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Mini sewing machines are easy enough to use once set up. However, learning how to thread a mini sewing machine takes effort.
Why? The manual included with my mini sewing had no pictures for several aspects of threading (like winding the bobbin)!
So, for those who also like step-by-step color pictures, here’s a tutorial on threading a miniature sewing machine.
(There are many Amazon “brands” of almost identical miniature sewing machines (Varmax, Magicfly, KPCB, etc.); they are all threaded similarly. Also, this step-by-step guide will not focus on handheld sewing machines.)
How to Thread a Bobbin on a Mini Sewing Machine
Before threading your mini sewing machine, you want to have a filled bobbin.
My mini sewing machine uses metal bobbins, but check your user manual for recommendations if yours doesn’t.
If your sewing machine is new, there is likely a threaded bobbin already in there, so you can skip this step. Follow the below steps if you need to replace the bobbin in a mini sewing machine, though.
1. Remove Bobbin and Set Up Thread.
First, place your bobbin thread on the spool pin on top of the sewing machine. You may need to pull the spindle out to extend it to its full height.
Then, remove the plastic bobbin case by pulling it away from the machine with your fingers. Mine’s a little tight and takes some effort.
Next, remove the empty bobbin from the bobbin case.
As a note, keep your sewing machine powered off while you are working near the needle. (You can remove the power cord and batteries to keep it from turning on.)
2. Hand Wind the Bobbin.
You need to set yourself up for success by first winding the thread around the bobbin by hand.
To do this, place the thread through a bobbin hole on the outer edge. The thread will run from the inner portion of the bobbin to the outside of the bobbin. (The thread tail should be coming out on the right.)
Then, wind the thread tightly many times around the bobbin, as shown in the picture above.
3. Set Bobbin for Winding.
The bobbin will be wound on the handwheel on the side of the sewing machine. The handwheel is the big purple circle that raises the needle to advance stitching.
Inside the handwheel, there is a small circular pin. Press this pin down with your thumb and rotate to the left counterclockwise.
This will cause the pin to push out.
Now, place the bobbin on the retractable pin, pushing it in as far as possible. These machines aren’t made like more expensive machines, so this may be difficult to do well.
The thread tail will face away from the mini sewing machine, and the orientation will be as shown above.
If you have a hard time remembering bobbin direction, just know that the handwheel on the side of the machine will rotate counterclockwise toward you to wind thread.
Trim the thread tail to keep it from interfering with winding now or thread feeding later.
4. Turn on Mini Sewing Machine and Wind Bobbin.
I prefer to wind the bobbin using the foot pedal to use both hands to guide the thread. Of course, you can also use the on/off button for winding.
And, if your tiny sewing machine has speed control, wind the bobbin at the slowest speed possible for the best quality.
Thus, press your foot pedal (or the “on” button) to rotate the bobbin and wind the thread.
Your best winding will happen if you hold the thread gently away from the sewing machine with a hand to help it feed evenly. Move your hand side to side to prevent thickly wound areas.
Once the bobbin is wound satisfactorily (don’t let it get too full), release the foot pedal or press the “off” button.
Setting the Bottom Bobbin
Next, remove the bobbin from the winding spindle and trim the thread with scissors or the thread cutter on the left side of the sewing machine.
Press the pin you wound the bobbin on back into the handwheel by pressing and turning right or clockwise.
Then, place the bobbin back in the bobbin case. The thread end should be oriented where it comes off the right side of the bobbin, and the thread looks like it is wound clockwise.
Lastly, trim the thread end, and replace the bobbin case cover.
How to Thread a Mini Sewing Machine Top Thread
For its first use, most mini sewing machines come threaded. However, if your thread breaks during sewing and it unthreads, here’s how to re-thread a mini sewing machine top thread.
1. Set Up the Top Spool.
There are two places you can place your top thread when trying to put thread in a mini sewing machine.
First, you can place a larger thread spool on the spool pin that you used to hold your bobbin thread. I prefer having it unwind from the left side.
Second, you can place a bobbin of thread (to use as the upper thread, not as a bobbin thread) on the bobbin spindle.
To access this area, pull off the small purple piece of plastic, and place the bobbin over the spring. Return the plastic piece to secure the bobbin.
2. Pass Thread Through Guides and Tension Discs.
It’s necessary to thread standard-size sewing machines with the presser foot up, so I recommend threading a mini sewing machine with the presser foot up also to make it a habit.
To raise the presser foot, lift the purple lever on the back of the sewing machine.
Then, take the thread from the spool and start threading. First, pass through the first wire thread guide on the front of the machine.
Next, pass the thread through the tension discs on the front of the machine.
The thread must go between the two metal discs hidden behind the purple knob with the plus and minus. (This is the tension dial.)
Continue pulling the thread through the next thread guide to the left of the tension control.
Then, turn the handwheel on the machine’s right toward you to change the needle position so the metal thread takeup lever raises.
Pass the thread through the hole in this lever, and pull a decent thread length through.
The next step is to move the thread through the spiral metal guide above the workspace.
Finally, run the thread through the circular hole on the left side of the needle bar.
3. Thread the Needle.
Use the handwheel to raise the needle to its highest position. If you have difficulty seeing the eye of the needle, you can lower the presser foot also.
While you can thread a sewing machine needle by hand, a portable sewing machine’s needle is oriented differently than on standard sewing machines. It’s also easier to thread with a tool than your fingers.
The goal is to get the thread to go from the left side of the needle to the right.
To do this, first, insert a silver wire needle threader through the eye of the needle from right to left. It will depress and then reshape itself after passing through the eye.
Then, insert the thread through the wire loop on the end of the threader that’s already passed through the needle.
Pull the needle threader (and the thread in it) back out through the eye of the needle to effectively thread the needle. Pull 5-10 inches of thread through the machine.
4. Pull Up the Bobbin Thread.
Before you start sewing, it’s essential to pull the bobbin thread end up from the bobbin compartment.
You can do this with the bobbin case top open or shut. If the case top is closed, make sure the thread tail is not impeded.
Holding the upper thread end with your left hand, rotate the handwheel towards you with the right hand to bring the needle down.
When the needle starts to go back up, you will notice your bobbin thread starting to come through the needle plate’s hole.
At this point, pull more on the top thread with your left hand to bring the bobbin thread up.
Use your other hand to bring the end of the bobbin thread up out of the needle plate.
If you have problems and the thread may be catching below the needle plate, remove the bobbin case cover to check what’s going on.
Pull several inches of thread, raise the presser foot if it is lowered, and pull both top and bobbin threads underneath the presser foot toward the back of the machine.
How to Thread a Mini Sewing Machine: Final Notes
Your miniature sewing machine is now threaded and ready for use!
Winding the bobbin on a mini sewing machine is the trickiest part of this tutorial, in my opinion. Still, muscle memory is incredible, and you should be threading your machine by memory in no time!
The next step is learning how to use a mini sewing machine!