Back to Basics: How to Thread A Sewing Machine with bonus Buying Guide

So, lots of readers tell us they have a sewing machine and want to start using it.  Some of you have an older hand-me-down that is collecting dust, while some of you are sporting fancy new machines post-holiday.   Many of you want to learn how to sew but find the machine a little intimidating.  That’s understandable, I had the same issue for years.  The first step is learning how to thread your machine.  Once you have threading down, you can just start playing with it and you’ll be a sewing master in no time. Seriously!  Sewing is one area where practice really does make perfect.  Well, closer to perfect.

This video shows how to wind a bobbin, thread the top of your machine, and load a drop-in bobbin …and bonus footage… Carleton Curtis (prudent husband) chipped in to show you how to load a bobbin on an older machine from the early 70’s!

Please let me know if this video is helpful or just makes it more confusing, and if you have a video tutorial you’d like to see here on Prudent Baby, leave a comment letting us know and we’ll try to create one for you (or find someone who can)!

If you are thinking about buying a sewing machine, get the basics and my recommendations after the jump…

The first thing to know is that there are three basic types of sewing machine:  Mechanical (uses knobs and levers), Electronic (more precise sewing), and Computerized (fancy-schmancy stitches and such). All are good, but they do get increasingly expensive.  Depending on how much you think you will love sewing and how much you want it to be able to grow with you as you learn more, you can decide how much you want to spend.  Here are links to a few that I recommend:

Mechanical:  For $89 you can get started sewing and make all the basics!

Get it here: Brother XL2600I 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine with Multiple Stitch Functions

Electronic: This one is confusing because the name says computerized but it’s not a true computerized machine.  No matter, it is the best reviewed machine on Wal Mart and Amazon and I always see it recommended.

 Get it here: Brother CS6000I 60-Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine with Multiple Stitch Functions

Computerized: I use a version of this machine and I love it.  It’s a basic computerized machine, they get alot fancier from here but then you just stop being Prudent at all. (Jacinda got this one for Christmas!!  Are you so jealous??)

Hey!  I just checked amazon and they’re having that “put-it-in-your-cart-to-see-the-price” deal and it’s dropped $150!  So you can get this one for about $380 right now!  

And if you are all good on your sewing machine, maybe it’s time to check out our video “What is a Serger?”



Yellow House

Thank you so much for that video! The timing was perfect for me. The machine I ordered is arriving tomorrow! I can't wait to get started. 🙂


OK, you inspired me. I marched upstairs and wound a bobbin, threaded my machine and played around a bit. The possibilities are ENDLESS! Thanks for the push.


I would love to see a video tutorial on serging in a round, i.e., serging in a circle such as a neckband in a T-shirt. I can serge straight seams beautifully but haven't figured out a way to make the starting and stopping still look good when serging in a circle. Thank you!


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