Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Necchi Lelia 513 - how to thread the bobbin

Anonymous said...
I just started using this sewing machine that was my grandmother's and had looked unsuccessfully for a manual in the past--thanks! I'm a non-sewer guy but am mechanically skilled, nothing was very obvious except what I remembered from when I was a kid(the foot button  the lever for the depressor foot). Now I am stuck. :) How is the bobbin threaded? I have it in the casing right, understand how that is re-installed, but am unclear on how to thread it back out/through the rest. (I was however able to see from your pics that it exits the plate in that center hole/slot.) I am trying to make a dog jacket w/nylon polyfill. :) Thanks in adv.
This comment was posted on my original Necchi Lelia 513 post.  Behold... "how to wind a bobbin"my first attempt at making a movie.
It was quite a challenge to run the sewing machine and the camera at the same time.  I stopped shooting the movie to cut the thread off.  So "how to wind a bobbin" became a two part movie all 60 seconds of it.
The thread is the behind the bobbin is coming off a large cone on a stand.
The thread guide located at the middle in the top of the machine has a little piece of metal on top and what looks like plastic underneath.  The thread passes between the plastic and the metal top.
This is really important to ensure the bobbin fills evenly.  Otherwise, it will not pull off the bobbin smoothly when sewing.
The bobbin case is really quite neat.
 The little piece pointing upward is the finger.
Here I have raised the centre lever on the back of the bobbin case that locks the bobbin into position in the sewing machine.
My experience with all sewing machines is that if either the upper needle or the bobbin is not threaded correctly, the machine will not sew period.
The bobbin should be loaded into the bobbin case so that the thread pulls off the bobbin counter clockwise. This is what the bobbin looks like threaded in the bobbin casing before loading into the machine. Follow the guide in the bobbin casing to draw the thread up and through the bobbin casing spring.
The small lever on the opposite side of the my thumb is used to secure the bobbin casing in the sewing machine.
Normally the bobbin is loaded by opening the bed plate beside the needle plate.  For these photos I tipped the machine up to provide a better view of the bobbin area.
On this machine the bobbin casing finger fits into place at about the 12 o'clock position.
 Release the centre lever to lock the bobbin in position
I used blue thread in the in bobbin and hot pink thread in needle.  I always load the bobbin first, then thread the the upper tension disks and needle.
With the needle in its highest position and the presser foot up, follow the thread guides on the machine in order stated in the manual.
Make sure to pass the thread between the tension disks and through the tension spring.  The needle on the Necchi Lelia is threaded from left to right.
With the needle threaded, hold the end of the needle thread and turn the wheel towards you, the needle thread will pull up the bobbin thread.
Next, slide something (seam ripper) between the presser foot and the needle plate to separate the upper and lower threads and completely pull up the lower bobbin thread end.
Now for the fun part.   Always test your stitches before sewing anything.
This is where I find using two thread colours works well to adjust the tension.
If the machine is not sewing good stitches, first re-thread everything again.  If that doesn't fix the problem change the needle.  If that doesn't fix it then start slowly adjusting the upper tension.  One last thing if the machine keeps leaving giant loops of upper thread on the bottom side even after increasing the upper tension to the maximum setting, then the lower tension spring on the bobbin casing is too loose.  There is a tiny screw on the bobbin casing that needs to be tightened.  Jenny at sew classic has an excellent tutorial on setting the tension.
That's all for now.  Anonymous I do hope this post is helpful and that you will comment again so we know how you made out.


  1. I hope his puppy coat turns out fantastic! I just finished making one for Penny :)

  2. Hi ,

    I have the same machine and should point out that when threading machine.. when running the thread to the last guide (before threading needle, your photo #17) be sure the thread goes between the face cover and body and does not run across the plastic cover as it would in photo 17, this will wear grooves in the cover .
    Remember Sophia Lauren was the spokes model for Necchi ... keep them pretty ;)

    1. Hello Anonymous, Your are correct! The drawing in the manual Fig 4, does not show the thread passing through the slot between the front plate and the face of the machine. However, the instructions state that the thread must pass between the two as you have pointed out here. Thank you.

    2. Thank you for the info. I am looking at a Necchi Lelia 513 but it needs a bobbin case. Do you know where I could find one? Also how much should I pay for a 513? tHANKS

    3. Well a Necchi Lelia that is not in working order is of course worth less than one that works. It has been my experience that parts are plentiful for vintage sewing machines. I would contact Ed Lamoureux he has a blog called vintage sewing machines located here and he is the Necchi expert. Hope this helps, good luck.

  3. Hello Tammy, Thanks for this blog, it's interesting and informative, especially for a beginner who is somewhat overwhelmed by the world of sewing. I have a question, and hope that maybe you can help. I inherited my grans Necchi Lelia 513, and have recently decided to start sewing. I'm a novice to say the least, but am determined to try to learn, I want to start making skirts. I have however encountered a problem. My cotton is looping alarmingly underneath, and I don't know what or how it happened. I threaded my bobbin when it ran out, it was a little full, but I removed some excess. I then put it back in, carried on and these loops just appeared, and it is getting worse and worse. My mother is better at sewing than me, and has adjusted tensions and so on, but nothing helps. There isn't a Necchi person anywhere near me, so I hope you can shed some light. Thanks so much, Mellissa Bushby (Nelspruit, South Africa).


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