Serging is a great way to finish projects, but sometimes you're left with long thread tails. Beth shows 4 ways to finish those serger tails!

February 25, 2020
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Hi! I’m Beth and this video is brought to you by Baby Lock. Serging is a great way to finish projects. A lot of the time when you’re serging, the seams are secured by an intersecting seam. But what do you do if that’s not the case? Since you can’t backstitch on a serger, sometimes you’re left with thread tails you need to secure. Today, I’m going to show you 4 ways to finish those thread tails!

The first way is one of the easiest. Simply apply a dot of seam sealant (like Fray Check) on the thread chain at the edge of the fabric. Let it dry and cut off the excess.

Another way you can secure the tail is to tie a knot in the thread tail. Just get it as close to the edge of the fabric as possible. We like to tie the whole chain in a knot, but you can also separate the threads and tie a knot with those.

The third way to finish the tail is to leave a 3-4 inch thread chain and use a tapestry needle to weave the chain back into the stitching. A tapestry needle works great for this because the eye is large and it’s blunt, so you won’t get hurt if you accidentally stick yourself. It can be tough to get the multiple threads through the eye of the needle, so here’s our trick! Wrap the thread chain around the needle and pull tight, slide the thread off and you’re left with a tight clump of thread that’s easy to push through the eye. Now, use the needle to weave the chain back into the stitching and cut off any excess.

The last method is to lock the seam right on the machine while serging. There are two different techniques – one for the beginning of the seam and one for the end. First, I’ll show you the beginning of the seam. Get your fabric ready and under the needle and then manually turn the handwheel toward you taking 2-3 stitches into the fabric.  Leave the needle(s) in the lowest position to anchor the fabric. Next, raise the presser foot. Then, pull on the thread chain to smooth it out and bring the chain around and under the foot, so that it aligns with the edge of the fabric. Lower the foot and continue sewing, catching the thread chain in the stitches for about 1 inch and then pull the thread chain to the side to let the blade cut off any remaining thread chain.

Next, I’ll show you the end of the seam. As you approach the end of the fabric, slow down and use the handwheel to take one stitch off the end of the fabric. Raise the presser foot and bring the needles to the highest position.  Pull back gently on the fabric to clear the stitch fingers. Flip the fabric over, end to end, and reposition it under the presser foot with the needle at the seam edge, aligned with the previous needle line. Finally, lower presser foot and sew 5-6 stitches over the previous stitches, being careful not to cut them.  This is a good time to lock the blade in the down position so you can be sure you won’t cut into your previous seam.  Pivot the fabric and chain off, then cut off any excess.

And one more thing I wanted to mention! When you’re using a serger, you need something to catch the fabric that’s cut off. Baby Lock makes this Trim Bin that you can set under your serger to catch those fabrics scraps! It also helps protect your table surface and can help eliminate vibration.

I love to use a serger to finish fast and create a really secure seam. So next time you’re using your serger and need to finish those thread tails, try one of these 4 methods and see which is your favorite.