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Serger eating material.

MargieT | Posted in General Discussion on

Has anyone got a solution to my problem? I am trying to sew stretch material on my overlocker [serger]. [Janome 744D] The machine persists on trying to eat the material. I have inserted finer needles and fiddled with the tension. I have also placed the needle close to the material so that it doesn’t get caught. Nothing is helping. The machine has been recently checked by a mechanic and it is working properly. I will probably have to give up and use my sewing machine as the material was fairly expensive and I don’t want to ruin it.  Any suggestions gratefully received.


  1. user-217847 | | #1

    Marg hello,

    I just left a post under sewing slinky fabrics, may be worth a look see. do you have differentialfeed if so you'll need to increase to a faster rate (usually a greater number)you won't need to stretch the fabric as you sew. are you using woolly nylon in the loopers? have you tried giving a little tug on the starting threads just until you pass the very begining. i can't think of any thing else. pope i have been of some assistance.


    1. MaryinColorado | | #2

      Good advice!  I would add: is it doing the same thing with another fabric?  If so, it may be that the cutter blade is dull and needs to be replaced.  I would try it on a similar but less expensive scrap, if it still does this, take it back in and they shouldn't charge you a second fee if it wasn't fixed right in the first place.  (They might, but they shouldn't if it is the same issue!)  Occassionally you get a new repariman and they might make a mistake. 

  2. Ckbklady | | #3


    Besides checking the sharpness of the blades, you might also want to take some scrap fabric and try out a longer stitch length. Last week I had the same problem with Minky fabric - I couldn't stitch more than a couple of stitches before the upper blade shoved the fabric edge down into the machine. I took the machine apart and cleaned it and changed needles, but it kept happening - maddening. Then I lengthened the stitch by 0.5 and then by 1, and it worked just fine.

    Good luck!

    :) Mary

    1. MargieT | | #4

      Thanks everyone for your suggestions.  I forgot about the differential feed and I will lengthen the stitch. The machine has been sewing fine on other materials so I don't think it is the cutting blade.



      1. MaryinColorado | | #5

        Have you tried putting a scrap piece of fabric in front of the knit to start stitching?  Some fabrics don't start out well but are fine once you're past the first few stitches. 

        1. MargieT | | #6

          Thanks Mary, I have managed to fix the problem by following previous suggestions of increasing the differential feed and lengthening the stitch.  Both things I should have thought of myself. This is a great discussion group with so many people offering suggestions. One of these days I will get over my love-hate relationship with my overlocker and then I will have no problems. Does anyone else have this sort of relationship with their machine?


          1. MaryinColorado | | #7

            They do take some getting used to!  I had my first serger for three months and traded it in on my Viking 936 many years ago.  Now I couldn't manage without it!  I learned everything I needed to know and more from the book Serger Secrets. 

            Glad you resolved the problem and are able to get on with it.  Hope it turns out well!  Mary

          2. Ckbklady | | #8

            I have a love-love relationship with my serger (Janome 534D). Whenever it acts up, I check the book, THE ULTIMATE SERGER ANSWER GUIDE, to pinpoint the problem and just keep going. Heck, a bad day sewing is better than a good day at work!:) Mary

          3. MargieT | | #10

            I have just ordered `Make friends with your serger -generic workbook' and when it arrives I'm going back to the basics.

          4. MaryinColorado | | #11

            That's a good book too!  Have you checked out her website?  If not, it's http://www.lindaleeoriginals.com, she has serger specific patterns that are too cool! 

             Now I have the urge to serge! It is tempting to use a rolled hem and serge the piecework togeather, hmmm, sure would go alot faster. 

          5. MargieT | | #12

            There is a lot I love on that site - especially the serger coat and the scrappy quilt.  Gatherings is where I got the info. about the book.  I find out so much from this site - don't you?


          6. MaryinColorado | | #13

            Yes, I like the serger coat too.  Her book is excellent!  I think it is very thorough and has everything you will need!  You will love it!  Mary

          7. Ckbklady | | #14

            Terrific - that's another great "keep by the machine" manual in case of trouble. I hope it helps!

            :) Mary

          8. Ralphetta | | #9

            You've just described my relationship with my computer.

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