Happy National Serger Month! It may be the last day of April, but it’s still a sergerific day! Sergers solve so many sewing problems; they finish seams nicely, can make a rolled hem in a flash and add a professional look to any project. Love your serger all the more by using these five serger troubleshooting tips. Then learn to make a super quick and fun knit headband!
1. The Dreaded Thread: When your overlock stitch isn’t forming properly, be sure to rethread the machine. This tends to solve 90% of all serging and sewing problems, a quick rethread can make all the difference. If you rely on tying knots in your thread and pulling them through the serger, take the time to learn how to properly thread the machine. Use the tweezers provided with the machine (or purchase a pair online/from your local dealer) to get into the nooks and crannies and pull the thread through.
2. Dusty Dilemmas: Sometimes your serger just needs a good cleaning. Refer to your machine manual to determine the best way to clean your machine. Often a quick dusting using canned air and a nylon brush are all you need to get your serger back to serging happily.
3. In a Jam: To safely remove a jam, turn off the machine and unplug it. Remove the serger presser foot. Clip the needle threads close to the stitches. Clip the upper looper thread as close to the fabric as possible. Pull slack in the lower looper thread below the tension dial. Gently remove the fabric from the stitch finger by pulling to the back of the machine until it is released. Remove the stitches from the fabric. Rethread the needles and upper looper. Remember, when the knives are disengaged, the fabric should not extend beyond the right side of the needle plate.
4. Seam Woes: If your seams pull open after serging, loose needle tension is the culprit. Always test the stitch length and tension on scraps before seaming the garment. If your seams will be put under additional stress (such as crotch seams) be sure to add an extra stitching line for reinforcement. With a conventional straight stitch, sew on or just inside the serger needle line.
Quick Knit Headband Tutorial!
Two 5″ by 21″ rectangles of two way stretch fabric
Removable fabric marker
Center the knot on your forehead and pull the ends to the back of your head. Pull the fabric slightly to give the headband a bit of a stretch when worn. Mark the seamline where the fabrics meet at the back of your head.
I love this headband as it’s so quick to make and versatile. You can pull it wide and hide your messy hair as a mock turban or you can scrunch it up and wear it like a headband.
I hope you enjoyed this project and the quick troubleshooting tips! The content here was originally published in Serger Update from April ’87.