How To Thread A Handheld Sewing Machine In 3 Steps

Last Updated on 9 months by Susan Mayrich

Those who want to know how to thread a handheld sewing machine can do so in three steps. You’ll start with the bobbin, and we’ll also discuss how to assemble the tensioner of a handheld unit. Furthermore, you’ll learn other information when using this machine type. 

how to thread a handheld sewing machine

For more general information, try our separate article discussing how to use a handheld sewing machine. Then, you can use the tricks mentioned in that tutorial to use a handheld mini sewing machine correctly. 


How To Thread A Handheld Sewing Machine For Beginners


Step 1. Load the bobbin 

  • Refer to the manual of the specific handheld sewing machine you have
  • Load the spool into the sewing machine, ensuring that it will come off counterclockwise
  • Have the thread up and through the designated guide for it

Step 2. Assemble the tensioner

  • If the machine comes with the tensioner assembled, continue to step three
  • If you need to assemble the tensioner, create a pulley mechanism with the two tensioner disks
  • Load the spring on its sleeve before putting them into the shaft
  • Secure the knob onto the threaded end

Step 3. Thread the handheld sewing machine and sew

  • Have the thread between the two tensioner disks you assembled earlier without wrapping it around
  • Sew to check the tension
  • Adjust the knob to either tighten or loosen the stitch
  • Pass the thread through the metal guide and thread the needle back to front or use a threading tool for a faster process
  • Pull at least five inches of thread tail through the needle 
  • Once you’re done sewing, don’t forget to not pull the unsecured thread 
  • To avoid accidentally pulling the stitch work, turn the needle out via the wheel
  • Pull off the extra thread from the spool and cut 
  • Secure the stitch by allowing the thread end to tighten on itself as you pull it back through the final loop

Can You Backstitch With A Handheld Sewing Machine?

You cannot expect a handheld sewing machine to sew from left to right because it typically only sews in reverse. On the other hand, mini sewing machines have a backstitch lever or button if you want to sew in the opposite direction. It’s crucial to backstitch at the start and end of your row to keep the stitches from unraveling. 

What Are Handheld Sewing Machines Good For?

  • Handheld sewing machines are good for users who usually need to do quick repairs and mending on clothes and other items
  • Handheld sewing machines are good for those who want a portable sewing machine that is not bulky and won’t require an outlet since they are battery-operated
  • Handheld sewing machines are good for users who hate looking for lost needles
  • Handheld sewing machines are good for people that don’t need the bells and whistles of a standard machine and don’t want to teach themselves to operate it

Is A Handheld Sewing Machine Worth It?

A handheld sewing machine is worth it if you only need something for quick repairs or you want a tool that you can bring anywhere for wardrobe emergencies. However, expect that a handheld unit won’t work with challenging materials. Furthermore, you’re the one who will operate the machine with your hand, so you’ll need to be steady to make even stitches. 


What Is The Best Handheld Sewing Machine To Buy?


Power supply

Select whether you want a handheld sewing machine that is rechargeable, or you’d instead replace the batteries yourself. Of course, your budget and expected use will affect how you choose between them. But if you want convenience and save more budget long-term, it’s best to get a rechargeable unit.


Size and weight

Handheld sewing machines are easily portable, to begin with. However, you can always check the dimensions and weight of the model to see if it’s compatible with your bag. If you often travel, get a machine that is pretty lightweight and compact. 


Ease of use

Many features can make the handheld sewing machine even easier to use. They include getting quality and right-size needles for even stitches, a built-in threader to make threading faster, and a visible and accessible bobbin at the top instead of the bottom to know when to refill it. Handheld sewing machines are straightforward to use, but they will still require a learning curve like any device. 

Are you also interested in knowing how to buy a sewing machine in general? Find out what factors to consider when shopping for this bigger device. 


How Do You Thread A Small Sewing Machine?

  1. Place the thread spool on the spindle
  2. Wind the bobbin and cut the thread to separate it from the spool
  3. Find the thread guides and work the thread onto them
  4. Have the thread through the take-up lever and down towards the needle
  5. With the needle in the highest position, thread it from front to back
  6. Have at least 5 inches of thread towards the back to keep it from slipping when you start working
  7. Place and secure the bobbin in its compartment
  8. Lower the needle to catch the bobbin thread


Was this article helpful? We just discussed how to thread a handheld sewing machine where you’ll begin with loading the bobbin and then assembling the tensioner before threading itself. Ultimately, always study the manual of the specific machine you have. 

If you have more questions, feel free to leave us a comment. 

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