If you've already read "Bobbin Case Basics" you won't be surprised by anything you read here. But you may find it helpful if you own one of the many Singer 15 "clones" built in Japan.
Japanese 15 clones use the same bobbin as the Singer 15 machines, but the bobbin case is set up backwards. The flat tension spring is on the opposite side, which means the thread wraps in the opposite direction when you insert the bobbin in the case.
However the basic principle of bobbin loading is the same whether you are loading a Singer 15 or a Japanese 15 bobbin: the thread slides under the tension spring in the opposite direction that it wraps on the bobbin.
Threading Japanese Class 15 bobbin case
Here's the step-by-step:
1. Hold bobbin case in left hand with open side facing right and slotted groove pointing toward you. 2. Hold bobbin in right hand with thread wrapping AWAY from you over the top of the bobbin. 3. Insert bobbin into case with a right to left motion. 4. Pull thread into the slotted groove. 5. Slide thread TOWARD you and DOWN along the tension spring until thread pops into notch at the bottom. 6. Load bobbin into machine.
There, wasn't that easy?
When in doubt, refer to your machine's instruction manual for specific instructions. Or you can visit our "Cheat Sheets" page for printable reference sheets.
Happy Sewing! Barbara
OldSewinGear...dedicated to helping you get the most out of your old sewing gear.
"That doesn't help with my Slant-o-Matic. How do I insert the bobbin on my Singer 401 or 500?"
Hmmm...you're right. Let's see what we can do about that!
Singer 401 and 500 slant needle sewing machines feature drop-in bobbin loading. The bobbin case is permantly attached to the machine and uses a Class 66 bobbin. Other vintage Singer sewing machine models also use the drop-in Class 66 bobbin. These models include the 66, 99, 201, 185, and 328 to name a few.
Singer Class 66 bobbin case
Loading a class 66 bobbin follows the same principles as loading a Class 15 bobbin, but the key difference is that the Class 66 bobbin case is permanently attached to the machine with the open side facing up.
There is one simple rule to threading both styles of bobbin case:
The thread always slides along the groove under the tension spring in the OPPOSITE direction that it winds on the bobbin.
What does this look like for a Class 66 bobbin case? Check out the step-by-step process in the following photos and video:
Hold bobbin horizontally with thread wrapping from LEFT to RIGHT across the front of the bobbin. Drop the bobbin into the bobbin case. Pull thread into the groove at the front of the case. Slide thread along the groove in a RIGHT to LEFT motion until the thread pops into the notch at the end of the tension spring. Draw the thread across the bobbin toward the needle.
Still have questions? Let's see it in motion:
There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Loading and threading the bobbin case isn't difficult, but it plays an important role in how well your machine functions. An incorrectly threaded bobbin will cause problems every time.
We've all been there. Staring at the bobbin and can't remember which way it goes into the bobbin case...
The rule of thumb is that the thread slides along the groove under the tension spring in the OPPOSITE direction from how it wraps around the bobbin.
Here's the step by step for a Singer Class 15 bobbin case:
1. Hold bobbin case in LEFT hand with open side pointing to the right. 2. Hold bobbin in RIGHT hand with thread feeding TOWARD you over the top of the bobbin . 3. Insert bobbin into bobbin case with a right to left motion. 4. Slide thread into the notch in the open side of the bobbin case. 5. Pull thread up and to the left, sliding thread under the flat tension spring. 6. Keep pulling until thread pops into the notch at the top of the tension spring
Note: Photos show everything being held in the left hand because I was holding the camera with my right hand.
Here's what it looks like from the side on a Featherweight or 301 bobbin case:
Now that the bobbin is in the case, the next step is to insert the bobbin case into the machine. That's where the little lift lever on the front comes into play. It keeps the bobbin from falling out of the case while you pop the case into the machine:
Voila, you're done!
This basic process works in most standard bobbin cases, but there are always exceptions. When in doubt, track down a copy of the instruction manual for your machine.
Happy Sewing! Barbara OldSewinGear...dedicated to helping you get the most out of your old sewing gear.
OldSewinGear is the collaborative effort of retired repairman Gary and daughter Barbara. We love old sewing gear and enjoy sharing what we've learned in our vintage sewing machine adventures. We are located in Roseburg, Oregon.