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Can You Sew Without a Bobbin?

Whether you are new to sewing or have been doing it for ages, you likely know that sewing depends on all of the tiny parts that make it work. Take the needle for example, you need to be really careful that you don’t poke yourself with it and the thread can get tangled easily.

As for sewing machines, there are so many tiny parts involved that it can be hard to keep track of them. One tiny piece that you keep in your sewing machine base, the bobbin, can make or break your sewing experience.

So, can you sew without a bobbin? If you don’t have a bobbin, unfortunately you can’t sew. Sewing machines need to have two spools for proper operation. This means that you will have to add a bobbin thread as well as the needle threat. You can’t sew without a bobbin, but there are other ways you can fix fabric quickly.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have a Bobbin?

You have a few options if you notice you lost the bobbin for your sewing machine. Unfortunately, the options won’t include actually using your sewing machine. As it isn’t possible to sew without a bobbin, you will need to explore what other options you may have.

The first option you have is to hand sew. If you would try to sew without a bobbin, the needle thread wouldn’t have anything to hold on to that will keep it in the right place. This means that you won’t make any progress with your sewing and you’ll just end up wasting time.

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Hand sewing requires a lot more time and patience than using a sewing machine, but it is a skill that can be very handy. For example, you might need to sew on buttons or snaps. It also comes in handy for materials, such as lace, that can easily get torn in a sewing machine. It is also beneficial for moments like this where you don’t have a bobbin handy.

The next option is using fabric glue for the short term. This is also a great option for pieces that you don’t want seams to show on. The best part about using fabric glue is that it dries quickly, which is perfect if you need to fix something in a rush.

What Is the Purpose of a Bobbin?

A bobbin is the wheel-like, circular object that the thread is spun around. It is responsible for forming stitches on the bottom of the fabric. The bobbin is commonly referred to as the heart of the sewing machine due to you not being able to sew without it.

Depending on the sewing machine, you will need different sized bobbins. If you are in the need of a new bobbin, you will need to check the manual of your sewing machine to determine exactly which size, or sizes, you will need to purchase.

So, what exactly does the bobbin do and why is it so important? The bobbin is what feeds the thread on the bottom of the machine, allowing a stitch to form on the bottom side of the fabric. The main purpose is holding the thread below the needle, meaning the thread coming from the bobbin is where your stitch comes from.

Can You Thread a Bobbin by Hand?

In most cases, you can wind a bobbin up with a bobbin winder, but you might feel in a pinch if you don’t have one. Don’t panic, it is possible to thread a bobbin by hand with the help of one or two simple tools.

All you need to have is the thread, bobbin, an electric drill, and a double pointed needle for knitting (or a wooden pencil). If you do not already have a drill, it is highly recommended to have one as a crafter. It can come in handy for more than one project in the future!

This Bobbin Set is great because it come with 32 pieces, and it’s super reliable! I highly recommend it.

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To temporarily convert your drill into a bobbin winder, you will first need to remove any drill bit that is in your drill. To do this, loosen the front of your drill to separate the teeth that hold it in place. This will then release the drill bit and you can put it somewhere safe.

When you have the drill bit released, grab the double pointed knitting needle or a wooden pencil. All you need to do is place one end of the needle about an inch into your drill where you just removed the drill bit from. Secure it in place by tightening the front of the drill. Make sure it is secure so it will stay in place.

If your needle or pencil is too thin and won’t hold the bobbin, you can slide piece of thick yarn into the hole of the bobbin so it fits nice and snug on the needle. You can also use a rubber band wrapped around the needle if necessary. 

It is important that the bobbin is snug on the needle because the bobbin won’t thread if it is moving around.With one hand, hold your drill so it is comfortable and easy to press the button. With your other hand, you are going to want to pull some of the thread from the spool and wrap it around the bobbin a few times by hand to secure it.

It is important to slowly start the drill. This will help make sure that the bobbin is firmly on the needle and that the thread is properly attaching to the bobbin. Keep a firm grip on the thread, and when you are confident everything is operating properly, you can kick up the speed of the drill. 

Keep tension and move your thread spool back and forth so the thread winds across the whole bobbin.

Does the Bobbin Color Matter?

The bobbin thread is only visible on the under side of the item you are sewing. In this case, you don’t necessarily need to worry about the color of the bobbin. Most people will stick with plain black, white, or even gray.

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When you are sewing things like jeans or dark fabric clothing, the bobbin color won’t matter because you won’t be able to see it. In this case, the thread color would be completely up to you and whatever you happen to have on hand.

If you are sewing an item that will have both sides of the fabric showing, it will look much better if you use a bobbin thread that matches your needle thread. When you use the same color, or a color that is extremely similar, there won’t be much contrast between the two threads.

Final Thoughts

If you are starting to sew and you can’t find your bobbin, you might be wondering if you can still sew without it. Unfortunately, the bobbin is a very important piece of the sewing machine and you can’t sew without it and you will need to determine an alternative.

If you are in a bind and you need to fix something fast, you can hand sew or use fabric glue for a temporary fix until you can replace your bobbin. If you do have a bobbin and you need to thread it without a bobbin winder, you can improvise with an electric drill and a knitting needle.

Make sure to follow my tips and recommend products to ensure your sewing project turns out amazing! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your sewing Q&A’s. Happy sewing!

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