What do I do with my serger?

For those of you who aren’t sure what a serger is or figured out what to do with yours, here’s a quick description. Its a 2, 3 or 4 thread machine that trims your fabric and stitches at 1300 spm. It will help you to create professional looking projects, garments and crafts very quickly. There are even a variety of presser feet available, depending on your Janome serger. They include beading attachments, blind stitch feet, cloth guide, cording feet, gathering attachment and a gathering foot. As you can see your serger can do a variety of jobs. Check with your Janome dealer as to which feet and accessories are available for your machine.

The differential feed is used to adjust the speed of one of the sets of feed dogs.  To understand how it will affect your fabric, always do a test. I used a mediumweight knit in the samples below.

  • Top sample-DF set at .05 feed dogs moving slower       
  • Middle sample-DF set at 2.0-feed dogs moving faster
  • Differential feed set just right -fabric lays flat

Its also possible to create different types of seam finishes with your serger. A rolled hem is ideal for napkins, full skirts, simple edging on woven tops and even bridal veils.  To create the rolled hem, follow your manual and remember if your serger doesn’t have preset tensions to increase your lower looper tension. You want the lower looper to ‘pull’ the upper looper threads around to the underside.

A ‘trick’ I would like to share, is turning a corner, insuring it will be neat with no loops.

  1. Stitch  right to the edge of the fabric. Using your handwheel if necessary, finish with the needle(s) in the highest position.

2. Raise the presser foot and gently pull the fabric to the back of the machine, just enough to release the threads off the stitch finger.

3. Turn the fabric and reposition it, so when the needles go down for the next stitch, they will be  just off the edge of the fabric. If you are trimming a lot of fabric off as you serge, precut the fabric prior to turning the corner. See pic above. I’ve taken the presser foot off, to make it easier to see.

4.  Lower the presser foot, then gently tug all the threads above the machine, to get rid of the ‘loops’ created from turning the fabric.5. Continue serging. This method works with 4 thread serging as well.

6. Perfect Corner!

Please watch for more ideas coming up for your serger. Let us know if there is something you would like us to show you how!

Happy Serging

Linda P.

About LindaP

Educational Consultant for Janome Canada Ltd.
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