Tag Archives: threading

how to sew on a vintage treadle – part 3: top thread

Part 3 of this series of tutorials on how to use a vintage treadle. This time we’ll be threading the top thread.
For part 1 have a look here and part 2 can be found here.

We’ll start off by placing the spool in place on top of the machine.

Now comes the tricky part: There will be lots of different hooks to guide the thread through. As a rule: if it’s there it’s meant to be used, so just try to find your way through there as best you can. If you have trouble sewing later, go back and try a different way.

On my machine it goes like this: top tension

Top tension 2: be sure to come down in a straight line at the right here and then guide the thread through the discs and then through the hook on the left.

Use every hook you see:

I have marked all the places the thread needs to be guided through on my machine with red dots. Your machine may be a little different, but the general direction of the thread shouldn’t differ all too much.

Down by the needle we will need to use another hook and then thread the needle from left to right (not from front to back as with modern machines!).

When you’ve threaded the needle, hold on to the thread tightly and turn the crank slowly by hand. The bobbin thread should plop up.

Grab both threads and guide them to the back.

Close the slider for the bobbin case and you’re ready to sew!

Part 4 will deal with changing the needle and adjusting tension and stitch length.


how to sew on a vintage treadle – part 2: the bobbin thread

So here’s the next installment of the series on how to use a vintage treadle. For part 1 have a look here. The bobbin thread spool can be found by removing the lid by the needle

Carefully take the spool out

We now need to take the bobbin out and place it on this part at the back of the machine

and click it into place:

The bobbin should be empty but I only have 3 and there was enough blue thread on this one that I wanted to save, so that’s why there’s already some thread on it.

We now need to put the spool of thread in place at the top and find out how to guide it down to the bobbin. General rule: any hooks that are there are probably meant to be used.

Wrap some thread onto the bobbin.Now we need to undo the screw on the crank, so the needle won’t turn when we wind the bobbin.

Now we can wind the thread onto the bobbin using the treadle pedal. Do this in one swing, don’t stop in between. Especially if you’re new to treadling you may get it to turn the wrong way when you stop and start again and then you’ll have to start all over because the thread on the bobbin gets tangled. When the bobbin is full, we can cut the thread and click it back in place. Remember to also retighten the screw!

The loaded bobbin goes back into the bobbin case and just like with modern machines, the thread needs to be guided so it hooks into the bobbin case correctly.

Done! We can now carefully put the bobbin case back (carefully because with my machine the bobbin falls out of the case easily and it can be a pain to go rummaging for it in the container in the table).

Stay tuned for part 3, where we will learn how to thread the top thread!