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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: SewingStephanie
Date: 05-15-2006, 05:53 PM (1 of 9)
I've read my manual....and I cant figure it out...
If anyone has any tips, tricks, or ideas- I would appreciate them all!!

My serger sucks!
Okay, so its not the serger....its ME.

I can not figure out anything....and I've read the manual FOUR times....
The MAIN problem I am having, is if I serge two pieces together, it is so loose, that you can see the stitches from the pretty side....I've tightened it, Ive rethreaded....everything. I can not get it....

I need nice, tight stitches.

Thanks guys!
User: SewingStephanie
Member since: 02-08-2006
Total posts: 40
From: bluebirdie
Date: 05-15-2006, 09:43 PM (2 of 9)
Hi Stef,

Hm... a picture of the serged fabric would help.

Can you tell us what tension settings you use for your needle thread(s), looper threads, width setting, and anything you think may help us visualize?

Also when you try to serge just one layer of test fabric, does all tension looks right?
- Robin
User: bluebirdie
Member since: 03-12-2006
Total posts: 139
From: westozmum
Date: 05-16-2006, 02:17 AM (3 of 9)
Hi Stef,

Ditto for some photos if possible, on your problem there is a lot you can tell from the stitch production of your your machine brand new or pre loved? Have you had success sewing with it before?

Sergers can be really frustrating :sad: and usually the problem is staring you in the face :wink: I usually walk away from it for a bit get a cuppa!! amd come back to it with "fresh eyes" otherwise it might go through the window!!

Good luck :wink:
Westozmum aka Laura from the Land Down Under
User: westozmum
Member since: 02-16-2006
Total posts: 41
From: DorothyL
Date: 05-16-2006, 06:58 AM (4 of 9)
I don't know much about sergers, but when I got mine the stitches were loose for two reasons. First I finally figured out I have to be really careful to get the thread through the tension on one of the needles. It is just a quirk in my machine.
But the stitches still seemed to hang over the edge. I've found a slightly wider stitch width than recommended helps.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: MaryW
Date: 05-16-2006, 08:44 AM (5 of 9)
How many needles are you using?
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: paroper
Date: 05-16-2006, 09:39 AM (6 of 9)
Well, first of all the machines have a threading order. It is important. Next, you need to also thread them with the presser foot up to get the thread into the tension disks. For most machines it is left to right first the left looper then the right one, then the left needle and then the right. It has to do with the way the threads cross each other when they are sewn. In a pinch you can sometimes (cheat) and physically put them where they belong, but the best way is just to do it right.

Next, you need to understand that the two most important adjustments in your machine are the right needle and the right (lower) looper. If you just concentrate on these two places and adjust accordingly, you can really improve the looks of your serge. After you have these two areas right, then adjust the others to match. Put everything back to "center" and start by adjusting the lower (right) looper. The roll of your fabric is determined by the cut of the fabric and the fork (if you have an adjustment that moves the forks in the bottom of the'll be able to see it slide back and forth making the stitches wider and'll see it under the needle and the presser plate. I think that in some machines the width of cut and the fork are controled together (not sure).

Then you just need to get used to the differential feed and the stitch density controls. Then you should be in shape.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: SewingStephanie
Date: 05-16-2006, 03:37 PM (7 of 9)
I'll take a pic tonight if DH isnt still sick and post it tomorrow.I'm using two needles and I bought the Serger New (singer)

I threaded the machine in order as the diagram suggested.
Thanks for the tips so far. I'll play with it tonight and take pics.

Thanks again!!
User: SewingStephanie
Member since: 02-08-2006
Total posts: 40
From: plrlegal
Date: 05-16-2006, 08:22 PM (8 of 9)
Stef unless you have the computerized Singer Serger (the big 5 thread) you need to set your stitch length and width. The stitch length is the top knob on the right side of the machine above the differential feed adjustment. The sitch width is set of by adjusting the knife anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5. As you turn the adjustment for the knife, that lengthens and shortens the stitches from the top edge of the fabric. Also, if you miss anyone of the thread guides on a Singer for that particular thread path, you'll have lose stitches. If you go to click on products and then on sergers and look at the 4 thread serger and to the right click on the view icon, it'll will show you a thread guide for your machine in graphic detail.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: MartySews
Date: 05-17-2006, 05:51 PM (9 of 9)
You may want to read some books on using a serger to help you understand what the manual doesn't cover. One of the best beginner books that I know of is "The ABC's of Serging" and can be found at most libraries. It is not brand specific and will teach you how to use and understand a serger. Another good book is by Linda Lee Vivian and is called "Make Friends With Your Serger" and again is is not brand specific. There is also the "Complete Serger Handbook" by Chris James. I have all of these books and they are a lot of help.
Happy Stitching!
Marty :up:
It takes one moment to change a life.
User: MartySews
Member since: 02-23-2003
Total posts: 504
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