Sunday, January 20, 2013

a quicker way to change serger thread

Ruh roh. It's time for one of my most inexplicably dreaded parts of beginning a sewing project (well, besides tracing, cutting and marking): changing the serger thread color. Confession --- I usually avoid this step as much as possible, so I actually have made quite a few white garments with black serged insides, or red with white insides, black with navy. Yep, for someone who owns a seam finishing machine, I probably have some of the junkiest and funkiest seam finishes out there.

But apparently there's a fast(er) and easy(er) way to change your thread color. WHO'S BEEN HIDING SECRETS FROM ME? I can't keep this knowledge to myself now that I have it, so I'll show you how I switched from blue to white thread on my Brother 1034D without actually unthreading the blue thread. Yes, this is real.

First, snip the thread above the machine on all four spools.

Replace your old thread with the new cones, and bring the new color through the thread guide.

Tie the old color to the new color. I made a simple square knot and clipped the excess. 

IMPORTANT: Pulling this knot through your tension discs is NOT a good idea. What I did is lower my tension down to zero then gently pull the thread up out of the discs. Pull the string of thread forward so the knot is now beyond the tension discs, then thread the new color back into the discs. Do this for all four.

Now, lift your presser foot and make sure your needle is in the highest position. Grab a hold of your threads and start pulling gently. I pulled my looper threads separately from the needle threads, but I don't think it matters.

This will string the knots through the whole machine so eventually the new thread color replaces the old. Incredible, yea?

For the left & right needle threads, don't pull the knots through the needle eyes. Snip the threads and re-thread both needles with the new color. This is the only time you may need your serger tweezers and a keen eyeball.

Hey cool, it's now fully threaded. Make sure to readjust your tension discs to the appropriate tension for your fabric, and now you can take off and serge to your heart's desire. Wee!

Now, how much faster is this REALLY? For the sake of education, I decided to time it. Since I'm not a beginner threader, I can actually thread my serger the "real" way without too much struggle. But what can I say, I still don't like doing it!

Here's the ole fashioned way, switching from white to blue:

Ha, it's kind of pathetic that I used to refuse to re-thread my serger because it seemed sooo tedious, but it actually takes less than three minutes. I should time things more often to put it all in better perspective.

And now, here's the fancy new way, switching from blue back to white:

I'll be honest, though. I pulled the knots through the needle eyes! Ohhhhh noooo cheater. No harm was done to my needles, though. The majority of my time in the conventional way was threading the loopers, no surprise. The majority of my time in the new way was knotting the two thread colors together. So, it's up to you how you prefer to spend your time, and if those 50ish seconds of your life are worth saving.

What do you think? Give it a try? Is rethreading your serger something you dread doing, too?