I’ve been asked to do a tutorial on how to thread up a sewing machine and so I’ve done this based on my Frister & Rossmann QE404. Most machines will thread up in a very similar manner but consult your manual if need be.
First of all, if you’ve had the bobbin case out for cleaning, make sure you’ve replaced it correctly – the two little notches, (A) and (B), toward the front. (note: this is a drop-in bobbin type of machine, check your manual if yours isn’t)
To thread up the bobbin:
To thread the upper needle thread:
To start sewing without the threads bunching up: place the fabric under the presser foot at the desired position and seam allowance, bring the presser foot lever down and bring the needle down into the fabric (using the hand wheel). Pick up the excess needle and bobbin threads and gently pull on them both, to ensure there’s no slack. You should be able to start sewing now without the first few stitches getting all tangled up. Start slow and build up speed as you go.
If you find that the threads get bunched up, tangled or they’re not even on both the front and back of the fabric layers you’re sewing, the tension needs sorting. The needle thread and bobbin thread should lock together between the layers so that the stitches look even, smooth, with no gaps, on both sides. The diagrams below (from my machine manual) shows this quite well. When adjusting tension, the higher the number the tighter the needle thread. Different fabrics and layers will require different tension settings, check on layered up scrap pieces before you start the real thing.
If you find that the bobbin thread is showing through on the top (little bumps between each stitch), then turn the dial to a lower number to reduce the needle thread tension.
If you find that the needle thread is showing through on the bottom (little bumps between each stitch), then turn the dial to a higher number to increase the needle thread tension.
The bobbin case also has a small adjustable screw on it. I’ve never had to adjust mine yet but here’s the manual’s diagram of this should you ever need to:
I hope this post helps if you’re new to using a sewing machine or if you’re having trouble with the machine not stitching properly.
A few other things to keep in mind…
It’s essential to clean any fluff build-up from the bobbin case/shuttle every now and again, using a soft brush. Not being kept clean can cause all kinds of problems like the stitches getting all tangled up or breaking. It can also cause a knocking noise – a good sign that you need to stop and clean. Also change those needles on a regular basis so that you’re always using a sharp, straight, clean needle – old needles can again cause stitching problems and ruin your fabric. Lastly check that you’re using the right size needle for the fabric you’re using.