Saturday, August 15, 2015

Featherweight Skill Series - Winding the Bobbin

Thank you for your interest in my Featherweight Skill Series! Whether you found the courses online or my Facebook group, welcome! There are many of us who love these Singer 221 machines but need or want a little more "know-how" about them. I hope my posts and videos will give you some of that know-how and more confidence to use your beautiful Featherweight! 

Class # 1
Class supply list:
your machine, an empty bobbin, a spool of thread, a pair of scissors

Let's get started winding a bobbin!
First thing to do is turn this knob counterclockwise so your needle doesn't move while you are winding the bobbin.

Press the bobbin winder down until it rests on the wheel and turns when the machine is running.

The bobbin usually has some holes in it that can help with starting the winding process. Bring the end of the thread through a hole and set the bobbin onto the winder pin. 

Your spool and thread should look like this-

The thread runs from spool, over to the hook, down and into the tension discs, then up to the winder through the hole in the side of the bobbin.

Slowly run the machine while holding the thread end until you have a few passes on the bobbin. Snip off the tail of thread outside the bobbin.

Here's a short video of my bobbin being wound.
If I notice the thread is building up on one side in the bobbin more than the other, I use my finger to gently guide the thread to where it needs to go. No pressure is put on the thread, only a nudge to help it stay evenly wound.
Continue to wind the bobbin until it's pretty full. No thread should be bulging above the bobbin sides. An overfilled bobbin will not load easily into the bobbin housing, could get stuck in the housing, and will prevent the bobbin from turning properly while sewing. If you think too much thread is on your bobbin, simply unwind it until it has the proper amount on it. It's better to have a lesser amount of thread than too much.

I was happy with this loading level.

I like to snip the thread above the tension discs. It holds the thread neatly in place until I'm ready to remove it.

Now your bobbin is filled with thread and ready to be used in the machine!

But we're not done with this process yet! 
Don't forget to pull up on the winder... It should not be spinning while you sew...

...and tighten the wheel all the way clockwise so your needle will be able to move again!

If you ever obtain a bobbin with thread on it, like one that was in a purchase or wasn't a bobbin that you wound with your thread, I recommend that the thread on it not be used. It could be old and weak and your stitching will not be a strong as it should be. Simply unwind the thread out of the bobbin and load fresh thread into it as needed.

Have a bobbin that is bent, looks warped, or has rust? It is better to not use them at all. Just like a warped record, it will not turn well in the bobbin case and will not release thread properly. Use bobbins that are nice and flat and rust-free.

Go through all your bobbins and make sure they are clean, flat, and free of old thread. Then wind some bobbins for your next sewing project or practice pieces that you want to sew. Having two or three wound and ready to go is handy. That way you don't have to stop in the middle of a project in order to wind a bobbin.

Join my Facebook group for posting your pictures and community discussions!

In the next Skill Session, we will load our bobbin into the machine and do the upper threading. See you there!


Anonymous said...

Why is your thread spool sort of hanging at a slant in the spindle?

Pamelyn B said...

I was wondering if anyone would notice that! There's a spring on the base of my spool pin and my spool hole didn't fit over it. That's all! Good eye!

barbara woods said...

i am 73 and we used some of these are some that was like them so i took right to it.