Serging with Filaine Thread
by Linda McGehee of Ghee’s
Sulky Filaine thread is a fuzzy heavyweight thread that gives a nice texture to seams and seam finishes. Serging with Filaine thread is a fun way to incorporate this softness into your projects. When paired with fleece, felted wool, woolens and other textured fabrics, serging with Filaine maintains the fabric hand along seams, both decorative and functional, while producing a strong lasting stitch.
Linda McGehee, of Ghee’s Sewing Patterns & Notions, experimented with Filaine, using it in the serger loopers. She loved it so much that she taught a class at the Puyallup Sewing & Stitchery Expo all about how to achieve her techniques. Here are some of the highlights.
I used Filaine in the upper and lower loopers with serger thread in the needles to create many projects. The result is a very professional finish.
Serging with Filaine – Scarf
This scarf is made of three donuts (circles of fabric). Use the larger template from the pattern to cut the outside and the smaller template to cut the hole. Make a single cut to open the three donuts and stitch them together, like cutting a spiral. Use the smaller template to trim the ends into a smooth round curve. (Templates come with complete instructions.)
Thread the serger upper and lower loopers with Filaine. You don’t have to use the same color! Use a different color in each looper for a bit of variety for your project. I sometimes use serger thread in the needles, but the featured scarf shows embroidery thread in the needles.
Set the serger for a 4-thread overlock stitch, with a medium-to-wide width and medium length. Always test on a scrap of the same fabric as the project to ensure the stitch is satisfactory. A stitch that is really wide may be difficult to turn smooth curves. A stitch that is too short may ripple the fabric.
Serge the scarf perimeter in one continuous row of stitching. When you reach the stitching beginning, lower the knife and very carefully stitch over the beginning stitches for about ½” to 1”. Trim the threads. Either use a fray sealant or hide the thread tails in the serger stitching.
Serging with Filaine – Brooch
The hole of the donut is used to create the brooch. To make the brooch you will need:
- 3 Donut Holes
- Sulky Filaine thread (for loopers)
- Sulky 40 wt. Rayon or 30 wt. Cotton thread for needles (try the Blendables®!)
- Wide rubber band
- Safety pin
Serge the perimeter of all three circles.
Find the center of each circle (Donut Hole). Layer the circles to align the centers. Push all three centers into a hole formed between your thumb and first finger.
Wrap the rubber band around the bunched centers about 1″ from the serged edges. Fluff the serged edges to create a flower.
Pin the brooch to any project, handmade or store-bought, using the safety pin.
For storage or traveling purposes, I like to use the rubber band and safety pin. To make a permanent flower, hand stitch the flower to a safety pin or craft pin designed for pin-making.
Filaine for Serging Blankets
Store-bought fleece blankets are very warm and cozy, but generally too short for many people. Instead, make quick and easy blankets with serge-finished edges using Filaine to maintain the blanket’s softness. Purchase fleece that’s at least 60″ wide to accommodate tall people.
Purchase the needed length. I usually buy 2-¼ to 2-½ yards, depending on the person I’m making it for.
Use the Donut template to cut a curve at each corner, to have one continuous row of stitching. Be sure to evaluate the selvage. Sometimes it’s easy to let the knife blade on the serger trim this off. Other times that edge rolls or curls and needs trimming prior to serging. Use the same finishing technique for the previous projects.
Serging with Filaine – Skirt
Adding a flouce to a skirt hem is a fun effect that is easily sewn using the donut method and Sulky Filaine thread.
Set the serger for a 3-thread narrow rolled edge. Thread the upper looper with Filaine and serger thread in the lower looper and needle. Because Filaine has a loft to it, use a slightly longer stitch length so that the Filaine stitches lay side by side rather than overlapping.
As you can see, Sulky Filaine is a great thread for serging a variety of projects, from garments to home decor to accessories! Give it a try to add softness and texture to exposed seams, resulting in a professional finish.