The only thing is that garments aren't just straight lines. Since the serger trims and sews, serging curves can be intimidating and a little tricky.
Why serge curves?Serging curves is the one technique that really speeds up my sewing. I most often use this technique when finishing off necklines and armholes for kid's clothes. Whether the serging is exposed or simply turned under, it eliminates the need for bias binding, lining or facing-- making summer playdresses quick and easy to make!
And since the seam allowance is trimmed as you sew, serged curves don't require much clipping or trimming-- what a timesaver!
Convinced? Click the link below to learn to serge curves.
Set up your Serger:First things first, let's get our sergers set up. I'm using the Brother 1034D. Although you can serge slight, gentle curves with your normal settings, for tighter curves it helps to do the following:
- Remove your stitch finger
- Decrease stitch length
I've cut an inside cure and an outside curve out of this orange checked fabric. We'll finish the edges of them both today.
Serging Outside CurvesSerging outside curves (like you'd find in a sleeve shape) is very similar to sewing on a sewing machine. Going slowly, try to make sure the edge of the fabric is lined up with the serger blade. The open area in the Brother 1034D makes it easy to see what you are doing.
Here's a close up the fabric lining up with the edge of the serger blade.
Serging Inside CurvesSerging inside curves (like on a neckline) is a bit more difficult. The trick here is to try and keep the fabric feeding into the machine straight. We do this by scrunching (technical term) the fabric to the left of the presser foot.
Here's both curves finished. Not bad, right? We've maintained the shape of the curve without any wonky stitching.
Here's a close up of the stitching.
Tips and TricksHere are a few tips:
- Sometimes it can be hard to see if you are keeping the shape of the curve while you are serging. Check the trimmed off portion coming out of the serger. If it's even, you know you are doing a good job!
- If you do make a mistake, remove the piece from the serger and re cut the curve using the original pattern. It might mean that the neckline is slightly lower or the sleeve is a bit shorter, but you can salvage the fabric!
- Since serging curves will be easier if you are trimming very little off, cut your pattern down to use a quarter inch seam allowance.
If you give this a shot and have any questions, leave a comment or email me. If you have any tips of your own, I'd love for you to share in the comment box below.
Here are the other posts in the Relationship Rescue: You and Your Serger Series.
Week 1: Threading Your Serger
Week 2: Perfecting Serger Tension
Week 3: Understanding Your Serger's Features
Quick Tip: Threading a Serger Out of Order
I'll see you back here on Friday for a series wrap up!