How To Serge With A Singer Sewing Machine

How to Serge with a Singer Sewing Machine

Serging is a technique used in sewing, knitting and crocheting to provide a consistent finished edge on fabric or yarn. It is particularly useful for joining together pieces of fabric that are to be sewn, or for finishing off edges to give them a tidy look. The Singer sewing machine is a popular choice for professionals and home sewers alike, and with its wide range of features, it can easily be adapted to serge as well as regular seam sewing. Here are a few tips on how to best use the Singer sewing machine for serging.

Make Room for Serging

Serging requires more space than normal stitching, so it’s important to make sure there is plenty of room available. Most Singer sewing machines have a fabric guide that can be adjusted and moved around to accommodate different widths of fabric or materials. Make sure the guide and any other accessories are out of the way and don’t interfere with the serging process.

Check the Tension

Accurately adjusting the thread tension is an important step when serging. Depending on the fabric, the correct tension can be achieved by manually adjusting the tension dials. Make sure the bobbin is wound tightly, as this affects the overall tension of the stitch. When working with thicker or heavier fabric, it’s important to make sure the thread is wound tightly and that the tension is in balance to prevent thread breakage and puckering.

Select the Proper Feet and Attachments

Different feet and attachments can be used to help create different types of serge stitches. For most serging applications, the regular presser foot is sufficient, but for more specialized applications, other attachments such as the rolled hem foot and differential feed foot may be necessary. It’s also important to check the needle size when serging – a larger needle is often required for thicker or heavier fabric.

Adjust the Cutter

Serging requires that the fabric be cut as it is sewn, so the cutter must be adjusted accurately. Most Singer machines have a three or four thread cutter, and the lever or knob should be set in the correct position to ensure that the fabric is cut evenly. Make sure that the fabric is not pulled too tightly and that it’s placed evenly in front of the needle before beginning to sew.

Practice on Scrap Fabric

Serging is a technique that requires practice, so it’s best to start off with some scrap fabric before starting on a project. Test out different combinations of threads and stitches, as well as different presser feet and attachments, to get a feel for how to best use the machine for serging. In addition, make sure to read the manual and keep it handy for reference.

How to Adjust Tension for Different Fabrics

Different fabrics require different thread tensions for the best results. Generally, for heavier fabrics, the tension should be set higher than for lighter fabrics. If the tension is too loose, the fabric will pucker, and if it is too tight, the thread may snap. It’s best to experiment with different settings on scrap fabric before beginning a project to ensure the best results.

What Accessories Do You Need?

There are a few important accessories that are necessary for successful serging. The most important is the right needle size and thread – especially when working with thicker or heavier fabrics. Additionally, you may need presser feet and attachments such as a rolled hem foot or differential feed foot, which are specially designed for serging applications. It’s also important to have a fabric guide and ruler to ensure accurate serging.

Ease of Use & Maintenance

Singer sewing machines are known for their ease of use and reliable performance. They are easy to thread and use, and the tension dials and other adjustments can be quickly and easily fine-tuned for different types of fabrics and seams. In addition, Singer sewing machines are designed to reduce the amount of maintenance required, and with regular cleaning and oiling, a Singer sewing machine can last for years.

What to Look for in a Quality Machine

There are a few important features to look for when purchasing a Singer sewing machine. Make sure the machine is capable of serging and that it has the right accessories and attachments for the job. Additionally, check the stitch options as well as the speed control, as this can vary from machine to machine. Other important features include the thread cutter, fabric guide, and foot pedal – all of which should be adjustable or removable.

Common Problems & Solutions

When serging, there are a few common problems that can arise. Thread breakage, skipped stitches, and puckering are some of the most common, and can usually be remedied by adjusting the tension, changing the needle, or tweaking the foot pedal. Additionally, make sure the feed dogs are clean and free-running, and that the machine is properly lubricated for optimum results.

How to Properly Clean & Lubricate the Machine

Cleaning and lubricating a sewing machine is essential for optimum performance. After each use, make sure to clean off any lint and dust from the machine, as well as from the attachments and accessories. For lubricating, use the proper Singer sewing machine oil and make sure to lubricate all of the functioning parts, including the feed dogs, presser bar, and thread guides. Additionally, make sure to follow the instructions in the manual for detailed instructions.

Can You Use a Serger to Sew Seams?

Sergers are primarily used for joining edges of fabric or for finishing off edges of fabric. They can be used to sew seams, but it’s important to note that the stitch produced by a serger will not be as strong as a standard stitch produced by a regular sewing machine. For this reason, it’s not recommended to use a serger for long seams or seams that require strength and durability.

Should You Invest in a Serger?

Sergers can be a great investment, especially if you’re into sewing, crafting and quilting. Serging provides a neat, professional finish to fabric edges, and can make tasks such as hemming and joining significantly faster and easier. When considering whether or not to purchase a serger, consider the type of projects you plan to work on, as well as the budget you have available. There are a number serger models from Singer, each with its own features and benefits.

What Type of Serger Should You Get?

When it comes to choosing a serger, there are a few things to keep in mind. Beginners should look for machines with clear and simple controls, as well as machines with adjustable thread tensions and adjustable speeds. Additionally, make sure to read the manual and familiarize yourself with the features and functions before making a purchase. Professional sewers may want to consider machines with more advanced features and attachments, as these can offer a greater range of flexibility and control.


Serging using a Singer sewing machine is an easy and affordable way to get professional-looking results. With a few simple adjustments and the right accessories, the Singer sewing machine can be used to serge and provide a professional, neat finish to fabric edges. By following these steps, as well as regularly cleaning and lubricating the machine, it is possible to get the most out of your Singer sewing machine and achieve beautiful serging results.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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