Things You'll Need
Spool of thread
JCPenney offers numerous models of its own brand of sewing machines, and many older models are additionally available in the second-hand market. Although considerable variation exists in the specific functions of all the models, JCPenney-brand sewing machines generally have the same threading instructions, which also apply to the majority of home sewing machines of any brand. Threading is essentially a three-step process: first, wind the bobbin; second, put the bobbin into the sewing machine; and third, thread the top thread through the needle. It helps if you to read the instruction manual for your particular model if you have it available.
Wind the Bobbin
Find the spool pins, which are two metal spokes at the back-right at the top of the sewing machine. Place your spool of thread onto the left spool pin.
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Take an empty bobbin, which is a plastic or metal wheel-shaped piece with a hole in the center. Take the end of the thread from the spool, tightly wrap it around the center of the bobbin about 10 times, then thread the end through one of the little holes in the side of the bobbin, from the inside to the outside of it.
Find the bobbin winder spindle, which is a short metal tube with a spring mechanism on its side for holding the bobbin in place. It clicks from left to right if you move it with your finger. Click the bobbin winder spindle to the left and press the bobbin down onto it so that the thread is on the side closest to the spool.
Pull the thread connecting the spool to the bobbin over the thread guide, which is a small metal button-like clasp on the left side of the top of the machine.
Hold the outer part of the hand wheel steady with one hand. The hand wheel is located on the right side of the machine. Turn the central part of the hand wheel — the stop motion knob — toward you.
Press down on the foot pedal as if you are sewing. The bobbin winder spindle revolves at a high speed and you see it fill up with thread from the spool. The machine stops itself when the bobbin is full. If you only need a small amount of thread for your sewing project, stop when you think you have as much thread as you need on the bobbin. Cut the thread.
Put the Bobbin in the Sewing Machine
Hold the outer part of the hand wheel steady with one hand, and turn the central part of it away from you. Turn the outer part of the hand wheel away from you until the needle is raised to its highest point. If the presser foot is lowered, lift it with the lever located behind the needle.
Open the front plate at the lower-left side of the sewing machine, located underneath the needle and needle plate. You see a shuttle containing the bobbin case, which is metal and circular with a hinged latch on its front and a long metal finger pointing upward. Pull on the hinged latch and remove the bobbin case from the shuttle.
Hold the bobbin case so that its open side is facing you and the long metal finger is facing upward. Place the bobbin flat inside the bobbin case so that it turns clockwise when you pull on the thread end.
Find the cross slot in the side of the bobbin case, which is a narrow slit leading to a hole called the delivery eye. Slide the end of the thread into the cross slot and into the delivery eye. Pull the thread end so you have a tail of at least 6 inches.
Hold the bobbin case (with the bobbin inside) by the hinged latch and press it into the shuttle. The long metal finger should be pointed upward so that it fits into a narrow slot at the top of the shuttle. Release the hinged latch and the bobbin case should remain in place.
Thread the Top Thread Through the Needle
Look for the thread guide, which is a narrow vertical slit located on the front of the sewing machine above the needle. Turn the hand wheel away from you and stop when the take-up lever (a metal loop at the end of a narrow spoke) emerges at the top of the thread guide.
Take the end of the thread from the spool, which should still be positioned on the left spool pin. Pass the thread through the thread guide (a wire loop or metal spoke) on the back-left side of the machine, then through the thread guide at the front-left side of the machine.
Find the thread tension dial, a round knob located directly below the thread guide at the front-left side of the machine. Take the thread under the tension dial and through the wire spring located on its left side.
Take the thread from the wire spring, up along the thread guide and through the take-up lever from the right to the left. Take it down along the thread guide and pass it through the small wire loop located at the top-left of the needle.
Pass the end of the thread through the eye of the needle, from front to back, and pull a tail of about 6 inches through.
Hold the tail end of the thread loosely with your left hand. With your right hand, turn the hand wheel slowly away from you, observing as the needle goes down through the needle plate and comes back up again. The thread from the bobbin should emerge with the needle, looped through the top thread. Pull the end of the bobbin thread through. Now you are ready to sew.
The general rule for threading a sewing machine is to take the thread from the spool to the left side of the front of the machine, down under the tension dial, up through the take-up lever, then down to the needle. The thread guides, springs and clips are positioned to hold the thread taut and neat as it follows this route from the spool to the needle.