How To Thread A Handheld Sewing Machine: A Step-By-Step Guide

Sewing by hand can be tedious and time-consuming. That’s why handheld sewing machines were invented – to make mending clothes, hemming pants or stitching crafts much faster and easier. If you have a handheld sewing machine, you need to know how to properly thread it before using it.

Ahandheld sewing machine has to be threaded correctly for the needle to function properly.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: First, raise the presser foot. Then place the spool of thread on the spool pin and secure it. Next, draw the thread through the thread guides from back to front. Lead the thread down through the tension disks.

Then bring the thread up and through the take-up lever from right to left. Finally, pull the thread through the needle eye from front to back.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the whole process of threading a handheld sewing machine step-by-step. You will learn the function and location of each component involved. With clear instructions and diagrams, threading your portable sewing machine will be quick and easy.

Understanding the Main Components

Before learning how to thread a handheld sewing machine, it’s important to understand the main components of the machine. By familiarizing yourself with these components, you’ll have a better understanding of how the machine works and how the thread should be threaded.

Spool Pin

The spool pin is a small rod-like component located at the top of the machine. Its purpose is to hold the spool of thread in place. When threading the machine, make sure the spool pin is securely in place and that the spool of thread is positioned correctly.

Thread Guides

Thread guides are small hooks or loops that guide the thread through the machine. They ensure that the thread is properly guided and fed through the various components of the machine. Take note of the number and placement of the thread guides as you will need to thread the thread through each one.

Tension Disks

The tension disks are responsible for controlling the tension of the thread as it is fed through the machine. Adjusting the tension is crucial for achieving balanced stitches. Refer to your machine’s manual for specific instructions on how to adjust the tension.

Take-up Lever

The take-up lever is a movable lever that pulls the thread up and down as you sew. It plays a crucial role in creating even stitches. Make sure the thread is properly threaded through the take-up lever to ensure smooth sewing.


The needle is the component that actually pierces the fabric and forms the stitches. It is important to use the correct type and size of needle for your project. Be sure to change the needle regularly to avoid breakage and ensure smooth sewing.

Understanding these main components of a handheld sewing machine is essential for successfully threading the machine. By familiarizing yourself with the spool pin, thread guides, tension disks, take-up lever, and needle, you’ll be well-equipped to thread your machine and start your sewing projects with confidence.

Step-by-Step Threading Instructions

Raise the Presser Foot

The first step in threading a handheld sewing machine is to raise the presser foot. This can usually be done by locating the lever or button on the machine and lifting it up. By raising the presser foot, you ensure that the thread can easily pass through the machine without any obstructions.

Place Spool on Pin and Secure Thread

Next, you need to place the spool of thread on the designated pin on the machine. Make sure that the spool is securely in place so that it doesn’t wobble or fall off during the sewing process. Take the end of the thread and pull it through the small hole located on the top of the spool.

This will help keep the thread in place as you begin threading.

Draw Thread Through Guides

Once the thread is secured to the spool, you’ll need to draw it through the threading guides on the machine. These guides are usually marked with numbers or symbols to indicate the correct path for the thread.

Follow the guide markers and carefully pull the thread through each one, ensuring that it is properly threaded and not tangled or twisted.

Lead Thread Through Tension Disks

After threading through the guides, locate the tension disks on the machine. These disks are responsible for controlling the tension of the thread as it passes through the machine. Take the thread and slide it between the tension disks, making sure that it is firmly in place.

This step is crucial for achieving even and balanced stitches.

Bring Thread Up Through Take-up Lever

Once the thread is threaded through the tension disks, look for the take-up lever on the machine. This lever is responsible for controlling the up-and-down movement of the thread. Bring the thread up and over the take-up lever, making sure that it is properly seated in the designated groove.

This will ensure smooth and consistent thread movement.

Thread the Needle Eye

The final step in threading a handheld sewing machine is to thread the needle eye. Take the end of the thread and carefully pass it through the eye of the needle, making sure that it is pulled through completely.

You may find it helpful to moisten the end of the thread to make it easier to thread through the needle. Once the thread is through the eye, leave a tail of a few inches to prevent it from slipping out during sewing.

By following these step-by-step threading instructions, you’ll be able to confidently thread your handheld sewing machine and start your sewing projects with ease. Remember to refer to your machine’s manual for specific instructions and troubleshooting tips if needed.

Helpful Threading Tips

Adjust Thread Tension

One important tip when threading a handheld sewing machine is to adjust the thread tension properly. This ensures that the stitches are balanced and even. If the tension is too loose, the stitches may become sloppy and loose.

On the other hand, if the tension is too tight, the stitches may pucker or break. It is best to consult the manual for your specific model to understand how to adjust the thread tension correctly. Website URL:

Change Needles Regularly

Another important tip is to regularly change the needles of your handheld sewing machine. Needles can become dull or bent over time, which can affect the quality of your stitches. It is recommended to change the needle after every project or approximately every 8 hours of sewing.

By using a fresh needle, you can ensure that your machine operates smoothly and produces clean, professional-looking stitches. Website URL:

Use Quality Thread

Using high-quality thread is essential for a smooth sewing experience. Lower-quality threads may break easily or cause snags and knots in your stitches. It is recommended to use threads specifically designed for handheld sewing machines and to choose a thread that is appropriate for the fabric you are working with.

Investing in good-quality thread will not only improve the overall appearance of your sewing projects but also prevent unnecessary frustrations. Website URL:

Check Manual for Model-Specific Steps

Every handheld sewing machine may have slightly different threading steps. To ensure that you thread your machine correctly, it is always a good idea to refer to the manual that comes with your specific model.

The manual will provide you with detailed instructions and diagrams that will make the threading process much easier to understand. If you can’t find your manual, most manufacturers have online resources where you can find the instructions for your model. Website URL:


Threading a handheld sewing machine properly is the first key step to successful stitching. With some basic knowledge of the main components, it’s easy to master the process. Just remember to raise the presser foot, draw the thread through each guide, lead it through the tension disks, bring it up through the take-up lever and finally through the needle eye.

Follow the step-by-step instructions, take it slow, and your portable sewing machine will be threaded and ready for sewing in no time. With practice, you’ll be able to thread it smoothly every time you need to mend or craft.

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