Sewing 101: Threading the Machine & Practice Tips

This year we started our Sewing 101 Series.  Which is long over due on many levels.  We started from the VERY beginning.  As in, parts of a sewing machine and fabric anatomy and how to layout your pattern.  Today we want to talk about how to thread a sewing machine.

How to thread a sewing machine and bobbin and practice tips.  Also, a simple PDF sewing practice sheets to get your started sewing.


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I know you might be rolling your eyes at me if you are an experienced sewer.  But we all had to start somewhere and learning to thread a sewing machine is probably the most essential part in sewing.  If your machine is not threaded correctly, nothing will work and your machine will drive you CRAZY.  You might even throw it across the room.  It can be super frustrating to start sewing and not understand why your thread isn't cooperating.  

However, no worries.  We will help you today learn to thread your machine successfully.  We are going to show you how to thread a sewing machine and give you some sewing tips and tricks.


How to thread a sewing machine and bobbin and practice tips.  Also, a simple PDF sewing practice sheets to get your started sewing.


To start, you need to realize that every sewing machine is a bit different.  That means that your machine may look a little different and therefore will thread a little differently.  However, the basics are the same.  If you get stuck, pull out your sewing machine manual.  This is an important part of learning to sew.  Referencing your machine manual.

One other tips for learning to thread your machine is check out YouTube.  Just google your sewing machine make and model and you can usually find the manual or a video showing you how to do many different things with your machine.

Now, let's learn to thread our machine.


thread a sewing machine

How to Thread a Sewing Machine

First, how to thread a sewing machine.  Here is a numbered guide.  To start make sure your presser foot is lifted.  Otherwise your thread will be tight and it won't thread correctly.  If you need a refresher on your machine parts, check out our Sewing Machine parts and functions post.

  1. Place your spool of thread in the spool pin at the top or front of your machine.  Pull your thread.  Your thread needs to go behind or through the top thread guide.
  2. Pull thread down and around the front thread guide on your machine.  
  3. Pull your thread up and around the thread uptake lever.  This is the one that goes up and down as you sew.  Make sure you pull your thread from the right side around to the left.
  4. Pull your thread down and thread it through your front thread guide either in front of your machine or in front of your needle.  This guide keeps it out of your way as you sew.
  5. Thread your needle.  This may take practice, however, some machines have a needle threader and it makes life a lot faster.



The next step would be how to thread a bobbin and place it in your machine.  I went back and forth as to whether I should teach this, but I decided not to.  Mostly because every machine is different on how you wind your bobbin and how you place your bobbin in place.  Just take a moment to check your machine instructions.  Again, practice is important on this.  

Also, make sure to wind your bobbin correctly so that your thread is nice and tight.  I can't tell you how many times students would be frustrated by their machines and ask for help and it was because their bobbin wasn't threaded or didn't wind correctly.
Learn to how to thread a sewing machine and bobbin and practice tips. Print these simple PDF sewing practice sheets to get you started sewing. #sewingpractice #sewing #sewingmachine #sewing101 #pdfpattern #printable

Sewing Practice Sheets

Once you get your machine threaded, you can start practice sewing.  I always had my students use sewing practice sheets.  I usually did this before we threaded the machine, mostly to save on thread.  But you can do it either with or without thread.  Print the Paper Sewing PDF below and you'll get all 4 pages.

So what is a sewing practice sheet?  Basically you print out the PDF sewing practice sheet below on computer paper.  Place it in your sewing machine and practice sewing on paper.  You don't thread your sewing machine.  But you can practice sewing without worrying you will mess up your machine or make a big mistake.  It is a great way to start sewing.


Sewing practice sheets

Download these sewing practice sheets today from our Resource Library  This is a free resource for all our GYCT subcribers.  We also have loads of free PDF sewing patterns and projects perfect for beginner sewers.



Now, as you practice on your sewing practice sheets here are a few things to remember.
  1. Keep the presser foot down as you sew.  When you turn corners just put your needle down in your fabric, lift the presser foot and turn your fabric.  You can see what I mean in the picture below.  This gives nice square corners.
  2. As you sew, listen for any strange or scratching noises.  This is a sign your needle may be bent or your bobbin isn't in correctly.  You don't want scary noises while you sew. 
  3. Look at your finished sewn practice sheet, are the dots close together?  You might need to change your stitch length or you are pulling your paper to much.  
  4. Are the dots just a solid ripped line?  Don't hold the paper so tightly.  Let the sewing machine feed the paper through on its own.
  5. Lastly, how do your corners look?  Are they nice and sharp?  If not, check out this post to see how to put your needle down and turn your corners.


There are some of our tips on how to thread a sewing machine and get started with sewing practice sheets.  I hope these tips on threading and sewing have helped.  Now go practice some paper sewing!!!

How to thread a sewing machine and bobbin and practice tips.  Also, a simple PDF sewing practice sheets to get your started sewing.