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Easy Tips to Take the Scary Out of Serging

April 4, 2014 in Tips & Tricks

Hello Totally Stitchin’ fans,

It’s Heather here from The Sewing Loft and I’m super excited to be spending some time with you!  Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing fun sewing tips, tricks and even exciting finds from all around the sewing world.

Easy tips and tricks to help take the scary out of serging.

Since April is National Serger Month I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite tips.  These tips are really geared to help you push past the “scary” and dive right into the world of serging.  Honestly, I’m not sure why everyone (including me) is so taken back by these little machines.  Maybe it’s the extra needles, the fast-moving parts or that OH so sharp cutter.  Well, whatever it is, let’s push past it today and help you master your machine.

Serger Tips

Small Steps to Stop the Scary:

  • Get familiar with your machine.  Years ago, threading a serger was such a dreaded task for me but now with BabyLock’s Jet-Air thread technology threading is a breeze! Just grab your long tweezers, insert the thread and push the lever. It’s that easy! Threading your serger is a breeze with Jet-Air technology.
  • Pins are a big NO GO on a serger. There is no room for error here. You can not stitch over them. (Remember that sharp cutter blade?) If absolutely necessary, pins should be placed to the left of your seam several inches away from the edge.
  • Don’t forget to tuck your tail in!  Thread tails on a serger can be crazy long when stitching away.  A nice way to finish off your seam and prevent “whiskers” from a clipped edge is to thread your tail in a hand needle and slip them back through your seam. Easy tips and tricks to help take the scary out of serging.
  • To keep your stitches straight, I suggest making a quick stitch card sampler.  These are simple to create with some leftover scraps and the perfect reference for future projects.  Create a stitch card sample to keep your stitches straight.
  • Stitching curves? Keep your eye on the fabric guide and not the needle.  That’s right, it’s important to remember that the cutting takes place before the stitches are set.  So, if you gently turn your fabric into the guide and you will have gentle curves every time!

So many stitches, so little time.  

Here is a quick breakdown on how I like to use mine.

  • Add strength to medium weight woven fabrics and thicker knits with the 4 thread overlock seam.   This stitch is also a must for swimwear, these garments need extra strength!
  • To keep seam bulk to a minimum, I like to use the 3 thread overlock on lighter weight woven fabrics and knits that need a great deal of stretch.
  • The 2 thread overlock is your go to stitch for any creating a bulk free clean edge.  Add in a specialty thread and you have an instant decorative stitch.

Look beyond the clean finished seam!

Your serger offers a wide range of stitches that are perfect to be front and center!

Lastly, we all need a tidy up from time to time. My suggestion is to do a quick clean up after each project.  Just look at all the fibers left from one simple skirt project.  Over time these small fibers can build up on the blades, needle bar and major mechanisms.

Don't forget to clean your serger after each project.

This is my Baby Lock Imagine after a quick stitch session.

Now that we got the basics down, who’s ready to get stitching?  All month-long you will find fun projects from the Baby Lock contributors.  Personally, I can not wait to see what they create!

Thanks so much for having me I’ll be back soon.  In the mean time, feel free to stop by and say hello on Facebook or check out my other sewing tips on the blog.

Heather from The Sewing Loft is here to share helpful sewing tips and hints.

12 responses to Easy Tips to Take the Scary Out of Serging

  1. Thanks Heather for sharing your tips! There were a few I wasn’t aware of and am excited to give a try.

    • Give it a go Becky and let me know what you create. I’ve got two tee shirts cut out and ready to stitch together this weekend!
      ~Heather

  2. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for sharing this with us! Serger tips are always good to take ))

  4. Oh! I like the tip about tucking the thread tail in! I’ve never seen that one…I’ve been just cutting (leaving whiskers) and then, sewing machine stitching over the ends so they don’t come out, but, I like this idea better!! Thanks! :)

  5. I love your serger tips, I don’t have a Babylock serger but your example of how easy it is to thread makes
    me want to get one!!!

    • Oh Elaine,
      I love my machine but please don’t let threading stop you from using yours. They are so many easy projects out there and fun stitches to explore.
      ~Heather

  6. Thank you Heather, guess it is time to get my serger out again, boxed it up, you know, out of sight, out of mind, type of thing, but maybe with your new posts I will get it back out……

    • Take her out and dust her off Lori! There are so many fun things that you can make with a serger. Plus, they really make quick work of clean finishing your seams.
      ~Heather

  7. Thanks for the great tips. Here is one more…get yourself an inexpensive “knit picker” to tuck those thread tails in. It has a little latch hook on the end, and it’s easier than threading a needle.

  8. I use canned air to clean my Evolve. Takes just a minute and it’s clean again.

  9. I just purchased my Imagine Serger and look forward to using it. I noticed that the included DVD was made in 2009 and uses an older model machine with a slightly different coloring system on the guides. Is there an updated DVD out yet and are there any other differences in the two models?

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