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Don't know how to use Janome serger 1110de

I've had this serger for 3 years, and now I want to learn how to use it. Even threading it seems overwhelming.

Learning from the small instruction book that I got with purchase is confusing.

Is there an online tutorial that can help me through it?
What else might help? No one close by to show me ... business or personal).

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The order of threading is most important. If you letter the tension knobs from left to right A,B,C,and D. The order for threading it is C,D, B, A. There are two arms under the needle that cross each other called loopers. The order is upper looper, lower looper, right needle, left needle .I'm sure there is a diagram under the cover when you open it. Most do. It would be very helpfull to use a long threading tweezers to guide the thread through the holes. The lower looper has a hole in the back to put the thread through then through the front hole ( though some newer sergers have a lever that you put the thread on and it does it for you and over the thread of the upper looper and out the back.
It would help alot more if I knew the brand and model of your serger so these are basic instructions. Hope I helped.
Rick

Posted on Feb 13, 2009

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Hi. About 5 years ago I purchased a Janome 744D Overlocker which I have only used once because the thread on the underside keeps snapping, and the needles keep breaking off. The foot is also very touchy...


Yes, overlockers sew fast, usually 1500 stitches per minute and with a blade in action alongside the loopers so there is a lot happening. Keep all pins well away from the seam edge, contrary to normal sewing machine techniques, if you pin two layers together, then place the pins parallel to the fabric cut edge at least 2 inches away from the edge so the pin goes nowhere near the foot or blade.

Check whenever you use it, that you firstly extend the thread aerial up to full height, you need to ensure the threads can flow smoothly to the tension dials as the thread will stream off fast, even the slightest catch of a thread will snap one, throw your tension out or damage a looper.

As you've had it all this time and not used it, why not consider investing a few dollars more and go to a class on overlockers, and learn how to thread it up for three, four, rolled hem and using the differential feed. If there is no class options in your area, then try the Janome dealer near you and see if they would consider giving you a a little lesson on using it. You could also check out the videos on You-tube or read some pages from Debbie on www.sewing.about.com, she has several pages on sergers (USA name for overlockers), explains the needles, threading, different techniques and maintenance. Or check out your local library for any books on sergers/overlockers, there are several good "how to" guides out there that would certainly help you get started.

Unfortunately there is no way to slow the speed to half speed, just practice with lots of fabric scraps at first, to get used to the sensitivity of the foot control. If you do dressmaking but aren't sure where to overlock or which seams you could only overlock, then consider just doing a three thread overlock around the edge of each fabric piece before you commence assembling the garment, just do your notch markings another way such as chalking them or using water soluable marker pen as the blade will cut away your outwards notches.

My other suggestion would be to make a simple sweat shirt on it using the 4 thread stitch and not touching your sewing machine at all. Once you've made one, you'll soon be wizzing them up in 30 mins, so quick to sew knits on an overlocker. Some of the commercial patterns are marked as suitable for sergers, look for one of these to try.

I hope this helps you to master your overlocker, a lesson or class would help you with the steep learning curve at first.

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I have this serger, also. A friend (who knows sergers) and I spent 2 hours today trying to get the lower looper threaded--with no success! There is a diagram in the door of my machine, but it is still very confusing! I'm taking mine to the shop on Monday and have them thread it and show me how to do it!

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How do you mean the tension are off? A serger should have 3 or 4 tension knobs (although yours looks like it is push button digital settings) and generally from new these will produce a standard stitch when all are set to 5. Are you sure that you've got the thread pulled into the tension discs fully? Check each one by pulling on the thread below the tension disc and feel for resistance, if the thread pulls very easily, then recheck and thread again.

Have you got the thread aerial raised up to the full height? Remember also to put the plastic cone holders under the thread cones as you want the cone to stay still and the thread to feed off it - it does this very fast, sergers sew at 1500 stitches per minute so the thread streams off the cones very quickly.

Using a serger is quite different to a sewing machine and your model looks like its one of the later computerised ones with multiple stitch options including coverstitch. I'd suggest that you go back to your dealer and ask to spend time with them for a demo, thread up in front of them for pointers or take a class to familiarise yourself fully with the machine. Then go home again, break out the manual, and go through threading up from scratch several times until you've got it off pat. Remember to thread top looper, bottom looper, left needle, right needle in this sequence always, then pull all threads under the foot, lower pressure foot and serge off a short chain. To change colour thread, you can always cut and knot on new threads, turn tension down and pull through the loopers, but you've got to thread the needles fresh each time you change colour.

There is some good videos on You-tube, Nancy Zieman has a several and she's also written several books on using a serger and obviously the manual is first point of reference.

Each fabric will behave differently so for each new fabric, you will need to adjust tensions and move the blade to get it stitch and just encasing the cut edge at a suitable width. To work out how it should look, break out some ready to wear garments and have a look at those seams, then test and practice with your machine to get a similar stitch. Always test serge two thickenesses if you are going to use it to construct your garments and pull open from the right side to ensure the needle thread is tight enough so the seams don't pull open under wear.

Good idea to keep your test seam samples in a notebook and write down the settings you used for reference next time. I have to say, I've done flatlock with silky decorative thread once in 19 years - but I do know how to set up the machine for this. However, rolled hem with wooly thread is very useful and I often use this to edge hems. I'm envious of your coverstitch option, this is great for hemming and necklines and is something early sergers didnt do.

Just checked out this model on an Ebay vendor's site and it mentions a training DVD, you've got several different stitch types to master with this machine so there will be some learning and practice involved to get it right. Good luck - I hope this is of some help but I'd be visiting the dealer for specific help if you can.

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