For many of my beginner students, one of the first things they learn is how to thread their sewing machine. This can be really intimidating if you have never done it before but hopefully they can use this tutorial as a reference in case they forget from time to time.
This is one area in which the manual that your sewing machine came with can come in handy. I recommend to all of my students to befriend their manuals and make notes in them as needed.
Make sure that your presser foot is up before you load your thread. This is very important.
First, let's look at how to load the top spool of thread. If you have a vertical spool holder like this one, you will load the thread on so that it is coming off from the front. Can you see that?
Now, if you have a horizontal thread holder, you will want the thread coming out from under the bottom like in the picture below. Don't forget to use your spool cap to hold the spool of thread in place!
Most machine do have diagrams and numbers to follow when you thread the machine. In this pictures, the solid line is the one we follow to thread the machine (the dotted line is to wind the bobbin which we will do in another tutorial).
We will thread this machine with the yellow thread starting at number 1. We will lay the thread around this spot and then follow the arrow down the front of the machine where the number 2 is.
Next is number 3 where the thread go from right to left under this part of the machine and then back up towards the top of the machine.
Next we will put the thread into the top hook. Remember, the thread has to go around and into this hook from right to left.
If you look and cannot see the hook, turn your handwheel towards you until the hook is at the top of this area. This is what your handwheel looks like.
Next, we will get the thread ready to go into the needle but first, it needs to go behind this little metal guide right at the top of the needle.
Now you are ready to thread your needle! Insert your thread through the eye of the needle from front to back. (If you have a needle threader, we will go over how to do that in another tutorial as this one is already going to be a long enough!).
You have now threaded the top of your machine! Now let's thread the bobbin...remember this is for folks with drop in bobbins.
Hold your bobbin in your hand like the letter "P". Now drop it into your bobbin case (hence the name "drop in" bobbin).
Next guide your thread into the thread track like this Brother machine has and lay the thread towards the back of the machine (if your machine does not have this track, skip to the next picture).
My Janome sewing machine does not have a thread track but it has a notch at around the 7 o'clock position. Place the thread into that notch and then lay the thread towards the back of the machine.
Next we will draw up the bobbin thread so that it comes up through the opening that is directly underneath the needle.
First, hold your top thread with your left hand.
Next turn your handwheel towards you until the needle goes down and then back up again to its highest point.
Can you see the top thread catching the bobbin thread?
Pull up on the top thread and you will see a loop of thread come up through the opening. This your bobbin thread. Grab the loop and pull it up and out.
You should now see two separate threads....your top thread and your bobbin. IMPORTANT: You know that you loaded your bobbin thread correctly if when you pull your bobbin thread, the bobbin spin counter clockwise and you can see a line of thread from the bobbin thread track or notch running to the opening under the needle.
Now put the plastic cover back on over your bobbin and lay your threads under the foot and to the back of the machine and you are all ready to sew!