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Forum > Sewing Machines > How do U turn corners w/ a serger? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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How do U turn corners w/ a serger?
serger and corners & curves
Breezyacre
Breezyacre
Member since 2/23/07
Posts: 2
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Date: 2/23/07 2:23 AM

hello! newbie here! to the forum and to sergers! I bought a cheapie singer from walmart to see if its for me.. but i cant for the life of me figure out how to consistantly turn a corner AND have nice stitching.. Ive read to run off the fabric and restart, but that doesnt look good either.. i try to take my time, slow down around the bend.. sometimes it looks good, and other times the thread ends up hanging off the fabric.. I was making cloth diapers and thought serging them rather than stitching,then top stitching would save me time.. but going through the turn in the crotch area and around the tab just isnt what i hoped for! any help!? I can do a straight away no problem, but anything with curves... im lowsy!
also, a less important question, ive set the settings according to the manual for each spool of thread.. but the stitches arent very even, like the enterlocking part is either to one side or on the edge.. its not even throughout.. i dont know if its because im not placing the fabric in the right spot, or if i need to adjust something.. the needles stitches seem to be fine, but the other 2 are mediocre.
I wish there was a sewing lady that came'a knocking on my door, like that show nanny911.. someone please resque this poor soul! LOL

Nata
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Nata
Intermediate
USA
Member since 8/20/02
Posts: 1252
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Date: 2/23/07 7:04 AM

You need to trim off SAs if you want to turn nice corner (for example 90 degrees, not a curve). You can let the knife trim SA on the fist side of the corner, but you need to trim them on the second side (the one you'll be turning to) before serging for about 3-4" from the corner point.

Then serge first side and don't ty to turn you fabric. Just serge straight. Stop presisely when needles hit the cut edge, so your stitches are not falling off the corner and look neat. Bring needles up. Raise presser foot. Turn the fabric and allign the cut edge with inside of the knife blade. Turning might be a little tricky. You might need to use tweezers. also, you might have thread wrapped around the looper. Slide stitches off the looper carefully, and turn the fabric.

The idea is to turn the fabric with minimal pulling. You don't want to pull the treads out, or you will end up with extra long loops hanging off the corner. After you turned the fbaric, position it under the presser foot so both needles will hit just over the serger stitches on the first side. This way you'll have no gaps in your stitch coverage.

It is not difficult to do. It sounds more complicated than it actually is.

Re the tension balance, I don't know what you can do to fix it w/o looking at the serger.

------
Fabric bought in 2009: 30 yds
Fabrc sewn in 2009: 19 yds
Fabric stash: 145 yds

3 Garments IN and 6 Garments OUT



Member since 12/31/69
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In reply to Breezyacre


Date: 2/23/07 7:08 AM

A quick search on Yahoo using "serger how to tips corners" as the query yeilded the following:

Sew News - Quick Tips for Successful Serging - This one has some illustrations.

The following quote is from the Babylock website:


Q: I recently purchased my first serger. How do I turn corners using the serger?
A: Outside Corners: Stitch to the end of the corner edge, but not beyond. Stop with the needles up and raise the presser foot. With tweezers pull approximately 1/4" of slack thread above the needles. The slack will allow the fabric to be pulled slightly to the back, clearing stitches from the stitch fingers. Turn the fabric, aligning the new edge with the edge of the needle plate. Remove any slack from the needle threads. Lower the foot and continue sewing.

Inside Corners: Cut an inside corner in a piece of fabric. Line up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the needle plate. Begin sewing. Stitch until the needles are about one inch away from the corner. Lower needles to secure the fabric and raise the presser foot. Manipulate the fabric until the cut edge pulls straight and a pleat forms to the left of the presser foot. Continue sewing until the inside corner is complete.


Tension:
When you thread the machine, make certain that there is no tension in the disks. On less expensive sergers (or many older models) you will need to manually set the dials to "0" in order to seat the thread properly between the discs. Some models will release the tension when you lift the presser foot. Anytime that I didn't get even tension, it was always a matter of the unit not being threaed properly.

Since your machine won't include any classes, I HIGHLY reccomend getting a good basic serger book and/or a video. You can even check out what is available at your local library.


-- Edited on 2/23/07 7:15 AM --

ValerieJ
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ValerieJ  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 6/14/06
Posts: 545
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Date: 2/23/07 11:00 AM

The suggestions for corners are right on... for curves you may need to shorten your stitch as you get to the curve. I have also found that it helps to try to feed the fabric through as thought it is straight - you have to sort of tug it to the left or right so that when it hits the knife it's going through straight. I find this easier said than done.

In regard to the tension, you are going to need to adjust the tension based on what you are seeing. The fabric and thread you use can affect the results. For example, if your lower looper thread is appearing on the upper side of the fabric, it indicates that the lower looper tension isn't great enough to "resist" the pull of the upper looper. I'd start with increasing the lower looper tension and see if that helps. You may have to increase the lower and decrease the upper, but you also want to be careful that your stitches don't get too loose.

Breezyacre
Breezyacre
Member since 2/23/07
Posts: 2
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Date: 2/23/07 11:55 AM

I can probably master turning regular corners with practice, but i really need help with rounded edges.. imagine sewing a soul instert to a shoe.... the heel and toe part.. and the hourglass shape in the middle.. these are the kind of shapes i am having problems with.. I know it can be done with a proffesional look because i have purchased homemade items with such shapes.. i wish i could take a class, but my husband doesnt get home from work in time to watch our son.. ill check out that website posted.. hopefully that will help.. thanks guys! for taking the time to help a newbie!

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Vermont USA
Member since 8/14/05
Posts: 11391
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In reply to Breezyacre


Date: 2/23/07 1:42 PM

I just did my first corners on the jacket I recently made with fleece. I did decorative stitching on the serger all around including the front neckline. I read all the helps that people have given you, plus a couple of my books, and then I just did the same thing I do on the sewing machine - I lifted the presser foot and turned the fabric when I came to the corner, then I resumed serging. Perhaps it was easier because I was doing the 3 thread overlock, so there was only one needle.

Here's the important part - practice first! Get some fabric pieces of what you are working on and give it a whirl with the suggestions people have given you and see what works for you!

It turns out it isn't as hard as *I* thought - I thought I might never learn to use it - but with all the good folks here, you will be turning those corners in no time!

m:)

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

Betakin
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Betakin
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Arizona USA
Member since 4/22/04
Posts: 7282
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In reply to Breezyacre


Date: 2/23/07 5:28 PM

I was going to suggest how to serge an inside corner by making a slight fold but Jenny already posted it. I also agree with muffett about practicing. Practice and go slower around rounded curves. I have more than one serger and I prefer to serge smaller curves with my serger that has the high knife next to the needle.
On large thick items like fleece, I prefer to do the curves with my larger serger with the recessed knife. If I make a mistake, I just serge over it again cutting off just a small amount of fabric with the part that I goofed up and nobody can tell the difference. I love sergers.

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