Serger Savvy for a fun and easy hem finish

It’s no secret that Sergers provide a quick, easy and professional finish to our garment sewing.


All of our Janome Sergers, from the entry level Janome Magnolia 7034D,

to the new one-push air-thread Janome AT2000D  – they all offer the functional versatility of a 3 or 4 thread overlock to finish the raw edge of the fabric.



However, did you know that just with a few minor adjustments to your machine you can go from that practical, functional seam finish to a fast and fun decorative HEM finish?


This colourful knit scarf was the ultimate in fast and easy construction – less than 10 minutes to complete on the serger. A bonus was that I didn’t even have to cut the fabric; it was an 8-inch x 54-inch (the width of the fabric) remnant. Instead of a knit, a bias-cut piece of fabric will also provide the necessary stretch to create the decorative “lettuce” edge.


To create the lettuce edge, simply remove the left needle and adjust the Differential Feed knob to it’s lowest setting so as to slow down the speed at which the feed dogs draw in the fabric while stitching. This causes the edge to stretch and curl – the lettuce leaf edge. For most serging, it’s set at 1, so you’ll turn it down to 0.5. as pictured below. Reduce the Stitch Length as well. I keep mine at 3 for general serging, but reduced it to 2 so the fabric would “lettuce” more easily. You could also do a Rolled Hem with this technique, so consult your serger manual for more details. There’s lots of information in there to help you get the most from your machine. Don’t be intimidated to experiment!


I serged this scarf on the Janome AT2000D which has an integrated Differential Feed and Stitch Length adjustment dial. The inner dial, which reads 2 in the above photo, is the stitch length and the outer dial, which reads 0.5, is the differential feed. Other models, such as the Janome Pro 4DX serger,

and Janome 4DLM Maker Series serger have a separate dial for each function, as shown below.  As I mentioned, ANY model of serger can be used to achieve this effect.

The last remaining ingredient to this recipe is to stretch the fabric as you stitch, which is what creates the wavy “lettuce” edge. Most of the time when sewing and serging we don’t want wavy seams, but this is the one time we do, which is part of the fun. The more the better, so stretch that fabric with as much force as you’d like. Don’t worry, your Janome serger can take it! (although, don’t pull so much that you break a needle, lol!)

And what little girl wouldn’t be excited to get ready for bed in order to wear this adorable outfit? The knit ribbing, which has a great deal of stretch, was perfect for this decorative lettuce hem technique.


This is great technique to use some fabulous decorative threads, such as the variegated threads as used above –  especially in the loopers where it will be seen more. Janome is now the Canadian distributor for Madeira threads so check with your Janome dealer to see if they’re carrying the beautiful line-up of threads for embroidery, sewing and serging.

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Have fun playing and creating!

What will you create with your Janome Serger today?

About janomeman

As Janome Canada's National Consumer Education Manager, I'm SEW excited to share my love of sewing, quilting and all things creative with everyone at our fabulous new Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Have an idea for a class, or to be put onto our mailing list, E-mail me at
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