A Beginner's Guide to Sergers
Basic mechanical sewing machines are great for many things, but they can't do everything. A serger is a type of sewing machine that trims and finishes the edge of fabric, binding it together with a stitch. It's usually used for stretchy fabrics like knits and wovens. Sergers are also called overlock machines.
What is overlock?
It’s a sewing technique that, when done correctly, will create a neat and professional finish. It’s also a lot easier than it looks. The overlock stitch is a versatile machine stitch that can be used for hemming, edging, and even used in tandem with quilting. It's a good idea to use a n overlock stitch when you're sewing something that will be washed or worn a lot, like a coat or dress, because it helps prevent seams from fraying or unravelling.
A serger is a special sewing machine for clothing & attire.
It has a knife that cuts the fabric as it sews, so the fabric doesn't unravel. This stitch also creates a seam that is nearly invisible on the right side of the garment. A serger is best for sewing knits, but it can also be used to finish edges of woven fabrics, and it can be used to sew seams on woven fabric.
It’s not as scary as it sounds.
Sergers are the sewing machines that have two or more spools of thread and a looped needle. They are the machines that sew a seam and then trim it off, so it’s a very fast way to finish seams. They can also do things such as gather fabric or create ruffles. A serger is a great tool for sewers who want to work quickly and efficiently, but they can be intimidating because you need to thread them differently than regular sewing machines. Luckily, there are tutorials on YouTube that will show you how to thread a serger and give you some tips on using it. Here's one that we filmed ourselves!
Get some tips on how to choose the right serger for you.
Sergers are a great investment for any sewist. They can finish seams and edges quickly and create a professional-looking finish on your projects. If you're looking for a serger, there are a few things you should know before you buy one.
- Consider what type of serger you'd like to own. Here at Myers Sewing, we sell the Baby Lock Brand whose models offer threading options up to 8 threads! Simply put, you'll want to ask yourself if a 4-thread or an 8-thread is right for you. 8-thread machines can perform chain stitching & cover stitching with ease. 4-threads are the most common.
- Next, think about how often you'll be using your serger. If you're just starting out with sewing or don't think you'll use your serger much, it is better to invest in a lower-cost model. See our Baby Lock Vibrant here. If you plan on using it often, then spend the money on a high-quality model that will last for years. Our pick would be the Baby Lock Celebrate.
- Finally, consider what type of fabric you'll be using the most and what type of stitches you'll need most often. For example, if you plan to create yoga pants, leggings, athletic wear, or other pieces clothing, then you might be better off with an 8-thread. If that's the case, we can't recommend anything less than the Baby Lock Triumph Serger.
Thank you for the blog. Very useful info.
Lorraine Goldstein on