How To Do A Bobbin On A Brother Sewing Machine


Before beginning to work on the bobbin on a Brother sewing machine, the user first needs to thread their machine. To thread the machine, the user needs to refer to the diagram label inside the machine to find the correct way to thread the needle. Then, the thread needs to be looped around the thread guide on the machine, and then through the needle eye. Finally, the user pulls the thread through the needle down through the take-up lever. A thread tension dial can then be used to adjust the tension on the thread, if needed.

Installing the Bobbin

The user must then insert the bobbin into the bobbin case, which is usually located at the front of the machine, near the needle. To insert the bobbin, they must first unfasten the bobbin case cover, being sure to keep track of the small spring and washer located at the top. The user then needs to put the bobbin into the bobbin case, making sure it is positioned correctly. Once it is in place, the spring and washer can be fastened and the bobbin case cover re-fastened.

Winding the Bobbin

Now that the bobbin is installed, the user can begin to wind the bobbin. They need to have the bobbin winder arm pushed to the right, away from the spool pin. Then, the end of the thread from the spool must be threaded through the bobbin winder guide, and then through the front of the bobbin in a counter-clockwise direction, as indicated by the arrow. At this point, the bobbin winder can be turned on, and the bobbin should rotate. Once the bobbin is finished winding, the thread should be cut.

Threading the Bobbin

The user must now thread the bobbin by opening the bobbin case cover on the sewing machine. Then, they need to pull the end of thread up and away from the bobbin. The thread must now be threaded through the slot located on the bobbin case so that it is below the tension spring. All thread should face in the same direction, with it ending near the opening of the bobbin case. Once done, the user must hold the bobbin case tight while they move the bobbin in a counterclockwise direction, so that it winds the thread around the bobbin case three or four times.

Setting Up the Tension

The tension of the thread needs to be set at the correct level for the bobbin to work properly. This tension is typically indicated by a small dial or knob located on the front of the machine, usually near the bobbin case. There is usually a range of numbers that indicate the forms of tension, typically from one to nine. Depending on the type of thread being used, the user can adjust the tension to the appropriate level.

Cock the Needle

The needle needs to be ‘cocked’ or raised before the bobbin can be used. To do this, the user needs to turn the handwheel towards them slowly and the take-up lever will move to the top of its travel. The needle should be at the highest point when the handwheel has been turned one complete rotation.

Needle and Thread Plate

To properly relate the needle and the bobbin, the user needs to place the threads, both top and bottom, into the proper slots on the needle plate. The user also needs to make sure that the needle is properly aligned and then they can put the presser foot down and the needle should be set to the proper depth. This sets up the needle and thread correctly, so that the needle can pass through the fabric and the bobbin thread below the presser foot.

Starting the Sewing Process

After the user has set up the bobbin on their sewing machine, the user should be all set to start the sewing process. To begin, the user begins to sew by pressing the foot pedal, which will cause the needle to go into the fabric and then the bobbin thread will start to be taken up by the machine. The result should be the top sewing thread and the bobbin thread interlocking with each other.

Checking the Threads

To make sure that the bobbin has been installed properly, the user needs to check the threads after a few stitches. They should check that the top thread is properly interlocking with the bobbin thread and that both threads are the correct tension. If the threads are not properly interlocking, the user can adjust the tension as needed.

Replacing the Bobbin

At times, the bobbin may need to be replaced during sewing. To replace the bobbin, the user first needs to disengage the foot pedal, and then remove the bobbin case cover. The bobbin can then be removed and a new bobbin inserted. Again, the user needs to make sure to pay attention to the washer and spring and make sure they are in the right positions.


In case the bobbin doesn’t seem to be working properly, the user should troubleshoot to determine the source of the problem. First, the user should check that the bobbin is inserted and threaded properly and that the tension is set at the right level. If the thread is looping or not feeding through properly, the tension may need to be adjusted. If the bobbin is still not working, the user may need to replace it with a new one.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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