How to thread a mini sewing machine bobbin

mini sewing machine bobbin
The bobbin on a KPCB Mini Sewing Machine

In this post, I will show you how to quickly and easily thread a mini sewing machine bobbin and place it properly inside your mini sewing machine.

To thread the bobbin, pop out the purple spindle on the side. Now pull up the top spindle and place a spool of thread on it. Wind this thread 5 times around a bobbin and pop it on the purple spindle. Switch on the sewing machine. Guide the thread evenly across the bobbin. Now switch off the machine and snip the thread.

About 10 days ago, I bought myself a mini sewing machine and I have been teaching myself how to use it properly. There are so many little parts in a sewing machine that it can be overwhelming to take it all in at the same time. So for now, let’s just keep it simple and look at the humble bobbin.

The anatomy of a stitch

In any sewing machine, there are two different threads which are working at the same time to make the stitches on your fabric. One thread sits on top and the other one is hidden away under the needle of the sewing machine in a little chamber called the bobbin holder.

Inside this little chamber, there is a device called a bobbin. If you have never sewn before or if you don’t know the anatomy of a sewing machine, chances are you might not know what a thread bobbin is.

The bobbin chamber on this mini sewing machine

What is a bobbin?

A bobbin is this cute little round device with holes on both sides of it. In the middle there is a bar where the thread goes around. But this is not the only kind of bobbin that sewing machines might use.

A bobbin is a cute little round thing with holes along both sides

Different models of sewing machines use different kinds of bobbins. For example I’ve got a whole collection of bobbins from two different sewing machines. Most of these are made of clear plastic and there are no little holes on their side.

The white stitch on the underside of this fabric has been made with a bobbin filled with white thread

The thread on a bobbin is used to make the stitch on the underside of whatever you are sewing.

Tip: you can see what this underside stitching looks like by turning back the end of your sleeve or the hem of your top or trousers and observing the sewing there. This was made by a bobbin on the sewing machine that sewed your clothes!

Why is it important to fill a bobbin?

Well obviously you need thread to sew, so you need to fill your bobbin.

But another reason to thread the bobbin is that bobbins usually don’t come filled up. And even if they do, there’s only a limited amount of thread on them and they run out of thread pretty quickly.

So if you are just about to get into sewing, it is a great idea to know exactly how to fill a bobbin. It is super easy and actually quiet fun!

What you need to thread or fill a bobbin

Every modern sewing machine comes equipped with a mechanism to help you wind the bobbin.

You need a spool of thread to fill your mini sewing machine bobbin

To do this, you firstly need a spool of thread. For example here I’ve got a big fat thread reel which is purple. You also need an empty bobbin.

If you have looked closely at a reel of thread, you will notice that in the middle there is a hole or a cylinder. This allows the thread reel to sit on top of any spindles which are sticking out of a sewing machine.

We have to use our mini sewing machine to transfer some of this thread onto an empty bobbin.

Locating the spindles on your mini sewing machine

On a mini sewing machine, there are at least two different spindles.

The little round circle in the middle of the hand wheel pops out to become a mini spindle to house your bobbin

There is a little hidden spindle on the purple hand wheel. You can pop it out by pressing and turning it anticlockwise with your thumb. Your empty bobbin is supposed to sit on this little spindle.

There is another hidden spindle on top of the mini sewing machine. You can simply pull it out in one smooth motion. Your thread reel is supposed to sit on this tall spindle.

The hidden spindle on top houses your spool of thread.

Now which way will your thread reel sit? There is a simple way to know this which is: the thread reel has to sit Perfectly.  P is for Perfect. So you have to make sure that your thread is making the P shape as it goes on to the bobbin.

See the thread on the reel is making a P shape

How to wind the bobbin on your mini sewing machine

Now take one end of the thread from the reel and pass it through any of the little holes on the side of the bobbin. Go from the inside to the outside.

Pass the thread from the inside to the outside

Now hold the end of the thread and wind it five times by hand around your empty bobbin. After you do this, your thread will be a bit secure on the bobbin. Now you can pop it on the purple spindle on the hand wheel.

Run your finger like a pulley to aid the smooth flow of thread from the reel to the bobbin. Now switch on the mini sewing machine and start winding or filling the bobbin.

Use your finger like a pulley to aid the smooth flow of thread from the spool to the mini sewing machine bobbin

As the bobbin starts filling up with thread, move your finger from side to side so that it fills up evenly. Once you have enough thread on the bobbin, simply snip it off and remove the bobbin from the spindle.

Placing or installing the full bobbin in a mini sewing machine

It is now time to install the bobbin inside your mini sewing machine. And I have come up with a very quick and easy way in which you can remember exactly which way the thread is supposed to go when you install the bobbin.

The nifty nine method of installing the bobbin

Here is a very technical drawing of a figure 9. If you follow the shape of the number 9, you can see that the arrows go around and over in one particular direction. And this is how the thread on your bobbin should flow inside the mini sewing machine.

Your bobbin should follow the number 9 shape as you drop it inside the mini sewing machine

Now let’s take a look at how it’s going to look on an actual mini sewing machine.

In the mini sewing machine, there is a bottom chamber where your bobbin is supposed to sit. You first have to slide out the top plastic cover of the bobbin chamber, following the grooves on either side.

Place the bobbin following the Nifty 9 method inside the bobbin chamber

Next, take a full bobbin and place it on the palm of your hand so that the thread makes a figure 9. Now simply drop the bobbin inside the chamber.

There is a handy little groove where you can run out the end of your bobbin thread. And when you do, you will see that the bobbin is moving smoothly following the figure 9 pattern.

Run the end of the bobbin thread through this groove to tuck it out of the way.

Now all you have to do is just slide the plastic cap back into place following the grooves. And there, it’s done!

You have just filled and threaded your mini sewing machine bobbin all by yourself! Wasn’t that easy?

If you want to watch how to fill and install the mini sewing machine bobbin, check out my videos at the following links:

The P-for-Perfect Method to fill the bobbin

The Nifty Nine Method to place the bobbin

Comment below to let me know what more you would like to learn about.

I am constantly adding new content to my website so do come back soon.

Happy crafting!

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