How to troubleshoot some common serger machine issues. The Sergers are getting into trouble. Although the serger is durable and has a long life, it is often neglected and left without proper maintenance. When a problem arises during your next big project, you don’t have to go crazy trying to figure out what went wrong.

Serger troubleshooting is what will need to be done if preventive serger maintenance and care is neglected. There are some problems other than those related to non-existent or insufficient care and maintenance of sergers.

When you first start using an over locker or serger, you may run into problems that, without understanding how to fix them, can stop your creation. Using over lock sewing machines can be quite tricky at first, but with a little knowledge and understanding, you can avoid many common frustrations.


How to troubleshoot some common serger machine issues. Whether you’ve unpacked your serger for the first time, moved it, or pulled the antenna down to put the cover on, it’s easy to forget (or not realize you need to) to put on the threaded antenna (the top part of the serger that holds the threads up). Pull it out as far as it will go.

This is another one that sounds obvious, but when you’re sewing multiple layers of fabric, it’s not always as easy as with a sewing machine to tell if your presser foot is up.

Check again that the thread tension selectors are in their normal setting. If you’re not sure what that should be, check your sergeant’s manual.

Behind the tension discs are discs that hold the threads in place. If the thread is not properly inserted into the tension disc, the thread tension is turned off. Always thread the serger first with the presser foot in the upper position. This loosens (opens) the tension discs, making it easier to get the thread into the correct position.

The differential feeder has two sets of feeders – one at the front of the presser foot and one at the back. A differential feed setting can stop (or create) curling, especially with stretch fabrics. The diff shifter is another setting that can be bumped or changed to get a particular effect and then forget about it. If the edge of the fabric looks stretched and curled, it means the fabric is stretching too quickly at the back. Turn the differential feed up to align it. If the seam looks puckered, it means the fabric is pulling in faster in the front than it is pulling out in the back. Turn the differential feed down to align it.


How to troubleshoot some common serger machine issues. Here are some of the most common problems with sergers and how they can be fixed.

Under the right conditions, the needles should not break when placed in the serger. However, it’s easy to overlook a few problems and end up breaking a needle without realizing why. The first step is to correctly insert the new needle. After insertion, be sure to tighten the set screw that holds the needle in place. Heavier fabrics require larger needles. If you are using a heavy fabric and the needle keeps breaking, a larger needle may solve the problem. Let the fabric move naturally along the feed dogs. If you pull on the fabric, you will begin to bend the needle, weakening or breaking the needle. If you don’t know how to insert the needle correctly, refer to the manual that came with your serger for the correct techniques to follow based on your machine.

Incorrect feeding of the fabric is an inconvenience that every seamstress has to overcome. Improper feeding can be many things and start with the basics first: Stitch length: If the stitch length is not appropriate, it can lead to poor feeding of the fabric. Try increasing the stitch length and try doing a few stitches to see if the problem persists. Pressing pressure: For heavier fabrics, it is necessary to increase the pressing pressure of the presser foot. Increasing the pressure works on heavier fabric, but on lighter fabric it tries to release some pressure to correct the problem. These are the main causes of incorrect medication administration. Also make sure the leg is properly in place and everything is tight.

When the stitch is formed, there should not be a skip between them. The main culprit in skipping a stitch is the needle. Check that the needle is not bent or blunt. If you can’t figure it out, remove the needle and replace it with a new one to see if the problem is solved.

Your thread should not break. The thread is designed to withstand the serger and if it breaks you will want to examine the thread first. Some older fibers that have been exposed to the sun break more easily. Release the thread tension. When the tension is too high, it causes the thread to break under increased tension. Insert a new needle. A blunt or bent needle can also cause the thread to break. Always use high quality thread. The risk of using poor quality thread is that you spend time trying to figure out why the thread continues to crack.

The fabric should not jam. When using a sewing machine or serger, you will encounter a fabric jam at least once. The idea is to know what to look for when you get stuck so you can solve the problem and move forward with your project. A few common culprits for fabric jams are: Tangled or caught thread. Take a moment and look for some tangles. If a tangle is present, it is probably in the feed, looper, or stitch fingers. Loop covers may open, resulting in a jam. Jams are a headache, but since they’re easy to fix, they shouldn’t put a damper on your serger project.


How to troubleshoot some common serger machine issues. Whether you’re a more experienced sewist or just starting out, here are some tips we’d like to share with you to make your sewing easy and fun.

A loop of thread on the underside of the fabric is always a sign that the upper thread is not threaded correctly. This occurs when the upper thread is not properly positioned in the tension mechanism and has not been threaded through the take-up lever. To solve this problem, re-thread the machine by first raising the presser foot lifter and raising the needle to its highest position to allow the thread to thread. This can be caused by the tension of the upper thread being too strong or the lower thread not being in the tension of the bobbin case. Check that the upper thread moves freely without obstructions (eg stuck behind the bobbin cover or caught in rough spots on the bobbin itself). Make sure the bobbin is properly seated in the bobbin case (bobbin holder) and check that the upper thread tension is not set too tight.

The thread may tear when sewing if it is old or of poor quality. The thread can also break if the machine needle is worn or if the needle is the wrong style and size for the thread being used. For proper sewing, the thread should pass freely through the eye of the needle. Use threads that have a smooth, even grain. If the machine does not feed fabric when you start sewing,

it is possible that the presser foot lifter was not lowered before the foot control was depressed. Another reason why the machine may not feed fabric is because the feeders (or feed teeth) are off, so make sure they are engaged correctly for sewing. (Note: If your machine has a drip feed, continue sewing normally by switching the feed lever to normal sewing mode, then turn the hand wheel one full turn towards you to re-engage the feed). Also, the machine may not feed fabric if the stitch length control is set to “0”. Increase the stitch length setting and continue sewing.

Needles can break if they are bent, blunt or damaged. Discard the old needle and insert a new needle suitable for the thickness and type of fabric being sewn. Needles can also break if you “push” or “pull” the fabric while sewing, as this causes the needle to deflect. Feeders (or feed teeth) are actually designed to do the work of pulling the fabric under the presser foot when sewing, they only guide the fabric.


How to troubleshoot some common serger machine issues. Recently, sergers seem to be getting more and more attention as an essential part of the home sewing machine line, and rightly so! Sergers can not only help with the clean finishing of woven garments, but they can also be easily used to sew knitwear. Today we’re sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks to help you achieve the best possible results. If you are new to sergers or just looking for some tips to up your serger game, this post is for you.

First I’d like to clarify that a serger, over locker and merrow machine are all the same thing – typically a 3-4 thread machine that trims and overstitches the edge of the fabric as you stretch it. Cover sewing machines, on the other hand, are a completely separate thing and we will touch on them in another post. The serger we use in our photos is our studio serger, the Bermina L450, and we love it so much! So now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into these tips.

You probably already use high quality thread for your sewing machine, but it’s just as important for your other machines! As tempting as it may be to grab those always-on-sale cones of thread at your local big-box sewing store, we’ve got a few reasons why you’ll want to splurge on higher-quality thread for your serger.

You can see the difference between the two threads more clearly in these close-up photos. We compare the Mettler SERACOR Threading Thread we buy here in the studio on the left with the cheaper Maxi-Lock All Purpose thread available cheaply at most larger craft stores on the right. We really think it pays to use nicer fibers in your machines most of the time.


How to troubleshoot some common serger machine issues. Like your sewing machine, higher quality cones like these from Mettler have a smooth, even thread that easily passes through the tension discs of your serger. With the machine’s default settings; you will get beautiful tension 95% of the time if your machine has an even thread. Serge in particular picks up a lot of thread because they cut and sew so we don’t need to add loose thread to them. A smooth, even thread is also stronger, so this is especially important if you’re using a serger to join a garment. You can see in the picture above that the Mettler taper has a much smoother sheen than the taper on the right because the thread is smoother and tighter.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *