The Sew-Op


14 Phillips Street
North Kingstown, Rhode Island

©2016 by The Sew Op. Proudly created with

  • Suzanne Mancini

Threading your domestic sewing machine

Most sewing machines thread in a similar fashion. We will walk you through threading our Elna 3210 machine and using the same concepts you will be able to thread your machine. Many machines have arrows and number guides to assist you with threading.

Sewing machines use two threads. The spool on top and a bobbin on the bottom.

Place the thread spool on the spindle. Some are vertical, some horizontal. If your machine has a horizontal spindle, remember to place the cap on the spindle to keep thread from shifting.

Now thread the bobbin. The thread should go around a guide and then around a tension disk. Make sure the thread is secure under the disk for even threading of the bobbin. Place the end of the thread up through one of the small holes on the bobbin. Some bobbins are plastic, but we prefer metal. Engage the bobbin by shifting it to the right or follow the instructions for your machine. Now the bobbin will thread and the machine needle will not move. Hold about 3” of thread above bobbin and turn on the machine. The on/off button is usually on the lower right side of your machine. Step on the foot pedal and fill your bobbin.

Cut the thread and remove your bobbin. Open the bobbin casing under the needle and place the bobbin in the casing so that it resembles the letter “P”.

Place the thread in the bottom slit of the casing and pull left toward the 2nd slit in the direction of the guide arrow on the machine.

Pull about 6” of thread and place it toward the back of the machine. Place the bobbin cover back on the machine.

Threading the machine. Remove the thread from the bobbin guides. Place thread under thread guide and around black disc and down the right slit. Place thread in the slit and then back up the left slit toward the take-up lever.

Thread from right to left around take-up lever and pull the thread forward until you hear the take-up lever click. Place the thread down the left slit, toward the needle.

Place thread through the guide that you find above the machine needle. This will line up the thread with the needle. Then thread the needle, front to back or right to left according to your machine.

Hold the top thread in your LEFT hand and turn the flywheel (on the right side of the machine) TOWARD YOU. Do not let go of the thread. Turn the flywheel until the take-up lever is in the full upright position.

You will see a small loop. This is the bobbin thread. Gently pull the loop until the end of the bobbin thread is visible.

Match your thread ends and place both threads between the presser foot and machine, toward the back of the machine.