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How do I get my Serger to sew properly?

I had to rethread my machine. The threads flow through just fine, but don't catch my fabric on my test run? Don't understand - tensions are correct - never had this problem before

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Sometimes you just have to start from the beginning when threading. Clip all the threads between the cones and the tension guides. Raise the presser foot (releases the tension) and pull all the thread tails through the machine. Then re-thread making sure to do so in the order as instructed in your manual. If not threaded in the correct order, your serger may never work properly.

Attached is a video instruction (the threading sequence begins @ about 6 minutes).
Funlock 004 334DS Overlocker Video Instructions

Posted on Apr 22, 2015

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I'm afraid you've threaded your serger incorrectly. I've done it myself more than once, so I try to make sure that I tie new thread to old and pull it through the machine rather than try to re-thread it. That avoids the problem for the future, but doesn't help you now.

Here's what you can do right now to work out the problem:
1. Get out your owner's manual and check the thread path(s) for each thread. Be sure you've got them right, especially the loopers (usually the two threads on the right-hand as you look at the machine).
2. If you don't find any obvious errors, change the sequence of the looper threads - that is, which one is threaded first. I know it doesn't sound like this will help, but it fixed mine.
3. Be sure that none of the threads are caught under the feed dogs, they should pull fairly freely toward the back of the machine.
4. Start sewing without fabric in the machine. I know this is wrong for a standard sewing machine, but you should get a 'chain' with a serger. If it's not 'chaining,' go back and try these steps again.
5. If that doesn't fix the problem, or if it chains and still won't stitch, change your needles. They should be changed now and then anyway.
6. Be sure to lubricate your machine often according to the owner's manual. Most sewing machines need more oil than they get.

Posted on Apr 08, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

Kenmore 385 #3 thread breaks


Try removing thread #3 from the tension altogether. If this doesn't work, then try using a different spool of thread. Some break easier than others. If this doesn't work, try rethreading your serger from the the beginning. Upper looper first, then lower looper, then needle. Test on scraps.

Dec 06, 2013 | White Sewing Speedylock 1600 Mechanical...

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Start to sew and it doest stitch & fabric gets bunched up on the right looper


I take it this is a serger from the fact you have a looper. Try changing which looper thread is on top when you thread it. Mine jams if they're not done just right. BTW, the easiest way to thread a serger once you've got it once is to tie the new thread to the old and pull it through.

Hope this helps.

Sep 10, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Stitching is too loose on the Juno Janome Serger Model 3434D


sergers the most frustrating machines. Every time you change fabrics you go through a tension adjusting phase.

First make sure you have threaded the machine in the proper order. upper looper, lower looper, then needles from right to left. Always thread any machine while the presser foot lever is in the UP position.

If you ever break a thread... you MUST pull all threads and rethread using the proper order.

Ok that's out of the way. Pull all your threads and get out several pieces of the same fabric scrap. Thread each pathway with a different color. This will help you determine which thread is giving you fits. Sew a test strip. Which thread is loose? tighten/loosen that tension. Keep doing this until you have a well balance seam. Then clip the colored threads starting with the upper looper thread, tie off to your proper color for your seam pull the thread through and up through the throat plate. proceed in this manner with lower looper, right needle, left needle. Sew a test seam.

Good luck.

Aug 08, 2012 | Janome Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I keep having trouble...I have tried some of the solutions on this page and still not working. I'm trying to sew on a very stretchy fabric, I have put in a fresh "ball point" needle, I have...


How frustrating for you - I will assume that "very stretchy fabric" would be lycra or a jersey with lycra or spandex in it. This can be tricky fabric to tackle on the sewing machine, especially if it is very light weight, textured or open weave. So use a Smetz "Stretch" needle, not just a regular ball point and a good quality polyester thread such as gutterman or metrosene. this link is great info on sewing threads, http://sewing.about.com/library/weekly/aa102100a.htm
tally_girl_20.jpg Use a stretch stitch that that has forwards and backwards movement to put elasticity into the seam. Use a teflon coated (black) sewing foot if you can get one, otherwise use a clear plastic foot. And if fabric is really hard to control, you can put strips of freezer paper between the two layers to give it some stability and help control the fabric when stitching. Use a spool cap over the thread spool to help the thread flow off smoothly. It is possible that your fabric may just be too difficult for a regular SM and best tackled with a serger with differential feed which is why sergers are so popular, they are great for knits.

However, your top thread breaking over and over like this sounds more like the top tension discs are malfunctioning or your top thread is caught/catching somewhere in the path to the needle.

So, take a deep breath, put in a regular woven needle and get the tensions sorted on cotton fabric scraps first. This way, you take the stretch fabric out of the equasion and establish if the machine is faulting.

Have you cleaned the top tension discs already? If not, do this now - turn to zero, then run the selvage edge of a clean piece of cotton scrap fabric between the discs in a sawing motion. Is there black gunk coming onto the fabric? Keep going until it is clean. Then rethread up and set tension back to 5. (I assume you are using a good quality thread and it isn't a very old spool that has been sitting around for years? Thread does dry out and get brittle with age - I keep mine in sealed containers away from sunlight).

Also carefully check the threading path from the spool to the needle, is the thread catching on a nick in the top of the spool? or some other part of your machine, is it wrapped twice around an eyelet or the thread takeup lever. Is there some sharp piece of plastic or metal that is causing the thread to break. Lower the pressure foot and pull the top thread just before the needle. It should feel firm but you should be able to pull it? If it breaks now, I would take it to the mechanic and get it serviced.

If you can pull the thread okay, then rethread the bobbin, set the tension back to the normal number on the bobbin holder, and test sew on cotton fabric. Can you get a good seam now? If thread is still breaking now, I'd take the machine to the mechanic for a full service.

Apr 14, 2011 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

My thread keeps breaking on my Bernina 800dl serger


Is the thread aerial raised up ensuring a good thread flow?

Which thread is breaking, needle or looper? If you can establish which thread is breaking, then check that tension dial, turn it to zero and clean between the tension discs by sawing a selvage edge of cotton fabric offcut between the two discs to remove any fibres, dirt or debris.

Now turn all dials to zero, unthread the needles, and pull on each thread, feeling if there is any resistance. If there is, check back through the thread path and find where the thread is catching.
Serger threads flow very fast and the thread path can't be compromised or the thread snagged.

Check the thread path from the cone to the sewing foot, and ensure that the thread is not catching on something, or getting caught around the cone, cone holder or aerial somewhere in the path. Look at the thread cone, has the thread feeding off got looped around itself somewhere? Open up front of the serger and look at the thread going through the loopers, is something misthreaded here, sometimes there is a part that slides on a looper to make threading easier, just check it is all threaded up correctly. There should be a threading diagram inside the serger cover usually showing the paths.

Rethread the needle(s) and pull all the threads under the pressure foot, lower the foot, turn tensions back to 5, then chain off and test sew.

If no joy after trying all this, I'd take it for a ride in the car to the shop.


Apr 14, 2011 | Bernina 1008

1 Answer

The threads are not tight on my serger


Here is an easy way to get your thread adjusted. Rethread the machine using four different colors. Then sew and for example the "yellow" thread is loose on the fabric, you know to adjust the tension with the yellow thread. Also a good starting place on your dials is 4-3-2-1 from left to right. Start with the tension set there and then adjust as needed.

Dec 20, 2008 | Singer 5050 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

The serger is not sewing right. Everytime I sew the thread from the top needle goes into the fabric, but the other threads do not. It does not come unthreaded just is not catching somewhere. I have...


It sounds as though you have a timing problem. The lower looper is not catching the needle thread. You might try lowering the needle about 1/16 inch to see if the looper will catch the thread. If that works, you can put the needle back and adjust the needle bar. If it doesn't, then you need to take it to a technician.
sewman7

Jun 11, 2008 | Yamata FY14U4AD

1 Answer

The serger is not sewing right. Everytime I sew the thread from the top needle goes into the fabric, but the other threads do not. It does not come unthreaded just is not catching somewhere. I have...


The machine was threaded incorrectly at first, but after changing the needle I was threading it correctly. The problem ended up being the needle depth. When I inserted the new needle, I did not have pushed up into it's slot quite far enough. I pushed it up all the way and retightened the screw. Now it is serging like a dream!

Apr 17, 2008 | Singer 5050 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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