top of page

3 Tips for getting the most from your Serger

3 Tips for getting the most out of your serger pin

A serger is a wonderful tool to help with your creative sewing endeavors. But so often sewists aren't using their sergers to their full potential. Here are 3 quick tips to help you get the most out of your serger. There is a video below if you would prefer to listen rather then read.

1. Disengage the Serger Blade to finish Seam Allowances.

All sergers have a way to disengage the cutting blade. It may be as easy as flipping a switch or may involve swinging the blade up out of the way. Rather than trying to keep the serger from cutting just a small portion of the seam allowance when finishing it, disengage the blade and simply run the fabric right along the edge of the machine. The stitch will form perfectly and you don't risk inaccuracies in your sewing because you have cut off some of the seam allowance.

Button to disengage the blade on a serger.

2. Use the Serger Differential Feed especially on the Cross Grain of a Knit.

A serger has two feed dogs to feed the fabric through the machine. One in the front and one in the back. When the machine is set on neutral, the feed dogs feed the fabric at the same rate. When the feed dogs feed the fabric through at different rates, they stretch the fabric or push the fabric together. The cross grain is typically the stretchiest part of a knit fabric and can easily stretch out as it is sewed. By increasing the differential feed, the fabric is pushed together and results in a flatter, smoother knit that looks more professional. The only way to know what setting to use is to test the fabric and run a scrap through the serger at different settings.

Two sleeve pieces, one finished with the differential feed set to neutral and one set at 1.5.
The top sleeve was sewn with the differential feed set at neutral and the bottom sleeve with the differential feed set at 1.5.

3. A 3-Thread Narrow Hem is a great finish for a cotton knit fabric.

A 3-thread narrow hem is a simple and easy way to get a great finish on a cotton knit fabric. It reduces bulk because the edge is finished with a single layer of knit and it can be a fun way to add a pop of color. Adding wooly nylon to the upper looper gives fuller coverage because of the bloom of the thread. The sleeve pieces above were finished with a 3-thread narrow hem and wooly nylon in the upper looper. If you have an air threading machine, the wooly nylon will not go through the air threading mechanism. Simply cut the regular thread just above the air threading port, tie the wooly nylon to the existing thread and pull it through the machine.

I hope you enjoy your serger and that you give some of these tips a try. If you would like more help sewing with knit fabrics, make sure to check out our Enjoying the World of Knit Fabrics, Book, Fabric Pack and Video Tutorial.

If you would prefer to listen, here is the video, and as always Happy Sewing!


bottom of page