View Full Version : Borrowing a Serger, now what...

April 3rd, 2014, 09:51 AM
So I've gotten the crazy idea in my head that I would like to own a serger. My aunt who regularly makes and alters clothes has one that she has agreed to let me borrow it for a little while to see if I'll like it. I have a general idea of what a serger does, but what would be some good projects to make to play with it and see if I'll like it?

♦ I have some flannel that I bought to make blankets for the NICU that my sons stayed in. I was going to fold the edges over and sew them but I understand a serger can finish the edges without the need for bulky folds.

♦ I have seen some beautiful cloth napkins that I would love to make a set of.

If you had use of a serger for a few days- what would you make with it to see if it was an item you would like to own?

Jean Sewing Machine
April 3rd, 2014, 10:01 AM
If you want to use for quilting, try making a jelly roll race quilt with it. Great 1/4" seam as long as you don't trim but a sliver off your edges. I make napkins And tablecloths using the narrow rolled hem feature. You set up the serger differently, using only 1 needle thread and the narrow rolled hem setting on the serger. Some machines set this up easily, for other machines it is a real PIA! I also narrow roll hem ruffles for pillow shams, not a manly thing, I know, so maybe not for you! But maybe Tabatha would like a ruffle here or there! You can make the burrito pillowcases really quickly on a serger, one caution, it is hard to unsew serged seams, so take your time to sew straight, no pleats in seams. Once the fabric gets cut by the serger knife, you are out of luck! It's patching time for you! Ask me how I know that!

There is a product called wooly nylon thread that can be used to serge the edges of fleece blankets. ( you can use regular thread also). Buy a 1-1/2 yard piece of fleece, trim off the edges and round the corners. Bind the edges all around by serging around the whole perimeter. I did this for one of my grandsons who is 8, he still uses it! Makes a great tummy time blanket for baby, and there are so many cute fleeces you can buy!

Use your serger manual to tell how to set up for these different applications. Have fun!

April 3rd, 2014, 10:24 AM
Heirloom Creations has a youtube video for a quilt as you go quilt. I can't post the link from work on my Kindle Fire, but if you go to you tube and search for serger quilt as you go you should be able to find it.

Cat n bull
April 3rd, 2014, 10:32 AM
I'd make a skirt ;-)

Seriously though, make Sawyer some diaper covers, or some soft little pajamas. I love my serger for garment making! I don't use it for quilting though, because I do not enjoy using it as much as I enjoy my other machines.

April 3rd, 2014, 10:48 AM
The wooly thread that Jean mentioned is so much fun. It stays real soft so you can use it on the out side of seams for a cool effect. One of my shops just held classes for a serger quilt where the seams were on the out side.


April 3rd, 2014, 11:06 AM
The first thing I ever made with my serger was flannel pj's for my then 3-year-old. The ease of stitching stretchy ribbed fabric to the flannel for the neck and cuffs on the top & bottom was amazing. It goes VERY fast, and you may have to get used to that feature, especially if you're used to going slowly on your quilts!

Because of the speed, you will need to be especially careful to remove the pins before you get to them. I pin everything when I'm sewing stuff other than quilt tops (well, I pin those too when I want to match seams), so it's just something to keep an eye on.

Let us know how you like it! Serging changed my sewing life as much as M*QC and this forum have! Enjoy! :icon_happy:

April 3rd, 2014, 11:08 AM
I just bought a serger about a month ago so not very experienced yet but I have used it a lot more than I thought I would. Not for quilting yet but I am going to try one later. I bought a Babylock because of the threading and it is a breeze so setting it up for small projects is not a big deal. I made 8 napkins in about 1 hour including the time to cut them out (used Maxilock and Wooly Nylon). I also make a lot of totes, duffles, etc. Serging the edges not only helps with construction but on some of the duffles the inside seams are exposed so it gives a professional finished look. If you look on youtube there are a lot of suggestions and ideas for projects. I made a Minke blanket backed with flannel for my grandson for Christmas. Just a quick small blanket. I wish I had had the serger then - it would have been so much easier. Practice skimming the edge of the knife so you only cut the loose threads as once gone it won't come back. The blankets you are talking about would be a nice test project. Check out the different thread options. Have fun.

April 3rd, 2014, 11:13 AM
A serger is perfect for knits! You can make the coolest tee's and undies( yes there are patterns for them. lol) and pj bottoms. I have some boy knits, bugs, monsters, fish etc. Pm me your addy and can send you some :)

Claire Hallman
April 3rd, 2014, 11:23 AM
I just made a crib sheet with my serger. Very easy to do but I am not at home so can't give you the exact dimensions.:( Seems like you cut a length of 42" fabric to 62" then cut an 8" square from each corner. Bring the raw edges together in the corners and serge. Serge around the entire mattress opening and serge some elastic onto each end. Voila, a sheet that is not quite as hard to get onto the bed.

April 3rd, 2014, 11:33 AM
I love my serger! If you grab a yard of fleece and serge all around it you have a very quick baby blanket that is extremely soft. My granddaughter loves hers :) So if in a pinch for a baby gift you can have one done in less than 5 minutes. I love that it trims and serges at the same time which saves time.

I also love to make fleece tops for the winter and fleece jackets too. Clothes are so easy with a serger and the seams hold up better than just sewing them.

I've seen people use them on quits too. Search YouTube for Serger Quilts.

With your families talent and of course your beautiful addition :) I think you'd love to have one.

April 3rd, 2014, 11:44 AM
Ryan, I think you would find a lot of uses for a serger. I used to make nice napkins for a snooty linen shop when I lived in Las Vegas. I gave my serger away a few years ago and often entertain the idea of getting another one. One would e very useful when making pillowcases, napkins, placemats, garments, etc. DH and I made a hunting blind from camo fabric and I serged the panels together and it went together in a snap.

April 3rd, 2014, 01:29 PM
I have literally sewn thousands of t-shirts and soft pj's with my serger. Love it for garment sewing, especially knits......not used it for any quilting projects.

April 3rd, 2014, 03:59 PM
How many spools thread does it hold? You can do lots of decorative stitching w/the ones that hold several spools. The one I used to use held three spools, and I used it only for sewing knits or finishing the edges of fabric on clothing. You can do decorative hems, swimsuits, underware, totes, the list is endless!!!

April 3rd, 2014, 04:09 PM
I haven't used my serger much, but I did use it to make some re-usable baby wipes out of terry cloth and flannel. I have also made some burp cloths.

I'll be following this thread for some more ideas as my serger has been hibernating for several years now. It may not even work anymore though...