Serger Questions

I would love to do a question and answer, a serger FAQ if you will.  What questions do you have about serger sewing that you have wanted to ask someone?  Either email them to, or post them here as a comment, and I will try to answer them.

Question 1:

Do I need a serger?

I would say it depends on the type of sewing you usually do.  And I would insert in here that the only serger worth getting is a good one.  Shop around and read reviews on the web;  don’t just buy the cheapest to see if you will like it, since you’ll probably hate it if you do that.  There are good inexpensive sergers out there, but there is also a lot of frustration wrapped up in cheap serger packages!

If you are a fashion sewer, definitely try to get one. Fashion sewers will find that finishing seams is a breeze and so much faster that you’ll recoup your serger cost in the time saved very quickly.  Knits are easier to sew on the serger, and some clothing you’ll find you can serge and finish in one fell swoop.  How you use it will depend on what you are making, of course, but you’ll use if on just about every project you make.

If you sew accessories, especially for sale, a serger can save you time and money.  Lots of accessories can be finished quickly and professionally with a serger.

Is home dec your passion? You should look into buying a serger that has a large throat space and the capability to do a coverstitch and chainstitch.  Decorative serging is a blast and can make all kinds of unique surface embellishments.  The list for that is truly endless.

If you make children’s clothing a serger can speed things up immensely; a serger would be a good investment.  Even heirloom sewing can be done on a serger.  The results are a little different, but they are equally beautiful in their own right and can be combined with traditional techniques to speed up the proecess without losing any of the beauty.

If you are only a quilter I would say you probably do not need one.  I have posted about quiltling with a serger, and I really like doing that, but it would not pay for a quilter to have a serger with which to make quilts.  If you make a little bit of other stuff, it still probably won’t pay to buy one.

I adore my serger, which, if you’ve read my blog before, you already know, but I would never replace my sewing machine with a serger.  They are teammates and I go back and forth between them constantly.  I sew and serge a wide variety of projects, and I look for creative ways to use my serger.  It will still never replace my precious sewing machine, no matter how fancy or powerful it gets.

Please send me your questions.  I’d love to help you figure out how to better utilize your serger (investment.)

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Notorious Beauty Blog
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 18:30:31

    I have a 4 thread serger, which I use to finish seams. Do I need a fancier machine, or can I do something else with the serger I have? 🙂


  2. Barbara Larson
    Feb 16, 2014 @ 10:11:09

    I have a husqvarna H class 200s
    My users guide shows only 10 different stitches it does. Do you think it can do more? So far I have only used it for side seams etc. I have a very light weight knit skirt to hem but I am not sure which stitch to use.


    • Sherilyn, Cherished Needle Creations
      Feb 18, 2014 @ 09:35:06

      Ten different stitches is a lot for a serger and shows that you have a general 4/3/2 thread serger. How many different ways you can use the stitches is determined by what kind of stitches they are. You can do a lot with the overlock stitches, which differ by width and stitch length, but are always on the edge of fabric, or at least on a folded edge. If you add rolled hem stitches, these too are on the folded or cut edge, but have several uses of their own, mostly determined by stitch length. Flatlocking can be done in the middle of fabric and still open the fabric to lie flat afterwards. I believe those are the stitch types you have.

      For a very light weight knit skirt you might actually want to leave it without sewing. To be honest, with a light knit like that, I would probably leave it unhemmed and trimmed nicely or would use a sewing machine. If you really want to use a serger, you could use your rolled hem, but use a higher differential setting to prevent stretching and a longer stitch length for the same reason. Your fabric will show between stitches, which is a nice effect. Be sure to test your stitch on samples first. This is a place where a lightweight decorative thread, such as an embroidery thread, could add just a hint of decoration. I’d love to see how it comes out. Share a picture if you can.


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