How to Properly Serge a Rolled Hem

Before we start with the ‘how’ part of this article, we’re going to discuss what a serger is and how it differs from the typical sewing machine. The first thing you need to know is that the serger actually performs two different functions: cutting and binding. With a typical sewing machine, you would need to cut your fabric first, then use the sewing machine. The second thing you need to know is that in a serger, you would use 3-4 threads, whereas in a sewing machine, you would use one. These create a locked stitch, thereby saving some significant time. Also, the speed on a server is much faster, meaning it is for the more advanced tailor. To put it simply, the serger is outstanding for sewing seams onto knits, though it does plenty of other things. Today, as the title implies, we’re going to be talking about rolled hems, which is accomplished when the machine folds the fabric under, and then stitches it. You’ve seen this before, on napkins and tablecloths, but it’s also seen on kit clothing. To be honest, rolled hems can be achieved on a standard sewing machine, but it’s just more efficient and much faster to use a serger. So, are you ready to get started? Great!

Your Experience May Vary

how to Serge a Rolled HemWe need to say first, that every serger is different, but the basics are usually the same. We’re going to quickly walk through the steps and get this proverbial show on the road. Now, on a standard serger, you would have a stitch finger above the right of the foot that you would start by disengaging. In the case of most sergers, you would pull a switch forward to slide the finger forward. On other sergers, however, the stitch finger is part of the needle plate, which means you’d need to switch plates (they make a rolled hem plate). For more information, please check your manual, and once again, your experience may vary.

Disengage the Upper Knife

The upper knife needs to be disengaged before you can get started and this usually involves turning a knob – once again, your manual will give you more information. Now, according to the instructions in your manual, switch the unit from Standard to Rolled.

Time to Get Started

Now that your machine is set up, it’s time to get down to the basics:

1.    Shorten your Stich Length – This means going to R, which puts your stitch length at about 1 ½
2.    Place your fabric face up, and slide it under the pressure foot
3.    Begin stitching

As you proceed to stitch, you will see the fabric fold up under the threads and stitch over the edge. For most people, three threads are enough, but you can feel free to experiment with different methods and get your rolled stitch just the way you want it. Play around with it and make this method all your own. You’ll be a pro before you know it!

Sewing with kids

If you love sewing, one of the most rewarding things you can do is teach someone else. Jessica Giardino teaches you tips for sewing with children including when to start teaching, what to show them and some fun practice and sewing projects for kids.