Nothing is more frustrating than finally sitting down to sew and…….. your serger just doesn’t work right! Luckily, most issues can be easily solved without a trip to the repair shop. Usually, the problems can be solved by 3 things: a new needle, rethreading the machine, and adjusting the tension.
Here’s a list of the most common serger issues and solutions:
- Thread breaks
- Make sure tensions aren’t too tight
- Re-thread the machine
- Make sure the needle is inserted correctly and isn’t bent
- Skipped stitches
- Try a new needle, a blunt needle can cause skipping
- Make sure the type and size of needle is correct type for the fabric you’re sewing. Your serger manual should contain a table of the recommended needles for different types of fabric.
- Rethread the machine
- More pressure might be needed on the fabric so increase the presser foot pressure
- Fabric does not feed well
- Make sure presser foot is down or increase the presser foot pressure
- Fabric puckers
- Tensions too high
- Differential feed not correct for the fabric
- Dull blade
- Shorten the stitch length
- Loose stitches/ loops formed/ irregular stitches
- Tensions not adjusted properly. Most manuals will also have a table of suggested tension settings for each type of fabric.
Getting the right tension can seem a little daunting at first, at least for me! Nancy Zieman has a great blog post explaining tension troubles as well as a couple of videos. Check it out here. Bluprint also has a video series on troubleshooting sergers that would be helpful for beginners.