How to Thread a Vintage Brother Sewing Machine

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A vintage Brother sewing machine doesn't offer all the bells and whistles of today's machines, but its sturdy construction enables you to tackle a variety of sewing tasks. Many of the vintage sewing machines just have a straight stitch, but some had the capability of doing zigzag stitches. A vintage sewing machine is simple to thread, but loading the bobbin is slightly more difficult than today's models. No matter which machine you own, the threading procedure is similar.

Prepare the Bobbin

  • Open the door on the left side of the Brother sewing machine that allows access underneath the machine. Find the metal latch that looks similar to a zipper pull. This is the bobbin case latch. Pull out the latch, and the whole bobbin case and bobbin follows.

  • Set the spool of thread on the spool pin. Run the thread from the spool through the bobbin winder disc.

  • Pull the bobbin out of the bobbin case. Insert the end of the thread from the inside of the bobbin to the outside through the small hole in the side of the bobbin. Leave a tail about 4 to 6 inches long.

  • Put the bobbin on the winder pin on top of the machine. Push the bobbin winder pin toward the bobbin presser.

  • Turn the stop motion knob on the flywheel toward you. Hold the thread tail firmly with your thumb and index finger while you start the sewing machine with the foot control. As the bobbin winds, the thread eventually breaks and you can discard the tail. The machine automatically stops when the bobbin is full. Cut the thread and remove the bobbin from the winder. Tighten the stop motion knob again by turning it away from you.

  • Insert the bobbin back into the case in the direction indicated on the case. Slide the tail of the thread into the delivery eye. Hold the latch open as you put the case back into the machine. Push the latch closed. Pull 4 to 6 inches of thread tail to the top of the sewing machine.

Threading the Machine

  • Raise the needle of the Brother machine to the highest position by turning the flywheel by hand.

  • Pull thread from the spool as it sits on the spool pin. Move the thread through the rear thread guide and the front thread guide.

  • Hold the thread as you move it down past the right side of the tension disc. Bring the thread up again on the left side of the disc. It should catch in the tension spring.

  • Thread the thread through the eye of the take-up lever, going from right to left. Pass the thread down through the thread guards. Put the thread through the needle from left to right. Leave a 6-inch tail.

  • Hold the tail of thread as you lower the needle into the machine. It should catch the bobbin thread and bring it up through the hole in the presser foot. Move the spool thread and bobbin thread tails behind the presser foot and you are ready to begin sewing.

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