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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Weak seams/thread pulling holes in seams on overlocker-help please! ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Weak seams/thread pulling holes in seams on overlocker-help please!
blanny
blanny
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/19/13
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Date: 4/20/14 1:11 AM

Hi there, I'm relatively new to the world of overlocking/serging and need some advice. I got a Janome Harmony 9102D for Christmas and have made a few garments. Thought I had it figured out until I started to wear them and noticed the seams were pulling apart (see photos).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/48852648@N06/

The red and white one in particular is an extreme example of what is happening and I blamed it on the fabric at first but have now noticed some small holes appearing on other fabrics at the seams where the stretch is required (like the side seams of a tight fitting dress bodice)

Can anyone please tell me why this is happening and how I can fix it? I was all pleased with myself thinking I had overcome my fear of the serger and now this! Help!

Thanks so much in advance! :)

kcurtis
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Date: 4/20/14 6:03 AM

We need a bit more info. What was the setup on your machine?

------
Just a hack that sews for a living. ;)

blanny
blanny
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Date: 4/20/14 6:54 AM

Sorry should have thought to provide that. Left needle = 3.5, Right = 3, upper looper 2.5 and lower 3.5. Stitch length is 3. On a second look at the inside of the seam, one of the loops is too far over, almost meeting the loop on the other side of the seam.

Is that the problem? Sorry if that's really obvious, I did say I was a beginner It does seem to explain the loose seams but then why would the fabric be getting pulled to the point of making small holes? Is that too high a tension on one of the loopers?

simplystitches
simplystitches
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In reply to blanny <<


Date: 4/20/14 8:54 AM

Usually you can set the loopers at the same setting. With the fact that you've got the upper set lower and can see the loop pulling to the other side that sounds like the culprit. The tighter upper looper is pulling/rolling the seam around. Try setting the loopers at the same setting, do some samples and pull the fabric at the seams.

A good serged seam will have the loopers meeting at the sema edge. If either the upper or lower looper is pulling to one side or the other the setting is off. One way to learn which stitch is which is to use a different color thread in each spot so you can id each thread.

Debbie

sew2006
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sew2006
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Date: 4/20/14 9:09 AM

Needle holes are usually caused by a dull needle. I would change both needles to brand new one's. The installed needles from the factory could have a burr on them. Check that the serger is threaded properly, grab the thread with 1 hand above the tension-one hand below the tension and gently pull back and forth. Sometimes the threads are only 80% in the disks resulting in the pulling of the seam.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

blanny
blanny
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Date: 4/20/14 9:24 AM

Thanks so much for your speedy replies! I'll give these suggestions a go. Fingers crossed and thanks again!

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/20/14 10:29 AM

Does your owners manual give settings suggestions? Every brand is different, but those settings you posted would all be too loose in my serger.

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iPad's auto-correct is my enema.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to blanny <<


Date: 4/20/14 12:04 PM

Those are not needle holes or holes in your fabric at all. I think you just picked the wrong kind of threading of the machine and stitch type to sew on your fabrics. On both of your fabrics it looks to me like you picked to thread up and use a 3 thread flat lock stitch on your garments. That 3 thread flat lock stitch is special, and on purpose. It gets made on purpose so that after you have stitched it out, and you pull on both sides of the fabric, the fabric will open up and fold out that way, and you will see all the thread in large stitches on the seam like that. What you are looking at, is called the "ladder side" of the 3 thread flat lock it looks like to me.

People like to use that 3 thread flatlock stitch to sew knits and things that do not ravel with a very flat overlapped seam that way sometimes. But, if you don't want the seam to pull apart like that on purpose, it's much better to use a 4 thread overlock on woven fabrics and a 4 or 3 thread overlock on knits. On a knit that is going to be tight to you body and with stress on the seam, then even the 4 thread overlock is better than the 3 thread one.

But anyways, I think you got the sewing out of a 3 thread flatlock stitch down good now, just don't use it in a garment seam when you don't want that kind of thing to happen there instead.

So probably go back to your instruction book, and check out all your threading diagrams again.

SewLibra
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Date: 4/21/14 0:36 AM

I have this serger, the Janome Harmony 9102D, and it was my only serger for 10 years before I bought a Brother 1034D. I kept the Janome for a back up because the stitch quality is excellent and I never had an issue with this machine. I find that the factory settings of 3.0 for all 4 settings (using a 4-thread stitch) worked great on most fabrics. Also the factory setting of 3.0 for the stitch length and 1.0 for the differential feed was fine for wovens and even some stable knits. If there is looping on the edges, I change both loopers evenly to 4.0 or 5.0, whichever worked on those finer fabrics. In serging knits, stretchy fabric, or sweatshirt fabric, I put the differential feed on 1.75 and it makes a nice, flat seam.

Make sure your needles are in good shape and in correctly (flat side to the back), your thread is not old, it's threaded correctly with the lower looper thread UNDER the upper looper, and keep her cleaned and oiled. Even though the Harmony has the old-fashioned "get out the magnifying glass" type of threading, I am so glad I didn't sell it. It's really an awesome workhorse of a serger!

That said, I always have and still prefer to sew seams with matching thread on the sewing machine first, then serge off the seam allowance very close to, but preserving my original matching thread on the seam. If it does pull for some reason, your thread will match. Or, if you are a speedy sewist and don't want to bother with the sewing machine, you can use matching thread on the left needle only of your serger. Again, if it pulls, at least the thread will match and not be so obvious.

I think you just need a little tweaking and rechecking, and you will be good to go!

------
SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

ConnieBJ
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Date: 4/21/14 12:09 PM

Like SewLibra, I always sew a seam on my sewing machine first then use the serger to finish the seam. A three thread serged seam is not meant to be the main seam of a garment.

------
Connie Bontje

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Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!

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