How to Set Up a 1940s Singer Sewing Machine

Written by reha vai
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How to Set Up a 1940s Singer Sewing Machine
(sewing machine image by pavel siamionov from

The 1940 Singer sewing machine was also known as a featherweight machine. It was commonly found in homes, but would now be considered vintage. The older machines generally have a thread spool facing sideways rather than sitting straight up, but the function is about the same. Setting up the machine requires leading thread through a tension guide before running thread down to the needle. Vintage Singer models usually have the bobbin hidden under the bottom of the machine.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Spool holder

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  1. 1

    Place a spool of thread onto spool holder and snap thread into thread guide. Open the bottom plate of machine to find the bobbin.

  2. 2

    Lead the thread through the bobbin winder tension disc and then out through the bobbin case. Replace the metal plate.

  3. 3

    Place a second spool of thread on the top of the machine and lead thread down through the tension guide and down to attach it at the needle pick up.

  4. 4

    Guide thread through the needle, front to back. Hold thread out with your left hand and turn the wheel handle so the threaded needle enters the plate.

  5. 5

    Continue turning the hand wheel until the threaded needle rises, bringing up the bobbin thread in the loop. Your Singer machine is now ready to be used.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a Singer manual as a resource.

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