Scrap Catcher

When I am sewing I use a coffee can to put all of my fabric scraps from cutting out a pattern and a place to put the threads when I am trimming them after each seam, but for a serger… I need a scrap catcher.

If you don’t have a scrap catcher you will be sweeping up a floor or picking up on carpet! And if you have a nosy busy buddy wee dog that is intrigued by the falling strings of fabric and is determined to spread it around… you need a scrap catcher!

If you are ambitious and want to sew one here are links to patterns and ideas..

Janome Scrap Catcher

Scrap Catcher

if you are crafty…

you can decorate a cardboard box, using sticky velcro – velcro the bottom of your serger in two places and the flap of a box in matching places, the box is pretty- that is if you are crafty. Now cut or make
another box that fits inside.. easy to empty that way.

and the lazy way… my favorite

Hang a grocery store bag by putting the handles under the front feet of the machine. It stays open enough to catch the snippets from the cutting blade.

got an old baseball cap? slide it under your serger

I use the grocery bag…. I throw it away after I finish each project.


Cover Your Machines!!!

Be sure to keep your machine covered so that dirt and dust don’t find its way in.

If you don’t have time to make a cover then lay a towel or sheet over your machine or make or buy a machine cover! but keep it covered!

here are some directions on how to make a cover! perhaps you can measure your machines and start looking for fabric you would like to use.

machine cover

machine cover

machine cover

machine cover

machine cover

machine cover

each machine cover is different, all are great! or make up your own.

Stitch Width

Stitch width

To make a wider or narrower stitch adjust the blade!
The blade moves right and left taking bigger or smaller bites out of the fabric .. hence wider or narrower stitch width. Your knob should have numbers on it.. if not.. put some on!

Your Serger Manual

Your Manual

Read your Manual through a couple of times. It helps if you do this in front of your machine so you can learn where everything is and get used to being able to identifying the various dials, knobs, and parts.

I would also like to suggest you make a copy of your manual, this copy is the one you write in, make notes in, and if lost.. it is ok, the original is put away in a safe place!

Threading Order and How To Remember

On a 4 thread serger there are 4 tension knobs. Some sergers may have dials while others may have slides to adjust your tensions.

the order they are in…. but not the order they are threaded!!!

From Left to Right

the first on the left is the Left Needle = LN
the second is (center left) is Right Needle = RN
the third is Upper Looper = UL
the last far right is Lower Looper = LL

The order in which they are threaded is:

Upper Looper = UL
Lower Looper = LL
Right Needle = RN
Left Needle = LN

with a little piece of scotch tape, tape it next to each tensioner. On the tape write down what the tensioner is using the abbreviations and the order in which it is threaded.


Now place another piece of tape over this so it doesn’t get erased as it as you thread these tensioners.

This will remind you which one it is and in what order you thread your machine.

Serging Tips – Chain Off

Serger – Chain Off

Once your machine is threaded, you will want to run your serger to
create a chain of thread before inserting the fabric, say about 4-6
inches. The Chain is the thread coming off of the stitch finger. The
chain is also referred to as the Tail.

When you have finished a seam, let the chain continue to form. Let it
chain off at least 8-12 inches. You will cut it at 4-6 inches so that
the next time you begin to serge a seam the chain is ready to go.

This long chain of thread will allow you to tuck it into the stitch so
it doesn’t come unthreaded. You can use your dental flosser, an
embroidery needle with a large eye and blunt tip, a special tool used
to thread a chain or a strap tuner to tuck the chain into the seam.
Thread the chain into the eye, now run the needle through the serged
seam. You can cut the thread after it has been threaded into the seam
about 1-2 inches. If you prefer to use a seam sealant** or any other
type of fabric glue that is fine too. However be aware that these need
several hours to dry before cutting the chain off.

**I use FrayBlock as *note: fray block is soft and pliable, I have not
found this to be true with other sealants