Sewing Machine Needle Won't Move

I recently bought a sewing machine from a yard sale (Sears Kenmore model 1500). It also says model 158.15000 so I am not sure which is right. I press the pedal down, the motor runs like a normal motor, but the needle doesn't move up and down. My stepmom helped me thread it and all first so I am confident that part is right. But she doesn't know why the needle won't move.


I swear I saw the needle move when I bought it; I remember being excited that it did work. But don't assume that is true if there is an easy fix. Can anyone talk me though some trouble shooting steps? Or have any idea what the problem might be? I've never used a sewing machine before so even basic things would help.

By Brigid

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December 7, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sometimes when machines sit too long without being used they freeze up. This may be why the needle won't move. I would ask Joanne's Fabrics if they have a reputable sewing machine repair person to use. When ever you buy a used sewing machine try sewing on it right there at the place you are buying it. I stopped buying used machines and only will take a used machine if given to me.

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December 7, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

The clutch is probably pulled out, just push in on the button in the hand wheel.

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December 8, 20140 found this helpful
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Great advice here, the only thing I could add is: find a copy of the user guide/owner manual. Sears Kenmore parts centres will sell you a copy but if you may be able to find a free download online.


Well worth the trouble of finding as the manual will make using and maintaining the machine so much easier - and knowing which levers/knobs/dials/buttons to choose for simple functions like zig-zag sewing, bobbin winding, moving needle left to right to centre, etc will keep you sewing instead of giving up in frustration:)

Also can't recommend a good step-by-step sewing book highly enough! Look for one with lots of large, captioned photos (Singer Sewing Reference Library, Readers Digest, Simplicity, Colette... just a few of the great sewing reference books out there with excellent photos and text) for a lifetime use:)

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January 26, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have always had Kenmore machines. Have you tried moving the bobbin spindle (where you wind the bobbin) to the left? All of the machines had (4 all Kenmore) the needle will not move if the bobbin spindle is in the winding position.


Sound like a silly thing to miss, but I've been sewing for 30 years and just today spent 15 minutes thinking my embroidery machine was broken before I remembered. They are good machines my first one is still running great, I only replaced it to get one with more functions, so I gave my basic one to a friend. My others was a serger (destroyed in a flood) and the embroidery, both work great and are each over 15 years old. Hope off and sewing.
Bea R.

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