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Serger Techniques and Accessories | Episode 27

Sponsored by Baby Lock

Video: Threads Magazine

Learn some new serger techniques and find out about serger accessories that can help with garment construction from serger expert Sara Gallegos. The leader of the education team for Baby Lock sewing machines shares some of her favorites in the Sewing with Threads Episode 27 video podcast.

She also discusses with the Threads editors:

types of serger stitches

• the best needles and threads to use with a serger

• signs the serger blade needs to be replaced

• how to handle difficult-to-sew or slippery fabrics

labeling your serger

“Sergers can be intimidating, especially with threading,” Sara admits. She offers suggestions on how to overcome that fear.

Not just for knits

The host of the PBS show, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting, also dispels the myth that sergers can only be used for finishing edges on knits.

Sergers are great for knits, better than your sewing machine,” Sara notes. “But that’s not to say you can only use knits on your serger. They’re (sergers are) also excellent on cottons, or fleeces, denims . . .”

Sara tells what her favorite serger accessories are and how she uses them, including her go-to serger foot for installing zippers.

More serger information

For more information about sergers, see Threads’ extensive articles and videos, including:

“Serger 101”

“Thread Your Serger Easily”

“Versatile Serger Feet,” by Gail Patrice Yellen Threads #195 (Feb./March 2018)

“Specialty Serger Feet,” by Gail Patrice Yellen Threads #194 (Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018)

“The Belt Loop Binder” by Gail Patrice Yellen Threads #198 (Aug./Sept. 2018)

“Fundamentals: Meet your serger,” by Pamela Leggett, Threads #160 (April/May 2012)

“Flatlock for Fashion,” by Pamela Leggett, Threads #150 ( June/July 2011)

“The Serger Sews,” by Christine Jonson, Threads #137 (June/July 2008)

Today’s episode is brought to you by our friends at Baby Lock, who are excited that April is National Serger Month. To celebrate, they’re providing you with a variety of fun serger-specific activities including projects, tips and tricks, retailer events, special serger bundles with free gifts, and more. To see a full lineup of sergers, for more details, and to find a participating retailer near you, visit BabyLock.com.

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  1. 13STARS | | #1

    Erica, if you go to sewingmachinepartsonline.com you can usually find a machine manual that you can purchase (and sometimes get for free). Good luck with your serger!

  2. user-6617347 | | #2

    Erica, I agree with 13STARS comment about sewingmachinepartsonline.com. They do have quite a few machine manuals and lots of accessories for machines and sergers that are no longer in production. A really good resource to know about.

    I was quite surprised to hear the question about some of the staff being intimidated about using their sergers because of how "difficult" they can be to thread. Sara said to get a Baby Lock, which is a great answer...I got one from Craigslist and was gobsmacked when I saw how fast and efficient the threading was. However. My goto serger has been my 30+ year old Juki. It literally sat for ten years because I was so afraid of having to thread that thing.

    What changed my outlook about it was something that an independent fabric store owner once told me: "Mind over matter". She was absolutely right. Admittedly, it took awhile for me to get the hang of it, and just recently, I "discovered" the use of a penlight flashlight to aid in threading the needle (back then, Juki sergers didn't come with built-in lights). But what the store owner told me was of immense help. I'd suggest to get a book about sergers (a generic one) if you don't have the manuals, and practice. After awhile, it'll get easier and easier.

    Also, YouTube University is a great place to check out for information on just about everything. Sergers included.

  3. user-6617347 | | #3

    One other suggestion. Ramona Baird of ASG fame has posted several helpful tutorials about sewing. One is how to tie on new threads so that one doesn't have to re-thread entire machines. Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPIB7OdMpdk

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