From hemming and seaming, to decorative stitching, get the best from your overlocking machine (or as it is known in the USA – a serging machine).
For fast and professional edging, hemming, seaming, and decorative stitching, you simply can’t beat a serging machine. This all-skill-level book is the perfect guide to make sure you get the most out of your new machine (or out of that old serger that you’ve never got the hang of!)
Photographs and step-by-step instructions guide you through the essential techniques, showing you how to set up your machine, how to adjust the settings to get the best results on a range of different fabrics, and how to edge your fabrics quickly with perfect results. The troubleshooting section provides tips and quick fixes for skipped stitches, snapped threads, and uneven stitching. Also includes a buyer’s guide to different sergers, providing you with advice on finding the right machine for you.
Dimensions: 190 x 246 mm
Table Of Contents
Prelims (5 pp)
Introduction (2 pp)
A serger can seem a little daunting at first but once you’ve used one and got to grips with it you will never look back. No more conventional zig zag to edge your seam allowances—these machines will give your home sewing projects a more professional finish. In this book you will see just how easy your machine can be to thread up and sew, edging your fabrics quickly and creating a perfect finish to any project. Step-by-step instructions ensure you set your tensions and differential feed dials correctly to get the best results with any fabric. The troubleshooting section provides tips and quick fixes for all serging problems.
• Why I love my Serger—Julia Hincks on the joy of Serging
Chapter One: What is a Serger? (8 pp)
A serger will trim the edges of your fabric, sew a seam, and overstitch all in one go. It won’t replace your conventional sewing machine—you’ll still need this for sewing buttonholes, zippers, and regular stitches but the serger will allow you to finish seams quickly and edge fabrics in a way that a normal zig zag or overcasting stitch won’t do.
• Diagram of an serger—labeled and explained
• Different types of sergers and what they do: 3/4/5 thread/cover hem/chain stitch machines
• Why do I need one?
Chapter Two: Serging Basics (16 pp)
Too scared to get your serger out of the box? Think it’s impossible to thread? This chapter gives you the confidence to get your machine out and start serging. Step-by-step photographs, diagrams, and illustrations show you the basics and get you started. Chances are your machine is already threaded up and you were worrying over nothing. Many machines even use color coding to make it really easy to thread.
Setting up the machine
• Getting comfortable: how to sit and use the foot pedal
• How to start and finish
• Where do I sew?
• Using the cutting blade/adjusting cutting widths
• Finishing and securing ends
• Guide to the different fabrics you might use with a serger
• Thread tensions
• Stitch length
Tools & Equipment
• Different threads
• Spool holder
• Spool cap/net
• Looper threader
• Needle threader
• Tray to catch waste
• Foot pedal
Chapter Three: Techniques (76 pp)
This section explains all of the core techniques you need for professional serging results, illustrated with clear step-by-step photography for ease of use and clarity.
• Basic stitches (4 thread/3 thread/2 thread)
• Serging round corners
• Serging in circles
• Stabilizing seams
• Simple hemming techniques: simple serged hem, blind hem, mock band hem
• More seam techniques: french seam, welt seam, fell seam
• Decorative serging
• Rolled hemming
• Picot edging
• Narrow hemming
• Pin tucks
• Chain stitch
• Cover hem
Feet & Accessories
Most sergers only come with the standard foot although there are many more useful feet and accessories. Discover how to make sewing jobs easier by using a range of different feet and accessories.
• Gathering foot attachment—create gathers for ruffles, frills, attaching gathered sleeves
• Blind stitch foot—for blind hemming any garment
• Piping foot—to add piping to an edge
• Corded foot—add decorative cording
• Taping attachment—sew tape onto garments (ideal for stretch fabrics)
• Beading attachment—attach strung beads easily to fabrics
• Cloth guide—keeps serging straight, sew even seam widths when creating pin tucks or flatlocking
• Elastic attachment—sew elastic more easily
Quick Construction Techniques
Practical serger uses to speed up your dressmaking and project construction time:
• Applying front bands
• Quick cuffs
• Attaching collars
• Creating drawstrings and straps
• Altering garments
• Attaching and finishing waistbands
• Serging with elastic
• Working with lace
• Quick patchwork
Chapter Four: Maintenance and Troubleshooting (10 pp)
To get the most out of your machine and keep it going for longer you’ll need to look after it.
• Cleaning your machine
• Changing the needles
• Changing the bulb
• Oiling the machine
When things go wrong you’ll need some help—this chapter provides tips, suggestions, and solutions to get your machine serging smoothly again.
• Correct tension/adjusting tension
• Skipped stitches
• Needle breaking
• Thread breaking
• Fabric not feeding smoothly
• Fabric not cutting
• Seams puckering
• Machine not working
Chapter Five: Buyer’s Guide (6 pp)
Choosing your first serger can be difficult—this guide takes you through the questions you should be asking when buying and helps you to think about what you want to get from your machine.
• Basic sergers
• Multifunction machines
• Specialist machines
Glossary (2 pp)
Index and Credits (3 pp)
We stock one of the most extensive range of Overlocking Threads available in the UK. All are manufactured to industrial standards so guaranteed to run on your machine. For help selecting the best threads for your project please don’t hesitate to contact us.