the thread is going anti-clockwise and lead the thread towards the little gap in the bobbin case.

Bobbin in bobbin case
Fit the bobbin in the bobbin case.

Pull the lever of the bobbin case to place it in the machine so the bit that sticks out matches with the notch.

Pull the bobbin case lever to place in the machine
Pull the bobbin case lever to place in the machine.

Turn the handwheel until you can see that the bobbin thread has lifted to the needle plate. To raise the bobbin thread, turn handwheel towards you lowering, then raising the needle.

Gently pull the needle thread to raise the bobbin thread. Then pull both threads back, I do this by using my scissors to brush over the needle plate.

I choose to snap back in the sewing table to maintain a tidy workspace and so I can see in advance the fabric feeding into the machine. Next is to place your fabric on the needle plate under the presser foot, make sure to pull the presser foot lever down and that the bobbin winder isn’t enable unless, as you can see, you can’t sew! I made a point to leave the bobbin winder enabled since this is a common mistake I make while troubleshooting since I keep it on to make sure when I press the pedal the needle doesn't run when I'm inactive for safety reasons.

I choose to keep the bobbin winder enabled when I'm inactive for safety reasons
I choose to keep the bobbin winder enabled when I'm inactive for safety reasons.
In order to enable the needle, you must ensure that the bobbin winder is disabled
In order to enable the needle, you must ensure that the bobbin winder is disabled.

After all that, you can get sewing using the pedal to control feed speed. I look forward to all the future projects I'll recreate and reconnecting to my love of sewing. No longer will the dust settle on my sewing machine!

Get to sewing!


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