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Using a serger to sew up handknits

Gill_Strauss's picture

I have just acquired an overlocking machine and wonder if its possible to sew mhy handknits together on it? Anyone got any tips - I'd hate to ruin a carefully knitted sweater, and I can imagine that it's very hard to unpick.

Stephanie_Corina_Goddard's picture

(post #29183, reply #1 of 4)

Gill, I think would be pretty risky to expect a typical serged seam to be wide enough to secure enough of the yarn loops. Here's what I used to do when altering knits: Cut 3/4" to 1" strips of fusible knit interfacing across the width (i.e., the stretchiest grain). Fuse the interfacing to the edges of your knit fabric and sew 1/2" seams with a regular sewing machine set for a slight zig-zag stitch. After that, it would probably be safe to serge-finish the seam allowances down to about 1/4" finished width.

SaraOfenloch's picture

(post #29183, reply #2 of 4)


Why oh why would you want to serge the seams in a hanknit?  After all those hours of work, a hand sewn seam only enhances the beauty of the finished product.

NansiM's picture

(post #29183, reply #3 of 4)

Dear Gill,

I know it may be late in this discussion, but I have done this on my serger.  I have  a client who just loves the knitting and hates to finish.  So I use a balanced three-thread overlock stitch setting length to 3 and width as wide as your serger allows if it's a bulky or loose knit.  If it's finer, just scale back.  I also find I need to tighten up the differential feed to keep from stretching it out.  if there's no extra to practice with I just test about 2" on a seam without trimming.  Also, regarding "undoing", the three thread stitch is good because if you isolate the needle thread with a pin, you can pull out easily!  Hope this helps!

dianemor's picture

(post #29183, reply #4 of 4)

I have used a serger on my updated Fair Isle method sweaters which need to be cut (they are knitted as a tube first) and it works but can be lumpy. I wouldn't do this on a sweater where it wasn't necessary.