I'm throwing away my serger

Machine recommendations plus tips and techniques for using these special machines.

I'm throwing away my serger

New postby SmilieFace on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:51 pm

At least, that's what I want to do. I've had it for maybe a year. IT's nice. IT's pretty.

Time for me to rethread the machine: 2 minutes
Time for me to adjust the tension for a new fabric: 6 hours.

Okay, maybe not 6. But definitely more than 2. What am I doing wrong? And, I feel like once I finally get it settled I should change the needle already! I wanted to make a simple knit shirt (5 pieces -- should take no more than an hour with a serger!). I played with the tension for an hour yesterday, and have been playing with it for an hour with no luck. Any suggestions?
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Re: I'm throwing away my serger

New postby Mom of Six on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:56 pm

Did you buy it from a dealer? could you take itn & have them show you what to do? I am not good @ figuring things out without instructions so If I do anychanges on my serger I get out my book
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Re: I'm throwing away my serger

New postby MartySews2 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:54 pm

Smilie, I forgot what make and model that you have. Can you refresh my memory? I seldom change the tensions on my serger. For my Babylock, the default is 4. What does your manual say about knits? It should have some info on what to use for different fabrics. The book "The Complete Serger Handbook" is a wonderful guide to keep in your sewing library. It answers almost every question about any make or model of a serger.
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Re: I'm throwing away my serger

New postby sewingrandma on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:08 pm

I used to have the same problem with my serger, hours trying to get the right tension. I have The Complete Serger Handbook by Chris James, but I found that the Singer Sewing with an Overlock helped me more with the tensions. It practically falls open to the page with examples of poor tensions and which dial to turn to correct them. The pictures say it all and they sure saved me hours of frustration.
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Re: I'm throwing away my serger

New postby Skye on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:01 pm

When I have tension problems with my machines it is usually due to human error.
Since you have rethreaded your machine make sure that the thread is well seated between the tension discs - really floss your thread.
So frustrating to have machine malfunction when all you want to do is sew!
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Re: I'm throwing away my serger

New postby sewingrandma on Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:12 pm

The other day the thread on my left hand needle kept breaking while I was trying to adjust the tension. DH had just checked over the machine and adjusted the lower blade for me since I really need a new blade but have to order on line since no one locally carries them. I was thinking he had done something since he does like to tinker. I did everything I could think of from cleaning, changing the needles, rethreading etc. Of all things it was the thread itself! Very frustrating.
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Re: I'm throwing away my serger

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:03 pm

I always do as someone already mentioned. Open the manual to the pictures about correcting the tension settings and look at the pics. That always does it for me.. Then I write down the numbers and the kind of fabric. (if available I glue a sample piece in my notebook that I keep my sewing history notes in.)
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Re: I'm throwing away my serger

New postby SmilieFace on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:04 pm

I have "Sewing with Sergers" by Gail Brown and Pati Palmer, as well as "Successful Serging" by Beth Baumgartel. And the manual for my Brother 1034D Serger (whose price has dropped significantly since I got mine!). All three have pictures and what to do, but I feel like my whats wrong never looks like the pictures.

I finally got the stitches looking pretty enough, and the shirt came together in an hour and a half. Grrrr.

Practice makes perfect, I suppose. I should use my serger more, and switch between fabrics often. Maybe then I'll learn how to set the tension quickly. Maybe.
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Re: I'm throwing away my serger

New postby MaCGT on Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:07 pm

Being a sewing machine repair man, my way of ajusting the thread tensions is to slide a cardborad between the lower looper thread tension discs and sew a few inches on a scrap piece of material folded in 2. After sewing them few inches I look to see if it increased or improved the problem. if its worst, them I tighten the lower looper thread tension and or loosen the upper looper thread tension. If it shows something better then I loosen the lower looper thread thension and or tighten the upper looper thread tension till I get the desired stitch.
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