How to Sew Knits with a Serger?
Last Updated: April 06, 2021
As a beginner sewer, you might have always thought to yourself as to how a sewing machine will be enough for all your sewing projects.
But after coming across sergers, your opinion might have changed instantly – especially when it comes to sewing knits.
Now that you understand the importance of this machine, you might have already purchased one. But the realization of how its mechanism is different from that of a sewing machine will hit sooner or later.
That is why we are presenting an article regarding how to sew knits with a serger.
Although the process is absolutely easy, we have included as much details as necessary regarding it.
So take a little bit of your time to go through this article, and it will help you immensely.
While sewing knits, a serger for heavy fabric isn’t a must, but it is a strong recommendation from many veterans; because when it comes to knits, nothing will help you better than a serger.
So, we will be discussing all the aspects in which having a serger will make your experience with sewing knits much better and easier.
This mechanism consists of two separate feeding dogs, which pull and push the fabric under the presser foot. The purpose of this mechanism is that they prevent waves from being created in the knit fabric, which often happens when working with a sewing machine.
The two sets of feed dogs operate separately, which makes them move at different speeds altogether. As a result, you can customize the speeds of them accordingly to either eliminate waves altogether or to create a decorative touch.
This aspect makes working with knit fabric much more convenient, as you won’t have to worry about unwanted waves.
Unlike most industrial sewing machines, sergers tend to move very fast, which sets them apart from their traditional counterparts. In fact, they are so fast that you might be intimidated by their speed at first – but it’s really all about how you get used to them.
The speed of the serger will allow you to work with several knit garments in one go – you can literally make a pair of leggings in your coffee break! It will also make your work much more efficient.
Many sewers have one common complaint when working with knit fabrics – their sewing machines keep on eating up their fabric. As a result, a nice piece of knit fabric might be destroyed because of the machine alone.
That’s where sergers come in. They tend to keep the knit fabric nice and intact without chewing it up. This is the benefit of having a differential feed mechanism in the machine, which sewing machines often fail to offer.
When working with a piece of fabric, you are bound to eliminate the excess seams left. And you will probably have to do it with a pair of scissors if you are using a sewing machine.
However, this will not be a matter of concern for you anymore if you use a serger, like a serger for denim. This tool comes with a knife, which will trim off any seam bulk left by the end of the operation.
Not only does this feature save your time, but it will also make the seam look much more professional. You won’t have to put in an extra effort either, and it will give your knit garment a better finish.
Another major benefit of using sergers over sewing machines is that the finished stitch will have some stretch to it. This will happen, especially if you use a stretch thread or a wooly nylon on the lower loops.
If the finished stitch of the knit garment is stretchy as well, then there will be a lower chance of the fabric getting torn down or being stiff due to stitches.
Now, using a serger isn’t exactly rocket science, but you can’t call it a piece of cake either. Hence, there are some steps and tips that you should get familiar with if you want to sew knits with them without any hassle, that is.
We will be focusing on that solely in this section of the article, and once you go through it, you will know the drill in no time.
There are three methods that we will talk about, and you can feel free to follow any one of them.
The name of the method already gives away the entire technique – you will be sewing the entire fabric using a serger, which also includes the joining seams at the finishing.
You will be sewing all the pieces that keep the garment together using the serger. Afterward, you can use a cover-stitch or your sewing machine to topstitch or hem the garment.
For this method, it will be optimal if you use a 4-thread serger stitch. This is easy and will require less time and hassle as well. But with a 3-thread serger stitch, you will need to use a different method.
If you are more comfortable using a sewing machine, then we will recommend you to sew the fabric using the best sewing machine for knit fabrics first. Basically, you will put together all the pieces using the sewing machine.
This method is more preferable because it will give you more control over the sewing speed and will provide more preciseness when it comes to seam allowances, corners, and curves.
After you are done putting all the pieces together, you will have to use a serger on the construction seams and finally finish the garment. Even an overlock machine under 300 can do the job quite effectively.
This method basically suggests the opposite to the one discussed above. Although this is one of the lesser-used techniques, you can use it when it comes to seams that undergo more abuse than the others.
The basic idea around this one is that you will join all the seams and construct the fabric together using a serger, which will make the process quicker.
Once you are done with that, you will reinforce the stitching using a sewing machine.
Now that we have answered your question regarding how to sew knits with a serger, we would conclude by saying that the process is effortless once you get a gist of it.
No matter how new sergers seem to you, once you use them, you will become familiar with their mechanism in no time.