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

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 1,129 Answers

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.

Posted on Apr 04, 2011

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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

What is the tension settings for normal over locking with the Elna 4de


First of all ensure that the serger is threaded correctly.

The two setting which you mention are really a 'range' for an 'average' setting.

Using 'average' fabric such as a medium weight cotton, flannel, etc.; set each of the tensions in the middle of the range and test the stitch. There may be minor adjustment required to get a perfect stitch.

Once you have stitched that first sample, here are some possible minor adjustments required:
1. Tear-drop shaped loops on the underside: Check that the thread is firmly set in the tension dial by giving the needle threads a good snug pull above the tension dials while the presser foot is down.

2. The zig-zag like thread on top should meet the ziz-zag like thread on the underside right on the fabric cut edge. If the meeting happens on top: reduce the upper looper tension slightly and increase the lower looper tension slightly ... test sew and recheck. If the meeting is on the underside: increase the upper looper tension slightly and decrease the lower looper tension slightly ... test sew and recheck.

3. If the meeting does happen along the fabric cut edge but the meeting is hanging beyond the fabric cut edge: increase the blade position (that is, move the blade to the right). If the fabric is creating a ridge or tunnel; move the blade to the left slightly.

Please let me know if this has solved your problem. Otherwise let me know what is happening with the stitch quality.

Sep 16, 2014 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Why does fabric get caugh on the roll hem devise when over locking


this sounds like an overlocker/serger machine you are using? if the fabric is catching on the overlocking tongue it could be a number of factors, have you lifted the top cutting blade out of the way and forgot to put it back into place? That would be my first thought, the top and bottom blade move against each other cutting the fabric. Rolled hemming usually requires the blade to be set on about 2, or middle of its setting range, the stitch finger is pulled back out of the stitching area, top looper thread is loosened off and bottom looper thread is tightened up, resulting in the top looper thread wrapping around the edge of the fabric and pulling the cut edge down under within the seam, forming the rolled hem.

May 13, 2014 | Elna Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Correct settings for 804dsp serger to sew a sweater.


Are you wanting to use the serger to sew a hand knitted sweater together? or do you mean a sweat shirt knit or other knit fabric. If it is the first option, I'd say don't bother, as you can't do it with the blades working because it will cut your knitting and the wool will unravel in the seams.

If it is the second option then I would start with the following settings.

Four thread stitch, so both needles and the upper and lower loopers threaded. Set tension on all four dials to 5, stitch length to between 2 and 3, and differential on zero. Move the cutting blade over to the right for a wider seam. Now test stitch on some fabric scraps double layer and see what the seam is looking like.

Now you want to adjust a couple of things: firstly width of the seam. Is it the size you want? If you'd like it a little narrower, then adjust the cutting blade back a little to the left to narrow the seam slightly - just depends on the fabric weight. For example if it is a loose open weave like boucle you would want a wide seam to make sure it holds the fibres fully.

Now you can adjust the upper and lower loopers to get the thread wrapping around the edge looking nice. Look at the seam and the fabric inside it. Is it tunnelling and pulling up the fabric? if so, release tension on both loopers a half number to put more thread into the seam. Test stitch again and see if the loopers are meeting nicely on the cut edge of the fabric. Upper and lower looper threads should be meeting right on the cut edge so if this isn't happening and one showing on the other side, then tighten the looser one by half a number and test again.

If the threads are hanging off the edge then you have the choice of moving the blade to the right to cut less fabric off, or tightening up the looper tensions to pull in the thread.

That's it, hope this helps you to master your serger.

If you'd like some images and further explanations of other stitching you can do with your overlocker, then Debbie Coswell has some great information on line at www.sewing.about.com, just search "overlocker" to find the specific pages.


Good luck

Oct 11, 2011 | Simplicity Serge Pro SW432 Mechanical...

1 Answer

What setting are the three threads set on for a rolled hem on a singer ultralock l4sh654 and what is the lever by the plate for?


Rolled hemming on any overlocker is usually achived the following way. Right hand needle only.
Blade over to the right usually to cut wider than normal but you can vary this to suit the fabric and stitch width you want.
Thread in this needle and the upper and lower loopers. If you can source any, use woolly overlock thread in the upper looper, this fluffs out when not tensioned and covers the fabric to give the look of solid stitching. Change upper looper tension to about 2 and lower looper tension to about 6 or 7.

The lever by the plate is usually to control the little stitch finger where the stitches are formed, move it backwards and it should move back towards you?? If this happens, then you want it in the retracted (towards you) position for rolled hemming so the stitching is much smaller and the fabric can roll. Normally this stitch finger holds the fabric firm for the loopers to form the stitch over for your normal 3 or 4 thread overlock.

Now test stitch and see how it looks. Tighten the lower looper thread so it lays right beside the needle on the underside. You may need to then tighten or loosen more the upper looper, you want the upper thread to wrap all the way around to the underneath against the lower looper thread and needle.

The cut edge of fabric should roll to underneath inside your seam. Once you've got this happening, turn the stitch length down to 0.5 or so to close it right up tight. This uses heaps of thread so I usually test everything else, then close it up at the end to minimise waste.

Hope this makes sense, good luck.

Sep 22, 2011 | Singer 14SH654

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

How do I change the stitch width on my Bernette serger?


You move the top blade to the right to trim less so stitch forms wider and use left needle. Or both needles for 4thread seam which is more for knits. Blade has a knob usually to adjust it's position. You should test on scraps of your fabric as the weight of the fabric will also determine width of the seam. Adjust top and bottom looper tensions to encase cut edge neatly.

Apr 23, 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

I can't narrow the serged edge width to do a narrow rolled edge


There are 3 things that come to mind for me.  I should say that I have a Bernina 1300DC, so your machine may not have the same parts, but check these things.  First, are you using 3 threads?  If so, is your needle in the narrowest setting, in the right hand hole closest to the body of the serger? Secondly, is your rolled edge lever retracted?  This lever is attached to a wide tooth that holds the width of the seam in place.  It is under the presser foot, between the loopers, and should retracted so that the stitches are allowed to become narrow.  If your machine doesn't have this lever, don't worry, you can also try a third thing.  Adjust your cutting width to a narrow setting.  There should be a knob that moves the upper cutting knife from right to left-- right being a wider seam, leaving more of the fabric intact, and left making a narrower seam that trims off more of the fabric as you sew. 
Hope this helps! Elsje

Dec 10, 2008 | White Sewing Speedylock 1600 Mechanical...

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

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