If you want to take control of some of your household clothing expenditure and take up sewing as a pastime, you may have recently bought a second-hand sewing machine. It'll take some time for you to get the hang of how to do this efficiently, and you may still be getting used to the way that your machine works, but recently, you may have come across an issue when the device has simply ground to a halt. What could be going on here, and what should you do?

Jamming Thread

If your machine suddenly locks up and will not move at all, it could be that the thread has become jammed in the shuttle race, and this has caused it to automatically shut off. This could be relatively simple to fix if you can free the needle from within the shuttle race by turning the wheel back and forth, or you may be able to remove the needle altogether from its mounting point. If you're able to do so, you will then be able to free the fabric and get rid of all that excess thread within the shuttle race.

Clearing the Blockage

Have a closer look while you are in there to see if there is any excess lint or other material, as this could be getting in the way and making it harder for the needle to engage with the thread. This may have caused the thread to back up within the shuttle race and jam the needle.

Routine Care

It's a good idea to keep this area as clean as possible and to do some maintenance once per week or so, especially if you are using the machine quite a lot. After all, if you allow the lint to build up over time and encounter this type of problem too often, it may cause some damage that will require some professional repair.


In this case, you may clean the lint out one more time but find that the thread will bunch up immediately once you've done so, only to jam the machine once again. In this case, you will need to adjust the synchronisation between the hook and the needle, and this may require special tools.

Getting Support

To make sure that this is done correctly, take the machine to a sewing machine repairs technician, and they will give it the once over to make sure that everything else is in good shape.