How To Use Your Serger With Tips + Tricks

We all know that sergers are awesome, but they’re a little intimidating too. When your serger isn’t stitching quite right, it may not be clear which of the dials and settings need to be adjusted to fix the problem. Read on to learn a few tricks to fixing serger stitching issues.

How To Use Your Serger With Tips + Tricks

SKIPPED STITCHES

If your serger is skipping stitches, try these options:

  • Make sure that the needles are securely inserted and properly positioned. The needles should be set as far into their sockets as possible, and they should be slightly offset from each other.
  • Change the needles every time you begin a new project. An old needle may have burrs or imperfections that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
  • Check the looper tensions to determine whether they’re correctly set for the selected stitch.
  • Reposition the thread. Switch the thread from the loopers to the needles and vice versa.

TIP: Make small repairs to a seam that has skipped stitches using a hand sewing needle and clear monofilament thread.

TENSION TROUBLE

If the fabric is curling to one side or the other after stitching, your tension is probably off.

  • When the stitch is balanced, the fabric edge lays completely flat. If the serged stitch is causing the edge to curl or fold, adjust the looper tension settings.
How To Use Your Serger With Tips + Tricks
A Balanced Stitch
  • If the fabric curls toward the right side, the upper looper tension may be too tight. Loosen the upper looper tension slightly and then test-serge on a fabric scrap. The lower looper tension may need to be tightened to compensate and produce a balanced stitch.
How To Use Your Serger With Tips + Tricks
Too-Tight Tension in the Upper Looper
  • If the fabric curls toward the wrong side, the lower looper tension on the serger may be too tight. Loosen the lower looper tension slightly and then test-serge on a fabric scrap. The upper looper tension may need to be tightened to compensate and produce a balanced stitch.

 

How To Use Your Serger With Tips + Tricks
Too-Tight Tension in the Lower Looper

LOOPS

When the needle thread isn’t securely placed through the tension disks, the needle causes small thread loops to appear on the wrong side. This weakens the serged seam and makes it prone to stretching.

How To Use Your Serger With Tips + Tricks
Thread Loops

To alleviate this problem, make sure that the needle threads are snugly seated within the tension disks of the serger. Also check the threading diagram to make sure the machine is correctly threaded.

 

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