How to use a serger for gathering fabric. A serger or over locking machine is often classified as a utility machine that is capable of performing a special sewing technique and over clocking while trimming excess fabric. The most important part of the process is setting up the machine, and here I’ll show you all the settings you need to complete your serger. Once you do this, you can “raise a storm” of beautiful encounters.

If you are new to sergers, read my article on what serging is first. Serger gathering is best done on light to medium weight fabrics. For heavier fabrics, lacing or machine gathering is the best method. If you need to determine a specific measurement ratio, cut a 10 (25 cm) test strip.

Gather it with a serger and measure its new length. If it is now 5 (12.5 cm) inches, then the pile ratio is 1:2. Now you can make adjustments to get the ratio you want. Once you’ve finished gathering with the serger, it’s difficult to adjust the stitches at the end, so test thoroughly first to get the right amount of gathering.


How to use a serger for gathering fabric. Sergers have a feature called differential feed. It controls the movement of the front and rear feeders and can make them move at different speeds. When set to 1, the feeders move at exactly the same speed and transport as much fabric towards the needles as away from them. When set to less than 1, the front feeders move slower than the rear feeders. Less substance is transported towards the needles than away from them. The fabric will stretch. (This can be used to prepare the edge of the salad.

When set to more than 1, the front feeders move faster than the rear feeders. More substance is transported towards the needles than away from them. The fabric will be wrinkled. It is usually not enough to set the differential feed to the highest number to achieve the desired amount of draw. You also need to increase the thread tension of the left needle.

The higher the thread tension, the more gathered your fabric will be. You’ll get a pretty good feel for it over time. So we will cut several 20” (50.5 cm) wide strips from our main fabric. Note: It works with the same numbers for both imperial and metric systems; the important thing is that they are multiples of 10.

Now set the differential feed and thread tension as high as possible. Sew along the 20” (50.5 cm) edge of one strip of fabric, leaving plenty of loose thread at the beginning and end. Be sure to always switch to the correct serger setting for sewing to catch or gather. Cut out the layers using the pattern pieces created in the previous steps. Tip: If the fabric is not wide enough for the bottom layer (layer B), you can cut 4 pieces instead of 2 on the fold.


How to use a serger for gathering fabric. Here’s a quick recap in case you really don’t know what a serger is or what it does. Most sergers will make additional edge adjustments, such as a rolled hem. If you’ve got your serger tucked away in the closet, it’s time to dust it off and get back to work. Notice the two needle threads (black threads. Near the edge of the fabric, insert the needle under the two parallel threads.

Make sure you don’t catch any of the looper threads ~ if you do, it won’t catch. Just the needle threads. Pull the two needle threads out of the chain. Don’t let them get tangled up. If you do it right, it will pop out easily. Pull the two threads of the needle to pick up the fabric.

You have a nice even ruffle that is easy to adjust and then pin. You can collect with a standard foot, just adjust some settings. But there’s also a gathering foot that you can use, its super cool and allows you, for example, to sew two layers of fabric together and only gather one of those layers.

Use a straight stitch and longest stitch length Sew two parallel rows of stitches within the seam allowance. If you have a seam allowance of 1 cm, you can sew these stitches e.g. 4 and 8 mm from the edge. Leave the long ends of the threads at the beginning and end of the stitch.

Pull the ends of the lower thread to pick up the fabric. If you want, you can use a different color of bobbin thread to help you identify which threads need to be pulled.


How to use a serger for gathering fabric. A neater gathering with a serger will occur with two needles engaged and a tight needle tension. It is important to only tighten the needle tension, not the looper tension. It is the increased tension that causes the material to swell.

Notice how both of my needle selectors are now set to 9 (this is the highest setting) while the loopers remain at their default setting which is 3-4. As you begin testing, you may find that you get the best results with a slightly different needle setting. For example, the left might be 9 and the right might be 8. Start with both the same and then go back to the end and make other small adjustments.

The higher the number, the tighter the collection.  Knob goes from 0.5 to 2.5 so I set it to 2.5. It is set to 1.0 for normal serging. The differential feed knob is usually on the right side of the machine, but if you can’t find where it is, refer to your manual.

You can adjust the amount of pickup on your machine by experimenting with different differential feed settings. Here is a photo showing the different settings. As you can see, the 2.5 setting caused the deepest build-up and the 1.5 setting was the softest.


How to use a serger for gathering fabric. Gathering fabric is a basic sewing technique commonly used on clothing, home decor, upholstery, and adds a frill or frill to any item you want to add a little flair or interest to. Knowing the six most commonly used crimping methods will help you choose the best option when crimping is required.

Hand picking requires a needle and thread and an object to be picked. Two parallel rows of running stitch create a gather. Tiny little stitches should be used for delicate fabrics like silk and chiffon. The advantage of manual collection is the control that the sewer has over the size of the seam and thus the collection. Commonly used for extremely thick or thin fabrics or fabrics where extreme precision is required.

Machine gathering requires adjusting the length of the machine stitch to a longer stitch. This is usually a length of 4.0 or greater. Two or three rows of stitches must run parallel to each other. This method works best for fine to medium weight fabrics and is the most common method used in garment production.

Gathering with a serger requires some changes in needle tension settings. Set the needle tension selector back to a high number and adjust the differential feed to get the best shot. The serger has a blade for cutting the edge of the fabric, so you have to allow for seam allowance when gathering. Serger provides a very professional and solid gathered effect. Don’t forget to change the serger settings back when you’re done.

Cord gathering is a useful gathering method for thick fabrics or fabrics that are difficult to sew, such as tulle. The cord is laid along the line to be gathered and a zigzag stitch is sewn over the cord. The important thing to remember is that you are not sewing into the cord. The cord is then secured at one end and pulled through with zigzag stitches as the fabric is gathered along the cord.

Elastic gathering is commonly used to gather knitwear because it provides a flexible seam that does not break. This method uses clear rubber that is stretched and then flipped in a zigzag pattern. It fits perfectly to the bottom of the skirt to prevent the stitches from breaking. It is important to divide the fabric and rubber into quarters and match them. This gives the elastic an even rise around the circumference of your item.


How to use a serger for gathering fabric. Once you’ve finished ruffling the sergers, you can adjust them to match your skirt or sewing project. As mentioned earlier, it can be a bit difficult to adjust the stitches tighter or looser, so hopefully only a small amount is needed. Now you’re ready to hit the ground running and collect that series of super, special pleats with your serger machine, where the only tension is in the fabric and not in your arms.


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