If you are going to be sewing a lot of clothes, you may want to think about investing in a serger. It doesn’t have to be a big fancy serger, mine is a Brother 1034D and it works just fine! It is basic, but gets the job done. A serger, like we talked about yesterday, is a machine that cuts and finishes seams to make them look very professional and durable. If you choose to purchase a serger, here are a few tips that I have learned since using mine.
1. Read the manual and watch videos on sergers:
When your nice new machines comes and you rip it out of the box, it can seem slightly intimidating. I remember when I got my serger, I just stared at it for like ever. Threading that baby seemed really scary! I kind of wanted to just leave all the crazy bright threads since it looked like a daunting task. I tried to read the manual to figure out threading, but it just didn’t make sense. I had to watch a video to understand it. You can you tube videos for your model of serger to get better acquainted with it. There are also helpful Craftsy Classes on serging too!
2. Never sew on pins:
This seems like a no brainer for me, because I am pretty anal about sewing over needles on my actual sewing machine. I just don’t even want to risk breaking or causing a problem in my machine. So I just don’t. But for a serger it is even more important to never sew over needles. The blade that is cutting fabric, will not love you if you leave a pin in there. A lot of times I serge without even pinning. If you do pin, just make sure you remove them, ALL of them, before serging in that area.
3. Buying thread:
Sergers use those HUGE spools of thread. I usually keep white thread on my serger all the time, because A) I am too lazy to change 4 spools of thread and B) I don’t really want to buy 4 humango spools of thread for every single color! The problem is, when you sew something dark, if you don’t stitch the seam before serving, you may see the white serger thread from the right side. I don’t really care what color is inside, but I do care what color is showing on the outside! So to remedy this, you can either opt to change them all, and fork over cash on spools of thread, when you would really rather buy fabric……OR you can replace only the left needle spool. This is the one that will most likely show from the right side. For garments that you may see the inside seam when wearing, you can buy one of the large spools, and make 3 bobbins on that color using your sewing machine. Just a money saving tip, so you can go buy more fabric instead!! Again like with the sewing machine, buy high quality thread. It is totally worth it and will save you many headaches.
4. Serger Tails
Since your serger doesn’t back stitch, it is recommended to leave a the tail so your seam doesn’t unravel. I am not to fond of that look personally! I have searched the internet to find the best way to finish a serger end. Many of them say to serge back over it, or tie a knot, or loop it back through with a needle. I tried them, and really didn’t like any. Then one day it dawned on me. My favorite way to finish the seam and get rid of those pesky serger tails is my trusty sewing machine. I simply take the tail, loop it back up onto the seam, then run a couple zig zag stitches over the tail within the seam allowance. It’s fast, easy, and my favorite way to secure serger seams.
5. Clean often
You will want to dust and oil your serger often. Those blades cause lots and lots of lint! I have heard its good to clean it every 3-4 sewing hours.
6. More info
This blog post by Sweet Verbena is full of great serger info. More in depth on actually sewing with your serger!
To follow along with the Whole Series Click Here!
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