Top Load Bobbin Sewing Machine with a Full Bobbin


Not sure what a bobbin is or how to insert it into your sewing machine?

Perfect, you’re in the right place.

In this blog post I’m going to show you step-by-step how to insert your bobbin the right way.

So, let’s start with…


What is a Bobbin?

A bobbin is really just a miniature version of the spool of thread you buy from the fabric store.

Close Up of a Bobbin

Nothing to complicated.

But why do you need it?

When you’re sewing with a sewing machine, you need to have two threads.

One thread on top of your fabric and one thread on the bottom.

These two threads work together to create a knot every time the needle goes down into the fabric and it’s these knots that hold the fabric together.

So if you don’t have two threads, you won’t be able to sew anything!

That’s why having a bobbin is SO important.

But before we jump into inserting this very important bobbin, I need to ask you a few quick questions to make sure I get you the right information.


Do You Know How to Fill or Thread A Bobbin?

Before we can insert a bobbin, we need to make sure that the bobbin has thread on it.

If you have an empty bobbin and you’re not sure how to put thread on it, then check out The Secret of How To Thread a Bobbin Perfectly Every Time.

Link to YouTube Video with a Close Up of the Top of a Sewing Machine with a Spool of thread and a half filled bobbin

What type of bobbin does your sewing machine have?

There are two main types of bobbins in the sewing world.

Front Load Bobbin Sewing Machine
Front Load Bobbin
Top Load Bobbin Sewing Machine
Top Load Bobbin

Front Load Bobbin

This is the type of bobbin that you will typically see on older sewing machines or sewing machines that are all metal / heavy duty.

If you have a front load bobbin, then check out this blog post where I show you step-by-step how to insert a front load bobbin.


Top Load Bobbin

Almost every new sewing machine is a top load bobbin.

And for really good reasons.

This style of bobbin is typically easier to insert and it’s definitely faster.

Plus you get the added bonus of actually being able to see your bobbin. That means you can see when the thread is low and make the decision to take it out and add more thread.

With the front load bobbin, I typically am just happily sewing and then out of no where, my bottom thread will run out. Then I’ll have to wind my bobbin right in the middle of trying to sew something.

Not very fun..


Supplies For Inserting a Top Load Bobbin

Supplies Photo  - photo of a sewing machine and a full bobbin

Like I already said, you’ll need a full bobbin and a top load sewing machine (like in the photo above) for the following steps!

  • If your bobbin is empty and you need help filling it, check out How To Thread a Bobbin Perfectly!
  • If you have a front load bobbin, check out How to Insert a Front Load Bobbin!

How to Insert a Top Load Bobbin

I’m going to show you step-by-step how to insert a top load bobbin on a Brother sewing machine.

BUT!!!

Don’t let the fact that my machine is a Brother fool you.

You can use these exact same steps to learn how to insert a bobbin on a Singer sewing machine as well. Or really, any sewing machine for that matter!

That’s because they all have a really similar bobbin housing that makes inserting your bobbin super easy.

So let’s see how to insert this bobbin!


How to Insert a Top Load Bobbin Video tutorial

Prefer video tutorials? Check out my how-to video here!

Link to how to insert a top load bobbin video tutorial

If not, no worries. You’ll find the whole written blog post below!



Step 1: Set Up Your Sewing Machine and power it on

First, you need to have your sewing machine set-up on a table and have it powered on.


If you need help with this step, check out my 5 Steps to Start Sewing with Confidence Guide.
It will show you step-by-step how to unbox your sewing machine and get it set up the right way.


Step 2: Remove the cover and the bobbin

When you’re looking at the needle of your sewing machine, you should see a clear plastic piece below and in front of the needle.

Under this plastic piece you can probably see your bobbin.

But to get to the bobbin, we’ll need to remove the plastic cover.

Look to the right of the cover for a square or rectangular button with an arrow pointing to the right.

Press down lightly on this button, then slide it in the direction of the arrow.

Plastic button that needs to be moved in order to remove bobbin cover

Once you slide the button over the cover should pop up on one side.

Grab the cover and remove it.

Bobbin cover popped up ready to be removed
Bobbin cover removed
Bobbin removed

And now you should be able to reach in and grab the empty bobbin so that you can remove it as well.

Step 3: Place full bobbin into Sewing machine

Now you’ll need to grab your full bobbin so we can insert it back into the sewing machine.

But before we insert this bobbin, we need to check the sticker on the machine.

If your machine doesn’t have a sticker, check your manual.

But to be honest, I’ve sewn with a dozen different machines and they all had stickers, so I imagine, you’ll have one on your machine.

Top Load Bobbin instructions on the sewing machine

We can see from the sticker, that our bobbin needs to be inserted with the thread going in the counter clockwise position.

THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!

The direction the thread comes off of the bobbin effects the tension (aka how nice your stitches look) so if you put your bobbin in backwards, you can negatively impact your stitches.

Don’t do that! Just check your sticker and put your bobbin in the way it tells you.

bobbin inserted into sewing machine in a counterclockwise direction

Now simply follow the rest of the directions on your sticker.

And what’s really nice, is that no matter what brand or model your sewing machine is, these steps are nearly identical.

With our bobbin inserted into the machine, we’ll start threading by going down and under this plastic arm.

bobbin threaded under plastic arm

Then we’ll wrap up, over, and down this cut-out channel.

And remember, this is exactly what the sticker on our machine shows us.

Scroll up if you need to see the stick again for reference.

Bobbin wound up cut-out channel on sewing machine
Bobbin wound across cut-out channel on sewing machine
Bobbin wound down cut-out channel on sewing machine

Okay, this part is really cool.

Once you make it to the end of the cut-out channel, you’ll want to pull your thread gently to the right.

There is actually a built in cutter at the end of that cut-out, so as you pull the thread to the right, your thread will be cut automatically!

Bobbin thread pulled to the right and automatically cut by the cut-out channel

Step 4: Put the plastic cover back on

This is the final step to inserting your top load bobbin.

Now that the bobbin is:

  • in your sewing machine
  • with the thread coming off in the correct direction
  • with the end of the thread pulled all the way through the cutout channel
  • and automatically cut off at the perfect length using the automatic cutter

All we need to do now is replace the plastic cover.

To do this, we’ll tuck the square on the lower left corner of the cover under the silver square on the sewing machine.

Once you tuck the cover under the silver square, it will still be popped up on the right side.

That is totally normal.

You just need to gently push down on the right side of the cover (where the arrow is pointing) and it should snap into place.

Lining up the plastic cover with the sewing machine
pushing the cover into place

Now that the cover is in place, you’re ready to start sewing!

Pinnable image for a finished top load bobbin

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