For sewing enthusiasts and professionals, winding and threading a bobbin is second nature – but if you’re just starting to learn to sew, it can be tricky to get it right. Fortunately, the process is fairly standard on every machine, including the Empisal 120A Dressmaker. Here is a quick how-to guide from the specialists at Empisal.

Take a look at your sewing machine 

Generally, winding and threading a bobbin involves using fairly standardised parts of your machine. The tension disc is over the left top side of the machine near the tension wheel, and the spool pins and bobbin winder are on the right – although some machines have it on the back or side of the machine by the winder. Your machine manual will have a diagram you can refer to in order to make sure that you are looking at the right machine parts.

You will need:

Thread, your sewing machine, a needle, an empty bobbin, and a pair of scissors.


Place the thread on the spool pin and secure with the spool cap. Unwind a length of thread, bring it around the back of the bobbin winder tension disc and wind it around the disc once. If your machine has a thread guide (a little hoop for guiding the thread), be sure to thread through it. Take your bobbin and slide it onto the bobbin winder and thread your thread through the centre of the bobbin (or wrap around the side a few times) and leave a 4cm tail. Slide the bobbin pin towards the bobbin winder until it clicks in place.

Slowly press down on your foot pedal at a speed you are comfortable with and fill your bobbin until you have either got enough thread for your project or it is completely full. Slide the bobbin pin out until it clicks into place and remove the bobbin.

Now open the shuttle cover under your machine’s foot and remove the metal bobbin casing. Place the bobbin in the case so that the thread is trailing off in a clockwise position. Place it back in the casing and bring the thread through the small notch in the rim, and pull through so that it snaps into the open area of the casing. Flip it onto its side, like a wheel, and position the thread on the right-hand side of the little bar on the casing.

Put the casing back into your machine so that the little bar aligns with the notch in the shuttle hook cover and snap into place. Close the casing and turn the hand wheel of your sewing machine always turn towards you so that the needle descends and takes up the thread from below. You’re now ready to thread your bobbin! ( It should read sewing machine and not bobbin?)

Want to learn to sew? We have affordable sewing machines for beginners and pros! 

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, over lockers, steam presses and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years.

Whether you’re learning to sew or a professional, Empisal has the right sewing machine for you. With the [sewing machine unit here], you’ll be able to take on new projects with ease and get the most out of your sewing skills.

For more information on our sewing machines and products, please contact us today.