Date   

Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

Cheryl Paul
 

Hi Everyone,

This group is GREAT! I shared what I knew, asked a few questions and got such good responses. Like I mentioned I only ever did this technique in a long day and 3 or more hours of travel to get there and then again back home (we did stay one night) and did so many things that a person’s mind is boggled and this was JUST THE SERGER - a simple plain 4 thread Singer serger with bad tension on most days.

This was back in the 80’s when I was somewhere around 40 years old - had children somewhere between the youngest about of 6 - 10 and and the oldest being 13-17 with the 2 in between. I had a wonderful husband that can cook, and was tremendous with the children and didn’t mind his turn at lonely parenting.

I came home so overwhelmed that I didn’t actually do much of any of the things I’d learned, but did have a binder full of samples - which I may still have somewhere in my house, but sadly that particular serger is LONG gone, but I have a much better one now and the techniques are still rattling in my brain somewhere.

I so glad that some of you have “old” books to refer to and know where they are to help us out. I think I might be inspired to try some of these tricks again. I have 15 and 9 year old grand daughters (my little cleaning maids) that sew - some of this might be of interest to them in their world of sewing. They like to experiment and Ava (15) is really a good young sewist and her cooking skills are fabulous too. I guess “home schooling” might not be so bad after all. My other grand children don’t have the time to learn such things in detail.

Cheryl - Saskatoon


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

favymtz
 

That's just great! Your sample looks fantastic, good luck with your project!
--
Favymtz


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

Cat - N
 

That's great, June!  Sure helps to test/set-up with different color threads so you can see what each is actually doing and know which to adjust.  Glad you're feeling better about using your serger now.

- Cat (FL)



Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

June E Hudspeth
 

Hi Everyone:

 

Once again, I cannot thank all of you enough for helping me thru this very frustrating time (smile).

 

But, I think I finally have success.

 

I spent a few hours today playing around with the settings (thanks to everyone’s input) & I think I now have a “suitable” flatlock stitch.

 

I’m attaching a photo.  I could not have gotten to this stage without all of you.

 

If anyone has any comments/thoughts, please share, I’m open to anything.

 

Also hoping everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, Stay Safe!

 

June

 

From: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io <onlinesewing-janome@groups.io> On Behalf Of favymtz
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2020 9:47 AM
To: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io
Subject: Re: [onlinesewing-janome] Serger issues - and flat lock seams

 

More on Flatlocking! this is from an instruction book I purchased way back in 1993.
1) First set up the machine for a Balanced 3 thread stitch (either left or right needle) Wide width, short to medium length stitch.
2) loosen the needle tension almost completely
3) Tighten the lower looper until the thread forms a straight line on the edge of the fabric. The upper looper usually won't need adjusting
On the underside of the fabric The needle thread should look like a "V" intersecting with the lower looper thread
4) Always guide the fabric so that the stitches hang halfway off the edge of the fabric. That way when you open the seam apart there's room for the 2 layers to lay flat against one another
--
Favymtz


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

Cat - N
 

Nice find in that old book, Favy!  I have some old books I wouldn't trade for the world.

- Cat



-----Original Message-----
From: favymtz <favymtz@...>
To: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io
Sent: Mon, Nov 23, 2020 12:46 pm
Subject: Re: [onlinesewing-janome] Serger issues - and flat lock seams

More on Flatlocking! this is from an instruction book I purchased way back in 1993.
1) First set up the machine for a Balanced 3 thread stitch (either left or right needle) Wide width, short to medium length stitch.
2) loosen the needle tension almost completely
3) Tighten the lower looper until the thread forms a straight line on the edge of the fabric. The upper looper usually won't need adjusting
On the underside of the fabric The needle thread should look like a "V" intersecting with the lower looper thread
4) Always guide the fabric so that the stitches hang halfway off the edge of the fabric. That way when you open the seam apart there's room for the 2 layers to lay flat against one another
--
Favymtz


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

June E Hudspeth
 

Thanks so much to Favymtz.

 

Love these tips.

 

I have taken a 3 ring binder and printed out “all” the great tips/hints I’ve received, hoping this will be extremely helpful going forward.

 

Thanks again!

 

June

 

From: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io <onlinesewing-janome@groups.io> On Behalf Of favymtz
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2020 9:47 AM
To: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io
Subject: Re: [onlinesewing-janome] Serger issues - and flat lock seams

 

More on Flatlocking! this is from an instruction book I purchased way back in 1993.
1) First set up the machine for a Balanced 3 thread stitch (either left or right needle) Wide width, short to medium length stitch.
2) loosen the needle tension almost completely
3) Tighten the lower looper until the thread forms a straight line on the edge of the fabric. The upper looper usually won't need adjusting
On the underside of the fabric The needle thread should look like a "V" intersecting with the lower looper thread
4) Always guide the fabric so that the stitches hang halfway off the edge of the fabric. That way when you open the seam apart there's room for the 2 layers to lay flat against one another
--
Favymtz


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

favymtz
 

Even More on Flatlocking!!
I forgot to mention that even though both Tracy and I said not to do a 4 thread overlock, the book also mentioned that it's possible to do a Flatlock with 4 threads if you loosen both the needles tension.
BUT, most machines can't be adjusted loose enough so that both the needle threads will allow the fabric to lay flat (as we've already mentioned.)
So if that's the case if we tighten both needle tensions slightly then the effect will be like a corded stitching.
I have not tried that, nor think it would be an effect that I would like.
It would be nice to take the time to make samples of all kinds of stitch techniques on our sergers just like we do when we make Stitch Book for our decorative stitches!
On a nice winter day...
--
Favymtz


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

favymtz
 

More on Flatlocking! this is from an instruction book I purchased way back in 1993.
1) First set up the machine for a Balanced 3 thread stitch (either left or right needle) Wide width, short to medium length stitch.
2) loosen the needle tension almost completely
3) Tighten the lower looper until the thread forms a straight line on the edge of the fabric. The upper looper usually won't need adjusting
On the underside of the fabric The needle thread should look like a "V" intersecting with the lower looper thread
4) Always guide the fabric so that the stitches hang halfway off the edge of the fabric. That way when you open the seam apart there's room for the 2 layers to lay flat against one another
--
Favymtz


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

Tracy
 

Cheryl-

I have never been able to do a flatlock stitch with 4 threads.  You would leave a ridge with that 2nd needle so I do not believe it's possible.  Using 3 threads, and some tensions loose (needle) and others tight (lower looper) is what it takes and when you take the seam off your serger it looks really awful with loopy edges hanging out in the air along the edge.  But having that "look" means what you did is right and pulling the fabrics apart will give the look you want.  

 

The other thing to remember is when you want the flatlock's "ladder" side to be showing, you have to stitch with the fabric's wrong sides out (right sides together).  If you want the loops to show you do it in reverse.  (I hope I have said this right as I have not done this in a while.)

Tracy in Nashville, TN

Martha Pullen Licensed Educator


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

favymtz
 

No you cannot do a Flatlock with 4 threads. As Cheryl concluded, the 2 needle threads would keep the fabric from opening up and laying down flat.
On a machine that we "trick" into doing a Flatlock we have to use the left needle, loosen the tensions tremendously, lower the knife, use the widest stitch possible, and let the stitches fall off the edge of the fabric to make it happen.
It does take practice and adjusting for each fabric type.
--
Favymtz


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

Cat - N
 

Sometimes a break is just what you need, June.

- Cat (FL)



Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

June E Hudspeth
 

Hi Cat:

 

So sorry to hear about your ankle; hope you heal/mend quickly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I’ve printed out the sheets you sent.  I have taken a 2 day hiatus from my serger (smile).

 

Hope to jump back on it tomorrow!

 

Thank you again for all your help/tips/assistance.  I truly appreciate it.

 

Take care,

 

June

 

From: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io <onlinesewing-janome@groups.io> On Behalf Of Cat - N via groups.io
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2020 11:17 AM
To: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io
Subject: Re: [onlinesewing-janome] Serger issues - and flat lock seams

 

Cheryl,

 

I cannot answer the question about using 4-threads (including 2 needle threads) to create a flatlock stitch on a serger other than to say that the 1200D manual shows a 2-thread flatlock and a 3-thread flatlock stitch.  My Pfaff serger does not have a flatlock stitch that uses 2 needle threads either.

 

The flatlock stitch, being an "unbalanced" stitch, uses, in the 1200D, 1 needle and only the lower looper to create the 2-thread stitch, and uses 1 needle plus both upper and lower loopers to create the 3-thread unbalanced flatlock stitch that can be pulled flat after stitching like you see on some ready-to-wear garments.

 

I am a bit out of it on this "serger issues" subject, having injured my ankle on Tuesday, and now hobbling around in a rigid, inflated boot, getting a whole bunch of nothing accomplished quickly, so when I finally got back to the PC for a little while, was hoping to find an email saying that June was able to get her 1200D to sew the flatlock stitch on organza that she needs. 

 

In case I do not find such an email, I am going to attempt to attach pix of the 2-thread and 3-thread flatlock stitches from my Pfaff manual with instructions for tensions adjustments, and in PDF format, too.  Each thread is represented as a different color, making it easy to see what is being described...maybe the attachments will come through and help in some small way. 

 

- Cat (FL)



 

 


Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

Cat - N
 

Cheryl,

I cannot answer the question about using 4-threads (including 2 needle threads) to create a flatlock stitch on a serger other than to say that the 1200D manual shows a 2-thread flatlock and a 3-thread flatlock stitch.  My Pfaff serger does not have a flatlock stitch that uses 2 needle threads either.

The flatlock stitch, being an "unbalanced" stitch, uses, in the 1200D, 1 needle and only the lower looper to create the 2-thread stitch, and uses 1 needle plus both upper and lower loopers to create the 3-thread unbalanced flatlock stitch that can be pulled flat after stitching like you see on some ready-to-wear garments.

I am a bit out of it on this "serger issues" subject, having injured my ankle on Tuesday, and now hobbling around in a rigid, inflated boot, getting a whole bunch of nothing accomplished quickly, so when I finally got back to the PC for a little while, was hoping to find an email saying that June was able to get her 1200D to sew the flatlock stitch on organza that she needs. 

In case I do not find such an email, I am going to attempt to attach pix of the 2-thread and 3-thread flatlock stitches from my Pfaff manual with instructions for tensions adjustments, and in PDF format, too.  Each thread is represented as a different color, making it easy to see what is being described...maybe the attachments will come through and help in some small way. 

- Cat (FL)






Re: Serger issues - and flat lock seams

Cheryl Paul
 

OK, Now I have a question for all of your. Can you use 4 needles to do a flat lock seam? I thought the whole purpose of flat lock was to have the fabric lay “flat”. If you are using 4 threads, I can’t see how that would be possible as there is a space between the needle threads that would never lay flat, but leave a ridge. Am I missing something here?

Cheryl - Saskatoon


Re: Serger issues

June E Hudspeth
 

Thank you, thank you, thank you Marsha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I truly appreciate your tips, photos and great info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thanks so much!

 

June

 

From: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io <onlinesewing-janome@groups.io> On Behalf Of Marsha_Comcast
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2020 10:44 AM
To: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io
Subject: Re: [onlinesewing-janome] Serger issues

 

Hi June,
I use a 3-thread flatlock for making polar fleece socks. I have the needle tension at 1 or 0 since that's the one that needs to be loose enough to be pulled flat after stitching.
Try starting with the needle at 1 or 1.5, upper looper at 3.5, lower looper at 7, stitch length at 2.5
Make sure your blade is trimming off a small amount of top and bottom fabric.
Leave the needle tension and try adjusting only the upper and lower looper tensions until you get a better stitch quality.

Good luck with your testing. Every fabric takes adjusting. You'll enjoy it once you get it set.

Thanks,
Marsha 



 


Re: Serger issues

Marsha_Comcast
 

Hi June,
I use a 3-thread flatlock for making polar fleece socks. I have the needle tension at 1 or 0 since that's the one that needs to be loose enough to be pulled flat after stitching.
Try starting with the needle at 1 or 1.5, upper looper at 3.5, lower looper at 7, stitch length at 2.5
Make sure your blade is trimming off a small amount of top and bottom fabric.
Leave the needle tension and try adjusting only the upper and lower looper tensions until you get a better stitch quality.

Good luck with your testing. Every fabric takes adjusting. You'll enjoy it once you get it set.

Thanks,
Marsha 




Re: Serger issues

June E Hudspeth
 

Thank you to everyone who responded.

I truly appreciate the hints, tips and suggestions.

Cheryl: Great email!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for always supporting me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again, this is a great group, and I appreciate everyone.

I took today off (smile); but will be back at it tomorrow.

June

-----Original Message-----
From: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io <onlinesewing-janome@groups.io> On Behalf Of Cheryl Paul
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2020 9:36 AM
To: onlinesewing-janome@groups.io
Subject: Re: [onlinesewing-janome] Serger issues

June, I’d play with the one on the right of the screen. Isn’t that what the basic look of a flat lock?

I made a sweatshirt from a Kwik Sew pattern back in the 80’s that had 3 pieces to the front and dolman sleeves, if I remember correctly. I practiced on scraps of fabric, but never did get the hang of it. I eventually just decided to “go for it” and made the sweatshirt. It was NEVER a favourite, but I did wear it and not just around the house, but definitely not to Sunday Church. I used 3 different fabrics, 2 were good quality, but the cream colour was one I had around the house and a lighter weight fleece than the coral and the third was a double knit with an embossed pattern. That may have been the problem as all were not equal. I also used a variegated thread, so things really showed up when it was done. I did pull the fabrics and worked the threads to lay flat and pressed them really well. It was acceptable, but I would never have said it was really good. I think this technique takes a lot of practice, something I don’t have time or patience to do. It seems to be one of those types of projects that one only does once in a while, so that makes it really hard to get it to excellent standards. When we see something in the store and we like it, we need to realize that there are thousands of those items made in a factory that has only a few in their line up of people sewing ALL of them and just “that particular” part of the garment. I think we do a really good job as home sewists to do the excellent job we do with sometimes a single machine to do it ALL. We are lucky when we can have a serger, sewing machine and maybe embroidery with it, and a cover hem to finish the hemlines. We really can’t beat ourselves up over a garment that maybe doesn’t meet OUR perfection - we do our best and maybe need help from time to time from a friend who sees things differently and can do it the way WE like and helps us out to get the results we like. This group is so good as we do our best to help each other.

Breathe and then you just go at again girl - you’ll get this. Let us know what settings you use, but I’d try with that last sample on the right - try loosening the lower looper and tightening the upper looper - just a little at each sample try. I forget what the needle thread tension is suppose to be, but I think you want a normal stitch length or about 2 - 2.5 and maybe the tension needs to be a little tighter too - I’d really test that though as you don’t want to have thread breaks or the needle to break either. I think the lower looper is the key and needs to wrap around to the front and the needle thread.

Cheryl - Saskatoon


Re: Serger issues

Cheryl Paul
 

June, I’d play with the one on the right of the screen. Isn’t that what the basic look of a flat lock?

I made a sweatshirt from a Kwik Sew pattern back in the 80’s that had 3 pieces to the front and dolman sleeves, if I remember correctly. I practiced on scraps of fabric, but never did get the hang of it. I eventually just decided to “go for it” and made the sweatshirt. It was NEVER a favourite, but I did wear it and not just around the house, but definitely not to Sunday Church. I used 3 different fabrics, 2 were good quality, but the cream colour was one I had around the house and a lighter weight fleece than the coral and the third was a double knit with an embossed pattern. That may have been the problem as all were not equal. I also used a variegated thread, so things really showed up when it was done. I did pull the fabrics and worked the threads to lay flat and pressed them really well. It was acceptable, but I would never have said it was really good. I think this technique takes a lot of practice, something I don’t have time or patience to do. It seems to be one of those types of projects that one only does once in a while, so that makes it really hard to get it to excellent standards. When we see something in the store and we like it, we need to realize that there are thousands of those items made in a factory that has only a few in their line up of people sewing ALL of them and just “that particular” part of the garment. I think we do a really good job as home sewists to do the excellent job we do with sometimes a single machine to do it ALL. We are lucky when we can have a serger, sewing machine and maybe embroidery with it, and a cover hem to finish the hemlines. We really can’t beat ourselves up over a garment that maybe doesn’t meet OUR perfection - we do our best and maybe need help from time to time from a friend who sees things differently and can do it the way WE like and helps us out to get the results we like. This group is so good as we do our best to help each other.

Breathe and then you just go at again girl - you’ll get this. Let us know what settings you use, but I’d try with that last sample on the right - try loosening the lower looper and tightening the upper looper - just a little at each sample try. I forget what the needle thread tension is suppose to be, but I think you want a normal stitch length or about 2 - 2.5 and maybe the tension needs to be a little tighter too - I’d really test that though as you don’t want to have thread breaks or the needle to break either. I think the lower looper is the key and needs to wrap around to the front and the needle thread.

Cheryl - Saskatoon


Re: Serger Stitches: Flat-locking

Tracy
 

Try stiffening the organza with some liquified water-soluble stabilizer scraps.  I think because the organza is limp/wimpy is part of the reason you are having issues.  Try increasing your lower looper tension.  My 643D needs the lower looper to be between 7-9 to give me a good stitch.  Needle is lowered - so 1 or 2 should work.  The upper looper a low number as well at 2-3.  

I always keep my scraps of WSS so I can put some in a small container and add drips of water at a time to make an "Elmer's School Glue" consistency.  Paint it on and let it dry.  Wash it out when your project is done.  And- if you add a couple drops of rubbing alcohol as the liquid when making your "glue" you can keep the mixture in the refrigerator for a week or so.  Just throw it out when it turns green as you do not want to keep your sewing version of penicillin when it's green.  And- you may need to label the container so no one at your house thinks it's the beginnings of a sauce or gravy!  (big giggles but could be true with the holidays coming!)

Tracy in Nashville, TN

Martha Pullen LIcensed Educator


Re: Serger Stitches

S GRAY
 

June, u need to use a water soluble stablizer -maybe 2-3 layers to serge on thin fabric-or a tear-away

On 11/17/2020 2:42 PM, Cat - N via groups.io wrote:
Absolutely 4 colors to test. I leave my machine threaded with different colors. I only change for topstitching when it needs to match. ‘Only’ with different colors can you easily tell what part of stitching needs adjusting. 

- Cat

Typos courtesy of autocorrect. 



On Nov 17, 2020 at 11:23 AM, <Cheryl Paul> wrote:

Hey June,  Good Morning,

Have you tried using a different colour in each thread space - that’s 4 colours.  Then do a test sample on scrap organza.  Stretch the fabric out when you’ve stitched it to see what happens to the flat fell.  If there is a picture of this in your manual, compare it - I don’t do much of this type of serging.  From what you see on the bottom, compare to the cotton and see which tensions seem to be off and adjust them.  You are a trooper,  keep trying, you’ll get it.  Remember that you really do need to experiment as each machine is just a little different, even if they have the same name, number, etc.  Thread also makes a difference and we all have our preferences or use what is available to us in our individual sewing markets - we can just hope that most of our stores carry a good quality.  Also remember that the organza is “see through” so it might look different than your other fabric because it is see through, but maybe isn’t really different.  It just might show a different look.

If you have the “Footbook App” or Jim and Dianes and the serger is featured - watch it.  Diane gives very good instruction.  Maybe we need to get Jim and Diane to to a “Serger App” for us - if they have the time and are willing to do so.

Cheryl - Saskatoon





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