How To Use Elastic Thread In A Brother Sewing Machine

If you are working on stretchy fabrics, the best thread to use is an elastic thread. It is thick and stretches more than regular thread. Normally, the elastic thread is used together with the normal thread. The elastic thread is placed into the bobbin while the normal thread is used as the top thread. 

Using elastic thread with a sewing machine is not difficult. However, it is difficult to thread elastic through sewing machines. A Brother sewing machine can be used when you want to use elastic thread on a project.

What Can You Do With Elastic Thread?


To complete a shirring project, you need an elastic thread to make the gathering appearance on your garment or fabric. The first step towards shirring successfully is to wind the bobbin by hand. Wind until the bobbin is at least ⅔ full. 

Mark your fabric so that you can make your shirring. With your fabric prepared, thread your sewing machine as you prepare to start sewing. Remember to set your sewing machine to a straight stitch at the longest stitch length. Place your bobbin normally. If you use a metal bobbin case make sure to reduce the tightness of your elastic thread on the bobbin.

With your sewing machine and fabric ready, start sewing. Make your stitches short at the beginning to make anchor stitches. Then lengthen your stitches to the longest length on your sewing machine.

When making shirring, make sure that you keep checking your progress. Sew slowly with your fabric pulled tautly. This helps to keep the stitches in place and to maintain the stretchiness of the elastic thread and fabric. As you sew the other rows of your fabric, you will see that the shirring starts forming on your fabric. Also, check that the knots are secure. You can make knots to secure them. 

To complete the shirring, iron it. Turn on your iron and set it to steam settings. Iron lightly and leave your shirring as it is.

Making Gathers On Clothes And Fabric

You can also make gathers on garments and fabrics with elastic thread. The process of making gathers on fabrics and garments is similar to shirring.

You will need to prepare the fabric by drawing parallel lines where you want the gathers to be. Wind the bobbin by hand with your elastic thread and place it in its place as usual. Thread the sewing machine with regular thread and start sewing.

Sewing along the parallel lines you have marked on your fabric with elastic thread and the normal thread will lead to gathering. Iron your gathers to make them presentable. Also, secure the edges by making knots or sewing the threads by hand to make anchor stitches at the ends.

Gathers and shirrings are used to embellish different fabrics that they are made on. The stretchy appearance is brought about by the use of elastic thread coupled with regular thread. When added to a garment, they make it more appealing and shapely. You can add gathers and shirrings on different parts of garments by sewing with elastic thread.

How To Use Elastic Thread In A Brother Sewing Machine?

To use elastic thread, you have to wind it on the bobbin with your hands. Then place it in the sewing machine normally. Thread the sewing machine with regular thread. When you start sewing, set your stitches to 3cm. Slightly longer than ordinary stitches. Also, remember to leave a thread tail that is a few inches long at the point where you stop sewing.

Step 1. You will need your Brother sewing machine, elastic thread, normal sewing thread, and stretchy fabric. You also need a pattern for your project. Also, make sure that your Brother sewing machine is in good condition. This means that you have the right bobbin for your sewing machine, the right presser feet for stretch fabric and thread. 

Step 2. Start the process for using your elastic thread by winding it on your Brother sewing machine bobbin. Wind your bobbin by hand. While doing this, make sure that you don’t stretch the elastic thread too much. Also, make sure to fill the bobbin with elastic thread completely. 

Step 3. Thread your sewing machine with regular thread. Make sure to thread as accurately as possible. You can use the Brother sewing machine manual to find the best way to thread your sewing machine when working with an elastic thread.

Step 4.When you have threaded your sewing machine properly, place the bobbin in the bobbin case as you do or as directed by the user manual. Make sure to leave a thread tail of the elastic thread. Then pull it up through the Brother sewing machine throat plate. 

Step 5.Before you start sewing, make sure to set the stitch length to about 3cm. This is slightly longer than the normal sewing stitches. Also, test the stitch on a scrap piece of fabric that is similar to the fabric that you want to use for your project. This will direct you in the changes to make before you get your best settings. Test the elastic thread sewing until you are satisfied that the stitches will be perfect when you start working on your project. 

Step 6. Bring your fabric to the sewing machine and start stitching. Make sure to leave a thread tail every time you finish sewing. When sewing with elastic thread on your Brother sewing machine, don’t cut your thread automatically. It may not leave a sufficient enough thread tail. This causes the elastic thread to retract back into the bobbin. This makes it difficult to continue sewing. Thus you will have to thread your sewing machine again to restart sewing.  

To prevent rethreading, every time you finish a length of sewing you need to move the handwheel to allow the few inches of thread to appear above the throat plate.

How To Wind A Bobbin?

Threading the bobbin is the first thing that you do when you want to start on a sewing machine project. Working with elastic thread in the bobbin requires you to wind the bobbin by hand. This is quite easy and fast to do.

On the other hand, winding a bobbin with regular thread is not as easy as winding with your hands. You need to know how to wind the bobbin properly so that you don’t have any sewing problems when you start work. 

The first step requires you to have the right bobbin for your sewing machine. You also need to have a spool of thread that you want to wind on the bobbin. Place the spool of thread on your sewing machine’s thread pin. Then, pull the thread to the left to wind it around the pre-tension disc.

Pull your thread and insert it through the two holes of your bobbin and wind some thread around the center part of the bobbin. Then, place the bobbin onto the bobbin winder spindle. Turn the bobbin clockwise and make sure you hear a click. This indicates that the bobbin is properly secured on the spindle. 

Turn on your sewing machine and press the pedal foot to wind the bobbin. Only stop winding when the bobbin is full. When you have confirmed that the bobbin is properly loaded, place it in the bobbin case. From here, the bobbin supplies all your stitching projects with the bottom thread. 

You can also confirm with your sewing machine user manual how to wind its bobbin.

Are Bobbins Interchangeable?

There are two main types of bobbins. Metal and plastic bobbins. Whether they are plastic or metal, bobbins have a similar structure and appearance. Inexperienced sewers can be naive and try to use either bobbin for their sewing machines. 

However, this is not how it works. Every sewing machine has a specific bobbin. This causes the bobbins to have a number for easier recognition. To identify the type of bobbin your sewing machine needs, you can check on your user manual.

When you go to buy a bobbin, always make sure that you know the size you need to for your w sewing machine. This ensures that you always use the right bobbin for your sewing. If your sewing machine uses a metal bobbin, you should know that buying and using a plastic bobbin will only damage your sewing machine.

Sewing machines come with pre-installed bobbins. You can buy extra bobbins for your sewing machine. However, you should only buy bobbins recommended by your sewing machine manufacturer. 

Bobbins are labeled in sizes. Different brands of sewing machine makers label their bobbins differently. Thus, you should know the type of bobbin in your sewing machine and only buy that when you need to add or replace bobbins. 

Different bobbins in the sewing machine cause problems when sewing. Your sewing machine may jam, your needles may break and your fabric may get spoilt because you used the wrong bobbin.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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