serger sewing tips for beginners

Unleash the Power of Serger Sewing Tips for Beginners

Sergers make sewing quick and easy.

Sergers are like a sewing machine’s cool, helpful friend. They trim fabric edges and sew seams all at once. Using a serger is faster than using a regular machine. Pretty neat, right?

Here are the top 7 tips for using a serger well:

  1. Thread it properly
  2. Adjust tensions evenly
  3. Use the right needle
  4. Guide fabric carefully
  5. Try different stitches
  6. Keep it clean
  7. Practice, practice!

Still wondering what sergers do? Let’s look closer.

What is a serger used for?

A serger trims seam edges as it sews. This gives a neat, professional looking finished edge. It prevents fraying on woven fabrics. And  stretchy knits look extra nice too!

Sergers use 3 or 4 thread cones to create seams. The threads interlock as they sew. This makes very strong, stretchy seams. So items like t-shirts or other knits won’t pop stitches easily.

Ready to learn those seven tips now?

Tip 1: Thread the serger properly

Proper threading is super important for sergers. The threads have to be in exactly the right order.

Most sergers come with coloured thread guides on the machine. Follow these guides very carefully when threading. It’s also smart to have the instruction manual nearby.

Tip: Using a serger threading chart can make this step much easier!

Tip 2: Adjust tensions evenly

Serger thread tensions need to be balanced. This means all the threads have equal tightness as they interlock.

Start with the tension discs, dials or levers at the normal or middle setting. Then, make adjustments a little at a time until the stitching looks perfect.

Tip 3: Use the right needle

Tip 3: Use the right needle
Photo credit: pexels

Always use a sharp, high-quality needle intended for sergers. Dull or bent needles can cause skipped stitches and messy seams.

The needle size should match the fabric type. For example, use a size 90/14 needle for medium to heavyweight fabrics.

Tip 4: Guide fabric carefully

Unlike a sewing machine, the fabric moves very quickly through a serger. You need to lightly guide it, but don’t pull or push too hard.

Let the feed dogs do their job moving the fabric. Gently hold it taut with both hands as it feeds through smoothly.

Tip 5: Experiment with stitch types

Most sergers can create several stitch types beyond the basic 4-thread overlock. Try different stitches on scrap fabric to see what they do.

The 3-thread overlock is great for seaming and finishing edges at the same time. Rolled hems give a professional-looking finish on lightweight fabrics.

Tip 6: Keep it clean

Sergers need frequent cleaning to prevent lint and thread buildup. This buildup can cause skipped stitches and tension problems.

Use a small brush or lint roller to remove lint frequently. Oil and clean according to the instruction manual, too.

Tip 7: Practice makes perfect!

The more you use your serger, the better you’ll get. Seams will look neat and even with practice.

Test stitch on scraps of your project fabric first. This lets you get tensions adjusted just right before serging the real thing.


What is a serger used for?

A serger trims and finishes seam edges while sewing, creating professional-looking seams. It’s great for sewing knits and preventing fabric fraying.

How do I properly thread a serger?

Carefully follow the coloured thread guides on your serger. Use a threading chart for your model. Proper threading order is crucial for sergers.

How do I adjust serger tension?

Start with tensions in the middle or normal setting. Then, adjust a little at a time until the stitches look perfect and balanced.

What type of needle should I use for serging?

Use a sharp, high-quality needle designed specifically for sergers. Match the needle size to your fabric weight.

How do I guide the fabric through a serger?

Guide the fabric lightly and let the feed dogs move it. Hold it gently, but don’t pull or push too hard.

What are some common serger stitches to try?

Try the 4-thread overlock for seams, 3-thread overlock for seams and edges, and rolled hems on lightweight fabrics.

How often should I clean my serger?

Clean frequently to prevent lint buildup, which causes issues. Use a brush or lint roller, and follow oiling instructions.

In Summary

Sergers are super handy for quick seam finishing and construction. With a little practice,  they’ll become one of your favourite sewing tools!

What serger stitch or technique do you want to try next? Let me know in the comments!


Main image: pexels

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 285

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