How to Thread a Sewing Machine

I am not a sewing expert by any means. In fact, I tend to hate 99% of sewing projects. Which is a bit ironic because I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with an associate’s degree in Fashion Design. But really… I hate it. I vowed after transferring from FIT into an Art History program that I would never sew again. Something about spending 2 years of your college career living in a sewing lab with an industrial machine. Just makes you never want to put hands to needle and thread again.

Luckily the poison of sewing has bled away from the wound a little in the 6 years since I graduated from FIT. I’ll attempt a small project here and there. I figured that for my next home design project I would be willing to test the waters again.

Machines vary of course, but I will say for the most part you can use this quick photo tutorial to learn how to thread your home machine. Keep in mind that the beauty of the internet these days means that you can also probably find a manual for your machine on the company website for more specific tips and tricks.

Threading a machine can seem a little intimidating if you have never sewn before, but I assure you once you know the moves it’s a breeze. Ready? Here we go…

How to Thread a Standard Sewing Machine

1. Place your thread on top of your machine at the right hand corner. For those of you advanced sewers out there, you can wind your bobbin at this time. Or you can be like me and buy the pre-threaded bobbins at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $3.99 (use a 40% off coupon and it’s a steal).

Threading a Sewing Machine

2. Run the thread to the left and loop around the hook at the top left of the machine. Your thread should go under and over the hook and catch on the wire tension arm inside of the hook.

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3. Pull the thread towards you and down towards the sewing needle. Loop around the catch at the bottom front of the machine.


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4. Back up you go, pulling the thread up towards the second hook. Use the round hand wheel on the right side of your sewing machine to move this hook to its highest point for easy access. Hook your thread around this inner hook.

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6. Cut your thread so that it has a fresh end, and thread through the needle. Loop your thread behind the metal arm above the needle to hold the incoming thread in place.

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7. Insert your bobbin, thread running out of the bobbin in an ‘e’ shape. Pull the bobbin thread out around the hook to the left of the machine.

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8. The last step is pulling the bobbin thread up to the surface of the machine, using the upper needle thread to fish it out. Holding the spool thread in your left hand, turn the hand wheel with your right hand for one rotation to move the needle down and up again. Now gently tug on the upper thread with your left hand and a loop of the bobbin thread should come up to the surface.

That’s it! You are ready to sew! I would recommend doing a test run on a scrap piece of fabric to check your stitch and tension out first. Stay tuned for my tutorial on simple sew pillow covers, coming later this week!

1 Comment

  1. […] that we’ve learned How to Thread Your Sewing Machine we can move forward onto sewing our new pillow covers! I’ve been wanting to make new pillow […]

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