Oliver + S

When do you Serge?

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    mela @mela

    I’ve been sewing for years, and have had my serger for several years, too. It is only now that I’ve noticed on some blogs that some serge all the edges of their cut fabric pieces before even sewing them together. I’ve always followed the pattern instructions that tell you to sew a seam together, then finish the allowance. But this other method seems so much more efficient, and I’m really trying to improve my efficiency! Is one method better than another? Which do you prefer? Is there any reason I shouldnt’ pre-serge my pieces? Thank yoU!

    Nicole @motherof5

    I like to serge as I go. I find it quite fiddly to finish after sewing the seams.

    I do believe it can cause issues with some fabric types with stretching but I personally have never had a problem.

    I even clip some seams before serging so that my ease is overlocked and neat.

    Mama_Knowles @Mama_Knowles

    I too serge as I go. I have never had any probems with this and it does make the sewing go faster too.

    icicle @icicle

    If I’m working with something that frays easily or sheds (like terry or cord), then I’ll often serge the edges before sewing to keep things neat and clean. I’ll also serge pieces ahead of time if my fabric is thick and I don’t want a bulky seam finish, usually with pants or winter shorts in the inner leg area, on cord dresses or shirts under the arm. I don’t like finishing seams after I’ve sewed them together so this works for me.

    Sewnsew @Sewnsew

    I serge my fabric before I sew. This is the way my sewing teacher taught me. It works for me.

    bren5kids @bren5kids

    It kind of depends. If I’m sewing a seam that I want to lie flat ie. press it open, I will serge both sides before I sew the seam; such as a shoulder seam, or a seam down the back of a skirt or dress that has an invisible zipper inserted in it. But if it is a seam that will get ironed to one side, such as an armhole, I will sew the seam first, then serge both seam allowances together. I do as Nichole does, too: clip curves, then serge. The serging is loose enough and has enough “give” that the seam can still lie like it is supposed to.

    Violaisabelle @Violaisabelle

    It all depends for me as well. Type of fabric, seams needing to be open or pressed to one side will dictate what I do first. I use a combination.

    And, I too serge after clipping my seams, I thought I was cheating by doing that until one day when I noticed in a RTW garment they had tone the same thing! 🙂 Nice to know we are all in good company. 🙂


    Kim @kmac0107

    I’m bumping this up for the serger questions

    Roberto Leibman @rleibman

    Stupid question on an old thread. I’m trying to follow this tutorial (https://ds9nemjumpsuit.blogspot.com/p/tutorial.html)
    On section 2, it says:
    “Once quilted, serge the entire quilted assembly.”
    I’m new to serging (just got one) though I’ve gone through a few online classes and videos on it, so I’m familiar with what the machine does.
    Does the tutorial mean for me to serge around the edges with the cutter in the on position? The pattern calls for a 3/8″ seam allowance, what should my serging length and width be then?

    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    @rleibman I love everything about this question!!!
    If I’m right, you’re a bloke, making a quilted Star Trek jumpsuit?! Damn, that’s a high five right there!
    The tutorial is great. I’ve never read a sewing tutorial written for men and the walking foot hamburger analogy is fantastic!
    Anyway, to answer your question… Yes, they intend for you to use your serger to finish the seam allowances of your bodice/yoke pieces before going on to assemble them.
    Don’t trim any of the seam allowances off. In fact, you may want to disengage the serger blade to be sure of not doing this.
    I like the advice about cutting your batting without the seam allowance to avoid bulk. However it’s generally easier to make a big, quilted rectangle of fabric, batting and backing and THEN cut your pattern pieces. That way you don’t have to worry so much about the fabric shifting.
    Good luck, and please, please share the finished project with us.
    I’ve been wanting to make a Liberty quilted Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit for my son, so I’ll be checking out the sizing on that tutorial.
    This project rocks. Good luck!

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