Sewing for Beginners: How to Thread a Sewing Machine

How to Thread a Sewing Machine

We are going to learn how to thread a sewing machine today! I am going to use a red thread to show you how to thread it today so you can hopefully see a bit better. I am going to give descriptions with pictures…but there’s a video above if you would rather just watch. When learning to sew as a beginner, this may take you a few times to learn how to thread a sewing machine correctly, but know that this is one of the most difficult hurdles when you are first starting out.

I have learned that sewing is 90% getting things ready and 10% sewing-it takes a lot of prep work to get a project started!!!

**Before I show you how to wind your bobbin and how to thread your machine, let me start with the basics of how to properly cut on your machine. I have one cord that goes with my sewing machine. One part is the pedal, one part plugs into the wall, and one part plugs into the machine. The part that plugs into the sewing machine is specially made so that you cannot put it in the incorrect way. If your sewing machine is different than mine, just scan through the directions that came with it carefully to figure out where you need to plug things in at. My sewing machine also has a switch on the right hand side that turns it on and off (I know mine is on if my sewing machine light comes on). If my light is on, and I press the foot pedal, the needle will start moving! So be careful!

We are going to start by getting your spool of thread and your bobbin ready. You need both of these to sew; a portion of the thread will be what you see on the top of your cloth and the other will be what you see on the bottom of your cloth once we get going. To begin, put your large spool of thread on the spool pin at the top of your sewing machine.

You will need to wrap your thread around the top silver portion of your machine. On many sewing machines, there is a diagram at the top that gives you an idea of where to put your thread.  We are going to thread your empty bobbin. When you thread it, make sure the loose end is sticking out of the outside of the bobbin.

Now we will put the threaded bobbin onto the bobbin winder at the top and shift it over.

I tend to hold on to my loose end for just a second to make sure it doesn’t pull off.

Press down on the foot control/pedal. Let the bobbin wind until your machine automatically moves the bobbin winder back over (my machine does not do this, so I just have to keep an eye on my large spool-when it stops winding on the bobbin I have to manually move mine over-this is perfectly fine!). When it is done winding the bobbin, cut the thread.

Take your bobbin off and put it to the side. We will put it in the sewing machine in just a minute. Let’s thread the spool left on the top of your machine! I will show you on my machine-yours may be a bit different (once again, if yours is different, just check your directions that came with your machine-and many newer machines have directions drawn on the top of your machine).

It’s time to thread the sewing machine!

Take the loose end of your spool and wrap it under and around the thread take-up, take your thread down and wrap it around and back up through the thread guide. Take your thread back down toward the needle and make sure the thread goes around the back, and then through the needle. This is way more confusing in words–much easier to view the pictures/video!!!

Bobbin time!
At the bottom left of your machine, you will be putting your bobbin in underneath the large needle you just threaded your thread through. I have a case that I have to pop off of my machine. Take the bobbin case out of your machine.

Put your newly threaded bobbin into the bobbin case and wrap your bobbin thread as shown below.

Place the bobbin back into your machine.

You are going to turn the balance wheel now to make your large needle move up and down very slowly. You are actually going to ‘catch’ your bobbin thread with the spool of thread to bring it up top. This can take a bit of practice, and you may want to get your scissors ready-sometimes you need them to help bring up your bobbin thread.

Once you have your bobbin thread pulled up to the top, put your machine back together and you are ready to go! (**Don’t press your foot control without cloth in your machine–watch that foot!)

Still looking for the perfect sewing machine as a beginner? Check out my blog post on user-friendly sewing machines for beginners.


    • Sarah Camp says:


      Glad you like the videos. Let me know if you have a particular video you would like me to make. I am always open to suggestions.

  1. Banana says:

    Thank you! That is awesome. I have a machine very similar to yours and was confused especially with the bobbin and drawing up the lower thread. Your video was awesome and I am ready to begin trying to sew.

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