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Video:Serger Sewing Machine

with Susan Nixon

Speed up your sewing skills by learning how to use a serger sewing machine.See Transcript

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Transcript:Serger Sewing Machine

Hello I’m Susan Nixon with About.com and today I’m going to talk about the very basics of how to run your serger.

What Does a Serger Do?

So I want to tell you a little bit about what a serger does. You’ll notice there are 4 spools of thread which is a little bit more than what we use in our sewing machines but the advantage to using a serger is that it sews, cuts and finishes the seam all in one step. So here’s an example right here, of an edge that’s been serged and what that does is wraps the thread around to the back sides so nothing falls apart when it’s put through the washer and dryer.

Normally when you sew a seam and you wash and dry it, eventually you’re going to get the little frayed pieces and the fabric starts falling apart. So a serger takes care of that problem for you.

Lining Up Fabric

So the easiest way to line up your fabric to take it through the serger is to make a mark where your left needle thread is. If we sew a line first we’ll line it up here because that lines it up with the needle.

Serging Fabric Edges

The other place you might want to serge is just the edge of the fabric. The blue dot is going to be really important because that lines up with the blade of the serger. It’s actually going to cut your fabric. Anything that goes to the right will be cut off.

Here I have a seam that I’ve already sewn and you notice I wasn’t absolutely perfect on the edge which is fine that’s my favorite part about a serger. Now I’m going to line up my sewing line with my red dot.

How to Serge

So to serge, there is no reverse. Here’s my red dot. I’m just going to lift up the front part of the foot and set it back down. So I want to steer with my thumb on top and run it right along the red dot. And you can see how this blade is cutting off this extra seam allowance. At the edge of the seam there is no reverse so serge off and then you’re going to take a pair of scissors and cut in the center of that leaving some thread on the fabric and some thread attached to your machine.

Now let’s take a look at what we just did. I followed my sewing line and look my edges are just perfect.

The Best Part of a Serger

So now you can see the best part of a serger, after you’ve sewn your seam and run it through, there are 2 threads that are your needle threads, the green and the blue that run along the edge and create a stronger seam. And your pink and yellow threads are your looper threads and those wrap around the edge of the fabric so that never becomes unraveled when you wash it and dry it. It makes it look just like you bought it in the store.

Let’s say you’re working on a project and you just want to finish off the edge without sewing it together for example when you’re putting a zipper in. So we have one layer, we’re going to lift up the foot and line it up with the turquoise dot or right along the edge of the base of the serger.

So I’m going to keep my fabric right on my mark. And you’ll notice I’m cutting anything off and off the back. And now you can see I’ve just finished off just one layer of fabric.

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