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New sewing machine locked up

myca99 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on


I have had a Kenmore 16221 for about a month now.  While I am a beginner sewer, I did learn the basics on my Mom’s old Singer when I was a kid.  Anyway, my new Kenmore is completely locked up and I can’t figure out where the jam is.  I was sewing spandex with polyester thread, 9/80 ball-point needle, and I had meant to adjust the pressure to 1, but found out after the jam the dial was on 0.  I was sewing a small zigzag seem through 2 layers of spandex. 

I have taken the the needle out, the bobbin out, the plate off and cleaned everything, even taken the bottom off and don’t see anything abnormal.  Yet, I can’t turn the clutch at all and the needle holder is stuck midway up in the uptake position. 

First, can anyone tell me what I can check before I make a trip to Sears for a service call.  Second, did I jam the machine by using the combination of needle, thread, settings, and fabric I used?  I seem to snap a lot of thread and I can’t figure out if it’s my inexperience with the fabrics I’m using or if this machine is not as great as I thought it was. 




  1. suesew | | #1

    Just a possibility -The bobbin winder sometimes shuts evrything else down. Perhaps you inadvertantly engaged this.

    1. Teaf | | #2

      Inadvertently setting the buttonholer function can do the same thing. If that's not it, then trace back toward the power source. Once, my machine locked up because it was too close to a window, and the belt/wheel had gobbled up the curtain! I spent hours searching near the needle, but the problem was around the back right of the machine.Your thread snapping is likely a separate problem caused by using the wrong size, one that is defective or worn out, or one that is inserted incorrectly--very easy to do on a new machine.

    2. kjp | | #3

      I spent 45 minutes on a "loaner" machine while mine was in for repairs trying to figure out why it wouldn't go!  I kept thinking it was a connection or something.  Finally, I realized I hadn't checked the bobbin winder!  I got a good laugh (after some silent cursing!!).  Karin

  2. ces | | #4

    Hi Michele,

    My Baby Lock Ellageo seized about two weeks after I got it. There was no warning -- the machine just seized rock solid. It had to go in for service and I made a point of calling the technician after I got the machine back to find out what I'd done wrong so that I didn't do it again!

    It turned out that the lubricant they used in the factory for shipping "hardened". The technician had to completely clean out the machine and re-lubricate it. I haven't had a problem with it since, unless I use thread it doesn't find appetitizing. (Mine is about 3-4 years old now.)

    Good luck and let us know what happens.

    Edited 2/19/2005 4:40 am ET by csewing

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