Getting to Know Your Serger/Overlock by Making Pajamas
Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And let's make a pair of
pajamasand learn some tips and techniques on how to put them together very quickly using a
serger. Let's cover a couple of things about a
serger. First of all, what is the
sergerand how does it work? Well with the
sergerthere is no bobbin inside, so you're not going to run out of thread like you would on a regular machine. The most common ones have four spools of thread and each of the threads will go through its own tension disc. One way of thinking of it is the first two go with the needles because those needles go up and down, just like a regular sewing machine. The second two are like a zigzag. So the first two are going to go up and down and the last two are going to make a zigzag. One zigzag is going to go on the top and one zigzag is going to go on the bottom. And as that stitch is going up and down, it's hooking that's zigzag. So it has a nice clean edge. With the
sergerthere's a knife inside and that cuts it so it's perfectly in line with those threads that are zigzagging back and forth.
Sergers will have some kind of markings on them. They do have markings on the feet just like a regular sewing machine and some will have markings on the machine here. And in this one there is a little piece that you snap on that you'll be able to adjust and you'll be able to run
yourfabric along that edge and the knife can cut it in exactly the way you want it. Every machine is...
threaded a little bit different so you'll be able to follow
yourmanual to thread it. And I would recommend using a different thread in each spool. That way as you're stitching you're going to learn which needle and which loop is going to come from that spool of thread. And by seeing the different colors you'll be able to make the adjustments easier . As a general rule, most machines will have a marking that is considered the normal, and that usually works quite well. On the side of the machine you will have a little knob that adjusts the tension on how much fabric is being pulled together or being pushed apart. And that is called a differential feed. So you might have to change that depending on
yourfabric. There's a lot that this machine can do and there's a lot more features in the machine, but we're just going to make a simple pair of
pajamasusing all of the normal settings that
yourmachine will come with. The only thing we're going to do is we're going to test and make sure that differential feed is working correctly for
yourfabric. It's very easy to do. Take a piece of fabric that you are going to be sewing with and put a mark on it, like a 4" or 5" mark. So I have a 5" mark. What I'm going to do is I'm going to start and stitch all the way down, and it doesn't matter how much you cut off. What you're going to do afterwards is measure and make sure that that's still at 5". After...
you've done that stitching, that mark should still be at 5". If it has stretched or has been pulled in, you will need to adjust that little knob in the back. And you can just adjust it just like a regular tension on a sewing machine—a little bit this way, a little bit that way—until you get to that measurement that you want. In this case, the regular setting is working just fine. When we
knowthat the machine is set up to work well with this fabric, the rest is really easy. I've chosen a McCall's pattern that is an easy pattern. There's a couple of things that I really like about it. Number one, it has pockets and I love
pajamaswith pockets. It has a simple elastic waistband; you can go long-sleeved, short-sleeved, or no sleeves, and it has a little piece up here in the top. And having that little piece is going to make it really easy to sew with. And, you can always change
yourfabrics, so if you want to have a lace insert or a complementary color, you can add it. And, it's made for knits. If you turn the tired over you're going to find a little area here that will tell you to test the stretch of the fabric. You'll need to take
yourfabri,c and this is going across the fabric. And just take that and hold the fabric without pulling it right in that area. So when you pull it has to come at least to here or more. If it doesn't stretch enough, this pattern is not made for this fabric . I chose two fabrics for the
pajamas. The white is...
going to be for the top; the darker is going to be for the pajama bottoms. Now this fabric line is from Dear Stella. It's a beautiful knit. So we're going to start with
makingthe shirt. Lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, following the diagrams.But before you lay out any of the fabric pieces I would recommend that you press them because any of the wrinkles will distort the pattern pieces so it's important to have
yourpieces pressed and
yourfabric. Lay them all out and cut out all of the pieces except one, and that one piece is going to be the tiny skinny little neck line right here. And the pattern piece is number three, the neckline. In this particular pattern it's not recommending to interface it. I'm going to interface it, and there's a couple of reasons why. Some knit fabric is going to want to curl, so as you're sewing it it's going to be a little bit tedious to have to keep pulling at that fabric back as you sew it, and interfacing is going to help prevent that fabric from rolling. The second thing the interfacing is going to do is it's going to make it easier to cut and easier to sew. I will be using a fusible interfacing that is designed for a stretch knit. Take a piece that is a lot bigger than this pattern piece and iron it right onto the back of a piece of fabric. And you'll do that before you cut it out. And you can use this method for anything that has a collar, cuffs, even pockets. If it's a small little...
piece, fusing the interfacing onto the fabric first makes it so that you only have to cut out the pattern piece once. You don't have to cut out the interfacing and the fabric separately. Put them together then cut them all out at the same time and do
yourmarkings. This is a time- saver. Even though there's interfacing on there it's still going to stretch. Now I'm going to be able to press it and it'll be ready to be used. This little yoke up at the top is very simply this piece and it's going to overlap in the front. This would be the piece that you would change the color if you'd like. If you wanted to have the lace over top or a different fabric, this is the piece. And I have a really easy way of transferring those marks to the fabric. When I have the pieces cut out, before I remove the paper I will take a pin and put it right through the center of that mark. I now will be able to pull that fabric back and I will see the pin and I
knowthat's my mark right there. I now can mark right there where that pin is going to be. So now I'll be able to take that out, and I
knowthat marking is in the right spot. At the top there is also an area that they would like you to mark, so you can do the same thing. And I'm going to do this same method for all the markings that I'm going to need in the entire pattern. I won't need to do it for the notches because I've cut my notches outside of my fabric. You will see some little dots that...
you will need to transfer the marks on and those are going to be where the pocket is sitting. We need to stabilize these little dots with some extra fabric, just to make them strong enough so that when you put
yourhands in the pocket they're not going to rip. You'll be able to take a little piece of this interfacing and cut little squares out. And that little square you're going to be able to fuse onto that mark. Now I have those little marks stabilized and marked. I'm going to do one more thing before I take the pattern piece off. When you sew with a stretch knit you need to put a bias tape as you're stitching that seam, so that shoulder doesn't stretch out of place. I'm going to use the same stabilizer, which is that stretchy stabilizer that is fusible. I'm going to pull back the pattern, and I've cut this at 1" because my seam allowances are going to be ⅝", which means I will still be stitching on top of this. I'm going to put it down, lining up the top edge, and I'm going to fuse that down, and I'll do it to both sides. And the reason I do it while the pattern piece is still on, after it's fused I will be able to check and make sure that it hasn't stretched or it hasn't gathered in. So now I'm going to be able to sew the back shoulder onto the yoke shoulder. You will need to stitch a ⅝" seam allowance. If you mark one of the seams first you're going to be able to line it up with the...
sergerand it'll give you a better idea as to where it's going to be stitched. So I'm going to want that first needle to go right along that ⅝" mark that I did. And slide that fabric all the way until it hits the blade, all while you're lining up that first needle and you're going to be able to follow the mark on the foot. And then put the foot down. From here you're going to be able to follow any marks that you have on the machine or if you have a mark on the foot, or if you have a guide you're going to be able to just move that guide in, and now you
knowthat you are going to be stitching at that ⅝". Now I will not have to mark any of the other seams. I make sure that my pins are out of the way and I can start stitching. And as it goes through you're going to notice that a piece here is going to fall off, and that's what's cut. Tthe needle is following that line, and it's just been trimmed off. This has saved me from doing: One row of stitching on the sewing machine, trimming it down, and then finishing it with a zigzag, And it still has a little bit of a stretch to it so the threads are not going to break. You will be able to match up the neckband. Open the entire neck up so it's flat. Match up all of the marks and pin that neck band on. Press the seam flat and then press it so it is going towards the shirt. The next we're going to do is put the front on, and that's going to make those two pieces cross...
over. This front piece is now going on top of this yoke, so you'll be able to put right sides together, match up the dot, and match up the notches. And sew that ⅝" seam allowance. Let's work on the pockets, on that front edge where you put that little piece of interfacing and those little dots. And what you're going to do is just do a straight stitch right through the center of that dot. And you're going to do it to the front on both sides. And right where you stitched through that, you need to cut into that circle, going right to that stitch line but not 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟 the stitch line. So you're going to have these two notches cut. From here you're going to roll this over and make a very narrow seam, so just fold it once and then fold it a second time. So that fold is going to go right into that corner. And just topstitch that little rolled hem down. And that is going to be the pocket opening for where you put
yourhand in. Add
yourpocket pieces onto the shirt front. The dots in the pockets are going to match the dots on the side. And the pockets will fit right in right along those dots. So stitch around following
yourstitch line. So this is the pocket opening. This will get caught in when you do the side seam. First we're going to put on the sleeves. You will need to match up the two small notches together and the two double notches. That little circle at the top of that sleeve is that center seam. Match right sides up and pin them...
together. Go right to the
sergerand serge that ⅝" seam. allowance. When that seam has been done you can press it and then press that seam towards the sleeve. The last thing will be sewing the sleeve and the side seams together. You're going to be able to match up
yourseams and along the side. When you get to this pocket part, you're going to be able to just stitch down as if nothing is there. The only thing you really will need to pay attention to is that this pocket stays out of
yourway. And when that side seam is stitched, you have that front pocket. The only thing left to get done is the hem for the sleeve and the hem for the bottom. And for the hem, just do a serge stitch all the way around. If you use matching thread you could leave it just the way it is or you can fold it in and do a little rolled hem, a 2" hem, whatever sized hem—you're able to do now, either the serged or a stitched. And you're done. And the pant are going to be made the same way. Lay them out and cut them just as the pattern says and then you're going to be able to trim off that fabric as you are serging so you still have that ⅝" seam allowance, but when it's finished you have a nice clean seam. And you're going to be able to do all of the seams.You're going to start with the crotch line and then do the legs and it's going to be done. This pattern just calls for a very simple elastic waistband. a little hem, and you're...
done. So most of this is sewn with the