How To Serge By Hand

Sewing has become so much more comfortable with the help of machines and other equipment. With a myriad of sewing options, you can turn your fabric into anything you like. There are plenty of things you can do to make your sewing project neat and tidy. Finishing edges and giving it a crisp look is an important step in your sewing project. Yes, with a serger, you can serge the edges and prepare them for stitching. Some people like to serge after completing the stitch. Either way, it is the best way to give a finished look to your fabric.

A serger always comes in handy, but in case you don’t own it, your hands can do the magic. In this article, we are going to discuss how you can serge with your hands.

How To Serge By Hand?

Pick the right needle for the job, depending upon your fabric. Now loop the thread over the edges and pull it out. Once you have formed a loop, repeat the steps to create strongly knitted loops to create neat edges for your fabric. Though it might be time-consuming, you need to dedicate yourself to creating these strongholds. If you don’t have a serger, your hand can do wonders if you remain patient.

Step By Step Guide To Serge With Your Hands

In the absence of a serger, your hands will become the machine to give you the result. You need to understand that before the time of sewing machines, people used to stitch their clothes with hands using threads and needles. You just need to get back to the basics with serging as well.

Here are a few basic things you will need to begin with the process:

  • The fabric of your choice
  • Needle
  • Thread


step by step guide to serge with your hands

Once you have got all the necessary items, you need to get on with the process. Here are the steps that you must follow:

Find The Right Size of Needle

Choosing the needle’s right size is important to justice to your fabric. Make sure that your needle is not too heavy and not too light for the fabric. Before beginning, tie a knot at the back of the fabric by passing the needle through it.

Loop The Thread

Now, you have to create loops on the fabric edge. Just pass the needle through the fabric, take it back and bring it to the front leaving a tiny bit to the side. The first loop you create must be tighter than the subsequent ones. If you start from the right, it will be easier to finish off.

Pull The Thread

pull the thread

Your first loop will be over the edge. In order to make it tight, you must not pull the thread so tightly that it crimps your fabric. The thread must be flat and lay smooth on edge.

Repeat The Loops

By now, you will become quite confident with your loops. So, keep making such loops till you reach the end of the fabric edge. Ensure that the needle thread must be under the loop to wrap firmly around the edges. If the thread is on top, it might result in a knot after a few loops.

repeat the loops

It would help if you kept pulling the thread to form many more stitches and securing the edges. Keep repeating the steps until you get edges entirely covered with tiny loops securing it. This will prevent your fabric from puckering during the wash and stitching process. With precision and dedication, you can get a well-knitted serger just like in your machine.

What Are The Different Ways To Serge By Hand?

A neatly finished fabric is a must-have, and to get that, you need to do a little hard work. Serging the fabric is the hard work that you will have to do to give your fabric the required neatness on the edges. Here are a few different ways in which you can serge with your hands-:

Pinked Seams

It is considered the easiest way to reduce the unraveling of the edges. Pinked seams are better known as the process of pinking shears. You need to use pinking shears and clip them along the edges before starting pressing them. A pinking blade will also come in handy, making your task a lot easier and faster. This method is particularly ideal for woven fabric and does not lose fabric like linen.

Zigzag Seams

A zigzag seam is the strongest serge of all. You don’t need to do a lot of practice to learn a zigzag stitch; all you need to learn is the right seam allowance that will do the trick. Use the proper seam allowance and start stitching. This particular pattern will work wonder for fabrics that have a lot of curves, like armholes in your tops. You can also use it for fabric with straight seams that are harder to trim. No matter how you practice, a zigzag seam is the best stitch to serge the fabric edges without a serger.

Anchoring And Tying

Another great way that works with hand serging is anchoring tying it off. Start by stitching twice at the same place and make sure you don’t pull the thread away. Now create a loop and pass the thread twice through it. Pull the thread to tighten it, now repeat the process until you reach the end of the edge and place a similar knot. If it is difficult for you to make even stitches, you can use marking with the help of a fabric scale.

Catch Stitch

catch stitch

If you are looking for a more elastic stitch to secure the edges, you can go for the catch stitch. It adds more strength to the fabric and prepares it for heavy stitching. Anchor your thread with a needle on the left. Fold a bit of fabric and make a small stitch. Leave ¼” seam allowance and start moving the needle to the right. People who are regular with hand stitching will find it way too easy. However, even machine users will also become familiar with it after a few stitches.

It depends on you to choose the best way to serge your fabric with hands, but you must not skip this step if you don’t want to compromise with your fabric’s quality. Using a serger is always the best option, but in case you don’t have it at the moment, you can do a pretty good job with your hand sewing. Learn the step-by-step process of serging using each pattern.

Is It Important To Serge Your Fabric?

Serging is considered a crucial step that everyone must follow to secure the edges. Generally, it is done with a serger’s help as it makes the entire process much easier. You can also serge the edge with your hand. Serging is highly essential to secure the edges as the fabric is prone to puckering during either the pre-wash or stitching process. It is best not to avoid this step if you want to give a clean and neat look to your fabric and make the final product as amazing as it can be. Serging helps in pressing the thread that pops out from the fabric.

What Is The Best Way To Serge With Hand?

what is the best way to serge with hand

There are plenty of patterns that you can use to serge with your hands. One of the best and most efficient patterns to use is the zig-zag pattern. It has the best hold on the fabric and reduces any kind of fault. You just need to give proper seam allowance and make tighter stitches compared to the loose loop you create for a standard serge. This works great on fabric with straight seams that are difficult to trim off.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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