Remember how I told you that you could remove the bobbin winder from your vintage sewing machine and add a hand crank instead? You might be wondering how to wind the bobbins for your sewing machine now. You can use another sewing machine to do it, or you can buy a stand-alone bobbin winder, such as the Sidewinder.
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I had so much trouble figuring out how to use the Sidewinder that I almost returned it. The reviews on it seem split–some people love it and have no trouble, while others can’t get it to wind a proper bobbin. I wasted four spools of thread before I figured out how to use this thing!
First, make sure you fully extend the spool pin before putting your thread on it.
The tension disc can be adjusted by twisting the white cap on top. I have mine as tight as it goes, and that seems to work for what I need.
The cord rests awkwardly under the case lid, which can make it wobble. I take the lid off mine entirely while I’m using it.
To make sure the thread “catches” on the bobbin, wind it around the bobbin a few times counterclockwise (the direction indicated by the arrow on the Sidewinder), and then put the thread tail through the hole in the bobbin.
Then use your finger to guide the thread while it’s winding onto the bobbin. Mine doesn’t wind thread all the way to the bottom of the bobbin unless I push the thread down while it’s winding. See how my first attempts are all lopsided toward the bottom of the bobbin?
Arrange yourself so that you’re at eye level with the bobbin and watch it while it’s winding. Adjust the thread as necessary, pushing gently on the thread as it is winding onto the bobbin. Keep an eye on the thread level, too. My Sidewinder will overwind the bobbin if I don’t stop it.
Use some cheap thread to test out your Sidewinder–it takes a little time to get used to it, but once you do, you’ll have perfectly wound bobbins. I had no trouble using these bobbins in my 99k.