For those of us without Cadillac sergers that thread themselves, understanding some basic principles of threading your serger can definitely eliminate some stress. I did this video to try to explain the basics, and share it in the hopes it will help you out.
Last week, a sewing ministry in town was having a devil of a time with their sergers, and my knowledge about what was shared in the video was helpful in getting them going again.
Check List for other Serger Issues
Check the thread delivery – often the thread has increased tension (and breaks) because it is caught around the cone holder below, or just in something where it shouldn’t be.
Black thread tends to break the most because often black thread is ‘re-cycled’ thread, dyed to black since it didn’t come out the correct color in the intial dyeing. This makes it less strong. ALWAYS invest in a GOOD QUALITY THREAD! I swear by Maxi-Lock myself. Just works for me. There are other good ones, but do NOT get the cheap brands – your serger will NOT like them!!!!!
Be sure to pay attention to the STITCH FINGER. When doing regular serging to overlock an edge, the ‘finger’ over which the stitch is formed needs to be wide. Only when doing a Rolled Hem, or a Narrow Hem should you be using the skinny ‘pin’ looking stitch finger. Sometimes you change the plate. Sometimes you rotate the fat part of the finger down. Sometimes it is a lever at the front of the serging surface that you pull or push to change the stitch finger. Check your manual and understand!
Cutting Width. This is kinda hard to explain, but if your stitches are hanging off the edge on a regular 3 or 4 thread stitch, the cutting action is happening too far to the left. The cutting happens with TWO BLADES: the Fixed Blade (a harder steel – sometimes called the Lower Blade) ) against which the Moving Blade (sometimes called the Upper Blade) moves, or rests. Sew…WHERE the Fixed Blade IS, in relation to the stitch finger width, will determine how much fabric is actually cut off. Fix this by moving the Fixed Blade to the RIGHT so less fabric is cut off.
Fabric rolling around the wide stitch finger, bunched up in the stitches on a 3 or 4 thread stitch – this is the opposite of #4 above – in this case, not enough fabric is being cut off. Move the Fixed Blade to the LEFT to cut off MORE fabric.
I hope this is helpful to you. If you are like me, your sewing equipment is getting a workout as you make gifts for giving.
If you have any questions, PLEASE comment below. I have to monitor comments, so don’t expect it to show up immediately. I do try my best to tend to them as soon as I see them though.