Saturday, January 30, 2010

Of needles and towels

So, Serger Saturday didn't really go so well last week.  But after a week's hiatus from even looking at my machine, I had to pull out my serger today for some other projects.  As I was resetting and putting things back together from the setup I had going for a Rolled Hem, I discovered something. It would seem somebody (possibly me, but I'm not one to point fingers) didn't bother to make sure that the right needle didn't fall a little out of place when removing the left needle.  Ho hum.

After finishing my other project, I went back and tried the Rolled Hem again, with right needle fully in place.  This time I had much, much better results.  So, it's with much more confidence and a tiny bit of overinflated sense of self accomplishment I present to you...

Serger Saturday:  Rolled Hem

Okay, so we know what a regular 4-thread overlock serged hem looks like, right?  Like those pictures right up there.  A Rolled Hem differs in that it uses 3 threads, one top needle, and folds the very edge of the fabric under as it goes.  So it rolls, then covers in a really thick little tunnel of thread love

I have a Brother 1034D Serger, and here's how you do a Rolled Hem on it.  I'd imagine other 3/4 thread sergers would be similar, but refer to your manual. 

Start by removing the left needle.  Helpful Hint: make sure the right needle doesn't slip out a little when doing so.  Just to be sure, I'd recommend pushing it back up in place.  You know, just in case

Take all your threads and pull to back of machine
You're going to need to remove the stitch finger next.  I tried to get a picture of the stitch finger in it's place, and doing it's job.  But it didn't really turn out.  I offer it to you anyway.  It's somewhere in there.
Open the front cover of your machine

Lower the lower looper needle (it's the curved sharp friend that points to the left) to it's lowest position

I know, my machine is crazy linty.  I need some canned air something fierce.
Release the stitch finger by pushing on the little button and simply pulling it out.

Store stitch finger in it's special slot in front cover, or somewhere safe. I was actually super excited to figure out what those little clips were for.  Me=nerd.

Here I tried to get a shot of the needle area without the stitch finger in place
Set your stitch width and lengths to Rolled Hem setting ("R" on my machine)

You're most likely going to need to mess with the tension to get it right, but basically the breakdown is:
right needle: 4
lower looper: 1-4
upper looper: 5-7
Start rolling!
Woo hoo for properly placed needles. 
I also took a picture of the cute little rolled hem chain, because I was ridiculously proud of myself.
I was just so ding-dong happy I got the thing to work!
*******************************************************************
I immediately put my Rolled Hem skills to work.  I had purchased a bunch of terry cloth in order to make hand towels for humanitarian relief kits.  The demensions of the towels are pretty specific:  15*25, so you either have to buy regular towels and shorten them, or buy fabric and make your own.  With a coupon and a 45" width of fabric, you can save $$ by making your own, so you can donate more finished items.

Because the terry frays easily, I wanted to do the Rolled Hem to check that. 

So, for less than $10 I went from having this

To this

Uh, did you see those edges? 

BOOM!

Also, if you thought my serger needed cleaning before, check this out

Shopping list for week: 
-canned air
                            -lint roller (on account of this)


Now go roll some hems.  Good times, good times.

You Told Me:  1/31/10 Michelle wrote"On cleaning it the place i bought mine from recommened that you NOT use can air. It will blow the crap up farther in the machine. You should vacuum the dust out with a small attachment. "

9 comments:

Liz said...

You are so funny. I love it! I am off to roll some hems ...

Char @ Crap I've Made said...

YAY! YAY! YAY!

SO glad you got it to work!

Michelle said...

Looks GREAT!!! threading the machine is half the battle....
On cleaning it the place i bought mine from recommened that you NOT use can air. It will blow the crap up farther in the machine. You should vacuum the dust out with a small attachment. Keep up the good work!!

Char @ Crap I've Made said...

Also, I did not know there was some place to stash the stitch finger!

Sabra said...

Yikes, no canned air. Thanks, Michelle.

How'd the rolling go, Liz?

And I know, Char! Cool, huh?!

Bobbie said...

I do rolled hems about 90% of the time that I am using my serger...They are a pain to get started but once I get going they are so nice plus it beats paying 3 xs as much for the tablecloths that I need for wedding decorating

Shari said...

So excited to have found this (since you have the same serger I do). Where did you find your presser feet? Did the rolled hem need a special one (like the flatlock did)?
Can't wait to try it!

Sabra said...

Shari, all of my serger feet came with the serger, which was purchased through Amazon. Check your bag of goodies that came with yours and see if you have the same ones. The rolled him uses the regular presser foot that comes standard on the machine to begin with. I use this technique all the time now. So nice to have. Good luck.

elizabethcbunce said...

I know it's been ages since you posted this, but I just wanted to say thank you! It's brilliant. I have this same serger but had *no* idea what the rolled hem was even supposed to look like. Your pictures are fantastic and the settings you listed were an invaluable starting point. I've finally managed to achieve a passable rolled hem!

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