Finishing the cut edge of a sewing project is of paramount importance. Thus, it’s predominant to finish the raw edges of the seam inside your cloth to promote good aesthetics. Besides giving a professional touch, it strengthens the project’s seam line and prevents edges from fraying. And here’s your guide to using a sewing machine just like a serger (or a serger just like a pro!).
Yes, a serger can let you trim raw edges inside the threaded casing. Although it’s great to use a serger, not all the time will get you accustomed to its handling process! This is where it’s significant to mimic the use of your at-home regular sewing machine as a serger.
Needless to say, it becomes a nightmare to thread & get your stitch tension correctly. Those manuals and video tutorials may help you get an idea. But for newbies, touching the threads on a serger is indeed demanding.
On this note, let’s read through the narration and learn the best serger stitch for your regular sewing machine. Also, learn about the stitching methods you can use in a serger (just in case you have one).
How To Do A Serger Stitch On A Sewing Machine?
Neither everyone has space or budget to buy a serger, nor does the investment turn out to be successful for all sewers. Thus, the safest backup is to earn and prepare a serger stitch in your regular sewing machine. What you can do is change the threads as little as you can and switch to your overcast foot on the regular sewing machine.
Besides the overcast stitch, the overcast foot also creates a finish like a serger. And the most interesting thing here is that it does not require cutting the additional fabric, unlike a serger.
As a matter of fact, the overcut stitch comprises a neater appearance than any other stitches. But just in case your machine doesn’t offer you an overcast setting, a zigzag stitch might act as a savior choice. Now that you’ve learned the basics about serger stitches and a serger, here’s outlining two simple methods.
n method one, it explains the steps to use a serger. And in the second method, you can learn how to use your sewing machine via a serger stitch. So, let’s not waste further time and read on.
Method 1: How To Do A Stitch On A Serger?
Just in case you have a serger at home, you can follow the following steps and proceed accordingly.
Step 1: Turning Off The Machine
While threading, please ensure that you turn off the machine. Next, locate its power button & then switch it off.
Step 2: Determining the Threading
As you do so, place the spool thread on its upper looper. Next, thread it accordingly. After it gets done, now’s the time to thread the lower looper. As soon as you finish it, it’s time to thread your needles.
Step 3: Determining the Stitch Type
After turning the serger, you need to determine the stitch type. Then, you have to adjust every spool’s tension dial. As soon as you complete this, it’s time to run the practice stitch. Now, you have to inspect the looped thread and practice scrap material.
As you practice and ensure correctness, it’s time to lift your presser foot as well as needles. Now, push the fabric under the foot and needles. Next, lower the presser foot & needles.
Step 4: Cutting & Sewing
The next step is to cut the fabric edge depending on the seam allowance. Now, using the food pedal, you need to sew it. As a tail of stitches gets created, wait for it to reach the fabric’s corner. Now, you can tuck it and hand-sew it accordingly.
Method 2: How To Do A Serger Stitch On Your Regular Sewing Machine?
If you are interested in making a neat finishing, it is recommended to consider your overcast foot.
Step 1: Looking Into The Overcast Foot
Despite owning a serger, a lot of professional sewers use it. Some machines use this presser foot. However, if you can’t find it in your machine, you can purchase it separately from the store.
Basically, it’s the snap-on feet – meaning you can snap it off and on the presser foot holder with a button at its rear panel. Generally, it fits almost all shank sewing machines. But if it doesn’t, you may consider checking in three adaptors.
Step 2: Considering The Stitches
So, you already know that the overcast stitch happens to be the zigzag stitch having a definite structure. Simply put, there are different types of overcast stitches.
What you need to do is simply check your sewing machine manual and look for the available stitches. As of now, here’s presenting the eight basic overcast stitches for different fabrics and requirements.
#1 An overcast stitch required for stretch fabrics or heavyweight knit
#2 An overcast stitch required for stretch knit fabrics, like sportswear. It sews the seam & finishes its edges in a single step.
#3 A slant stitch for simultaneously sewing the seam & seam finish
#4 A slanted overcast stitch for joining ribbons or flat trims.
#5 A slanted overcast stitch. Used for sewing the seam and the raw edge simultaneously. Also, it can be used for attaching ribbing and edges of the neck & sleeves.
#6 Again, a slanted overcast stitch to attach ribbons and flat trims, aka, the slant overcast reversed stitch.
#7 The overcast stitch mainly used as the decorative stitch
#8 An overcast multi-stitch stitch to serge seams or to sew seam finishes.
So, these stitches have one thing in common – they resemble the tips of a “pyramid” or “legs” that go all the way out to the fabric edge to enclose beautifully. Another thing to note is that the inner straight stitch offers more strength to the seams.
As a thumb’s rule, the stitches moving forward are far better for the light to medium weighing fabrics. On the contrary, the ones that move backward and forwards are better than medium-heavy weight materials. As a general rule, you can experiment according to your requirements.
However, if the machine doesn’t allow you for any of the mentioned stitches, you can simply choose a zigzag stitch.
Step 3: Sew With The Overcast Foot
Ever wondered that finishing the edge would be easier than sewing the seam? Yes, it’s true. However, you may also complete both seam allowances simultaneously. Given that the overcast food does not cut off the edge of the fabric, it is imperative to trim the seam around ? or 5/8 allowance or width before sewing.
Now is the time when you require choosing a thread color that matches the fabric. Factually speaking, an overlocking stitch can be more visible than a straight stitch.
Step 4: Removing Regular Presser Foot
For a majority of low shank sewing machines, it is imperative to snap off the foot of your presser foot holder. In fact, for the screw-on machines, you can screw off the presser foot holder.
Step 5: Attaching The Overcast Foot
For almost all the low shank sewing machines, it is best to snap on your overcast foot. However, for screw-on machines, it is better to screw on that low shank adapter and then snap on that overcast foot.
Step 6: Choosing An Overcast stitch
Now, you need to place the fabric under the foot. After this, put the chosen threads on your bridge’s right-hand side & align the edge against the guide.
Just in case you are stitching a curved seam, you must stop at some stitches in order to pivot slightly & realign the fabric’s edge. Remember, although it will take more time to complete the seam, the results are noteworthy.
Step 7: Ensure that The Needle Passes Through
You need to hand crank just to ensure that the needle passes the bridge, left & right. The zigzag stitch has to be wide. If everything goes perfectly, you may start sewing immediately!
Step 8: Avoid Pulling The Fabric to the Right or Left
When you have finished it, please don’t pull the fabric to the right or left for cutting the threads. Otherwise, the stitches get damaged.
Remember, the last few stitches have been wrapped around a little bridge of your foot. Thus, pull your fabric right towards the back to free the stitches & simply cut it accordingly.
What To Do While Using Lightweight Fabrics?
Overlocking the lightweight fabrics, including batiste, chiffon, organza, and voile, might be challenging. If your fabric is thin, it gets pulled into feed dogs that destroy the design. A standalone solution is to overlock the seam allowances together & press them to just one side.
One more tip you can consider is to strengthen the seam with seam tape or even spray starch. Alternatively, you can try stabilizing the fabric by using tissue paper or paper under the fabric. You need to tear it away after you finish the seam.