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Tips & Techniques > Wind your own extra serger thread spools

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Posted by: utz
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About utz star
IL USA
Member since: 12/9/04
Reviews written: 15
Sewing skills:Intermediate
Favored by: 1 people
tips added: 6
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Posted on: 10/14/07 7:42 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 31 people   
Web site/URL: photo
Featured in the PR book!
A serger needs thread - 2 or more spools depending on the technique. Since I like to have my serger thread colors somewhat match the fabric I'm serging I came up with this technique so I don't have to buy 3 to 4 spools for every color fabric I will serge, especially for colors I know I will only use occasionally (eg apple green)

The technique uses: empty regular thread spools (eg Gutterman); 1 spool of serger thread (eg Maxilock); blue poster putty (eg Blu Tak), a sewing machine bobbin and sewing machine with its bobbin winding mechanism and, well, my hands. ( It works because my machine has an upright bobbin winder - it may not work on all sewing machines if you can't easily access the bobbin winder with room enough for an attached empty spool.)

I take a ball of poster putty and smoosh it into the end of an empty thread spool. Place the empty bobbin on my sewing machine bobbin winder, positioned as if I'm going to wind a bobbin. I push the empty spool, with putty end against the bobbin, pushing it firmly trying to make sure it is centered and secured. (If it isn't centered it wobbles.) I hold a cone of serger thread in my left hand, wind a bit of the serger thread onto the empty spool, press the sewing machine pedal and begin winding - using my right hand to gently guide the thread so it winds evenly onto the spool. Once the winding is done I remove filled spool, pull out the poster putty (to be used again) and I have an extra wound spool in the color I want to use in my serging.

To see them steps involved, here's a set of photos in above URL: (or this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/13170358@N06/sets/72157602423570047/detail/

(I tried other methods before the poster putty: I first glued a bobbin onto the empty spool, but then I had to keep buying new bobbins. Then I tried press apply velcro - one side on the bobbin and the rest on empty spools. But that got tiresome cutting velcro and affixing. When I read Sew4Fun's blog about attaching binders to sergers with poster putty - well I found this stuff could be used for winding.)

Finally - you may wonder how much such a wound spool holds versus a bobbin, well I estimate that it is two and half times greater than a bobbin - based on the very useful tip written by SewVeryTall about exactly how much bobbins hold:

http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/review/readreview.pl?ID=1077

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23 Comments
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SusiM said...
Thank you for that handy tip with photos and everything! I'm going to try it.
10/15/07 0:54 AM
nimble said...
Great tip! The photos are great. Thanks!
10/15/07 6:10 AM
martinanne said...
Thanks! I've been using an EZ Winder kit, but I don't want to have to buy more of the special spools. I'll try this tip to re-use my old Gutermann spools.
10/15/07 9:55 AM
Sue_WA said...
I love this tip!
10/15/07 12:33 PM
Susan M said...
What a great idea! I have earthquake putty that I can use to try out this idea. (This putty is used to keep breakables more stable on shelves, etc. it won't work when THE BIG ONE hits though.)
10/15/07 2:35 PM
Lizz said...
What a great way to use empty spools and have more thread than a bobbin holds. I will use some on the coverstitch machine as well. Thanks for sharing.
10/15/07 6:48 PM
Linda G said...
Great Idea...I am running out to get poster putty today!!!
10/16/07 1:22 PM
sewbehind said...
Aren't you clever? That is a wonderful tip. Will see if it works for me. Thanks so much for sharing.
10/16/07 5:35 PM
mssewcrazy said...
This is a great tip. I had heard of people glueing the bobbins on but I think this is better.
10/19/07 5:32 PM
frame said...
What a great tip. Thanks!
10/19/07 7:30 PM
regine said...
Excellent idea, I have so much extra thread which I will never use up.
10/21/07 9:30 AM
FloraNature said...
What a great idea! Thanks for posting such a useful tip.
10/25/07 8:00 AM
missew said...
Brilliant! I have used filled bobbins for the overlocker before but they don't hold as much as thread spools. OK for small projects though.
10/28/07 4:50 PM
Lisa76 said...
Hi, this seems like a really good tip but I just can't do it as i'm not clear on the instructions, is it possible you can show the steps in more detail. It would be much appreciated.
10/29/07 12:19 PM
AprilsZoo said...
Great idea. Bet you could use the glue dots that are used in scrapbooking to attach the spool to the bobbin, too. I'm thinking of the clear, very sticky, glue-blobs that come on a backing sheet. I'll have to give it a shot. Thanks.
1/23/08 6:35 PM
hevemi said...
I'll try this for winding thread for my Brother sewing machine. I always seem to run out of sewing thread yet have plenty of that color idle on serger spools.
5/31/09 5:50 AM
quathy said...
Wow you are a genius! Thanks for your perseverance - and for posting!
9/15/09 11:45 PM
Claire in Montreal said...
Great tip - I'll be trying this...just as soon as I have a few empty spools :-)
9/16/09 11:50 PM
Ingacr said...
Your post is right on point. I just bought a serger and this is my main concern. Thank you!
2/5/10 3:58 AM
im2melo4u said...
I'm so glad I found this. I've been racking my brain on how to do this! Thank you thank you thank you!
2/22/10 2:10 PM
moonthirty said...
I just read this tip in the PR book and had to come here to tell you how helpful it was! Thanks so much!
5/16/11 7:36 PM
SuellaP said...
I wondered about this, as the Darr product seems to be very little for the $20 cost. I shall certainly try it.
3/30/12 3:07 PM
Da Shiz said...
I hand-make these gadgets if anyone's interested in buying them. They fit any machine with a 6mm bobbin hole. Visit my Facebook page to order (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Da-Shiz/245488358946184)
4/1/14 9:40 PM
 
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