Consider This Your Go-To Guide for Threading a Sewing Machine


Whether you're here to re-learn sewing or want to try out a fun project for the very first time, you're gonna have to thread that machine! This tutorial is for a Janome 2030QDC, but other machines will be pretty similar. (Pro tip: don't hesitate to look up your specific machine's manual if you get stumped; they're generally easy to find online.) You can also see all these steps in action as part of our Machine Basics sewing class!

To get started, you'll need your favorite thread and an empty bobbin (if you have a full one, skip Step 1).

1. Fill the Bobbin

Place your thread on the spool pin (A) and cap it with the spool holder (if applicable). The thread should be coming off of the spool toward the back of the machine.

Draw the thread through the bobbin thread guide (B).

Place the bobbin on the bobbin winder (C). Feed the thread through the hole on the bobbin to hold it in place.

Holding the thread loosely, push the bobbin winder to the right against the stopper. Depress the foot pedal or press the start/stop button to begin winding the bobbin. (Check your specific machine to determine which direction yours should wind in, as this varies among brands and models.)

Once the bobbin is full, the machine should stop. Clip the thread, remove the bobbin and set aside.

2. Thread the Machine

Note: It is best to thread the machine while it is turned off.

Bring the thread around the upper thread guide (D).

Loop the thread down and around the U-shaped guide (E) on the front of the machine. Hold the thread taut to make sure it engages with the tension discs (F).

Turn the handwheel on the side of the machine to move the take-up lever (G) to its highest position. Draw the thread through or around it (depending on your machine) to secure it in the eye of the take-up lever. Bring the thread down the left side of the U-shaped guide to the needle area.

Feed the thread through the last one or two thread guides (H).

Thread the needle.

3. Insert the Bobbin

Note: This applies to top-loading machines. For any other machine, consult your manual.

Remove the bobbin cover plate. Place the bobbin in the case with the thread running counter-clockwise.

Bring the thread through the first notch (I) and draw the thread to the left until it slips into the second notch. Pull out a 6-9" thread tail.

4. Draw Up the Bobbin Thread

Hold the thread taut and turn the handwheel to raise and lower the needle. This will pick up the bobbin thread (J).

Pull gently to bring up the entire bobbin thread. Pull both threads to the back of the machine, under the presser foot.

Now you're ready to start sewing!

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