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Using a serger to sew up handknits

Gill_Strauss | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

I have just acquired an overlocking machine and wonder if its possible to sew mhy handknits together on it? Anyone got any tips – I’d hate to ruin a carefully knitted sweater, and I can imagine that it’s very hard to unpick.


  1. Stephanie_Corina_Goddard | | #1

    Gill, I think would be pretty risky to expect a typical serged seam to be wide enough to secure enough of the yarn loops. Here's what I used to do when altering knits: Cut 3/4" to 1" strips of fusible knit interfacing across the width (i.e., the stretchiest grain). Fuse the interfacing to the edges of your knit fabric and sew 1/2" seams with a regular sewing machine set for a slight zig-zag stitch. After that, it would probably be safe to serge-finish the seam allowances down to about 1/4" finished width.

  2. SaraOfenloch | | #2


    Why oh why would you want to serge the seams in a hanknit?  After all those hours of work, a hand sewn seam only enhances the beauty of the finished product.

  3. NansiM | | #3

    Dear Gill,

    I know it may be late in this discussion, but I have done this on my serger.  I have  a client who just loves the knitting and hates to finish.  So I use a balanced three-thread overlock stitch setting length to 3 and width as wide as your serger allows if it's a bulky or loose knit.  If it's finer, just scale back.  I also find I need to tighten up the differential feed to keep from stretching it out.  if there's no extra to practice with I just test about 2" on a seam without trimming.  Also, regarding "undoing", the three thread stitch is good because if you isolate the needle thread with a pin, you can pull out easily!  Hope this helps!

    1. dianemor | | #4

      I have used a serger on my updated Fair Isle method sweaters which need to be cut (they are knitted as a tube first) and it works but can be lumpy. I wouldn't do this on a sweater where it wasn't necessary.

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