Member since 11/21/06
Date: 10/8/12 3:42 PM
Iíve had my serger for a few years now but when it comes to knits, there are two serging techniques that I would like to perfect if possible. For simplicity, Iím going to use the sleeve cuffs on Sewaholicís Renfrew as visual example.
1. Lining up multiple seams.
This would also apply to serging neck band to the body. In Renfrew, attaching the cuff to the sleeve means serging 3 layers together: two from the cuff and one from the actual sleeve so there are 3 seams to contend with. For me, the seams inevitably move during serging, so the end result is that the sleeve seam does not line up with cuff seams. This isnít too big of a deal to me because I see RTW with misaligned seams, but I think as a home sewer I should be able to perfect. Is the only option here to baste instead of pining?
2. Serging small circular areas.
On the long sleeve cuffs, the circumference is less than 8" wide. In order for me to serge the cuff to the sleeve, I need to really stretch the opening since my serger foot is already like 3" long. Should I stretch it or is serging small circumferences not really doable for home sergers?
I donít think this fits in the Serger forum since that seems to gear towards the machines themselves. But if moderators feel differently, please move it as you see fit.
Member since 6/17/12
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 10/8/12 3:57 PM
I am certainly too new at this to be giving advice but here are a few things I learned from around here.
Instead of pinning or basting, I use a glue stick or the double sided wash out tape. I do sometimes baste after the glue, depending on how complicated it feels to me.
I attach my cuffs before I sew the side seam. I think that is what they refer to in serger language as "sewing in flat"?? No, I don't think that is the right words, I am sure someone will come along and help me out with that.
My machines (down to 2 now, from 5):
Sewing Machine - Quantum 9960
Serger - Baby Lock Ovation
Member since 1/4/11
Date: 10/8/12 4:07 PM
I'm not familiar with the Renfrew but I do sew a lot with knits.
There are couple of things you should try on the shifting cuff. First you should start you serged seam pretty close to the seam. That should be the least visible spot and you'll be sure it lines up before going too far. If your layers are shifting left to right, you may want to pin in a cross or x. Obviously, take out the pins as it gets to the foot. Another option is to sewing it together on the sewing machine first and then serge over it. The real issue is like a sewing machine, the serger the dog feed will pull at a different rate than the foot. The best advice is to learn how to handle your fabric on your serger and skip the pinning and basting all together.
Serging small circular areas is challenging. For infant and kids clothing you should serge the hem first and then serge the underarm sleeve. Make sure you back stitch the end of the your underarm seam or topstitch a line to keep the seam from splitting.
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Member since 6/24/06
Date: 10/8/12 4:14 PM
Even after years of sewing I baste the neck band in place eith a machine prior to serging. A long stitch on a machine is quicker than ripping out a serged seam. For small cuffs, the hem of tighter fitting sleeves I serger the hem prior to sewing the side seams. Most patterns lend themselves to the flat construction method. Sew shoulder seam, insert sleeve (if sleeve has a small binding attachat this point or hem) match at sleeve hem and sew towrd garment hem both side seams. Then finish hem of garment.
Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.
Member since 3/9/09
Date: 10/8/12 4:36 PM
With the serging of neckband (or any other band) to the garment, you can pin and hand-baste the layers together, or you can first use the sewing machine to baste the layers.
ETA: REMOVE PINS before any serging; safest is to not go anywhere near any serger with pins. Sergers are deathly frightened of pins, so don't put your serger through that! If a serger knife hits a pin, it can not only damage your knife and loopers, the pin can break and become a very dangerous projectile.
I prefer hand-basting, as it gives the most control, and is easy to remove after serging.
With small circumferences, serge from inside the circle, and concentrate first on getting your serger foot properly set up onto the fabric layers so that everything is lined up and positioned correctly.
After that, you serge a small bit at a time, perhaps 3" or so, then stop, ensure everything is in correct position, and proceed with the next few inches.
Practice and experience will make it all much easier.
-- Edited on 10/8/12 4:40 PM --
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