Machine Minute - Anatomy of a Perfect Serger Stitch
Learn what a perfect serger stitch looks like and how to achieve one.
Hi, I'm Jennifer Keltner, with today's Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Evolution Serger. Today's topic is the anatomy of a perfect serger stitch. If you've never sewn on a serger before I'd encourage you to go out and take a test drive on one. It's a great machine to be able to trim, sew, and finish a seam in one step. Let me show you what I'm talking about. You might be familiar with a serger stitch or an overlock stitch for most ready-to-wear garments that you buy and that's where you often see them along the edge. But what you might not know is as your sewing along this seam there is also a knife that's trimming along one edge. So I sewed this seam to here and stopped just so you could see the trimmed off portion or the seam allowance that it cut away as I was sewing. Let's talk about how you get that perfect stitch as your serging. I've chosen a four-thread overlock stitch. There are plenty of stitches to choose on a serger, but the four-thread overlock is a pretty common one that you often see. And I used four different colors of thread in the machine so I could make sure my stitch was balanced and I had everything properly threaded. Now, the Evolution has jet air threading and automatic tension adjustment, so there aren't a lot of changes I had to make, but if your serger doesn't have those capabilities you can still learn how to get a great stitch. First of all I chose green thread for the upper loop hole and those are the loops you see on the right side of the piece. On the back side you see the blue thread for the lower looper. Then because it's a four-thread overlock, I have two needle threads. The red thread interlocks with both loopers at the stitching line to create the seam and then in the other needle, I used yellow thread and it's about 1/8 inch away from the red stitching line, and it's really there to interlock with both loopers for added durability so it makes my seam extra strong. And that's a benefit to having a serger stitch as opposed to a traditional single seam stitch line. Now, when you know you've got your stitch balanced is when your loopers meet at the outside edge and you just see a hint of both loopers. And your straight stitches are perfectly placed as they would be on a straight stitching line on your home sewing machine. It may take some practice for you to get your stitch in balance, but once you do you'll be able to have a stitch that looks like this and if you've got any problems you should be able to identify threads that are too tight or too loose based on the color and make those adjustments. Once you've got it balanced, you're ready to start stitching and you can take off and serge your projects. We'll be back with more ideas next time for how you can use the serger in your sewing, but for now test-drive that serger and have some fun.