It’s National Serger Month!
Yay for National Serger Month! Pictured above is Rebecca Taylor, the WINNER of the beautiful Amber Air S | 400 serger from Husqvarna Viking. Rebecca won her serger during our New Year’s Eve Sew-Along party! This serger has air-threading technology that makes threading a breeze. Rebecca is loving learning all about this machine and the stitches it can create.
Do you own a serger? Do you feel like you really know all the ins and outs of it? Might you use it for practical applications as well as decorative embellishments? There is so much that our serger can do, and most of us barely crack the surface of its functions. Let’s dive into National Serger Month and focus on some of the wonders of these machines to get the most out of our investment.
For National Serger Month, we’ll bring you products, projects and more to expand your creativity. There’s something for every skill level to learn and enjoy at sulky.com.
*We may earn an affiliate commission from items purchased through our links.
BUYING A SERGER
To begin a journey into the world of serging, you’ll need to decide which serger brand and type is best for you. Are you more of a garment sewist? A 3- or 4-thread overlock machine might be right for you. Do you mostly sew knit garments? Consider a coverlock option in order to hem knits like a pro. Note that while some sergers also have a coverstitch option, a coverstitch machine is ONLY a coverstitch machine. Be sure to research the functions available before making a purchase.
Maybe you’re mostly a quilter, but are looking to streamline your sewing and create serge-as-you-go quilts that hold up well to multiple washings. Or perhaps you’re looking to create unlined garments with fancy seaming techniques.
Make a list of the items you sew most often, and then pair up techniques and stitches with those items to better understand which type of serger you need. It might be best to choose a model that has lots of functions and holds lots of thread spools if you can afford it. Once you get started, you’ll want to use it for everything. So you don’t want to be disappointed if your model isn’t capable of supporting your needs once you expand your skills.
Just like sewing machines, sergers also come in different sizes. If you have a small sewing space, take this into consideration. You may want a dedicated serger table to hold your new investment and keep the tools and accessories together in one place.
The Suzi Sidekick by Arrow Cabinets is a great size for a small serger. Plus, it has three drawers that hold the machine accessories, thread spools and more supplies, too. It comes in three color options (white, pistachio and dark wood) and is easy to assemble.
One of the biggest misconceptions with serging is that you must use “serger” thread. This can’t be farther from the truth! You can use any thread you like in your serger!
When the serger creates a stitch, it does so with the help of loopers. The loopers are what wraps the thread strands around the fabric edge when overlocking. The needle (or needles) are what create the actual stitch that goes through the fabric layers. When you first bring home your serger, use a different thread strand in each needle and looper to better understand how the stitches are formed and which needle or looper does what. This also allows you to determine proper tension adjustments by isolating one thread color from the rest. (Learn more about serger tension and how to adjust for a balanced stitch HERE.)
50 wt. Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky is a nice choice for serger construction. It’s a lighter weight thread, so if the garment or project you’re making will undergo a lot of stress at the seams, choose a thicker thread, such as a 40 wt. Poly Deco™ or even a 30 wt. Cotton. (30 wt. Cotton Blendables® are a fun choice for decorative seaming applications!)
HOW TO THREAD A SERGER
As with all machine brands, there are different ways to thread different machines. Always keep the manual nearby to reference when threading. Some machines have air-threading technology, which makes threading a breeze (lucky Rebecca!). Others are threaded with the help of long tweezers that come with the machine. Grab an extra pair if you happen to misplace them.
The more you do it, the better you will be at threading your serger. It will become a muscle memory, just like threading your standard sewing machine. If you need a magnifying glass nearby to locate those loopers, consider a task light that has an integrated magnifying glass. This will provide additional illumination while avoiding eye strain.
Having helpful tools on hand to ensure you have success with your serger is what will keep you coming back for more. After setting up your space and serger for sewing, try making a nice tote bag. The embellishment is optional, so you can start small with the bag construction and work your way to a fully embellished tote once you get the hang of your machine.
Tune in all month for some more serger education, projects & more!