Securing your serger tails


Hi there! This is me, Manda, again. It has been a while since my last blog, and I am happy to be back! Today I want to talk to you about how to secure your serger tails. When you are sewing with just a sewing machine, you probably already know how to secure your thread. When over time you add a serger to your machine park, a lot of times the question arises: do I heve to secure my serger tails? And if so, how do I do that?

The answer to the first question is: YES! You do have to secure those tails. Why? Because when you don't they can lead to unraveled stitches (and holes in your beautiful creation), and it looks unfinished. We sewists, are usually sensitive to both reasons. We want our garments to look as good as possible within our power, and we want to be able to wear it for a long time!

That brings us to the second part: how do we secure those tails. Well, there are multiple ways to do this and I think it is a personal preference which one you want to use. I will describe a few common ways in general and I will add a home made visual for my favorite method. 

Method 1: tuck the tails back under the stitches with a big needle
Start with cutting off your tail (about an inch) when you finished serging, thread it through the needle and pull the needle back under the last stitched seam. All the way. You need a needle with a big eye for this one. 

Method 2: serge over the tails
You cut your tail at about an inch length, fold it back so it lays right on top of the seam that you just have finished. Place your fabric back under the serger needles and then serge over the tail till it ends. You can clip the excess thread from this new stitch.

Method 3: tying off your serger thread tails
This method is my personal favorite. When I started sewing with my serger I have tried all methods, and this one works the best for me. I sewed a neckline in order to show you how I finish a neckband:

Step 1 

You serge the neckband till you cross a little part of where you started to serge and you stop. 

Step 2

You lift your presser foot (make sure the needles are left in the fabric) and rotate the seam as far to the side as possible. 

Step 3

You serge straight ahead away from the seam and make a long(er) serger tail (presser foot up or down in this step doesn't matter that much since you are just creating a tail). 

Step 4

I usually cut the tail off at a length about half an inch. When you leave the tail too long, you will need to do a whole lot of unraveling, with the risk that the knot together at a pont where you don't want it. 

Step 5

There it show this cute little tail, that needs to be unraveled till you reach the seam itself. I usually use a pin to do this, and I start at the end and work my way down (to avond those unwanted knots).

Step 6

Now we have 2 long threads and 2 shorts threads. We tie the 2 long ones to the 2 short ones (and when I am being lazy, I just tie the 2 longs ones together....sttttt). 

Step 6

And the last part, cut all threads off. Make sure to keep a tiny bit of space between the knot and the spot that you cut, otherwise the knot might unravel itself again. Et voila, this is it. 

Please let me know what your favorite way of handling there ties is and what you think off my favorite method. HERE is our facebookgroup, please post all of those pretty creations and show them off!!

5 comments

Lindsey: that sounds like the second method, you just turn your fabric right away I think?

Ashley: I am not sure if Diana is doing this, but it is only needed with the seams that don’t get serged over again.

Ali: I think that that is what I am doing aswel lol

Manda November 21, 2019

My favorite way isn’t listed! Serge to the end (only works with a blunt edge—not in the round like a neckband), stop exactly when you reach the end of the fabric, flip the fabric over, and then serge back the way you came, then just clip them close.

Lindsey November 21, 2019

Thank you for that. I am new to serging and I noticed Diana doesn’t seem to secure her tails in her videos. I was hoping to be able to get away without securing either… or does she do it off camera? I do serge over most of my seams again though…

Ila Cat November 21, 2019

I am still new to using my serger, but I have been sewing back over my serger tails with my normal sewing machine using my stretch stitch. Tiring it off in the beginning and the end. It’s working for me right now but I can see why people would like it as much it can turn out bulky in the end.

Ashley Wick November 21, 2019

This is my favourite method too! But did you know that if you slide a needle underneath your needle threads (do each one separately), it’s a much quicker way to get Those threads unraveled ready to tie off!

Ali November 20, 2019

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