This post has four sections:
A. Winding the thread on the BOBBIN.
B. Loading the BOBBIN into the machine.
C. Threading the top thread from spool to NEEDLE.
D. Pulling up the BOBBIN thread to meet the NEEDLE thread.
If your child already knows how to thread a machine they may just need to be reminded about how to pull up the BOBBIN THREAD. Take them directly to Section D for that part.
I make sure my students all know how to thread their machines (rather than doing it for them) because they will be doing this each time they come to class, and sometimes in between when they change thread colours, etc. It is part of knowing how to sew independently.
The first few times they will probably forget the sequence and need help, but after a couple of times, they do it pretty well automatically, like the pros they are becoming.
Here's "the how to" - Using words most kids can understand:
Hand sewing needs only an ordinary needle and a thread, but In order to sew on a sewing machine, you need two threads; one at the top and one underneath. These threads have to follow a special path so they can meet at the right place and get together to make a stitch.
The bottom thread comes off a little round plastic or metal disc called a BOBBIN. The words "BOBBIN" and "bottom" start the same so that will help you remember that the BOBBIN is at the bottom. You start with an empty BOBBIN, so you have to wind thread onto it from the spool.
1. Put your spool of thread onto the SPOOL PIN. The SPOOL PIN is usually at the top of the machine at the back. It’s on the right side near the HAND WHEEL and is either lying sideways like a log, or sticking up like a pole.
If it is a sideways SPOOL PIN, it will also have a plastic END CAP that you pull off first, and then push on again after the spool to hold it in place. If you are using a large spool of thread, use the larger END CAP that comes with the machine. This becomes important if you are using a spool that has a notch in one end of the top. The notch can catch the thread while you are sewing, and will break it. The larger cap will keep that from happening.
If you also have another thread guide close by, put the thread through that one first before snapping it under the the tension screw.
and then holding the BOBBIN in your other hand, poke the end of the thread through a pin hole in the rim of the BOBBIN. Start it just under, and inside the rim and poke it out to the outside through one of the small holes.
3. Hold onto the thread end and the BOBBIN at the same time and push the BOBBIN down on the BOBBIN WINDER SPINDLE. The thread end should poke up.
. On my machine the BOBBIN WINDER SPINDLE
is a shiny short pin at the top of the machine near the right. (See your manual if you don’t see it there.)
4. Still holding onto the thread end, give the BOBBIN WINDER SPINDLE, with the BOBBIN on it, a good solid push so they move over to the right, closer to the HAND WHEEL. This will make the spindle spin when you step on the FOOT PEDAL. You can see the oblong shaped hole next to the SPINDLE that allows it to move to the right. (If your needle goes up and down while you are winding, check your manual to see if you also have to pull out or loosen the HAND WHEEL a little ways.) See the previous photo with the complete view again. It shows the thread going from the spool to the left around the tension screw and then to the right where the bobbin is on the SPINDLE.
5. Keep holding the tail end of the thread. Now step on the FOOT PEDAL and start winding the BOBBIN. After a little while, stop and snip off the tail of thread (the one you were
holding onto) close to the top of the BOBBIN. Then start winding again.
Make sure the thread winds evenly onto the BOBBIN, and not underneath it. Sometimes just putting your finger under the thread in front of the BOBBIN at the beginning, helps this problem.
6. When the BOBBIN is fairly full, stop and cut the thread an inch or two from the BOBBIN.
7.. Slide the BOBBIN WINDER SPINDLE and the BOBBIN back to the left. (This allows your needle to go up and down again and keeps the BOBBIN WINDER from spinning. )
8.Take the BOBBIN off the WINDER SPINDLE. (If you had to pull out or loosen the HANDWHEEL earlier, you will have to push it in again or tighten it now.)
The BOBBIN is placed underneath the NEEDLE PLATE at the bottom left side of the machine. Sometimes it is also called the 'throat plate'. The NEEDLE PLATE is the shiny flat part around the FEED DOGS. It has a hole in it where the needle goes up and down. This is where the stitches are made and this is where both threads have to meet. Keep reading to see how to do this.
B. Loading the BOBBIN into the machine (The following describes how to load a top-loading bobbin. If you have a front-loading bobbin, skip down to see instructions for front-loading bobbins.)
1. Lay the BOBBIN on the table first and make sure the thread runs over the top and to the left. (The BOBBIN and thread will sort of make a letter `P``. If it looks more like the letter `g`, flip it over.)
2. If you have a top-loading BOBBIN on your machine, start by releasing the catch beside the plastic BOBBIN COVER to allow you to drop it in its place. The catch is a small slider to the right of the cover. Push it to the right and the plastic lid will pop up.
3. Now pick the BOBBIN up and place it in the round hole that you found under the BOBBIN COVER.
4. At the front edge of the hole, the side closest to you, you will see a tiny notch (a place where the edge has a tiny break just big enough to slide the thread into). Hold the BOBBIN down tightly with your pointer finger, and with your other hand pull the thread through that notch and to the left until it clicks twice. (See picture on the left below) The second click is sometimes too quiet for you to hear so just pull it over as far as it will go.
For the front loading machine,
1 Start by removing the bobbin case from the machine. Pull on the bobbin case latch and hold it open and pull the bobbin case out of the machine at the same time. Release the latch and the bobbin will fall out of the case.
2. Install your new bobbin. The BOBBIN thread should run over the top of the BOBBIN and to the right, more like the letter 'g'. Put the BOBBIN into the BOBBIN CASE. There is a small lever or latch, on the outside of the BOBBIN CASE. I am holding onto it in the picture above. When you hold the lever open it pushes a tiny claw over the rim of the BOBBIN and holds it inside the BOBBIN CASE and will keep the BOBBIN from falling out. Hold onto this lever (latch) and pull the thread through the little slot in the BOBBIN CASE until it clicks. Keep holding the lever (latch) open and push the BOBBIN CASE and BOBBIN in place. There is a kind of a metal finger that sticks up on the CASE that goes to the top. If it doesn't fit, wiggle the hand wheel back and forth a little until the finger finds its place and goes in.
C. Threading the top thread on the sewing machine
If you are short, it's OK to stand up when you start threading your machine, but when you get near the needle you will want to sit down.
of connecting the dots with your thread.
2. The spool of thread is on the SPOOL PIN followed by the end cap.
3. Pull the thread to the left and under the first THREAD GUIDE at the top of the machine. Follow the machines
instructions or numbers. (There is a number 1 on my machine here)
5. At the bottom it will make a U-turn at "number 2" and come back up again through the groove on the left.
You might need two hands to do this. You hold the thread like you hold your dental floss when flossing your teeth and just hook it under the back edge of the lever and pull it towards you.
7. Now it comes back down the groove that is below the TAKE UP LEVER (past number 4 on my machine) to the bottom.
little hook on the needle bar. The hook is called the NEEDLE
9. Now put the end of your thread through the needle from
front to back. Even though I am right-handed, I find it easier to thread the
needle with my left hand. That way I can use my right hand to grab the tail
when it comes through the needle at the back. If you hold your thread about an
inch from the end it will still be stiff enough to aim it through the hole and
you'll get a better aim. If your thread is 100% cotton it tends to curl a little
more and will be harder to thread than the Polyester.
D. Pull up the Bobbin thread to meet the Needle thread so they can make a stitch
1. OK. There is one more step before you can sew. Remember I said that in order to make a stitch, the two threads have to meet? The meeting place is just above the hole in the NEEDLE PLATE. Therefore the BOBBIN THREAD still has to come up through that same hole.It would be
pretty hard to fish the thread up from the top of the hole with our fingers, so we are going to use a special "fishing line". The "fishing pole" is the needle and the "line" is the thread that is in
3. Now pull one side of the loop all the way out of the hole until you get a tail. You can also pass the dull edge of your small scissors under the PRESSER FOOT while still holding onto the needle thread, and that will also do the job of pulling out the tail of the loop.
4. Now hold both threads together in one hand and put them between the two toes of the PRESSER FOOT and pass them to the back.
5. Put your fabric under the PRESSER FOOT just like you did the lined paper. Lower the PRESSER FOOT and sew.