Sergers are wonderful machines that make sewing garments with strong, professional-looking seams a breeze. After a bit of practice, almost anyone can learn how to use serger sewing machines like the Janome 8002D serger to create wonderful garments. The difference is in the details, with serged seams looking much better than any other seam, especially after tucking in the tails. Use the following quick tips to handle thread tails and head chains so they are almost invisible on any garment.
Why Bother with Serger Thread Tails?
Thread tails are inevitable, regardless of the type of project or what types of sewing machines are used. Most of the time, extra thread at the start and end of a seam can be snipped away; however, this is not the case when using a serger.
Multiple threads are used by sergers to create an interlocked chain. The tails left are more noticeable and cannot be simply snipped off without risking the unraveling the entire seam. Both the tails and the starting head chains must be carefully handled so they stay out of sight, while the seams stay secure.
Best Ways to Tuck in Thread Tails and Head Chains
- Tucking In Thread Tails - Ending thread tails made by a serger occur because the machine continues making interlocked stitches even after the seam has been finished. To secure the tail, keep stitching so it is at least three to four inches long before cutting the threads, and then tuck it back into the seam. Do this by threading the end of the tail onto a tapestry needle with a large eye, then thread the needle under the stitches along the seam. Feed the needle as far as necessary to pull in the entire length so it lays flat and snug, inside the stitches, then simply slide the needle out.
- Gluing Thread Tails - Another way to prevent thread tails from unraveling is by affixing them with an adhesive designed to prevent fabric edges from fraying. Make a knot in the tail close to the end of the seam and apply a little bit of the fray adhesive to the knot. Let it dry, then snip off the extra.
- Sewing In Head Chains and Thread Tails - The stitches made by sergers at the start of the seam should also be secured. Head chains can be knotted and glued with the anti-fray adhesive mentioned above or sewn under the seam. Make the first complete stitch with the machine, then tug backward to remove the threads from the stitch fingers. Fold the head chain forward onto the fabric and begin stitching again. Slowly sew over the head chain so it is secured into the new stitches. This technique can also be used to finish off the thread tail by turning over the garment, pulling the threads off the stitch fingers, then sew them back over the already serged seam for a few inches before moving off the side of the fabric. Then tail can then be closely snipped.
Serger sewing machines are a wonderful addition to any sewing room, especially for those who enjoy making professional-looking clothing at home. Although machines like the Janome 8002D serger do the hard part by using multiple threads to create strong, flexible seams, it is still important to properly deal with the thread tails and head chains.
By using any of the three methods mentioned above, a sewist can get the most from their sergers by securing tails and head chains to reduce the chance of anything unraveling during the life of the garment!