Serger Tips and Tricks

Sergers, also known as overlocker machines, are specialized sewing machines that sew seams, trim and neaten up the fabric edges all at once.  In the garment industry, they are used extensively since an entire garment can be made in minutes with a neat finish. 

Overlockers, because they were limited to use in factories, were a little known sewing tool to home sewers. However, they have become increasingly popular in the past few years and are now found in use by many home sewers.

Because sergers, as they are known in the USA, may not appear easy to use at first, many sewers are looking for serger tips and tricks to make them more simple to use.

What is the best stitch for serging?

When using a serger machine, the 4-thread overlock is the best stitch for sewing knits since it is strong and flexible. If overcasting and finishing raw edges of woven fabrics is desired, using the 3-thread option is a good choice.

A 2-thread overlock stitch uses fewer threads, so it is less bulky and very good for finishing edges.

Which thread uses the most on a serger?

The most thread is used on the upper looper system, followed by the lower looper. One serger sewing tip is to rotate the thread cones, occasionally switching the looper cones with the needle cones in order to make sure that the thread is used up on the cones at approximately the same time.

Note that not all four threads must be used on a serger.  Three threads can be used as long as two of the threads are threading the two loopers.

Is threading a serger difficult?

When using a serger machine, the sewer will find that there is a lot more to threading the overlocker than there is to threading a sewing machine. The lower looper often causes the most difficulty because it is tucked underneath.

Scroll down for step-by-step instructions to thread a serger.  Using an overlocker machine doesn’t have to be difficult!  It can be easy to use a serger with the right serger sewing tips.

Can a serger be used in quilting?

There are several serger tips below showing how to use a serger when quilting. A serger can be used to sew the binding on a quilt, and it is very helpful when joining half-square triangles.

Scroll down to visit the articles that give very good serger sewing tips for use when making a quilt.

The articles on this page will give the sewer many helpful serger tips and tricks to make using this specialized machine fun and easy! Don't miss our page on free serger projects!

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Bernina L450 & L460 Serger Online Manual PDF

This is a link to the manual for the Bernina Sergers L450 & L460 from the manufacturer's site. Bernina

4 Serger Techniques to Learn

Here's how to create simple gathers or lettuce edging with your differential control and how to precisely sew serger corners and curves. Thread Magazine

Bernina L450/L460 Serger Machine (Overlocker Machine)

Bernina L450/L460 Serger Machine (Overlocker Machine)

In this tutorial, we are introducing the Bernina L450 serger machine. We tell you about the features of this serger and see it stitch a 4-thread overlock stitch. Associates

Binding a Quilt with a Serger

Learn how to bind a quilt. This video sewing tutorial will focus on the following topics - how to sew the binding on a quilt by serger, how to bind a quilt with perfect mitered corners, how wide to cut quilt binding bias tape, how to join binding ends. Ageberry

Corner Serging and Finishing Seams

Corner Serging and Finishing Seams

Learning to use a serger can be confusing since it differs from a traditional sewing machine.

This video and photo tutorial will demonstrate how to serge seams, turn corners and secure seams. Associate

Easy Half Square Triangles with a Serger Video

Learn how to sew half square triangles with a serger with this video tutorial. Over the Edge Serging with Jen

Elastic Attachment

With this post, you will learn three ways to sew elastic using a serger. Sew Daily

Flatlock How-To

Flat locking can be a great decorative stitch as well as a useful stitch for joining fabric. Learn how to flatlock with a serger sewing machine. Life Sew Savory

Flatlock Savvy

Here you will learn the best tips and techniques to achieve a perfect flatlock stitch on your serger. Sew Daily

Flatlock Seam

Learn how to flatlock with a serger. We All Sew

French Seam Serging

Learn a technique for sewing a French seam that is faster and neater than the traditional way. With a serger! Threads Magazine

Gather Fabric

Did you know you can use your serger to gather fabric? This tutorial shows you how. The Seasoned Homemaker

Gathering With a Serger

With this tutorial learn how to do quick and easy gathering with a serger. Treasurie


Learn a rolled hem, a blind hem, and a flatlock hem on your serger. Sew Daily

Hemming Pants

Hemming pants with your serger is easy and fast with this method. From My Carolina Home

How to Thread an Bernina Overlocker L450 or L460 Serger

How to Thread an Bernina Overlocker L450 or L460 Serger

Learn how to thread your Bernina L450 or Bernina L460 serger/overlocker with this step-by-step photo and video tutorial. Associate

Master the 3-Thread Flatlock Stitch for Quilt Piecing

The flatlock stitch can be used to piece a quilt, follow this tutorial to learn how! Over the Edge Serging with Jen



Learn how to sew a rolled hem on an overlocker serger sewing machine to make inexpensive DIY cloth napkins. Associate

Overlock Stitches

This useful overlock stitch guide will help you get the most from your overlocker/serger. The Sewing Directory

Quilting with a Serger

Learn different quilting techniques with a serger with this video tutorial series. Quilting Daily

Rolled Hem Tutorial

Rolled Hem Tutorial

Sewing a rolled hem with a serger is fast and easy! Learn how to setup a serger to sew a rolled hem with this video and photo tutorial. Associate

Serge Darts for Knits

In this tutorial, serger expert and instructor Pamela Leggett shares her method for achieving great-looking darts in knits by using a serger. Threads Magazine

Serge Seam Allowances

A serger trims and overlocks the seam allowance in one pass. Learn how here. Threads Magazine

Serged One Seam Flying Geese Block Tutorial

Learn how to make a one seam flying geese block with your seger. Over the Edge Serging with Jen

Serger 101

A serger, also referred to as an overlock machine, is a specialized sewing machine. Learn about a serger by reading this article. Thread Magazine

Serger Blind Hem Stitch

Serger Blind Hem Stitch

Did you know that a blind hem stitch can be sewn on a serger or overlocker on knit and woven fabrics? Hemming with a Serger is quick and easy with the blindstitch foot and the blind hem stitch. Read this tutorial and watch our video to learn the blind hem stitch with your serger. Associate

Serger Hems for Knits

This article is split into three parts - the tools for serging hems, tips for making knit hems with a serger and serger hem types. Sie Macht Sewing

Serger Knits with Differential Feed

Find out how this helpful serger function keeps knit seams and edges smooth and flat. Threads Magazine

Serger Stitch Removal

This post shows an easy and fast way to remove serger stitches. Melly Sews

Serger Stitches

A complete guide on the different types of serger stitches and how and when to use them. My Golden Thimble

Serger Tails

Here are six methods on how to finish serger tails. Peek-a-Boo Pages

Serger Tension

Learn how to adjust the needle and looper serger tension for a perfect finish. Melly Sews

Serger Troublshooting Guide

Here’s a list of things to check when things go wrong with your serger. Threadistry

T-Shirt Neckband Tutorial

This tutorial will give directions for using a serger or just a simple sewing machine to sew a neck binding to a t-shirt. Life Sew Savory


These step-by-step instructions show how to change serger thread without re-threading the machine. My Golden Thimble


Learn two different ways to use a serger to insert a zipper into your next project. Sew Daily

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