HOW TO THREAD THE SERGER
How to thread a serger. A serger also called an over lock machine is the perfect companion to your sewing machine. Sews seam and seam finishing at the same time, removes excess seam allowance. It’s a great time saver! Use a serger for professional seams, seam finishes, hems, decorative edges and more.
Over lockers or sergers of all kinds have a reputation for being impossible to thread, but overcoming that fear of threading is key to your successful experience with this machine. The new BERNINA L 450 and BERNINA L 460 Over cabinets have been designed with ease of use in mind. There are many added features that make this machine simple and easy to understand.
The inside of the machine is open and easily accessible. Ideal if you don’t have your owner’s manual handy. Notice that the upper and lower hooks follow a similar thread path and the thread just snaps into place, no little corkscrews or obscured thread guides.
TOP FIVE TIPS FOR SERGER THREADING
- Open the machine
Several useful threading tools are stored in the hook cover door. Here you will find your tweezers, screwdriver and needle holder/threader tool along with spare needles and a lint brush.
- Lift the presser foot
Lifting the presser foot releases the tension discs on all threads. This will make threading easier and also allow you to tie the threads together and pull them through the machine easily. When learning to thread the machine, it is helpful to remove the presser foot and lower the knife. This opens the threading path on the stitch plate. When you put the presser foot back on the machine, be careful not to catch the thread in the presser foot clamp. Once you are satisfied with the threading, there is no need to remove the presser foot and lower the knife.
- Raise the needles to the highest position
The BERNINA L 460 has a function that stops with the needles in the highest position. Note that there is a needle position window on the inside of the machine. On the BERNINA L 450 you will need to move the hand wheel until the red line matches the arrow on the needle position window.
- Pull out the thread stand completely
It is important to remember to raise the thread feed stand on the back of the machine. Use bobbin stabilizer, caps and thread nets as needed according to the thread used. A spool net can be used to control unwieldy thread. Next, you place the thread in the tension disc. The presser foot is raised so that the spool is open, making it easier to thread the thread into the take-up spool. If you’ve ever had a machine that required you to grip the tension disc by pulling thread around a button attached to a wire, you’ll understand how easy this machine is.
REASONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A SERGER
How to thread a serger. Sergers come in all price ranges, so it’s important to shop for a quality serger that fits your budget. As with sewing machines, finding a quality serger at a dealer that provides classes and extra help to their customers is of the utmost importance. Interested in the idea of having more threads? Once you understand how the serger works, they become less difficult. Two (2) of these are needle threads, but only one (1) needle is needed for most applications.
The other two (2) threads go into the loopers, which wrap the threads around the edge of the fabric. Crochet threads are held in place by needle thread. This also means that if you pull the needle threads out as you would with a standard seam when opening any broken seam, the loop threads will simply fall out.
Most sergers have tension wheels that can be adjusted to even out the threads in the stitch, and for most applications the tension will remain the same. So once you thread the serger and adjust the tension, you can be serging and practicing before you need to make any changes. While this may be true, serger manufacturers have gone a long way to make this easier by putting colored dots and arrows on them.
THREADING ORDER THREADS FOR THREADING A SERGER
How to thread a serger. The threader uses multiple threads, mine has room for four and there is a specific order in which you need to thread the threads because if you don’t thread the threader correctly the stitches will be loose, uneven and quite possibly break. Here is the order you must follow when threading your serger.
- Upper loop
The top looper is the top thread loop on the serger. It sits on the fabric when you look at it under the needle. This thread is usually third from the left and must go through the following path:
- Up through the thread guide
- Down through the tension disc, if your machine has one, push the tension button to one side before threading
- The thread guide has my four that form the corner of the square
- Through the eye of the upper looper
You will then want to pull the thread all the way to the back of the serger until it is about 6″ / 15cm long. Now that the upper looper is threaded, you can move on to threading the lower loop.
The thread spool for the lower looper is usually on the far right. The bottom looper is the bottom loop of thread and is not visible when sewing because it lies under the fabric. This thread must go through the following path:
- Up through the thread guide
- Down through its tension disc
- Through the three thread guides, these are different guides to the upper hook!
- With the lower eye of the looper – mine has a lever that I have to pull out to find the eye and then push it back into place
The right needle
It is used to cover / sew the edges of the fabric, but also has a role when two needles are in place. The spool of thread for the right needle is second from the left and must pass through the following path:
- Up through the thread guide
- Down through the tension disc
The spool of thread is the first on the left and must go through the following path:
- Up and through the thread guide
- Down through the tension disc
TOP TIPS AND ADVICE FOR A SUCCESSFUL SERGER
How to thread a serger. An over lock machine makes sewing many of your projects quick and easy. It can sew a seam; finish a seam and trim excess seams all at once! Your fashion will get that ready-to-wear look that only a serger can provide! However, to get the best sewing results, it is important to have the machine set up correctly. Below are some top troubleshooting tips to help you sew successfully on your over lock machine.
Make sure each thread runs freely through its entire thread path without obstruction. Uneven threading on a serger often results in uneven stitch formation, possible thread breakage, and even needle breakage. Cross-wound spools, such as serger cone threads, are recommended for sewing threads because the thread is pulled from the spool more evenly and consistently than when using conventional sewing thread spools.
Spools of regular sewing thread are not wound across, so they may not always unwind as consistently. Before threading, raise the presser foot lifter to make sure the threads are properly seated in the tension discs. Before you start threading the machine, you must raise the presser foot lifter to open the tension mechanisms to receive the threads. When the presser foot lifter is down, the tension mechanisms are unable to accept the thread and the result will be distorted stitches. It will also be helpful to “thread” the thread back and forth over the tension disc to ensure it snaps into place. Thread cutter in correct order
There is a correct “order” for threading the machine through the lock to ensure proper stitch formation. Start by threading the top looper first. Then thread the bottom loop only after the top loop is fully threaded and make sure the bottom loop sits on top of the top loop or the stitches will not form correctly. Use differential feed to correct seam distortion
If the fabrics are twisting or wrinkling as you sew, you may need to turn on the machine’s differential feed to adjust the way the feed teeth feed the fabric through the machine. The serger has two sets of feed teeth hone at the front and one at the back—located under the presser foot. A differential feed lever on the right side of the machine controls the movement of the front feed tines relative to the rear feed tines.
- Machine needles
The lock machine has two separate needle clamping screws that hold each individual needle. Make sure each needle is properly seated in the needle clamp. You may have noticed that the needles in the machine are not at the same level. The left needle sits slightly higher than the right needle. They are not “parallel” like when sewing with a twin needle on a regular sewing machine. When removing the needle, loosen the screw slightly to pull it out of the needle clamp. When inserting the needle, make sure it is all the way up in the needle clamp; otherwise the stitches will not form correctly.
How to thread a serger. The most important part of using a serger is threading the machine correctly, as it has three to five spools of thread. You should have an idea of what your stitch should look like in your serger’s user manual. Loops and interlocking stitches should be straight, no areas too straight or too loose. If the stitches are loose, adjust the tension dials next to each spool of thread on the sewing machine to make the thread tighter. If the fabric is wrinkled or bunched, loosen the tension on the serger.