Repairing a Singer Sewing Machine

Some problems that you may experience with your sewing machine can be repaired or adjusted at home, others will need to be looked at by a repair person. This is a page about repairing a Singer sewing machine.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I bought a vintage Japanese badged Singer zigzag machine. It sewed beautifully, but I couldn't get it in reverse. So I removed the stitch regulator button as this is part of it, to see if the reverse button was frozen. When I put it back together, now it won't sew forward unless I hold the reverse button. The feed dogs don't move unless I hold it in. When I hold the reverse button in it sews forward and has very nice stitches. If I don't hold the reverse button in the feed dogs don't move and the reverse button goes in and out as if I'm sewing. I know I didn't break anything, but feel something is misaligned now.

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May 9, 20200 found this helpful
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You have replaced the parts wrong in the machine and put the control button back in backwards. Now the machine setting think you are sewing in reverse which is not correct and that is why you must hold the button in to make it sew forward.

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This part is bad on the machine and needs to be replaced in order to fix the problem. You need to take the machine apart again and look how you assemble it. Make sure you have it assembled correctly and if you do it should sew again forward but it will not sew in reverse because the part is bad.

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May 9, 20200 found this helpful
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I think the original problem was that you needed a new part as the reverse would not work. When you took it apart you probably did not get everything properly set or the part that was bad has just gotten worse - but it does sound like you placed something incorrectly as you are telling your machine to do something that it cannot do - without your help (these parts are tricky to get just right).

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It sounds like you have a manual that you were trying to follow so that is good but still not easy unless you have experience.

If it were my machine, I would try to take it to a shop and ask for help but not a full service job - be sure they know this before they touch your machine.
Be very sure they tell what it will cost for them to tell you what you need before they look at your machine.
You only wish to know what part you need and buy it from them unless you think the price is too high.
I always go to the Sears Service Center as they have helped me many times and only charged for the parts I needed. They work on all models/brands.
The machine is heavy but you will probably have to do this sooner or later.

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June 10, 2015

I'm a newbie at sewing and I'm having a problem with my sewing machine. It is a Singer 6215c. It worked great before until last week. It sews, but is somehow stuck on the shortest stitch length. The knob moves, but the machine would only sew with shortest length even with the knob pointed on the longest stitch length.

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I have checked the tension, rethreaded several times, checked bobbin, and dusted the areas accessible, but the problem still persists. Thank you.

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June 11, 20150 found this helpful
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This happened to my 'white' sewing machine, the only way to repair it is to take it to the repair place, there is apparently a gear that falls off inside the machine and it it is not easy for someone who has no experience to repair. I am fortunate as my son-in-law used to fix sewing machines for a living.

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June 11, 20150 found this helpful
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First: check your user guide manual to be sure you have ALL of the settings correct. Here's a link to a free download from the Singer website (USA) for the Singer 6215, pay especial attention to page 14 and the troubleshooting page 41:

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www.singerco.com/.../1316_6215.pdf

Your machine was built in the early 1980s making it a definite 'vintage' machine with most of the gears made with silicone, rubber, and plastics for the gear 'teeth'. Over time these materials wear down, crumble, and snap off, and it sounds to me as though that is the problem with your vintage Singer.

The previous poster is right - you need to take this to someone with experience and training (a professional or a 'self-taught' repair tech with a sterling reputation). Not only is this a tricky repair, it requires specialised tools and access to parts.

Not all vintage sewing machine parts are 'new-milled', too, and with a vintage machine it's common for a repair tech to have to use 'salvage parts' with unknown sewing hours and conditions - the part may look fab but has been stressed by sewing conditions (too fast seaming, lack of regular maintenance, dusty sewing area, more) - with a salvage part no repair tech worth his or her salt can make a prediction as to the longevity of that part.

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Be sure to ask your tech if he/she is using salvage parts on your repair, and make sure he/she does a servicing on it whilst in their workshop - cleaning, oiling, and checking for potential problems. With vintage machines, an annual servicing is the only way to ensure sewing hours reliability.

Once parts begin to break down on a machine it becomes a money pit even if new-milled parts are available, btw. Consider replacing your vintage with a comparable new machine under warranty. A good repair tech will fall in love with your vintage machine but will also tell you about the money pit factor and will recommend a new under warranty machine.

I live in Scotland after 50+years in the US; I teach sewing and do limited vintage machine repairs. When one of my students brings me a vintage machine that has sadly become a money pit I usually recommend the 3321 with the 4-step buttonholer or 3323 with the one-step buttonholer Talent line as these are fairly user-friendly with good features that aren't quickly outgrown, are comparable to your vintage 6215, and reasonably priced. The Confidence line is a step-up but doesn't have the same reliability reputation as the Talent line.

Do your research and whatever you do, be sure to choose a machine with a top drop-in bobbin for ease of use and virtually jam-proof sewing.

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The needle bar on my Singer Stylist 413 has become loose and I can't figure out how to fix it. It doesn't stay in place and I can literally turn the needle back and forth. I had to adjust the needle bar to align the machine marks with the bottom of the casing after I had replaced the vertical gear (which broke into pieces) and reset the hook timing. Ever since, I can't seem to get the needle bar to stay securely in place. Can anyone help? I also can't find a repair manual for my machine. Thank you.

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October 11, 20171 found this helpful
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Sometimes repairs are not as simple as just looking at a diagram and you may need a video or someone to walk you through your repair.

  • Would it be possible to contact the store/company that you purchased your vertical gear from and tell them your problem? They may be able to help.
  • Singer has a lot of video's on their site and may have one for this problem.
  • You can email or call them and they may be able to help you.
  • www.singerco.com/support
  • Perhaps a Singer retail store in your area would be will to help you. I have found that many times they do have a repair person that will help with small problems. Google Singer and your zip for local stores.

If you are in need of a manual for your machine this site has a free downloadable copy.

www.singerco.com/.../05cd53760826209952d04b99bc6962f8ea588653...

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May 10, 2017

My buttonhole foot won't make buttonholes. I have all the settings right, in the correct order. All I get is a glob of thread. The foot doesn't move like it should to make the buttonhole.

Has anyone else had this issue?

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November 24, 2019

I have a Singer 7258 sewing machine. When trying to wind the bobbin, it stops after just a second and shows error code E2. It looks like the needle is not disengaging. Does anyone know how to fix this? I'm heartbroken. I have been waiting 3 years to start quilting for my grandchildren. Thank you!

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November 25, 20190 found this helpful
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The error code is for a bobbin error that means it is in the machine wrong. Here is a trouble shooting guide that will walk you through all the steps to get the bobbin in the machine correctly and get rid of the error code. It is an easy fix and should not take long to do this. www.ehow.com/how_12212164_fix-code-e2-singer-fashion...

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May 25, 2015

I am asking on behalf of my mum, she has a Singer Concerto 2 Model 9217 sewing machine. Her sewing machine runs itself! It starts running when she turns it on without touching any buttons, etc. without using the pedal and it is quite fast. So out of safety she has turned it off and not used it since. I have assumed it may be an electrical problem, but I honestly have no idea with sewing machines with how they work, etc. Could anybody please point me to some sort of direction of what this could be or connected with?

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May 27, 20150 found this helpful
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This is an electrical problem - it could be a faulty connection, a broken-worn-and/or frayed wire in the foot pedal - she may not put any pressure on the foot pedal but if the problem is in the foot pedal wiring, it could easily be transmitting the wrong signal (to operate at a high speed) to the machine; or the problem could be in the machine just behind the connection point (where the foot pedal connects to the machine). There could be a crack in the connection point where the foot pedal and power cords join the machine OR the power point at the mains (wall outlet plug).

It really is not a job for the average home sewer. Most electricians or someone with some electrical skill and training should be able to find and fix the problem but it would be best if you could take the machine to a sewing machine repair technician. A sewing machine repair tech will have the skills, tools, and access to repair parts.

Until you have the machine checked by someone who really understands electricity, please do not run the machine - any user runs a very real risk of injury from the speeding needle and presser foot, or from an electrical shock.

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My Singer Brilliance 6199 sewing machine is displaying E7 code.

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November 28, 2015

I have a Singer 600E, I've threaded the bobbin and all that good stuff. But when I push my pedal down my needle won't move, the motor runs, but nothing happens. Is it my pedal?

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November 29, 20150 found this helpful

Sorry if my answer is a bit too simple but the motor runs and the needle doesn't move when you thread a bobbin so maybe you left the machine in that special position, usually it is a special position of the handwheel.

Hope this helps !

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November 29, 20150 found this helpful

First of all, download this free copy of the user manual from the Singer website:

www.singerco.com/.../1310_600revised.pdf

Be sure you've followed ALL the instructions for winding the bobbin and restoring the settings for sewing mode. Be especially sure you're using the correct bobbin for your machine - the Singer 600E Touch'n'Sew will work with the wrong bobbin - for a while - and then it will quit working.

If that doesn't help it's most likely the bobbin gear (not a home fix!) and time to take your vintage Touch'n'Sew to a repair tech - look for one adverting he/she is factory trained and or authorised as the Touch'n'Sew, built from 1964 and forward, is a rather complicated machine to work on and requires specialised knowledge specific to the machine.

The bobbin gear on your model is especially touchy - it's magnetised and isn't at all easy to fix without that specialised knowledge, and faithful use of ONLY the designated bobbin for the machine.

Best luck, I hope you're back sewing again soon!

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November 29, 20150 found this helpful

It most likely is a problem with the bobbin casing. There is probably a piece of thread stuck in it somewhere and if you don't remove every little piece, it will not go. Sometimes, you can find the piece and pull it out, but sometimes, you just have to take it in.

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January 8, 2020

I have a Singer Model 9217 sewing machine. It runs fine, but the light for the pattern selector is out. I can't tell which stitch it is on without testing each time. I assumed it was a simple replacement of a bulb or maybe an electrical problem, but the repairman says it is the "light board" which is no longer available. I can't find any references to a "light board" anywhere. Could anybody please point me to some sort of direction to see if this problem can be solved?

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January 11, 20200 found this helpful
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If a 'light board' is what is truly needed it is possible someone has found a way around this. You would need to contact all of the sites that sell parts for your machine to see what they tell you. If your service man is correct there may be another brand machine that would work on your machine.

www.sewingpartsonline.com/singer-9217-sewing-machine-parts...

www.singeronline.com/9217.html

You can also join the message board at Ismac's and ask your question on their site as these are people who are constantly using different parts to make their machines work.

ismacs.net/digest.html

Here is a link to the manual: (no light board is mentioned).

blessington.app.box.com/.../cf9g3m0ejddtzwxrlvbusgjq3huvgt0g

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February 13, 2017

My Singer sewing machine 6199 has an error code of E7 on it. I've checked everything and I only see that the plastic part on the light has broken and the light got hung down little bit.

Does that affect the sewing machine by locked up?

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May 8, 2020

The fabric won't feed straight on my Singer 9960. So when I sew, it moves in a diagonal manner. The feed dog is up and there is no dirt found around it. How do I correct this?

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May 9, 20200 found this helpful
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Normally when this happens the inside of the machine has a lot of lint build up in the bobbin area. You need to remove the pressure plate on the machine, remove the pressure food, open up the inside of the machine bobbin area and take this all apart. Now clean it all and put drop of oil in this area. Not too much. Take a piece of material and try to sew on it. If this is not feeding correctly and still moves around you have an issue with the feed dog not feeding the material correctly. Normally when this one happens it will need to be replaced to correct your problem.

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February 2, 2020

I have a Singer 6268 sewing machine. The stitch is bubbling up which I know is a tension problem. I have checked the manual and I have tried adjusting the tension button, but it is not working. I have rethreaded my machine and changed and the bobbin. Any other ideas of how to fix the tension?

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February 2, 20200 found this helpful
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Here is a 13 step guide for you to follow on how you can adjustthe tension on your sewing machine. If none of this works then you may need to take the machine in for repair. I had this issue with a different make and model machine and it turned out the spring in the tension control was broken or bad and had to be replaced. Try this first before taking the machine in for repair. www.wikihow.com/Adjust-the-Tension-on-a-Sewing-Machine

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November 28, 2019

Where can I adjust the needle alignment on my Singer 774? The left, right, and center are all off.

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November 29, 20190 found this helpful
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It appears that you are having a hook timing issue with your machine. Normally this is a very simple procedure if you actually know what you are looking at and how to do this. I use a website to adjust my hoot timing on the machine and the way this person explains it makes it so easy to do. Plus they have a small video at the end of their article that shows you all you need to know. archaicarcane.com/.../

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February 27, 2017

I have a Singer 5500 and I'm trying to make buttonholes automatically. My machine won't do it correctly and I have watched so many videos on it (which were not good). It will sew to the top then just start sewing side to side in one place. Help!

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March 12, 2016

I got a Singer sewing machine model 7011. It stitches on the top, but gathers on the bottom of the fabric. We changed the bobbin, but nothing changed. What would be the next step? We got it at a garage sale about 10yrs ago.

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March 14, 20160 found this helpful

It sounds like you need to adjust the tension. Somewhere along the thread there should be a knob or lever to adjust your tension. I hope this helps.

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December 21, 2017

I have a Singer Promise 1408 sewing machine. A few days back it got jammed, I cleaned it and it started working. Now I am facing a problem; the thread take up lever is striking the front lever. Due to this it is not making a full revolution. Does anybody have a solution?

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January 2, 20180 found this helpful
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You probably bent it out of shape. Try bending it back in the other direction.

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June 26, 2016

I am a novice seamster though I've not had this problem before now. I have a Singer Esteem II sewing machine that is just a few years old. I was sewing up some thick, pinned fabric the other night, was probably going too fast and the "heavy duty" needle came down on the pin and snapped the tip right off.

This wasn't new to me and I set about unscrewing the screw from the needle bar to remove the broken one. I then inserted a brand new Singer heavy duty needle that was exactly the same as the one that snapped. I must have tried twenty times to get the needle up, positioned correctly (flat side facing back) and the screw tightened so I could continue on, but it simply would not. I checked, rechecked, and checked again to make sure it was pushed up to the stop pin, that it was straight and perpendicular to the needle plate and even got pliers to see if my mini screw driver wasn't able to tighten the screw up sufficiently. It was a tight as possible, but as soon as I let go of the needle to see if it was in, it would fall right back out. I even had to remove the plate and fish the darn thing out because it fell through at one point.

Any suggestions as to what the problem might be? I've barely used this machine, have done maintenance regularly and have never had a problem with changing/inserting needles before. Thanks, in advance, for any advice you might have.=0)

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August 12, 20170 found this helpful
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You might need a new needle bar screw. You can get them anywhere you can buy sewing supplies.

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September 6, 2019

I sew leather pretty often on my Singer heavy duty machine, so the timing goes out of wack constantly. Usually I'm able to fix the timing of the needle to the hook, but this time the needle doesn't seem to go low enough to catch the thread so I attempted to try adjusting it myself, but there are no marking to set the height and there is nothing about it in the manual. I have tried setting the needle up and down, but the closest I got was when I try to sew the stitches are fine on top of the fabric, but on the bottom there's a thread looping mess.

Please help!

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I have a Singer model 2662. It's supposed to be able to stitch 38 different ways, but it only does a straight stitch. I'm just learning how to sew and bought it used, so I don't know how to maintain it. How often to clean it or oil it or anything else.

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April 26, 2020

How do I replace the thread guide on my 6215C? The manual doesn't show me how.

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