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Why do my stitches "fall off" the edge of the fabric sometimes? It eeven hapoebs when i serging down the middle of a strip.

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 9,285 Answers

Most likely, the looper tensions are off--perhaps too loose. Be sure to ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot when threading the machine and then make an extra little tug on every thread when going through the tension disks.

Here's a document you can download and keep with your machine: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0ahUKEwi24O6mm6XTAhVp04MKHaOCDs8QFggzMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bernina.com%2Fen-US%2FLocal-Resources%2FUSA%2FQuilting-Sewing-Embroidery%2FTensionHeadaches%2FBERNINA-Serger-StopTensionHeadaches&usg=AFQjCNHVP7gBN-VKOPkid_7jzIl76cZo8g

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Posted on Apr 15, 2017

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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.


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May 05, 2017 | Brother Sewing Machines

3 Answers

HELP! I have a brother 1034d the thread is stacking up on the little fingers on the needle plate


I have the same problem. The serger is making the chain, but it's not moving off the stitch finger! I have to pull it while im operating it (with force) and when i put fabric, it bunches up like crazy and i just broke a needle... Any clue anyone?? Here is a picture... https://goo.gl/fhqq15
img_8943-e525u3gqe2ymixf5c2uots3q-1-0.jpg

Apr 23, 2017 | Brother Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Pushing material away, but still overlocking


It is difficult to tell what exactly is happening with your serger.

First thing--make sure you RAISE the presser foot BEFORE you thread any of the threads. This releases the tension disks so the threads will seat properly. You may need to remove all the threads and rethread from the beginning, making sure you thread each in the proper order. Start out with the thread tensions set at the ideal setting--usually the halfway point between the high & low numbers. From there, you will adjust them to even up the thread tensions.

Are you actually trimming off some of the fabric as it is stitching? If so, you might try increasing the cutting width (moves the cutting edge further toward the right) so that there is more fabric caught within the looper threads. It also appears that the looper tensions may be too loose. Try tightening the upper and lower looper tensions so less of the thread loops don't fall off the fabric's raw edge.

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Dec 30, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How do I sew Elastic waistband with Husqvarna Viking 910 Surger


I am assuming this is a simple stretch waist band with elastic about 2cm wide attached to a skirt or trousers. You need to measure your wist and cut elastic that length plus 2cm. Then join the two ends by overlapping them 2cm and zig zagging the elastic together with regular sewing machine. Now mark the elastic in quarters, ie hold it flat with the join in the middle and mark each edge with chalk or a fabric removable marker. Then put the marks together and mark the edges again so you have 4 marks equally spaced. Now do this for your garment too. It may be bigger in back so mark front and back, then half this to find the side quarters. Put elastic on inside of garment against raw edge and pin the quarter marks on elastic and garment together. Set up overlocker for 4 thread wide seam. Test seam and adjust tensions if necessary. Now you need to serge the edge of the fabric and elastic together, trimming the fabric but not cutting the elastic and stretch the elastic to fit the garment as you stitch. Elastic on top, fabric right side down underneath. Take out pins before you get near them! Start by lifting the front of the presser foot with your finger and placing fabric and elastic under, then start stitching on and straighten up once the seam is onto the elastic. Dont lift the pressure foot, you just stitch, stop, stretch the elastic to the fullness of the fabric, hold it and seam forward a few inches, then stop and repeat the process. Once right round go over your starting point, then turn and serge off the fabric edge and chain off. Cut, pull the chain to pull it flat and tie a hald hitch in it right up close to fabric. Now turn the elastic band to the inside of the garment. You need to secure it. Usually a straight stitch just onto the lower edge of the elastic with sewing machine from outside.

Dec 27, 2011 | Husqvarna Huskylock Computerized 910

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 am trying to do a rolled hem using a singer ultralock 14sh654. Do I disengage the knife? The stitches are uneven and some are quite loose no matter how much I adjust the tension. I am positive I...


no, you need the blade in place and cutting to give an even cut fabric edge. Set up for a three thread using the right hand needle, take out the left hand needle. move blade over to the right so it is cutting wide. Most overlockers there is also a thread finger you need to change on the foot, or a little lever you flick to move this finger forward into the stitching area. Check this on your manual as each make is a bit different.
If you can source it, put wooly nylon thread into the upper looper (knot it onto existing thread and just chain it through, the knot should go through the looper eye fine). Now turn the tension on top looper down so it is looser and tighten up tension on bottom looper, so needle 5, top looper 2 and bottom looper about 7.

Now test serge, the fabric cut edge should be wider than the overlocking seam so the fabric rolls under inside the stitching. Adjust the two looper threads so that this is happening, you want the bottom looper thread to nest right up against the needle stitch and the top looper thread to wrap all the way around too.

Once you've got this happening, turn the stitch length down to 0.5, to close the stitching right up. On some fabrics you'll need to adjust the differential feed too if the fabric is "waving" a bit.

Uneven stitches or sometimes loose when serging could indicate that one of the tension devices is faulting, so if this machine is not new and its doing this, it could need a service. Can you get a regular smooth three or 4 thread seam out if it???

It is always good to just recheck the threading path, make sure the thread aerial is up and that a thread hasn't got caught back on the thread stand somewhere if you're getting something wonky happening, threads stream off overlocker cones through the machine so anything wrong in the thread path will throw off the stitching.

Jun 25, 2011 | Singer 14SH654

1 Answer

The looper stitches are coming over the cut edge of the fabric. I have the cutting width set to WIDE.


you don't say what make and model serger this is.

However, as a rule of thumb, set the blade to widest setting, then test serge and tighten up the top and bottom looper threads to encase the cut edge neatly. So you would need to turn the dials on the two right hand knobs to a higher number, just move each dial one number at a time and test serge again.

The other possibility is that the thread is not between the tension discs properly, so check your thread paths, when you pull on the thread below the tension dial, it should feel firm to pull.

I always test serge scraps when sewing a new fabric and adjust the tensions to suit it before beginning a new project as a lightweight fabric will behave differently to a heavy fabric.

Apr 02, 2011 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How do i adjust the loose thread on top? Using the 3 thread stitch the top loop is loose and bulging over edge instead of smooth with rest of stitches. Setting is set to recommended setting but is still...


I always adjust my overlocker stitch in several ways. I start test serging with the blade set right out to the right so that it "fills" the stitching. I'll set all the thread dials to the middle setting, ie. 5. Then I test serge, and check the stitch formation. If the needle is looping underneath, then I'll tighten it "A LITTLE". If the looper threads are lying off the cut edge of the fabric, then I'll dial both the top and bottom looper numbers up a little to make those threads tighter.

Each fabric behaves differently depending on its "hand" so the right stitch settings do vary, ie. organza is different to heavy weight cotton or denim. So if my inital setting is then "bunching" up the fabric within the stitching, I will then lower the numbers for the top and bottom looper to release the thread some. And if the fabric is very soft and light and still bunches up, then I will move the blade over to the left some, cutting a narrower edge within the overlocking so the threads lie better.

So revist the settings, check that the cones are flowing freely, thread is into the tension devices fully, then retest the stitching. If it is the top looper only that is looping off the edge, and not the bottom as well, and they are both set to the same number, then I'd be a bit suss about the tension dial.

Feb 28, 2011 | Singer 14SH654

1 Answer

Have a Necchi 3205FA and trying to figure out how to set it up for serging. DVD wasn't much help.


There is a serger attachment available for that model. When you attach it to the machine you must start the fabric from the top of the foot. The foot won't cut the fabric if you feed it under the foot. You will want to use the Wide zigzag, overlock, or hemstitch stitches. Set stitch length knob on #4 for overlock stitch #1-0 for hemstitch or zigzag. Set the stitch width to the maximum. Make sure the hook arm is inserted over the needle screw so that when the needle goes us and down the attachment will work. Start on the edge of your fabric by making a small cut about 1-2 cm deep and about the same distance from the edge as the cutting blade. This will make it much easier to feed the fabric over and then under the foot. Remember to start the fabric on top of the foot and then feed it under the foot before it reaches where the needle would penetrate.

Nov 28, 2008 | Necchi 3101 Mechanical Sewing Machine

2 Answers

Lost manual


I couldn't find my manual for the Dual Sew 3500, either, and long story short, I discovered the manufacturer of Dual Sew is the parent company of Janome; that the Janome 4618 Limited Edition is virtually the same machine; wrote to Janome and they emailed me the PDF manual for th 4618LE. What a relief.


Apr 20, 2008 | Dual Sew 3500 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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