How to Change Bobbins in a Sewing Machine

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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How to Change Bobbins in a Sewing Machine
Learn how to change the bobbin in your sewing machine. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Using a sewing machine greatly reduces the time it takes to complete sewing projects and makes stitching more durable and uniform. But for novice sewing enthusiasts, learning to operate a sewing machine can seem a daunting task, especially when it comes to changing the bobbin. Fortunately, replacing the bobbin in a sewing machine is much simpler than it sounds. When using a pre-wound bobbin, the replacement process takes less than five minutes to complete.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Replacement bobbin

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  1. 1

    Lift the machine's presser foot.

  2. 2

    Turn the hand wheel on the side of your sewing machine to move the needle into the highest possible position.

  3. 3

    Find the bobbin cover behind, or to the side of, the machine's needle plate. Open the cover to access the bobbin case. Remove the empty bobbin from the bobbin case and set it aside.

  4. 4

    Pull 4 to 5 inches of thread from the replacement bobbin before inserting it into the bobbin case. Draw the thread through the slit in the bobbin case.

  5. 5

    Hold the end of the thread while closing the bobbin cover. Guide the thread so it comes out of the slit between the bobbin cover and the needle plate.

  6. 6

    Pull the machine's needle thread out 3 to 4 inches and hold it there. Use your other hand to turn the hand wheel to lower the needle until it catches the bobbin thread. Grab both the needle and bobbin threads and pull them out 6 to 8 inches before beginning your project.

Tips and warnings

  • Check the bobbin before installing it to ensure that it is wound properly. Use your thumbnail to try to indent the thread on your bobbin. If your nail makes a dent, the thread is wound too loosely and could cause tension problems if installed.
  • Bobbin installation instructions may vary slightly by sewing machine brand and model. Consult the owner's manual or contact the machine's manufacturer for model-specific bobbin installation advice.

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