Unable to Change Stitch Length on Sewing Machine?

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.


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


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:


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.


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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November 19, 2017

I have a 2 dial Singer that I bought 15 years ago. The stitch length at the top won't move at all. I have taken all the casings off (that's the easy bit), but can't find anything that will release the dial to go around the cogs.

They look OK, but are stuck fast. Any ideas? The whole part of that bit is stuck fast, top dial and cogs.


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November 20, 20170 found this helpful

Put a drop of oil in every day for a few days. If it doesn't loosen up, you may have to take it in for servicing.

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