Monday, November 1, 2010

Shut Up and Sew: Threading Your Machine and Bobbin

When I started Shut Up and Sew last month, I was surprised (and excited) to discover that so many of you are a little like me. You have a sewing machine, you want to use it (at least in theory), but you don't know much about it, and don't really know where to start. So today, I'm going to go over a few of those basic, "I'm sitting in front of my machine, now what?" things. Many of you asked about threading the machine and the bobbin, so today you've got it.

First thing's first, you need to thread the machine.

My sewing machine is my mom's old machine, a 1975 Singer. Now obviously there are many differences in sewing machines, but for those of you with an oldie but a goodie like mine, maybe this can help you out a bit.


I was startled to discover that there are 8 steps to threading the machine including actually pushing the thread through the needle!! Seems a little excessive, am I right? But like most things, it just take a little getting used to. My machine has a little cheat sheet tucked away on the inside door, does yours? If not, grab your manual, dog ear that page and try it out.


Now that your machine is threaded, next up is winding the bobbin. My bobbin is tucked away in this little door right below my needle.


I simply flip this little switch over to the left, which tells the machine that I want to wind the bobbin.


Then, I just push down on the pedal and watch in amazement as the needle fills the bobbin with thread.


When the bobbin holder is 3/4 of the way full, I stopped winding the thread, making sure that it doesn't go past the last white line. I don't know what happens, but I was told that you shouldn't do this, so I won't.

Now time to raise the bobbin thread.

I switched the top thread to red so that you can distinguish which is which a little better.

Start off with the top thread to the left and the bobbin thread to the right. Hold onto the top thread snugly and turn the sewing machine wheel towards you.


The red thread moves across the bobbin from left to right and grabs the white thread...

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and pulls it through the little hole.


Close the door that holds the bobbin, make sure both pieces of thread are to the left and you are ready to sew!!


Are you ready?!

So many of you asked about pillow projects, so I asked Lemon Tree Creations' resident pillow expert if she had any tips to offer and she has plenty!! Come back tomorrow and next Tuesday to see Tiffany's take on a few different pillow projects. She always makes the most incredible pillows so I can't wait to see what she's come up with!!

Have a great week!

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Lori November 1, 2010 at 6:21 AM  

Nice little tutorial! Threading those darn machines can be a killer. Wait, though, until the hard part is not being able to see that TINY little hold in the needle (if you don't have a threader, that is.)

Patti November 1, 2010 at 6:43 AM  

Boy, that is an oldie but goodie...I have had those in my Fashion design classroom for years and years and they never die!
Stop over to enter a giveaway!

Modern Parents Messy Kids November 1, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

Love this series. I just got my first sewing machine a few months ago and I've sewn some curtains and a few pillows but I feel like I'm faking it - just trying to remember what I learned in 6th grade home ec. and making it work however I can. Looking forward to learning the very basics!

Tara @ Tara Being Tara November 1, 2010 at 3:07 PM  

Another hint... if you can't find your manual, google it! Usually it will pull up a PDF version!

Anna November 1, 2010 at 3:35 PM  

I almost started crying when I saw your machine. My mothers was just like it only gold instead of blue. I cant begin to tell you how many things she made with that machine.Costues, My Senior prom dress... my bridesmaids dresses. I learned to sew on it and was so sad when it finaly died. Greate tute for newbies.....

Lelan @ Good Gravy! November 1, 2010 at 5:55 PM  

You have no idea how helpful this is!

meeks November 2, 2010 at 10:45 PM  

Hi Erin,
I appreciate that this post would have taken quite a bit of time to put together, so thank you so much!!

I think I have totally taken for granted, the sewing classes we did at school when I was 11 or 12.

Since, I forgot so much of it, I ended up taking a sewing night class before baby number 1 came along, and made me some maternity clothes.

Your post will get a lot of people on their way to sewing again, or to start sewing.

Hats off to you Erin ;)

Ashley November 18, 2010 at 1:03 AM  

thank you so much for the info about pulling the bobbin thread up! I had no idea how to do it and have been doing it the hard way for so long! Used this trick today and was so excited that it worked!!

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