What exactly is a serger? A serger is like a sewing machine with three or four threads that wrap around the edge of fabric to prevent it from fraying. It sews, trims and finishes seams all in one step! A serger can make decorative edges and attach elastic. Look at the hem of any store bought garment and you’ll see a couple of rows of straight stitching on the outside and zigzags on the inside. This was done with a serger! Do I really need a serger? This question is asked by all levels of sewers. It is one to ask yourself when you want to take your sewing to the next level.
The most straight forward answer is, well, maybe. It depends on where you want to go with your sewing and what benefits a serger can give you. Here are a few questions to consider:
– How serious are you about sewing?
If you sew clothing often a serged edge looks professional and will make things easier and faster. Even if you are just sewing for you and your family a serger will allow you to quickly finish an edge and insure your finished product will survive washing and wearing.
You can do more than just finish an edge and hem things with a serger. Did you know you can quilt with it? You can even make a hat with entirely serged edges!
– Do you sew knits often?
Yes, you can get away with using a zigzag or stretch stitch on your regular machine for knits but if you sew knits often (like me!) a serger is the way to go. With knits a serger is incredibly quick and easy to sew seams.
– How lazy are you?
There are two ways this question can go. A serger sews and finishes an edge in one go. This makes finishing a project quicker than with a regular machine, saving you time and effort. Hemming a pair of pants is faster when you serge the raw edge instead of doing all the folding and measuring and pressing you would normally do to enclose the edge. You can also chain sew pieces without having to stop and clip threads each time.
There are still times when it is important to sew a seam with a sewing machine first which will increase the amount of time and effort you need to put in to finish a project. In that case you would take more time to serge the edges either together or by opening up the seam and serging either side individually. This makes the edges of the fabric more resistant to wear and tear, but it can get a little time consuming.
So depending on the type of seam or garment you are making, a serger can either remove steps in the creating process or add them.
What can a serger do that your sewing machine can’t and does that matter?
One thing a sewing machine can’t do – rolled hem. Basically a rolled hem is what it sounds like, a tight overlock stitch that rolls the hem in on itself ever so slightly. It makes a great finished edge for bridal gowns, flowy tops and dresses. A serger can also do things like gather or stretch the edge of a fabric, which is great for ruffles. If you buy what’s called a cover stitch machine you can make those double top stitches you find on the hems of your t-shirts!
I need one. Now what?
Sergers can appear pretty foreign if you’ve never used one and they are an investment.
Do you know a friend or relative who has one? See if you can test drive it. You can also come to Fabric Hut and talk to someone about it. We can show you how it works and give you more information to help you pick out the machine that best fits your needs.
Let’s face it, sergers cost money, but it will make your pieces last longer and take out a few steps in the sewing process, which can save you time. If you are selling your clothing it’s a great way to finish it in a professional way that will insure your customers that they bought a quality product that will last.
Need more help? Don’t worry we’re here to help you! email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or just Click here to make an appointment to talk to our sewing machine expert, Chris.
This week’s old advertisement is in honor of this Saturday’s 25th annual Children’s Festival, held here in Norfolk Virginia
These kids are sporting fashions from 1984, and they couldn’t look any cuter!
Come in today and find Strawberry Shortcake fabrics and a beautiful princess dress pattern for Halloween.
That cute flower outfit is made of Fleece.
Our Minky and Non-licensed printed Fleece goes on sale tomorrow and Saturday! It will be 30% off of our already low everyday prices. But it’s only for 2 days, so hurry in to stock up on all the warm fabrics you’ll need this winter!
We’ll be more then happy to help you pick out fabrics for your next project
Cut your quilt blocks.
I used my Accuquilt GO! with a 4 1/2” half square die #55397 to make things run a little more smoothly. This made my finished quilt a little smaller.
Here are the hand cutting directions:
Once you’ve assembled your 30 individual blocks, arrange them like the picture and sew them together. Next add the 2” border and then the 8” border.
Quilt it with your backing and batting. To make this go easier I always use a Spray adhesive.
Add your binding and you’re done! Time to enjoy your beautiful new quilt!
Looking to add some pattern to your life?
The simple geometric style of the “Chevron” can add sophisticated detail to any home or wardrobe. The Chevron has been around for years. Early humans used it to decorate pottery and add pattern to their homes and it has been a simple in our military rankings for centuries.
In the past few years Chevron has made a huge comeback and there are plenty of modern fresh takes on the pattern right here at Fabric Hut!
The most intriguing of these are Tonga’s zig zag Batiks.
These are some of the blues and greens we have available at FabricHut.com
Most Batiks are created by using a wax resist that prevents the fabric dye from dying certain areas. Traditionally this was hand done by either painting directly or stamping onto the fabric. Even the more modern, mass produced creations reflect this .
The whimsical print of this collection helps balance out the harsh geometric lines of the chevron pattern without taking away from the pattern itself. They can easily be paired with other linier patterns without clashing and are sure to brighten up your day!
This bright and modern combination is also available atFabricHut.com
These beautiful batiks are cotton and would make a wonderful addition to any quilt! You could even make a simple throw pillow to add a touch of creativity to your home.
We currently have these and more wonderful chevron fabrics available on our websiteFabricHut.com
Around the store we’re getting prepped for the Fourth of July and decided to share this really easy project! It’s under $15 and comes together in less than 30 minutes.
1 Panel of American Flag Fabric
Double Fold Quilt Binding
37″ Panel 21 flags ea. 7-1/4″x12″
1. Cut flags down to size. We roughly cut them out with scissors and then trimmed them with a rotary cutter and ruler.
2. Sandwich the flags between the folds of the quilt binding. We spaced our flags 5” apart and fit 6 flags on a 3 yard strip of binding. Feel free to space yours closer of farther so suit your taste. You can use any width binding that you’re comfortable working with. We used Wrights 7/8” Double Fold Quilt Binding.
3. Using a matching thread, sew the binding closed.
Lay your terry cloth face up on top of the batting fabric face.
Secure with pins.
Stitch along all four sides, leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance on the terry cloth. It is best to use a walking foot attachment to keep your fabrics from shifting around and pulling. This is optional though. If you do not have a walking foot try placing your pins closer together and feed your fabric slowly while sewing. There is no reason to rush.
Trim excess batting
Lay your backing face down on top of the terry cloth. Secure with paper clips to minimize the amount of holes you put in the nylon. The more holes you make in the nylon the weaker it becomes. Set your machine to a wider stitch length (4.5-5.0) so as to not weaken the nylon. Sew around three sides, on the fourth side leave an opening approximately 10″ wide.
Pull right side out and stitch your opening close.
Take your webbing and cut it into two 1 yard strips. Fold the edges under 1″ and pin, then stitch across
Now to place the straps. Fold your mat in half lengthwise. Then fold the bottom a third way up to the top. Fold again to the top. This is way the mat will fold to close.
Place your strap on both sides, pin in place and then stitch. A simple straight line across the bottom will do.
Your all set for a great day at the beach or picnicking. You can make it large or smaller by using more or less yardage. For this tutorial I used the Elna 6200 that was set into a Horn sewing cabinet. The machine comes with a walking foot along with seven other feet. I was a bit hesitant about sewing through the terry but the machine sewed through all the bulky layers like butter. This is also a great machine for heavy or bulky projects/fabrics.
Summer is officially upon us and with that comes outdoors excursions to the beach, parks, picnics, etc. With this tote you can forget about having to carry five or six different bags. This tote can fit everything, including the kitchen sink.
1-1/2 Yards of 44″ Wide Canvas Fabric
2 Yards of 2″ Webbing
Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Fold your canvas in half along the selvage
Rotate your fabric so that the fold is at the bottom, facing you.
Measure along the fold and cut the fabric at 27″ wide
Fold fabric right sides together. Stitch along sides of bag using a 1/2″ seam allowance. On the selvedge side a 1″ to 1-1/2″ seam allowance is needed to make sure the white selvedge does not show on the right side.
Take a stitched corner and pull apart the sides so that a triangle is formed and the side seam is in the center. Starting at the top of the point slide your ruler down until you reach the point where it is 9″ wide across.
Draw a line, stitch, and snip off outer triangle. Repeat with other corner.
Fold 3″ of the top edge of the bag to the inside and press.
Fold the raw edge under approximately 1/2″, press and pin.
Stitch the top hem close to the folded edge going completely around the bag
Cut your webbing into 2 one yard strips.
Fold the ends of the strap 1″ under and pin
Laying your bag flat with the seams to the sides, place your straps 8″ from the seams and pin in place.
Now its time to sew the straps on. There are many different ways to stitch it . I sewed a rectangle and then diagonally across to create an x. It is best to choose a thread that matches your strap so that the stitches aren’t too noticeable.
And now its time to conquer the day with this super tote!
The sewing machine you see pictured above is the Elna 2800 and one that I use often for tutorials. It is a very good beginner machine with an automatic needle threader and drop-in bobbin feature. It has a simple interface and you can get started sewing in seconds.