Learning each and every day

My quest to edify myself a bit every day

Day 5 – January 5

I started sewing almost exactly 6 years ago.  Since then, I’ve gotten to know my way around a sewing machine pretty well.  My first real serger came to live with me about a year ago.  I do not, know my way around sergers very well at all.  I can never figure out which dials need adjusting to fix the tension, threading is making me go blind, and I wasn’t at all sure when to use all of the different options.  So, I decided to tackle that as my lesson for the day.  The question:  What’s the difference between a 3-thread overlock and a 4-thread mock safety stitch?  After a few minutes on Google, I found my answer, and discovered that I’d already completed two projects having used the wrong kind of stitch.  Oh well, we’ll see how well the seams hold up!

The 3-thread overlock can either be narrow or wide, depending on which needle (left of right) is used.  This is one of the more common stitches and is great for finishing off seams.  So you can serge your raw edges before sewing the seam with a sewing machine, and it will look much nicer.  This stitch is not intended as a reinforcing seam.  In other words, you can’t just use this stitch on a seam, you need to back it up with a straight stitch on a sewing machine.

The 4-thread mock safety is really good for stretch fabrics, like knits, and garments that will be placed under stress, such as children’s clothing.  It’s not the strongest stitch, I think the 5-thread one trumps this one.  But, if you don’t have a 5-thread serger, this stitch will do just fine.

So for my purposes, if I want to sew a garment solely on the serger, I’ll need to use the 4-thread stitch, or do a 2-thread flatlock stitch.

Tomorrow, maybe I’ll learn how to get the serger threaded and get the tensions set correctly for the 4-thread mock safety.  Stay tuned.

And as a side note, I actually learned something else today . . . . . . .arugula, although delicious in stews, is horrid in smoothies.  Blech!


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