Thursday, April 19, 2012

Balancing the Serger Stitches

Four thread Overlock
1. For testing the balance use 4 different color threads.
2. If the lower looper is coming to the front then it is too loose.
3. But most times if you tighten the lower looper thread then you may need to loosen the upper looper thread. Hence - balance. The same applies if the upper looper thread is going to the back, tighten the upper looper thread and loosen the lower looper thread.

Three Thread Rolled Hem
1. The needle tension should be normal or one number higher because it is the security of the stitch.
2. Upper looper (depending on the thread used) should be at a normal setting.This is the thread that encases the raw edge of the fabric - a lot like sausage casing. :-)
a. Wooly nylon - normal
b. Regular serger thread the tension will need to be a little tighter or a higher number.
c. Jeans stitch or a heavier weight thread then the tension needs to be a little looser.
3. Three Thread Decorative Edge
1. In most cases all normal settings will work.
2. If needed loosen both the upper and lower looper tensions to accommodate the weight of the thread.

To practice some of these techniques - go to and look at "Projects" and select "Square Dance Purse" or "Crazy Quilt Bag". There are several serger projects on the site that you can chose from for learning how to bond with your serger.


  1. hi maddie-
    i just found your blog today and i have a question, i need ball point needles for my babylock imagine serger, the regular, even fine ones, are making holes in my thin jersey fabrics. some people say i can use regular schmetz needles in the serger, and others say i need special serger needles, but i can't find them anywhere. do you have any advice on whether it's ok to use standard ball point needles? or do you know where to find serger specific ones?
    thanks so much, i am looking forward to reading your older posts!

  2. Please check to see if you need to use elx705 needles in your serger. If so, it may be a challenge to find ball point needles. I suggest a dealer that I am very familiar with. Kens Sewing in Muscle Shoals, ALabama. But I think Kevin is going to Paducah for the quilt show this week. But you can go on line and check them out. Kevin is very knowledgeable and helpful. be sure to ask for him.