SEW-lutions sewing tips and news, brought to you by Sewing.org and the Sewing & Craft Alliance

sewing and craft projects at www.sewing.orgsewing and craft projects at www.sewing.org

Serged Edges

Since I’m having company at the end of the month, I’m working on my Halloween decorating…right down to the celebratory scarves for our 3 dogs. I’m making a holiday tablecloth and fabric napkins as well. Today I put up a fall wreath on the front door and a ghoulish goblin to entice my trick-or-treaters. (And it amuses the girl who delivers our mail!)

Did you know that Halloween is the biggest sewing season of the year for pattern companies? If you’ve been to a fabric store lately, you may have seen some folks who don’t normally frequent the place wandering around looking as if they need help. Non-sewers flock to fabric stores this time of year in search of the perfect angel wing fabric, or the ulitmate in pirate attire for their special youngsters. Patient salespeople help those who may only have a vision for the final result and absolutely no idea how to achieve it.

Since I have no children, other than the fur children mentioned above, I concentrate on decorating for this annual event. I’m using my serger to roll hem all the napkins and to finish the tablecloth edges. It’s also perfect for finishing the bias edges of the dog scarves, as I can use the differential feed to keep from stretching or rippling the cut edges.

I personally love Woolly Nylon for roll hemming, as it fills in to create a solid looking edge without any fibers poking through the stitches. If you’ve never tried it before, thread it through only the upper and lower looper and use matching serger thread in the needle. Woolly Nylon is texturized and it’s a little fuzzy on the ends, so if you have trouble getting it through the looper eyes, use a needle threader to help. You might also need to consult your serger instruction book for the proper roll hem settings for your particular machine.

I always feel like I’m in a factory when I do serger roll hems, as I can go so fast and it creates such a wonderfully professional finish. I like to stitch continuously, so when one edge is done, I simply feed in the next one without cutting the thread between. I keep going until I’m forced to cut the pieces apart and start again in the other direction, so I can whip up lots of edges in no time! Sergers were used in factories long before they became available to home sewers.

If you only use your serger for seam finishing, get out the book and read up on the other things it can do–from flatlocking to seaming and many things in between. It’s a versatile little machine.