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How to Thread a Vintage Sewing Machine

by David Pankey
Published: Last Updated on

If you’re looking for a vintage sewing machine but don’t know how to thread it, this is the article for you! This article will overview what parts are needed and what steps must be taken to thread your vintage sewing machine successfully.

It’s no secret that you built these machines better than most modern ones. With proper care, they can survive for many days.

Threading a vintage sewing machine before use ensures that it’ll work like new when you need it to. So if you are looking how to thread a vintage sewing machine or any other vintage model, below are the steps you’ll need to take.

How to Thread a Vintage Sewing Machine

How to Thread a Vintage Sewing Machine

To thread a vintage sewing machine, you will need the following items:

Parts Needed:

  • Bobbin case
  • Bobbin
  • Thread spool
  • Spool pin
  • Needle
  • Thread


  • Open the bobbin case and insert the bobbin (color doesn’t matter) clockwise.
  • Take the thread and loop it around the spool pin counter-clockwise, then pull the end of the thread through the slot on top of the machine (the needle plate).
  • Slide that end underneath the tension spring and down into to hole (called a “take-up lever”) on the side of the machine.
  • Pull the thread all the way through, then take hold of it and pull it tight.
  • With your other hand, turn the flywheel (the large wheel on the right) towards you until you see the needle go down into the bobbin case. It should catch the thread and raise again.
  • Let go of the thread and pull on it to make sure it’s tight, then press down on the foot pedal (this brings the needle back up into its normal position).
  • After you let go of the foot pedal, turn your handwheel clockwise until you see that your bobbin is full of thread.
  • Cut the thread, then re-thread the machine in the opposite direction (counter-clockwise).
  • Make sure to hold on to the thread as you turn the flywheel, and don’t let go until after it’s caught the needle and raised again.
  • When you’re sure that you’ve got it all threaded, press down on the foot pedal and see if your machine sews.

How to Thread a vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Threading a singer’s sewing machine is easier than it looks. The first thing you will want to do is flip your Singer sewing machine over so the bottom is facing up. Once this is done, take your spool of thread and place it on top of the spindle in the back of the best sewing machine for curtains. The thread will come from the hole at the top of the spindle.

Next, you need to take your empty bobbin and place it on the bobbin winder, located on the machine’s side. The thread should come from under a small metal plate with a knob. Once you have your bobbin and spindle ready, hold the thread taut with your left hand and turn the handwheel towards you with your right hand.

This will bring the needle up. Then insert the thread into the needle. You will find a small hole in the front of the machine that you have to go through.

Pull all of it through until you can see a little mess at the end. Hold on to both ends once you have the thread through the needle and pull up on the foot pedal with your left foot.

This will bring up the fabric, and the needle will go through it. You should now have a stitch. To make another one, release the foot pedal, let the machine take some slack, and repeat steps 7-9. When you are finished, cut the thread close to the fabric and tie a knot in it. There you have it! Threading a Singer sewing machine is easy once you are know-how.

FAQ About Thread a Vintage Sewing Machine

Q: I can’t get the thread to go through the eye of the needle. What do I do?

Make sure that you hold onto the thread tightly and come out of the hole in the right place. It still doesn’t work, but you can use a small needle.

Q: The fabric is not going through the needle. What do I do?

Make sure you are turning the handwheel towards you and slowly moving your hands out of the way as it goes up. If this does not work, try using a different spool of thread or a smaller bobbin.

Q: The fabric is bunching up at the bottom of my stitches. What do I do?

This usually means that you are not letting the machine take up the slack in the thread after each stitch. To fix this, release the foot pedal and let the machine do its thing before moving on to the next stitch. You may also need to tighten your tension slightly.

Q: My stitches are looking a bit messy. What do I do?

This may mean your stress is too tight or too loose. Try adjusting it until your stitches look nicer.

Q: The machine is making a weird noise. What do I do?

If your machine is making a weird noise, it may mean that it needs oil. To fix this, take the needle plate off the machine and apply a small amount of sewing machine oil to the moving parts. Make sure to put the needle plate back on before you start using it again!

While they haven’t changed much in function, they have become more reliable and user-friendly. Being able to thread a sewing machine is one of the essential skills needed when using any sewing device.

Final Verdict

Threading a Vintage Sewing Machine is easy once you are the know-how. And if you follow these easy steps, you can create beautiful stitches in no time! Remember to adjust your tension as needed and oil the machine regularly for optimal performance. Have fun sewing!

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