August 2, 2009

Getting Started: Winding and Threading Your Bobbin

To wind your bobbin, start by placing your spool of thread on the machine, and threading the (first) top thread guide, as you would if you were threading the machine.

Then look for another thread guide that is out of place, down lower or off to another side, and wrap your thread around it once.

Then take a look at your bobbin. There should be a tiny little hole on the side for you to put your thread through. Thread from the inside of the bobbin, out, so your thread sticks out the side an inch or two.

With your thread guides still threaded, look for a little metal shank at the top of your machine somewhere. It will look like this:

Snap your bobbin onto it, and push the shank and bobbin over to the side with the thread stopper (round white thing).

Press your foot down on the pedal and begin winding the thread onto the bobbin! You'll want to hold on to your thread at the very first, to make sure it doesn't slip out of the hole.

Stop before the bobbin "overflows", press the shank back to it's original position, and snip your thread!

To insert and thread your bobbin into your machine, first slide off, or fold down the section in the front of the bottom of your machine.

Underneath is where you'll find the bobbin case:

Pull out the bobbin case, using the hinged flap in the front.

Insert a bobbin, leaving a few inches of thread sticking out. Pull that thread through the little notch in the side of the case.

Then pull the thread through the slit on the side, and under the "finger" (the Pinocchio nose looking thing)

Holding it by the tab again, insert the bobbin case back into the machine.....

Being sure that Pinocchio's nose is fitted into the little crevice created for it.

Then turn the handwheel on the side....

To bring the needle, threaded with the top thread, down into the bobbin area.

While it's down there, it will magically grab the excess bobbin thread....

And when the needle comes back up, it should have your bobbin thread with it! Exciting, right??

Then simply grab the thread with your fingers and bring it to the back with your top thread!

Ta-da! Ready to sew!! :o)


  1. hey - i have a link on my sidebar (just put it there) that shows a profile of what happens under the feed-dogs creating the locking stitch - i have to admit when i found this a couple weeks ago, it was the first time i really understood how the machine worked :)
    i have not figured out how to post it as a moving picture, so the link takes you to it on the web. it might be fun to incorporate it into your sewing basics...

  2. Thank you for this, I have to admit the bobbin is my weakest sewing link. I can never remember if the thread should be coming out of the bobbin clockwise or counter-clockwise and I generally have to sew some swatches of both before I tinker it out.

  3. On one machine with the same bobbin pictured on this post I always put the thread on incorrectly. My sewing instructor suggested drawing a diagram with arrows in the direction the thread should go through the bobbin. Hope this helps.


  4. For realz, the reason my sewing machine never got unpacked from our last move was because I (shamefully) had no idea how to do this. Hmm. Now I might have to dig it out.

    For now, I will keep showing people how NOT to do things over at my blog. :P

  5. I have to say, I wish I had this tutorial when I first started sewing...I didn't know there was a wrong way to put the bobbin in the case holder on my machine. In fact I just learned last year (I've been sewing for almost 5 years now). When someone graciously pointed it out to me (that would of saved me LOTS of headaches)! :)

  6. Thank you for posting this! Every time I go to thread a bobbin I end up wanting to scream. I think this will help!

  7. This was my weakness when it came to using the machine.
    Thank You so much for this.

  8. hi,

    on my machine, i have to spin counter-clock-wise the big round thing at the side of the machine first (using hand of course), before winding the thread by pressing the pedal. after the bobbin is full, i must spin back (clock-wise) the round thing. so that i can sew as normal machine will do :)

  9. LOL, I've been sewing since I was in elementary school and I just realized that I've never pulled the thread through the hole of the bobbin before winding it. I guess it still works since I've never had a problem!

  10. You're my hero!

    Next request... BUTTON HOLES! They scare the daylights out of me!

  11. Thank You, TY,TY!
    I'm an incredibly new sewing machine beginner person. Santa's bringing me a machine and I will be taking classes in January - but that was the coolest tutorial, I've seen yet. Every little bit helps.

  12. this is an amazing tutorial ! i've always failed when i tried to do that -__- always used to ask mummy but now I live far from her i'm gonna have to do it on my own >_< .... Well ... I'll need a sewing machine first =D

  13. Thank you so much for putting together your beginners guide and tutorials! I have a black thumb when it comes to sewing but have gained so much skill (and confidence) from your tips and tricks and your step by step projects!

    I owe ya one!
    - Sarah

  14. Thank you so much. I've been avoiding my sewing machine after having broken nearly into tears trying to thread and replace my bobbin.

    You rule.

  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have had my sewing machine for about five years. I got my bobbin too tight or something and have been tooooo scared to even attempt it again (It was late that night and I was simply hemming my curtains!) I actually learned to do some simple sewing when I was quite young, but never had to do the "hard part" of bobbins and threading.

    I have a zillion projects, and this actually ends all of my excuses to NOT get them done! Thank you so much!

  16. Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for this! I've just gotten back into sewing and LOVE your blog. So helpful.


  17. Thank you a thousand times over for this! I hadn't been able to find adequate pictures of this, and you have the same machine as me! So I know realize why my thread is bunching at the bottom of fabric, the bobbin is incorrectly threaded!! Thank you thank you thank you. I was about to take it to a professional I was so frustrated.

  18. Thanks SOOOOOOO much for this tutorial! I am a huge fan of your blog and I love your little girl!

  19. What causes the thread to come out of the slit/notch in the bobbin when I am doing a zigzag stitch.
    lourdesfay at gmail dot com

  20. I guess I made up my own way of winding the bobbin all these years, which works, but I certainly went around it the long way - your tutorial is so simple and very easy for anyone to follow. thanks! new follower and know I can learn a lot here.

  21. Thank you for breaking down those simple steps everyone thinks every sewer knows how to do. I will begin teaching sewing in a middle school and I have never threaded a bobbin so I will get practicing from your picture tutorial. Thank you!

  22. Why oh why oh why does my sewing machine manual not explain the lower bobbin in this clear manner? You have saved me hours and hours of frustration. I wish I'd discovered this site years ago, but let's be "glass half full" about this!

  23. Thank you and a million times THANK YOUU. I am a swewing noob, but i follow manuals very well. ok...when the manual is comprehendable... my sewing mashine is even very similar to yours!!!!
    Thank you so much. I made my first ever pillowcases!!!

  24. This tutorial does not tell you whether the bobbin thread should spool clockwise or counterclockwise. On youtube there are some tutorials that say CW and others that say CCW. These are ALL for identical front load bobbins. It seems like nobody knows!

  25. THANK YOU! I have sewn for years, but ended up with a different machine about two years ago and my previous one experienced a minor accident (thanks to my son). Honestly, I could never figure out how to load the bobbin as my last was a drop in and go system. Because of this, I reverted back to hand sewing everything I was working on. Now I can use my new (second hand) machine!

  26. I am a beginner. Never learned. Always scared but you make it sound so easy. I believe i am getting a sewing machine for Xmas. Thank you for helping me not to be scared.Ready to learn. Again thanks!

  27. I have a friend who is an amazing sewer. She never showed me this trick, but the one thing that she does is, while she is sewing her project, she keeps a bobbin in the threading area and fills the bobbin as she does her regular sewing. That way she never has to stop, she just changes out bobbins. I've always hated filling the bobbin and you just made my life so much simpler. Thank you.

  28. The tutorials I have read so far are great thank u. My machine is a Viking (very basic Viking which still cost over $800 12 years ago, thank u mom) and the bobbin loads much different. It loads on the top of the machine and in front of the feed area. I remember an instructor I had once said the singers are difficult to thread the bobbin and I remember my mom having trouble, I wonder if this is why. Mine doesn't have an extra piece to load the bobbin into. Although it doesn't look like a big deal to me. One comment I wanted to make on the clockwise subject is on the Viking machine I was always told use only their bobbins and insert with the logo up. I'm guessing if this is done both during bobbin winding and inserting it will wind the correct direction. Not sure if that is universal or not. Will have to look. I'm in no way an expert, in fact I need a bunch of help. And patience. For instance I never knew what the hole in the bobbin was for. I just wrapped some thread around the base of the bobbin a few times before I started to wind. Duh!!! I wonder why I don't sew much. I'm so hoping a few more tutorials will help. I always find myself rushing thru things and making mistakes like not catching both edges when sewing bias tape in. Is there a tutorial for that???? I need some help. Probably the kind I can't get here or for less than 250 an hour from a person with far too many initials after there name . Thanks.


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