How to Thread a Sewing Machine: An Incredibly Simple Guide

For many people, the first obstacle to sewing is threading the machine. If you don't perform this simple task frequently, it's normal to forget how to do it.

Photo credit: SewCanShe.

Take your sewing machine out of the closet so you can make all those beautiful projects you dream of!

When you're finished threading the needle, use my incredibly simple guide to winding a bobbin.

Getting started: Raise the presser foot and needle

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Turn the machine on so the light helps you see what you're doing. Raising the presser foot will open the tension discs and ensure that the thread enters them correctly. If you have a needle up/down button, press it once or twice until the needle is at its highest position. Otherwise, turn the handwheel toward you until the needle reaches its highest position.

1. Place a spool of thread on the spool holder

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The spool pin is on the top of the machine, usually on the right side. On some machines the spool holder is telescopic and pushes down for storage, so you may need to pull it up.

2. Pull the thread to the left and through the pretensioner from the back.

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Sewing machines generally have a thread guide (or pretensioner) at the back. Pass the thread through the guide from the back of the machine, pulling towards you.

3. Pull the thread down through the channel in front of the thread guide.

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Follow the numbered path printed on your machine, if there is one.

4. Pass the thread through the tension discs and up to the take-up lever.

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As you move the thread down and then up in the left channel, it will enter the tension disks. On some machines (like mine pictured), the tension control knob is located directly above the tension disks.

5. Pull the thread up the take-up lever channel, sliding it along the right side of the channel.

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The lift lever is the metal arm with a hook (or eye) at the end. It moves up and down as you sew. On old-fashioned machines, seamstresses had to pass the thread through the eye of the take-up lever.

On modern machines, threading the take-up lever is much easier. Slide the thread along the right side of the take-up lever channel while pulling it up, then (next step) slide the thread down the left side of the channel while pulling it down.

6. Slide the thread to the left side of the take-up lever channel while pulling it toward the needle.

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This step will ensure that the thread has been caught by the take-up lever.

7. Pass the thread past the needle bar

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The needle bar is a horizontal guide located in front of the needle near the top.

8. Thread the needle eye manually or with an automatic needle threader

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Lower the presser foot. Pass the thread through the eye of the needle from front to back. Many people find it easier to do this manually, even if their machine has an automatic needle threader.

Using an automatic needle threader

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Lower the presser foot. Pull the needle threader all the way down using the lever on the left side.

There is a little thread with a hook on the end that should enter the eye of the needle. This thread will pull the thread through the eyelet back when you release the lever. A common problem with automatic needle threaders is that this small thread becomes bent or damaged and does not enter the eye of the needle. If your automatic needle threader no longer works, the small thread is probably damaged and the needle threader needs to be replaced. The cost of replacing a needle threader varies, but is generally not very expensive.

Pass the thread under and over the needle threader thread guide and around the front of the needle.

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This is the trickiest step when using an automatic needle threader. The thread should pass from the needle bar, to the left and down under a small arm (thread guide) on the needle threader. Next, pull the thread over this little arm and to the right across the front of the needle.

Gently push the thread toward the back of the machine. You can hear or feel it gently snap into the metal hook of the automatic needle threader.

Release the needle threader lever so the hook pulls the thread through the eye of the needle.

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When you let the needle threader return to its out-of-the-way position, the little hook that (hopefully) grabbed the thread will pull the thread through the eye of the needle.

It is necessary to keep some tension on the end of the yarn in your right hand so that it does not come out of the metal hook too soon, but not so much tension that the hook cannot pull the yarn through the hook. needle. .

With a little practice, this step can become second nature to you!

9. Pull the upper thread through the presser foot

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Before sewing, pull the needle thread through the presser foot. Hold the top thread and bobbin thread together when you begin sewing to avoid a “bird's nest” of thread at the bottom of your project.

Disclosure: Some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, so please support SewCanShe when you shop! All opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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