How to Thread a Singer Tradition Sewing Machine

In today’s tutorial, you’ll learn step by step how to thread a Singer Tradition 2277 sewing machine. Threading a sewing machine can seem a bit intimidating, but once you learn the steps, you’ll be able to thread and re-thread your machine in no time. This model makes the threading process a breeze by having the steps numbered directly on the machine. I love this helpful design feature because it means I can spend more time sewing and less time referring back to the user’s manual. (PS: If you need a copy of the user’s manual, you can find it here!)

Today’s tutorial includes an in-depth photo tutorial, but if you prefer a video tutorial, check out my YouTube video below.

Before we get started, you’ll need a spool of thread. You can use nearly any type of thread in this machine whether it’s cotton, polyester, or a blend. I always recommend using a high-quality brand like Aurifil, Gutermann, or Coats & Clark. If you’re planning to make a quilt with this machine, I highly recommend using a spool of 50wt 100% cotton Aurifil thread for piecing and quilting. My favorite color to use is Dove! You can shop my favorite Aurifil thread here.

Helpful Tip: Before you thread your machine, double check that your machine is off and unplugged. This quick step will eliminate any risk of accidentally operating your machine while your fingers are near the needle. The last thing we want before we even get started is an injury!

How to Thread a Singer Tradition Sewing Machine

Step 1: Raise your presser foot using the lever on the back of the machine.

Step 2: Raise your needle into the highest position using the hand wheel on the right side of your machine. The wheel moves forward and backward so you can adjust it until the needle is at the highest point.

Step 3: Place your spool of thread horizontally on the spool pin. The spool pin lifts up at an angle to help you easily place the spool.

HELPFUL TIP: Before you put your spool of thread on the spool pin, find the beginning of the thread. You’ll need this piece of thread easily available. If you are using Aurifil thread, you can pull off the orange bottom of the spool to find the end, and then reattach the bottom. (yes, really!)

Step 4: Place the spool cap on the end of the spool pin. If you’re using a smaller spool of thread, you can put the cap on so the small side is against your spool. If your spool of thread is larger, place the larger side of the cap against your spool. Slide the cap on so it’s snug against the spool of thread. The spool cap will prevent your thread from tangling and help give your machine an even feed of thread.

Step 5: Place the thread through the upper thread guide of the machine. Make sure it is inbetween your machine and the top of the metal guide.

Step 6: Pull the thread through the tension spring. It can be bit difficult to see from above, so I’ve included a side view of the tension spring.

Step 7: Follow the steps written on the machine and run the thread down the right side and up the left side of the slots in the machine

Step 8: Run the thread through the slotted lever in the machine. If you don’t see the slotted lever, you can use the handwheel to raise the slotted lever. Make sure that your thread is in between the metal slots and in the round notch of the lever.

Step 9: Pull the thread down through the slot on the machine labeled “5”.

Now we will use the automatic needle threader to thread the needle. Make sure your needle is in the highest position before you get started.

Step 10: Place your thread around the metal arm of the automatic needle threader. To do this, bring the thread behind the arm and then wrap it around then pull the thread tight. Holding the thread tight will prevent the thread from sliding off of the metal arm. Press lever A all the way down while continuing to hold the thread. This action will allow the needle threader to swing forward and surround your needle.

Step 11: Bring your thread down to a 90-degree angle from your needle and guide it between the metal hooks that swing forward and are surrounding your needle. The metal arms are shaped like a “c”, and your thread needs to go in the opening of the “c”. You should be able to feel the thread catch on the metal arms.

Step 12: Slowly release lever A. The metal arms will grab onto the thread and feed it through the eye of your needle. You can also let go of the thread at this time, or at least release your tension on the thread. If you continue to hold the thread with tension, the automatic needle threader will not be able to thread the needle.

This is the most complicated step of using the needle threader. You may need to try it a few times before the automatic needle threader “grabs” the thread and pulls it through the eye of the needle. If you continue to have trouble, make sure your needle is in its highest position and double-check that your thread is going through both of the metal arms that swung forward on the needle threader.

Step 13: Now there will be a loop of thread behind your threaded needle. Grab the loop of thread and pull it until the end of the thread is fully through the needle. Now you have the tail of your top thread.

HELPFUL TIP: Before you start your first stitch, hold your thread tails behind your machine. This will create some tension and help makes sure your thread doesn’t get pulled out of your needle before your first stitch goes through your fabric. 

Tension Troubleshooting

You will run into tension issues at some point in your sewing journey. It’s an inevitable part of working with a sewing machine. Let’s quickly run through my top three troubleshooting tips so you know what to do when your machine is having an attitude.

Re-Thread your Machine

First, try re-threading your sewing machine. Completely re-thread your top and bottom thread. If the threading of your machine is off at all, it will affect your tension and can lead to getting a nest of thread on the back of your work. I find myself re-threading my machine pretty frequently when I’m having tension issues, and this is usually the fix to my problem. Luckily you now have a complete in-depth guide to help you re-thread your machine quickly!

Clean your Machine

Remember to clean your machine regularly! I clean my machine as needed, which usually ends up being once a week. You’ll need to clean your machine more or less regularly depending on how often you use it. The Singer Tradition 2277 comes with a cleaning brush and metal key to help you take off the sewing machine plate. When you are cleaning your machine, remember to clean the front loading bobbin area and the feed dogs under the machine plate.

HELPFUL TIP: Never use compressed air to clean your sewing machine. The compressed air can blow the lint deeper into the machine. This will make it even more difficult to clean. Use a soft brush (like the one your machine comes with, or a small paint brush) to gently remove all of the extra lint.

Change your Needle

Changing your needle is a crucial part of taking care of your machine. Change your needle when it is dull. You can tell your needle is dull if you can hear it going through your fabric or if it is starting to pull at your fabric. Change your needle if it is broken or bent. If the needle doesn’t go through the hole of the machine plate with ease, that probably means your needle is slightly bent. Change your needle if you haven’t changed it in a while. I change my needle every time I start a new project, even if the needle isn’t obviously dull or bent. I love to use Schmetz Universal 80/12 needles for piecing and quilting. You can shop my favorite sewing machine needles here.

These are just a few quick tips for tension troubles. I’ll have a more in-depth troubleshooting guide up on my blog soon!

Now you know how to thread your Singer Tradition sewing machine. Properly threading your machine is the first step to completing a successful sewing project. I’m so excited for you to start your sewing journey — you’ll totally fall in love with it! If you’re interested in learning to quilt, check out my quilting resources.

Pin this tutorial so you can refer back to it the next time you need to re-thread your machine!

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xo, Hailey


  1. i do appreciate the troubleshooting tips as being a beginner sewer leads to some problems.
    Most appreciated.

    1. Sewing machines can be a little finicky if you’re new to it! I recommend looking up a video online about your exact machine. While most sewing machines operate the same, each one can have its own little requirements specific to just that machine.

  2. Hi! I love your content!! I just got the Singer Tradition 2277 and have mastered threading the machine thanks to you :). I am running into an issue that I can’t seem to trouble shoot anywhere else online so I figured I would ask you.
    My machine is sewing great forwards. When I go to do a backstitch, my needle gets caught in the fabric and when I lift the fabric out from under the presser foot, it seems that there is 3-4 threads instead of the normal 2. I have tried rethreading my machine multiple times but I cannot figure it out!
    I am using cotton fabric, with the needle the machine came with, all purpose thread, my tension is set on 4 (how it came), and I’m doing a straight stitch with a length of 2. I finished the entire body of the tote bag and then this started happening. Any advice?

    1. Hi Valerie! Have you tried changing your needle? That’s often my go-to if threads are catching.

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