The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

I need help with my Singer. It is CONSTANTLY throwing a C4 code. The bobbin thread is just getting out of control tangled. I contacted singer and they said I must be putting the bobbin in wrong and to watch the  video. Surprise (sarcasm), I was not putting it in wrong. I can turn it off and come back to it and the jam magically has stopped. I have only used it for about 7 projects.

The reviews on Singer are either "I hate it- it jams" (what I am having issues with) OR "I love it!" I want to love it, I really do! It has great features but I am at my witts end trying to fix it. All of my projects are taking forever and my material is getting ruined as it is getting pulled into the jam where the bobbin is.

Any suggestions would be great.

This is the machine:

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So the machine is working again. I turned it off and walked away to come and ask for help, now it is fine *sigh*

If that's all you did, for all of my mechanical doo-dads above, I would take it in for service to someone near you.  I'd call the local American Sewing Guild chapter near you to see who they might recommend.  Unless you're in a different country from me, in which case, whatever the sewing group is where you are.

1.) Does your user manual state what a "C4" means?  (anything other than just a general jam?)

2.) Not all Singers are created equally.  If it continues to jam, have a reputable dealer look at it, or give you an estimate on repair.  It's (nearly) always worth seeing if the machine can be saved with a tweak to the timing or what-have-you.

3.) This looks like one of the machine models where they've installed the take-up lever too close to the right-hand side of the housing case.  IF (and only IF) your thread is looping / nesting on the BOTTOM of your fabric, (not just inside your bobbin housing)  try re-threading your UPPER thread taking extra care to make certain that it's not bypassing that take-up lever.  (They also make this lever sit too far down in the case on some models instead of coming up all the way so you can hardly see it to thread it;  you actually have to baby-sit the thread into the lever slot a bit more carefully than should be necessary.)  Set your top tension to 4 - 5 (if you happen to have moved her in frustration, from the picture, it looks factory set to 5) and give it a test run on a straight stitch and let me know what happens.  In no way do I mean to sound patronizing regarding re-threading.  They really mucked with the machine designs, so if you've  been sewing all your life, suddenly, on a new machine the threading isn't as smooth at you may remember it because they broke what didn't need fixing.  So, sometimes it will work like a dream, then you'll change thread color and/or project and bam! it's not working at all.

4.) HOld onto the tails of both threads when you start a run to prevent the bobbin thread from pulling down into the bobbin case.   (You may know that already, but just in case.)  Hold it medium-taught, not too loose, not too tight.

5.)  You don't state what type of fabric you are using.  Try medium-weight tear-away stabilizer placed against your feed dogs to prevent fabrics that are thinner, - silky, poly-silks, or just cranky fabric from getting sucked into the abyss.  Cut 1" - .5" strips, run them along with your fabric, and ever-so-gently tear them off when done so as not to pull stitches.

6.) Good luck + Report back!  :-)  

Thanks for all the helpful advice.

1/2) The C4 in the book just states it is a jam. It is a very generic code. Before this machine I had a $99 special and I never-ever had a problem with it. I sewed on it for over 5 years with no issues so it is very frustrating to "up-grade" and have to deal with all these issues.

3) I find that when I re-thread it SOMETIMES deals with the issues. I have gone to the point thinking the bobbin is threaded incorrectly and have unthreaded an ENTIRE bobbin to put back on. The machine does not thread the bobbin evenly, I have to help it along (another frustrating point). I am going to be more cognizant of the lever and the threading. I have a feeling I was spoiled with my last machine's lever. At the beginning when this first started happening I messed with the tension, but it did not help. My tension is at 4-5. It is annoying that I can thread a serger in minutes, but have a hard time with a simple sewing machine.

4) I find holding onto the tails of the thread works most of the time. But sometimes it does not.

5) This jamming happens no matter what fabric I use. Cotton, silk, shauntaug (sp?). I have even tried different types of threads.

6) It is working again. *fingers crossed* the machine got over her little temper-tantrum!


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