Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finish those serged seams!

i came across this tip somewhere (if you originally came up with it, let me know! although i'm sure several people thought of it and it's hard to track down who really came up with something, plus it's probably in some sewing book somewhere or maybe it's something they'd teach you if you went to school for sewing... ?) anyway. this tip was very helpful in finishing off the serged seams on my recent lady skater dress. in the lady skater pattern they have you sew the neckband and armbands on flat and then sew up the shoulder seam and side seams after, which leaves you with a serger thread chain at one shoulder and under each arm. if you were to sew the shoulder seams and side seams first, then sew the neckband and armbands into circles, and then attached them, this would solve the serger thread chain issue. but again, the other method is a little faster, less finicky, and some people aren't OCD about serger/overlocker thread chains.

i, on the other hand, am OCD about serger thread chains, which you probably realize from this post. i don't like to just lop them off and risk all my hard work coming apart. and i tried tying them off in knots. but then you have little knots sticking out. some people use fray check, but i don't have any on hand. plus i really like this method.


first, get a needle with a large eye. this one i "borrowed" from my mom's sewing tools many years ago. it was for sewing couch cushions. it's perfect for this. insert the needle into your serged stitches as shown in the photo above. do this first, because if you're like me and thread the needle first and then try to bend the needle back toward your stitching it won't work because you clipped your serger thread shorter than your needle. or just leave a very long serger thread... but this way works well. stick the needle in first, then thread it.


you might have to twist the threads together, wetting them also helps, so that you can get them all through the needle eye. again, a needle with a large eye is the way to go. or they sell needle threader thingies if you're so inclined.


then just pull your needle down, and your thread chain is held in place underneath your stitches!


yahoo!!


trim it and you're done! (did you notice the fun fabric i'm working on? i'll save that for the next post!)

16 comments:

  1. I need to do this from now on! Thanks for the tip!

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  2. I did a college course in Soft furnishings years ago, and this is how we were taught to deal with serge thread chains. If you didn't, you were marked down. It's a neat fix, but I admit I just snip off the thread chains most of the time these days.

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    1. Glad to know I'd be making good grades in that class! Actually if the serged seam gets turned up inside a hem or some other place where it's secure, then I just snip it

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  3. So simple. So awesome. Thank ye muchly!

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  4. I've always wondered what to do with those pesky little ends!

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  5. This really works well, it goes through the wash and the ends stay nice and safe. (My serger's handbook had this tip) But it felt like a revelation for me a few years back when I learned it. I don't like to do the 'backstitch' where you have to flip the garment over and serge over the end... tucking it back like you do is much neater looking.

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    1. Maybe I should reread my serger handbook! I tried the flip method and it just wasn't neat enough looking for my perfectionist self

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  6. I love this! Constructing on the serger is great, but after an incident with an unfamiliar washing machine that I now live with over the summer, I'm always so paranoid that they'll come apart in the wash. So I'l definitely be implementing this. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Oh no! I usually take special care of the stuff I sew, putting them in tide wash bags, cold water and hanging to dry. This works for me though because I don't have a very high volume of me-mades going through the laundry cycle (yet!) Some RTW clothing is poorly constructed so maybe we should be more worried about those falling apart!!

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  7. I have been doing this and wondered if it was the right thing to do... Thanks!

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    1. You're very smart! Glad it's working for you!

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  8. Thanks for the tip! I've been just cutting mine....ahhh...hopefully all my handmade stuff doesn't fall apart!!!

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    1. It's probably fine! I don't bother with this step when the serged seam gets rolled into a hem but if it's somewhere where it sticks out, this looks so much neater. You'll have to see if it works for you!

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Thanks for reading! I welcome any advice, insights, witty remarks, snarky comebacks, commiserations or just a quick hello. I'd love to check out your blog as well, so let me know where you're posting. Happy sewing!