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How to "serge"

I watched the demo on this machine and the fellow was using the serge stitch. The manual, however, does not mention any stitch settings to serge. Is serge known by another name? What are the stitch settings? Do I have to use the cutter to serge? Thanks

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I am trying to teach myself to sew.... what is a serge stitch an how do I set my brother sewing machine to do it?


A serger (overlocker) is not a sewing machine. If you look at the inside seams of a purchased t-shirt, you will usually find a serge stitch that was created using a serger (overlocker). A serger/overlocker usually uses 3 or 4 threads to create that stitch. It also trims the fabric at the same time it finishes the fabric edge. The serge stitch is a chain stitch that, if you pull a particular thread, the entire stitch will come undone.

Your sewing machine is not able to create that same stitch. Your sewing machine may have what is called an "overlock" stitch, but it will use only 2 threads (the top and bobbin) to create that stitch. You would have to consult your owner's manual to see if it can make an overlock stitch.


Different Serger Stitches and How to Use Them

The BERNINA Serger Overlocker line BERNINA

May 05, 2017 | Brother Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have a Necchi Royal Series 4795 and I can only use a straight stitch. How do you set this machine to other stitches(hemming,serging)? just need to know what dials to set for which stitch & what foot


try --www.yumaeng.com-- for a pdf version user manual for the machine
that should give you all the information on what to do for the stitches you want
go google and type in ---user manual for necchi sewing machine model 4795-- as there other sites with user manuals as well

Jan 04, 2017 | Necchi Sewing Machines

1 Answer

When sewing with the brother serger 1034d, loops of thread stick out beyond the fabric-it is not nice and close like it's supposed to be. the settings from left to right are: 4,4,3,3. this is what my...


Can you wind the lower cutting blade to the right to cut less fabric and therefore fill out the stitching? On most sergers the lower blade position can be adjusted sometimes with a little knob or dial. You need to raise the top blade out of the way first, usually you put pressure onto it to release the spring holding it up against the lower blade, then swing it up to do this. Then wind the adjustment on the lower blade and move it to the right to cut less fabric then test serge. Your manual should give you more specific information on this and should be your first 'go to".

I would adjust my looper tensions to suit the fabric and width of the stitch I'm trying to achieve so yes, the settings you've been given are average tensions but its okay to vary these too. From left to right, I'd set 4, 4, 4, 4 and test serge again and see if this pulls the looper threads in against the fabric if moving the blade hasn't tightened up the stitching.

Sergers are more variable than a straight stitch sewing machine so its okay to move tension knobs a bit, just turn each a half number each time you adjust, then test serge and look at the stitch formation. Your needles tension should be fine at 4, leave them alone.

I'd suggest if you can find one, go to a "Getting to know your serger" type class as there is lots of techniques such as seaming on a curve, turning right angles, both inside and outside and making rolled hem edges that are very helpful serger skills to learn along with making adjustments and troubleshooting. Or go to you-tube and search some of these techniques for videos. Also www.sewing.about.com is a great sewing resource and Debbie has pages on sergers/overlockers here too.

When I'm starting a new dressmaking project I will spend 10 mins on the overlocker/serger, changing the thread colour to suit the garment, then test serging and adjusting the stitch tensions to suit the fabric. I have 4 cones of thread each in white, black, beige, grey, pink and pale blue and these threads will give a suitable finish on most fabric colours and prints. Then there is wooly overlocker thread, this is a fluffy thread that you can use for rolled hems as the thread relaxes once stitched and "fills" out the closely stitched edge covering the rolled fabric edge and is another whole area of fun to try out.

Often I'll just use a three thread to neaten the raw edges of a seam I will press open. Or I will assemble a whole knit garment using the four thread stitch, so much faster then stitching seams, then neatening. Jersey knits and sergers are made for each other.

As an aside the D on your machine model would denote "differential feed" too - briefly differential feed is adjusting the amount that the two feed dogs move under the foot and means you can "hold back" the fabric as it is stitched (0.5), or "stretch" it out (1.5 or 2 setting). Really handy for loose weave fabrics that stretch as you serge them, you can compensate using the differential feed setting. And in reverse, you can create a "lettuce" or wavy edge by turning the differential feed up.

I hope that this helps you out with your Brother 1034D and hasn't just confused you. Good luck.

Aug 01, 2011 | Brother 1034D Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I have a new Viking Huskylock S25 and the serger tensions are off and I cannot get them adjusted.


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.

Apr 29, 2011 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Changed thread on serge pro SW 432. Now no chain or stitch.


Sergers can be tricky to thread.

Remove the thread.

Raise the antenna to it's highest position.

Open the tensions - setting zero.

Lift the presser foot.

Open the door on the serger and turn the handwheel until the upper looper is at it's highest point.

There should be a threading guide on the front of the machine or on the inside of the door.

Follow the threading sequence as this greatly affects the stitching.

Mar 13, 2010 | Simplicity Serge Pro SW432 Mechanical...

1 Answer

I want to have my Juki MO-2516n do a mock safety stitch/4 thread


I have a Juki MO 2516N. It does not have the capability to serge 4 threads. The only options are 2, 3, and 5.

Apr 28, 2009 | Juki Sewing Machines

2 Answers

I need help with the tention settings on my simplicity serger pro please


All the problem that everyone had with the Simplicity Serge Pro are able to be fixed with the manual. I downloaded the manual from the Simplicity Home page: www.simplicityhomecare.com. That simple. Thank you for your assistance because you made me realize that I had to go get the answer myself if I wanted to get anything done yesterday. Waiting for 24 hours was just too long for me. There is also an 800-822-6691 hotline as well. I have already finished my project. Have a great day!

Nov 03, 2008 | Simplicity Serge Pro SW432 Mechanical...

1 Answer

Babylock Eclipse SX won't catch the overlock stitch


  • the factory default settings are 4,4,4,4 and M
  • Change the needles
  • use a can of air spray ( compressed air can sold in computer stores) to ensure there is no fabric or dust under the needle plate

Jun 28, 2008 | Baby Lock Eclipse Serger

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