Threading a Handy Stitch Machine

How do I thread a Handy Stitch hand held sewing machine, as seen on TV?

By from Phoenix, AZ



February 7, 20104 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hopefully this image that I made will make up for the inadequate one in the manual
The numbers in the images match the reference numbers below:
1. Load the Bobbin:

  • Pull out the peg that holds the spool on.
  • Be sure the spring is on first.
  • Load the spool so the thread comes off the top...counter clock-wise.
2. the Bobbin guide
  • Put the thread UP through the guide hole in the little plastic guide.
3. The Tensioner If disassembled, assemble the tensioner: Assembly
  • Onto the shaft, put on the two dished tensioner disks so that they meet near the shaft to form a pulley.
  • Load the spring on the metal sleeve and load the spring/sleeve combination onto the shaft with the wide end of the spring pressing into the the outside disk.
  • Turn the knob onto the threaded end of the shaft and tighten.
  • Pass the thread OVER the tensioner and BETWEEN the two tensioner disks.
  • DO NOT WRAP the thread around the tensioner.
  • If the stitch is not tight enough, turn the knob clock-wise to put more tension on the thread.
  • If the stitch is too tight or breaks, turn the tensioner knob counter clock-wise for less tension.
4 The Needle Guide
  • Pass the thread sideways from the tensioner through the metal guide.
5 The Needle
  • From the needle guide, pass the thread through the needle, back to front.
  • There is a needle threading tool that can be bought for this, to make this task easier.
  • Pull out a tail of 3-5 inches (7-12cm) of thread through the needle
  • After stitching be careful not to pull on the unsecured thread or you will pull the stitching out.
  • Use the manual wheel to turn the needle out of the work
  • carefully pull extra thread off of the spool and snip the work free from the rest of the spool.
  • Secure the ends of the stitch by pulling the end of the thread back through the last loop so that it will tighten on its self.
  • Trim off any excess thread.

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7 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 12, 2020

Does anyone happen to know of any links or personally have any videos of how to hem dresses shorts, etc, with the Mini Portable Handy Stitch Sewer. If there's a step by step video for beginners, that would be AMAZING.


August 14, 20200 found this helpful
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This is a handy machine to have for small emergency projects but for what you are talking about is not what this gadget was made for.
Of course, projects like this can be done but they will not be easy and most likely will look like an 8 year old did the job as even in the demonstration you can see the wavy stitch line.

I've been down this path with a friend (she is petite and has to hem nearly everything she buys) and I can truthfully say, she sometimes almost reached the 'throw it in the garbage point'.
Even with two people holding the material straight it was very challenging and not usually acceptable.
I'm not saying it cannot be done but there are at least 10 complaints to one favorable comment on these machines. The biggest reason seems to be trying to do projects the machine was not designed for.
Everyone has given links to helpful sites so no need for me to mention these.

Following this experiment, my friend knew she had to have something different for her projects and did not need/want a regular sewing machine, she found this one online and recently told me she absolutely loves it. She says it even has a foot pedal which is a handy thing to have when hemming.
I'm not recommending this machine - just showing what someone likes:

There are a lot of these slightly larger, but still very portable, machines around so maybe someone might prefer a slightly better machine for larger projects.

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June 1, 2020

I just received a Singer handheld sewing machine and the arm won't rise high enough to thread the needle. How can I adjust the arm? The rotary knob won't rise any higher than it was in the package.


June 2, 20200 found this helpful
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These are not always the easiest machine to use and ThriftyFun receives questions quite frequently so maybe you can find the answer on this link: There are answers for several brands so just keep looking for yours.

There are quite a few YouTube videos that demonstrate how to use this machine so check some of these out as seeing someone make the moves might help.

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January 12, 2018

How do I thread one of these machines?


January 16, 20180 found this helpful
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These are handy little machines but threading seems to be the hardest to understand.

  • Here are the Singer instructions:
  • Threading the Handy Stitch
  • The thread goes from the bobbin through the first thread guide on the needle arm, through the two plates in the tension control, and through the second thread guide at the end of the needle arm. The seamstress should use the provided needle threader to feed the thread into the eye of the needle.
  • After feeding the thread through the threader and the eye of the needle, she should turn the rotary once, so that the thread goes underneath the machine's fastening plate. She should lift the fastening plate, and use her seam-ripper to pull the thread out from underneath.
  • Now - if that is still confusing there are several very good demonstrations on YouTube.
  • This session on YouTube has several parts that have excellent instructions.

It takes a little practice but very handy to use.

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September 27, 2017

I need help with a step by step procedure for how to thread a Handy sewing machine. I have tried all the steps in every article, even the videos. It is still not working.


September 27, 20170 found this helpful

Step 1
Put the thread from the bobbin through the first thread guide on the needle arm, through the two plates in the tension control, then through the second thread guide at the end of the needle arm.

Step 2
Use the provided needle threader to feed the thread into the eye of the needle.

Step 3
Turn the rotary once so the thread goes under the fastening plate. Lift up the fastening plate and pull the thread out from underneath.

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September 27, 20170 found this helpful

This is a diagram of the Handy Stitch Sewing machine to help you understand it better. Instructions are great, but if you don't see a diagram also it is hard to follow them.

  • Look at this diagram your bobbin is #1. See how the thread comes off the bobbin in a counter clockwise position.
  • This comes off the bobbin and goes to #2 this is your two thread guides on your needle arm. The thread must pass through the two thread guides on your needle arm.
  • #3 is your tension control on your needle arm. The thread must go through the tension control and goes down towards your needle.
  • #4 shows the tread coming down from the tension control and going towards the needle. The thread is on the left hand side of the machine next to your bobbin. Make sure you keep it this way so you can thread your needle.
  • #5 is your needle and it is threaded from left to right. You will thread your needed from the side the bobbin is on and it will pass through your needle and come out the other side.
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September 28, 20170 found this helpful

There are many users of this little machine that have threw their hands in the air - and then thrown the machine away but maybe you will be able to understand some of the instructions presented here.

  • This is not a user friendly machine but others have asked this question and some answers from previous ThriftyFun questions will help
  • I would strongly suggest you take the machine to your local craft stores - Michael's, Jo Ann's or any other that is in your area.
  • Just Google craft stores with your zip and several should come up.
  • These stores usually sell these machines and many times a clerk in that department or somewhere in the store will know how to do this.
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September 29, 20170 found this helpful

I bought one for a simple sewing project one time and it broke before I could get through a few seams. I'm afraid it isn't a very good product. If possible, I would just return it and get a small sewing machine from a decent brand. Lots of sewing stores sell refurbished sewing machines.

Good luck!

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September 29, 20170 found this helpful

Step 1
Turn the rotary wheel to raise the needle arm.

Step 2
Lift fastening plate, pull the thread out and cut with your seam ripper.

Step 3
Turn rotary wheel again so the needle goes up and down one more time.

Step 4
It will create a loop on backside of your fabric.

If you still need more information go here

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December 18, 2018

How do I do the inner threading of the mini handheld sewing machine?

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June 15, 2019

How do I tighten the stitches underneath the fabric?


June 16, 20190 found this helpful

Tension issues are a problem with many users who posted a review on Amazon. Try looking for a full-sized machine at a garage or estate sale. (Affiliate Link)

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 20, 2009

How do you thread a Handy Stitch machine?

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