How To Put Thread In A Hand Sewing Machine

Set Up Your Sewing Machine

To start threading your machine, make sure it is off and unplugged. Once it is off, add the bobbin to the bobbin case. To do so, take the case out of the machine, insert the bobbin until it is securely in the case, making sure it is the right way up. Next, take the spool of thread and tie the end to the spool pin. Make sure to use a good knot, like a double knot, to make it secure.

Thread the Top of the Machine

Using your threaded bobbin, pull out a thread from the bobbin and a length of thread from the spool. Bring them together at the needle. Use the thread guide to help insert the thread into the eye of the needle. Then from the top, wind the thread from the spool clockwise. Make sure the thread wraps smoothly and follows the pattern indicated on the thread guide. After lining up the spool, ensure the thread is tensioned properly by slightly pulling the thread back.

Thread the Bobbin Case

The next step is to thread the bobbin case. Insert the bobbin case into the machine and make sure it snaps into place. Take the thread from the bobbin and bring it up through the slot in the side of the case. Make sure to keep the thread taut, but not too tight, and wrap it clockwise around the bobbin twice. Then, hold the end of the thread while you pull the bobbin out. Make sure to leave a tail of thread so you can pull it later when you are done. Finally, put the bobbin back and tighten the tension, making sure the thread is not too tight.

Finishing the Threading Process

Once the top and the bottom are threaded, you have almost finished the process. Thread the thread through the presser foot and back up to the thread guide. Pull the thread towards the back of the machine and bring it around the tension discs. Once the tension is properly set, bring the thread back up to the needle, ensuring it is lined up correctly, and move the thread to the left of the needle before placing it in the hole at the front. Finally, use the hand-wheel to check if the needle is properly threaded.

Look for Potential Threading Issues

Once the threading process is done, you should look for potential threading issues. If the bottom thread is looping, you should check the bobbin tension. If the tension is too tight, it could be causing the bobbin thread to slip. If the tension is too loose, you will need to tighten it. Additionally, make sure the bobbin is inserted snugly into the bobbin case.

Test Sewing

Once your machine is properly threaded, it’s time to test sew. Select a fabric and attach it to the machine, turn it on, and make sure the presser foot is raised. Start sewing slowly and check the stitches to see if they are going the right way. If the stitches are looping and not forming properly, check the thread tension once more.

Instructions & Warnings

It’s important not to forget to follow the instructions and warnings mentioned in your sewing machine’s manual before threading. Your machine contains several delicate parts that can malfunction or get damaged if they are not handled properly. Make sure to keep the area free of lint, dirt and dust and to keep a proper care of the belt tension. Additionally, you should never oil your machine when it is turned on and ensure the needle is in its correct position at all times.

Maintaining Your Machine

To keep your hand-sewing machine running smoothly for a longer period of time, it’s important to maintain its parts correctly. Regularly use a brush to whisk away debris from the bobbin area and the feed dog area. Additionally, it’s important to use the correct type of needle for your sewing machine and to regularly change it when necessary. Finally, refer to your machine’s manual for proper cleaning directions and additional maintenance tips.

Understanding Threads

When hand-sewing, it’s important to use the right type of thread. Generally, silk or polyester threads provide the most reliable results, but it depends on the type of fabric you are sewing and your desired results. Test different variety of threads to see how they react to the fabric and determine which type of thread works best for your project.

Choosing the Right Needle

The type of needle you use is also an important factor when hand-sewing. Depending on the fabric, you will need to select different sizes and types, usually ranging from universal needles to stretch needles. For heavier fabrics, you should use larger, stronger needles, while for more delicate fabrics, you should use smaller, thinner needles.

Working with Buttons

Once you have threaded and set up your sewing machine, you are now ready to start working with buttons. To sew a button, start by inserting the needle through the fabric and back up. Then, pass the thread through the button’s loop, making sure the thread is taut. Sew a few stitches to secure the button in place and tie a knot at the end.


Sometimes while hand-sewing, you may encounter some problems or impediments. When this happens, it’s important to take some measures to troubleshoot the issue quickly and efficiently. If your thread is breaking often, check the tension dial as well as the needle. Make sure the needle is the right size and in the correct position. Additionally, you should change the needle often as they can wear out with frequent use.

Hand Sewing Basics

Before starting to sew, you should familiarize yourself with the basic stitches. The most common ones are whipstitches, running stitches, and backstitches. Practice the stitches on a scrap of fabric to gain confidence before working on your final product. Additionally, make sure to keep a consistent tension in your stitches and take smaller, precise stitches for maximum accuracy.

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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