Skip to content

Can You Sew Without A Bobbin? Find Out Here!

Can You Sew Without A Bobbin

Is It Possible To Sew Without A Bobbin? – Our Guide

If you’ve run into problems when operating your sewing machine, your bobbin might be to blame, therefore you might be wondering if you can use a regular machine without a wound bobbin. 

Unfortunately, you cannot sew without a bobbin, this is an essential part of the sewing machine since it stitches the bottom thread while the top thread is being stitched at the same time, without a bobbin you can’t create stitches.

Down below in our guide, we will take you through why a bobbin is so important, if there are sewing machines without bobbins, what to consider when setting your bobbin and other ways to stitch.

Why Is A Bobbin Important On A Sewing Machine

Why Is A Bobbin Important On A Sewing Machine?

Bobbins are very important on a common sewing machine, you need to make sure you have the right-sized bobbin for your sewing machine otherwise the machine will not work properly. 

If the bobbin is lost or broken then the sewing machine will not sew properly since the top stitch cannot loop through anything. The bobbin is important since it forms the bottom stitch.

Do All Sewing Machines Have Bobbins? 

That being said, although the bobbin thread is important on a sewing machine, some fancy machines are designed to operate without this small piece of tech. 

For example, a chain stitch sewing machine does not need a bobbin included since they operate with a single top stitch which loops over itself to create a strong stitch which holds fabric together.

Important Things To Consider When Setting Your Bobbin

On classic machines, a bobbin is needed to sew properly, to keep your bobbin in good condition and working properly we’ve listed some important tips for setting your bobbin in the machine.

Use The Right Exact Bobbin 

Depending on the kinds of sewing machines you are using, make sure you are using the right bobbin in the machine for sewing, the wrong bobbin can cause stitching problems and damage the machine. 

Always check the manual to make sure you’re using the right kind of bobbin, we have a guide explaining the different types of bobbins here.

Use The Right Exact Bobbin 

Check If The Bobbin Is Top Loading Or Front Loading

To wind your bobbin properly you need to ensure you load the bobbin compartment correctly, you first need to check if your bobbin is top loading or front loading. 

Front-Loading Bobbin Case

This bobbin thread case is detachable and found on classic machines, you wind the bobbin clockwise in order to load it properly.

Top-Loading Bobbins 

These are found on more modern sewing machines and are located under the needle thread, they are loaded in a clear top-loading bobbin case so as you can see how the bobbin is threading, this is threaded counterclockwise.

Make Sure Bobbin Is Wound Properly

Always ensure your bobbin is wound properly before you start sewing, and avoid winding it too tightly otherwise the thread can start to bulge and become stuck.

Check The Bobbin Thread Tension

As well as making sure the bobbin is wound properly, you also need to make sure the tension of the bobbin is right.

Too high of tension then the bobbin thread, hold the end of your string and shake it to see if it unravels so you can see if it’s too tight.

Clean Your Bobbin Properly

In order for your bobbin thread to work properly, you also need to make sure the bobbin is cleaned well. A rusty or soiled bobbin might not work well, instead oil it and make sure to clean it after every use to prevent lint buildup.

Make sure the bobbin is not loose too.

Have A Spare Bobbin On Hand 

Always have an extra bobbin thread on hand, especially if you have a front-loading bobbin case where you can’t see the thread properly. You never know when this bobbin thread can run out!

Ways To Sew Without A Bobbin 

If your bobbin has broken during sewing and you need to finish a sewing project, we recommend following the two methods below to sew your fabric in an emergency. 

  • Hand sew – Traditional hand sewing can always save the day! Whether you are sewing buttons, delicate fabrics or adding patterns to your material.
  • Use fabric glue – Fabric glue is non-toxic and dries quickly, making it ideal to fix fabric together if your bobbin suddenly breaks on your sewing machine.

If you want to know more about Why Won’t My Sewing Machine Sew Velcro check this out.

How To Thread & Wind A Bobbin Properly

If your bobbin is not working properly on your sewing machine and you can’t sew without it, then you might need to just rewind your bobbin and reset it to see if this fixes the problem. 

We’ve listed some steps to thread a bobbin on a sewing machine properly below.

  1. Load the spool pin – Start by placing the spool of the thread which will be used for the bobbin on top of the spool pin, this will help to eliminate vibration.
  2. Guide the thread – Pull and guide the thread through the button or disc on your machine (according to the manual), this makes sure the thread has tension before being wrapped around the bobbin.
  3. Thread the bobbin – Thread the bobbin through the hole from the inside to the out and place it on the bobbin winder, leaving a tail of thread to grab on to when winding. 
  4. Engage the bobbin winding – Make sure the engaged bobbin winder is switched on the machine, the brake might need to be moved towards the bobbin for this or the handwheel might need to be loosened. 
  5. Wind the bobbin – Turn the machine on via the foot pedal, once the thread is wound on you can let go of the thread tail, once the thread is filled the machine should automatically stop. 
  6. Insert the bobbin – Now insert the bobbin, you will need to pull the thread through the guide when doing this, the method might change according to if you have a horizontal or vertical drop in the bobbin.
How To Thread & Wind A Bobbin Properly

Frequently Asked Questions About Sewing Without A Bobbin 

Do embroidery machines need a bobbin?

Yes, in all embroidery sewing machines a bobbin is needed otherwise the machine will not be able to form a stitch properly.

How do I get the rust off a bobbin? 

To get the rust off a bobbin you will need to remove it from the machine, sand off the rust then oil the bobbin.

Why is my bobbin not winding properly?

Most of the time, if your bobbin is not winding properly this might mean the bobbin winder is not fully engaged.

Should I use ‘bobbin thread’ when sewing?

Bobbin thread is very lightweight and is mostly used for embroidery stitches, we would use the normal thread that you use for the top stitch when performing regular sewing.

Find out more information here about Is A Chain Stitch?

Last Words

Overall, you cannot operate a sewing machine without a bobbin unless you are using a chain stitch sewing machine where a bobbin is not needed. Bobbins are important on a sewing machine since they are responsible for the bottom thread which forms a complete stitch, if you want to learn more about how they work, check out our guide here.



Heya! I'm Debbie (Deborah), my pride and joy is It is a resource I created to serve the community around sewing, stitching, crocheting and like crafts. I have always been into all kinds of arts and crafts and somehow gravitate towards sewing... hence my site SewingThis.comView Author posts