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how to cloth through serger

sewfar | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I have been sewing for decades and not that long ago I joined the new millennium and purchased and inexpensive serger to finish my seams. I still sew my seams on my sewing machine but use the White Speedylock to finish raw edges. I have not yet broken the key as to what I should use as a reference point with my sewn seam to give a nice finished edge but not cut too close to my seam. Ouch !! Invariably fear of repeating bad judgment leaves too far distant from my sewn seam. How do you guide your fabric and what is a good distance ?


  1. durf | | #1

    Hi sewfar, I always follow where my knife is and keep a straight line until it is out the other side and past the needles before you take you fabric end away from the suger other wise you will end up with a cut line and the stitching is away from the cloth and then you have to start over and it makes it closer then you would like. Did you get the instruction book? Reason is they have a lot of hints in it as far as surgering and not cutting your material. In this case I also go to the left of my knife just a smigen(a slight distance) and the cloth misses my knife and it hits the needles and sews the edge. Do you have on your machine a knob that is refered to as the cutting width? It moves you knife away from the edge and you can sew your material with out cutting and get a nice covered edge. There is also a foot the you can get or it might have come with your machine that will help in this situation. I love my surger and I try and use it for many things. I have not mastered turning the corners very well yet but I am getting there. Sewing With Nancy has a book in her catalog about surging and using your suger to its fullest ability. Hope this helps a little.


  2. sewchris703 | | #2

    I sew the seam on the sewing machine first.  Then iron the seam open.  After the seam is ironed, I finish the edges with the serger using a 3 thread stitch.  I align the seam on the left edge of the serger foot.  That way I get a neat 1/2" finished seam allowance after serging.  For finished seams that are less than that, I serge the seam allowances together instead of separately.


  3. sewelegant | | #3

    I have a Pfaff (or however you spell it) that I bought in the 90's because that was what Nancy Zieman used on her shows, but, alas, I have never used it for much of anything except finishing the seam edges like you describe.  I just butt the left edge of the presser foot up to the seam and it gives me a perfect amount of seam without having to do any manipulating or keeping my eye on the blade, etc.  I find this machine an amazing tool in my sewing and even if I never use it creatively it was well worth the purchase price for me.

    1. sewfar | | #4

      Thank you so much for your advice. I am glad I was only typing on the computer not serging away with a sharp blade when I submitted this question. So many typing mistakes ! I think I was too tired.
      Sorry for the hard to read submission and thanks so much for the advice. I can see now that the key is in using the presser foot itself as the guide and not trying to keep my eye on fast moving fabric edges. I too am so glad I got a serger. I hesitated because I would watch my confident friend use hers to assemble clothing and I knew that me, the master of the seam ripper and restitching, would immediately regret the cut off portion and want it back! I love those nice finished edges.

      1. Betakin | | #5

        Some sergers have seam guide lines on them either on the base or the knife cover. If your serger does not have any guide lines, you can purchase a decal that is sold at some fabric stores on the notions wall and also at some dealers.

        I find that for the straightest line when serging for both cutting and stitching is to let the serger do all the work and lightly just hold the material with your hand..and watch the little beast do it's job, as it does so well. 

  4. Susan -homedecsewing | | #6

    one more thing...it has come to my attention that you may be serging along and not realize that some fabric that should NOT be were it is can get caught up and cut and stitched ! Yikes be careful, I think we have all done this at least once. So make sure it doesn't get mistakenly bunched up in the seam. I learned the hard way.It can happen in tight places.Susan

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