As a child, I spent many nights being lulled to sleep by the sound of my mom’s sewing machine. So, when my dad came home with a brand new serger for my mom’s birthday, it’s an understatement to say that I was intrigued. There were three large spools of thread. It was stockier than my mom’s regular sewing machine. There was even a blade near the presser foot. By this time, my mom was teaching me to sew. Sitting there at the dining room table with my mom, I was anxious to know; what can I do with a serger sewing machine? It was new tech for both of us. Studying this machine developed into hours of mother and daughter bonding time. So, what’s the big deal? What can a serger do, you ask? Well, we discovered dozens of possibilities for this amazing machine.
Like any other tool, sergers come in a variety of levels. They range from the very basic, to the high-end models and everything in between. They can hold 2 to 5 spools of serger thread which is also referred to as overlock thread. The more spools it uses, the more expensive the machine. Serger thread is stronger and not prone to lint and fuzziness like regular sewing thread. It also comes in larger quantities due to the stitches needing more thread per stitch. A typical spool of serger thread can average 2,000 to 3,000 yards of thread. A serger can also have 1 or 2 needles that create the overlock. Now that we have the logistical stuff covered, let’s talk about possibilities.
I’m so glad you asked that question. One of the first things most people notice is the clean, professional-looking seams. They are the kind you see on designer pieces and ready-to-wear clothes from the store. Sergers create an overlock stitch, which is one that encases the edge of the hem or seam. One of the benefits of an overlock stitch is that it is stronger and prevents fraying. The serger cuts and finishes seams and hems in half the time it takes a traditional machine. However, it doesn’t replace a regular sewing machine. It’s more of an additional tool to professionally finish hems and seams.
The types of stitches available to you depend on the number of spools your machine uses. The basic stitches are as follows:
- Two thread overlock stitch
- Three thread overlock stitch
- Four thread overlock stitch (most common)
- Five thread overlock stitch
Click here to see examples of each.
Some of the most beautiful edge finishes I’ve seen were created with sergers. They’re sturdy, decorative and practical. Here are some of my favorites.
- Rolled hems
- Thread wrapped overlock
- Scalloped lettuce-edge
- Picot stitch
Click here to see some examples.
The main distinguishing feature of a serger is differential feed capability. What can I do with a serger sewing machine and differential feed? The answer is beautifully crafted seams. Knits and stretch fabric turn out perfect with this feature. Say goodbye to wavy or uneven seams. Click here to see it in action. These are some commonly used seams:
- The French seam
- Narrow overlock seams
- Wide overlock seam
Click here to view overlock seams.
In summary, here’s what can you do with a serger sewing machine. You can finish professional-looking pieces in a fraction of the time. Sew unique stitch patterns and beautiful rolled hems. Sew knits and activewear with ease. Using both a traditional sewing machine and a serger together will offer you limitless creative options. I hope I’ve answered all your questions about what can I do with a serger sewing machine. If you liked this article please share or comment below.