Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock.  For over 40 years, Baby Lock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch yourself header2 Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

I am completely fascinated by clothing construction. There is something magical about turning long, flat fabric into the shapely, form-fitting pieces that fill our closets and dress our bodies. Every time I shop for clothes you’ll find me not only gazing at the beautiful designs and fantastic fabrics, but flipping everything inside out and trying to discover just how it was put together. In fact, a few months ago I was rambling on and on explaining about sewing machines and sergers to a friend looking to buy one for his wife. I mentioned some of the differences, noting that even a serger didn’t produce the coverstitch that is used to finish tee shirts (cue blank stare). You better believe that I grabbed the nearest tee-shirt clad person (as both my friend and I were in dress clothes) and asked if I could fold over the hem on her tee to show the stitching (cue confused expression).

I showed him how the seams on the tee were serged, but the hems were finished with a different machine entirely! The coverstitch produced straight stitches on the front of the fabric and looped stitches on the bottom, allowing the hem to stretch. “It’s all really amazing, right?!” Surprisingly, his blank stare lit up into understanding (or entertainment at my enthusiasm), and he told me he had learned something new. So, basically I proselyte sewing wherever I go…

Not too long ago, the industrial machines that manufactured clothing for the masses were not available to home sewists. Then in 1964, a group of middle-management engineers working at an industrial Japanese  company had the idea to redesign the big, heavy overlock machines they were working with into compact, lightweight, “baby” machines for home use. They group presented this concept to their company, who rejected it. But, committed to their vision, they left their jobs and started a small company that produced a home overlock machine, called “Baby Lock”.

How to use a serger and coverstitch machine One Little Minute Blog Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

Since then, Baby Lock has been dedicated to creating the best machines for home sewing. They are recognized worldwide for their advancement in serger technology, and hold several patents for their inovations in the field.

When Miriam and I began brainstorming the Stretch Yourself Series back in July, we knew that we had to highlight sergers, as their use with knits is unparalleled. We also hoped to show off the coverstich, which is not often included as an option on sergers. We are so thrilled to have formed a partnership with Baby Lock, and to be able to use the wonderful Diana Serger machines to teach you all about sewing with knits.

How to use a serger and coverstitch machine One Little Minute Blog Diana Manual Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

Baby Lock provided Miriam and me each a Diana Serger as part of our Stretch Yourself Series collaboration, and we have both fallen completely in love. Not only is the Diana smooth, consistent, and easy to use, but it offeres incredible versatility. There are twelve stitch configurations offered, including the overlock (regular serging), chain stitch, flatlock stitch, and the magical coverstitch that gives garments that professional finish (I was so excited the first time I used the coverstitch function, I had a stomach ache for a whole day!)

How to use a serger and coverstitch machine One Little Minute Blog Under the Hood Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

Now, if you haven’t used a serger before, you might wonder what the fuss is all about, and you may even be nervous. Managing three, four, and five threads (all with different loops and hooks to pass through on their way to the needles) can seem scary. (Lucky for you, Miriam is teaching all about setting up and threading her Diana today, so you can get an inside scoop!) Like everything, getting comfortable with using a serger takes a little bit of time, but is definitely worth it, especially if you plan on sewing clothes or anything with knits. There is a reason clothing manufacturers use overlock and coverlock machines. They result in strong, finished, professional seams and hems.

How to use a serger and coverstitch machine One Little Minute Blog Stitch Options Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

I was lucky to grow up in a home with a sewing machine and a serger in the sewing room. I felt like I had free-reign to experiment with both, even from a young age (which my mother will tell you ended in a few visits to have the serger tensions adjusted back to normal…) For years I have been comforable with basic serger stitches, and even a basic rolled hem. The Diana offers so much more. Stitches that I’ve never even seen, and some (like the blind hem I teach below) that I have noticed on my store-bought clothing and just didn’t know how they were done.

My post today will teach some basic serger techniques that are applicable to use with any type of serger. I’ll also teach some of the stitches that the Diana offers that set it apart from other basic sergers on the market. I probably use my serger twice as often as my sewing machine, and I’ve made a zillion few mistakes over the years, so I hope you are able to learn something that makes your serging, or transition into serging, or thinking about serging, a little bit easier.

How to use a serger and coverstitch machine One Little Minute Blog Tools for Serging Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

First, let’s talk about tools. All sewing machines and sergers will come with a mini tool set. You will use it. I keep these tools on hand every time I use the machine, and have learned to not roll my eyes every time I have to reach for the tweezers to pull that tiny thread through the lower gears and loopers on the serger. It is, after all, a machine, and will require some adjustments (like unscrewing and screwing the needles in to twelve different postitions!) Embrace the tools.

Serger Tips and Tricks One Little Minute Blog Test Stitches1 Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

Also, know that even when you are comfortable with serging, it’s always a good idea to keep a pile of scraps near by to test out each new stitch before serging on your project itself. Sometimes the tensions need  tiny bit of tinkering before it looks just right (the manual will tell you all about trouble shooting those tensions!)

To show off the stitches, I made two different garments using only the Diana and her multiple stitches. For my dress, I used my fitted tee shirt dress variation bodice, and added a gathered maxi like Mim taught. For Dave’s sweatshirt, I used this method to rub off a pattern from his favorite hoodie.

How to use a serger One Little Minute Chaining Off Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

OVERLOCK STITCH: This is the basic serger stitch. It can be sewn with 2-5 threads, but the most basic uses either 3 or 4. It is called an overlock stitch because the threads are cast over the raw edge of the fabric, locking it into a finish that won’t unravel or fray. When using a serger for basic overlocking, you can sew even when there is not fabric under the needles. This is called “chaining”. It makes it really easy, because you can put your foot on the pedal and start serging, feed the fabric through to create your seam, and then chain right off the end.

Serger Tips and Tricks One Little Minute Blog Stretching Layers Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

EDGE TRIMMING: When the knife is engaged on the serger, it will trim the edge of the seam, to make it even before casting the threads over it. You’ll want to ensure that you keep the fabrics aligned, so that nothing gets accidentally trimmed off! Also, notice how I layer the fabric from bottom to top. When serging, you always want to be able to see that bottom material, to ensure that it is being caught in the stitch. I can’t tell you how many times I have lost track of that layer and finished a seam to discover a small hole where the material slid out of alignment a bit.

In this photo, I am attaching a neckband. You can see how I am tugging gently on the band piece while I let the machine feed the neckline through. This allows the neckband to rest nicely against the chest.

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Lifting the Pressure Foot Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

FEEDING THE FABRIC: The foot on a serger lifts and lowers like a sewing machine (shown in the top left photo), but since you can chain without the machine, for normal serging I begin chaining, then slide the fabric under the presser foot from the left side, straighten it out as it catches under the needles, then chain off the edge when the seam ends. Also, proper pinning for serging includes positioning the pins parallel to the seam, where they can pass by with the foot on the right. However, I still put them in perpendicular to the seam and just pull them out before they are gnawed on by the knife. The proper technique is probably better…

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog serging curves Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

SERGING A CURVE: Because of the linear nature of the serger’s surface, the fabric must always be on the left side of the machine (where in sewing sometimes you can pass things through the right under the arm.) When sewing curves with the serger, it might be tempting to pull and stretch the material out to make sure it aligns properly. To avoid this, I think of the fabric and machine as gears in a watch, only touching each other at one point as they go around. Thinking in this way, I can slowly feed just a bit through at once, while rotating the fabric with my left hand. As long as the small length of fabric edge is flat against the machine when it feeds under the presser foot, the whole curve will turn out well.

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog gathering with a serger Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

GATHERING WITH THE DIANA SERGER: You can gather on most sergers, but it requires some major tension adjustment, which can be really tricky to return to functioning after it’s changed. On the Diana, there is a setting recommendation for machine gathering. Turning the differential feed up to 2.0 and the stitch length to 4 encourages the fabric to bunch as it’s serged. I found that if the gentle gather wasn’t sufficient, by pulling the outside thread on my 4-thread safety stitch, I could gather the material even a bit more. **Adjusting your differential feed up like this will also help correct the stitches if you find the machine is stretching your fabric as you serge.

How to use a serger and coverstitch machine One Little Minute Blog gathered skirt Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

Gathering my whole skirt with the serger took far less time than it would have with my sewing machine. I really love a time-saving technique like this!

Serger Tips and Tricks One Little Minute Blog Layers Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

ADDING ELASTIC TO A SEAM: So, after I sandwiched my seam (to show you to make sure the flat fabric is always the closest to the machine, the gathered are next, and any trims, elastic, etc. go on the top) I noticed that the Diana manual mentions that there is a slot right in the presser foot meant for feeding through trims and elastic. Duh. How cool is that? So, I marked it with an arrow for you. Next time I’ll give it a try! Adding the elastic through the top allows you to stretch it out while the fabric feeds through beneath the foot.

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog ruffling with a serger Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

STRETCHING ON THE DIANA: Sometimes it’s fun to add some flair to a project by adding a full, ruffled hem or sleeve. Lowering the differential feed  and setting the stitch length back to normal will let the machine stretch out your fabric while you sew will create an even, subtle wavy hem. **Adjusting the differential feed down may also help correct an unintentional slightly gathered seam.

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Serging Sleeve Edges Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

SERGING SLEEVE HEMS: Sometimes, all the hem needs is a basic overlock stitch to finish off the edges.

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog serging sleeve edges Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

SERGING IN THE ROUND: If you construct your tee as I taught in the Basic Tee Construction post, you’ll need to finish the sleeve hems after they are already tubes. When serging in the round (around a tube) make sure that the extra round of fabric is on TOP where you can see it, rather than BELOW the other fabric, where it can easily be caught in the seam. (I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Over and over.) This is one time that I do raise the presser foot to position my fabric, then serger the circle, then chain off the edge.

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog rolled hem and lettuce edge Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

ROLLED AND LETTUCE EDGE HEM: On a rolled hem, the knife is disengaged, so you need to ensure your fabric is trimmed straight before you begin. There is only on needle casting over the edge, so go slowly to be sure the edge of the fabric is being caught. For a lettuce edge, instead of letting the machine feed the fabric through, you will pull gently on the fabric (both in front and behind the presser foot) as you serge. The rolled hem will stitch all along the stretched fabric, holding it wide and creating a beautiful and flirty ruffled hem. For a while, this was my hem of choice on everything I made!

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Blind Hem with a Serger Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

BLIND OVERLOCK HEM: This is one hem that I had noticed on a couple of my J.Crew tee shirts and I had no idea how it was done. The serger is threaded as a 3-thread overlock stitch. The hem is prepared by pressing to the desired length, then folding under so just 1/4″ of the raw edge is visible. The stitch is made by carefully serging along this edge, with the needle just barely catching the fold of the hem. The raw edge is finished while the needle catches little pieces of the fabric body, creating a straight-line pattern on the right side of the fabric. With a longer stitch length and heavier weight fabric, I imagine this hem could actually look “blind”, but every time I’ve seen it used, the hem lines have been used decoratively, sewn with a fun contrasting thread.


Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Coverstitch Hem Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

DOUBLE COVERSTITCH: The cover stitch function on the Diana is really amazing. Miriam will show you how to quickly convert the serger to set up for the stitch in her post today. To create a professional looking finish, first reinforce the hem with a lightweight seam stabilizer. This will keep the folded edge nice and clean. Also, because the coverstitch is sewn on the front of the fabric, adding reinforcement to the seam allows it to stay in place even when it’s facing away from you on the machine.

Turn the garment inside out, so that you can sew inside the hem with the extra fabric on the top of the machine. Lift the presser foot and postition the sleeve beneath it, with the hem edge centered beneath the needles. YOU MUST START AND FINISH ON THE FABRIC when sewing a cover stitch, there is no chaining like with the regular serger stitches. Feed the fabric evenly through the machine. When you come back to the beginning, lift the pressure foot, and wind the wheel one full turn towards you, and one full turn away to gently unlock the stitch. Then pull the fabric to the back of the machine and trim the threads. Isn’t that finish just drool-worthy?!


Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog seam ripping serger seams Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

SEAM RIPPING A SERGED SEAM: And because you’re sure to have some not-so-drool-worthy moments, too. Here is how I seam rip a serged seam (I’ve obviously had a lot of practice!) Take a small pair of scissors or seam ripper along the overlocked edge, cutting the thread loops. Next, pull open the fabric on the right side and carefully clip the visible threads. Because the loops are already cut, the seam should come right apart.

Serger Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Watercolor Maxi Dress2 Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

After all that serging and coverstitching with the Diana, what’ve we got? A stretchy, gathered maxi dress. With pockets.

Serger Techniques One Little Minute Blog Watercolor Maxi Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself How to use a serger One Little Minute Blog Homemade Maxi Dress Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself Serger Techniques One Little Minute Blog Gathered Maxi Dress Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

I’m so in love with how this turned out! This post was the perfect excuse to make myself something else new for Alt Summit (in one week!!). It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, and all without a sewing machine! Go figure.

Pattern: Self-Drafted using this tee shirt dress variation and this gathered maxi tutorial.

Fabric: An amazing score I found buried in the $2.97/yd section of my local fabric warehouse. Could it be more beautiful?

Okay, ready for some more stitches? (If not, bookmark or pin this for later reference!) Next, I make the first item of clothing I’ve ever completed for Dave using sporty flatlock stitches.

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Flatlock Stitches Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

FLATLOCK CONSTRUCTION: The flatlock stitch is the coolest thing. You serge the edge of the fabric, but with wrong sides together, and then when you’re finished, you pull the fabric flat and the stitches all lay down! It’s commonly used on sportswear for comfortable, non-raised seams. I also love it as a decorative detail. I’m not sure if this stitch can be done with a regular serger, but the Diana makes is super easy with a pre-set tension that automatically adjusts the threads to where they need to be. Easy Peasy.


Serging and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Flatlock Applique2 Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

FLATLOCK APPLIQUÉ: I noticed one of Milo’s little shirts has the elbow patches flatlocked in place. I thought it would be fun to replicate that for Dave’s hoodie! To appliqué with a flatlock stitch, you first will need to lay the applique down flat on the right side of the fabric, then work your way around the edge, turning the fabric beneath it under, leaving the tiny fold against the back side of the appliqué. Even though when sewn decoratively, this stitch appears to be floating in the middle of the sleeve, it is created by stitching on the edge of the fabric, just like a regular overlock stitch. Lay the applique flat on the serger, with all of the excess, folded fabric on top, and slowly serge around the patch. When it’s done, it looks like a floating oval, but when you pull the sleeve flat, the patch seams lay down flat! So cool.

Serging and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Flatlock Seams Reversed2 Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

FLATLOCK LADDER STITCH: The reverse of the flatlock stitch is a ladder stitch. It can also be used as construction or decoration. Here, I used it to hem the pocket before attaching it to the front of the hoodie. Again, we need an edge to serge along, so I folded the hem under once, then back on itself again. After serging along the edge, I just had to pull the seam out flat to see the awesome detailed stitching!

Serging and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Serged Zipper Insertion2 Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

INSERTING A ZIPPER WITH A SERGER: Since I had completed all of both of these projects with the Diana alone, I knew I had to insert the zipper with the serger, too. It was really simple, and I’ll definitely be using this method more often. Lay the zipper right-side down on the edge of the fabric and serge along the edge with a basic overlock stitch, ensuring the teeth are out of the way. Next, flip the zipper under, and use the narrow cover stitch (or a sewing machine) to topstitch the zipper in place! Done and done!

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques One Little Minute Blog Sporty Hoodie Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

This is the first article of clothing I’ve ever made for my husband. Blasphemy, right? (Especially when you consider the mountains of clothes I create for myself and others.) I have just had a hard time figuring out what to make, since he wears suits to work (and I’m not yet up to tailoring a custom suit) and basic tees and hoodies when we’re hanging out. The additional stitches on the Diana, like the cover and flatlock stitches, have already boosted my confidence in my ability to produce more professional-looking garments than I could before, including basic tees and hoodies for Dave.

I love the fit, fabric, and the contrast stitching. Next time I’ll make the elbow patches slightly smaller and position them on the actual back of the sleeve (rather than directly opposite of the underarm seam, which turns out is only your elbow when your arms are turned way inward…that was weird!) I loved making him this sporty-looking sweatshirt, and I am already excited for the next time he wears it (without me throwing it at him at midnight and ushering him into the hallway for some photos…)!

How to Serge and Coverstitch One Little Minute Blog Hoodie Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself How to make a Flatlock Stitch One Little Minute Blog Hoodie Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

Pattern: Rubbed-off his favorite sweatshirt using this method.

Fabric: Red and black heathered french terry from Paron Fabrics in NYC.

Well, there you have it! Lots and lots of information about sewing with sergers, particularly the Baby Lock Diana, which has my heart singing. If you’re in the market for a serger, this would be an amazing one to grow into because it has all the functions of a basic serger, plus so much more! I don’t know how I managed sewing garments for so long without the cover stitch option for professionally-finished hems! My sewing can continue to improve as I use all of the many resources available in the Diana. I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface! Make sure you check out Miriam‘s post today about setting up and threading the Diana. She’s shot some videos, so you will get to see the machine in action!

These posts conclude the tutorial portion of Stretch Yourself as taught by Mim and me. Next week, we’re passing the baton to ten awesome guest bloggers (listed here) who will be teaching you some great new techniques and projects for sewing with knits. We are also reviewing and giving away a new pattern each day on our blogs, so be sure not to miss out!

BabyLock Footer One Little Minute Blog Serger and Coverstitch Techniques with the Baby Lock Diana // Stretch Yourself

 

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22 Comments

  1. Posted January 12, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    wow… this is thorough! I am going to have to keep coming back to this one. Thank you for putting all of the work into this!

  2. Posted January 12, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    okay, clearly i have not played around with my serger’s flatlock enough… very cool. thanks for the ideas!

  3. Posted January 13, 2013 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe you made your dress for Alt all by yourself, I wish I could do that. Love the pocket placement, I will be looking for you in your dress! See you soon

    • Miranda
      Posted January 13, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Stacy! I love pockets, so they go into pretty much everything I make:) I can’t wait for Alt. Are you as frantic for something to wear as I am?! If you see me in my dress, definitely come say hi! xoxo

  4. Debora
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I purchased a Diana a few months back. I spent one day threading and trying every stitch. As this is my first serger I have nothing to compare other than from blog comments about how hard they are to thread – not this baby!. I am starting my first knit project. Thank you so much for all the information – it will help!

  5. Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    oooo. what a fun toy! I’m so jealous you can do a coverstitch. I was just talking about that today and said I didn’t know anyone with a machine. haah. now I do :)
    I’ve wanted to buy a Bernina coverstitch machine (theirs is a separate machine) but dude, maybe I should get a Diana.
    Sounds dreamy.
    Do you know how much they cost?

    Oh, and really fun dress! I love that you put pockets in it. Great idea.

  6. Jane
    Posted February 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I just love this post! I grew up sewing on a Singer treadle machine and didn’t own an electric one till I was in my twenties and I got my serger (Janome MyLock) when I was in my fifties…I feel I’ve missed out on so much including the learning curve! This inspires me to make the most of the equipment I now have!

    • Miranda
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Jane! Working with a serger is actually so simple, and the manual for your machine will be your best friend! Give it a try, you’ll be surprised how amazing you are!

      xo

  7. Posted February 15, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Love the contrast stitching on the hoodie. Guess it’s time to start saving my pennies for a Diana. :)

    • Miranda
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Right? The Diana is an absolute dream! I fully support you robbing your kids’ piggy banks:)

  8. Robin
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Hi, Great instructions! I am looking for a serger and “doing my homework” first. You have tons of experience too. Can you post a couple of comments on changing between stitches. I have seen machines and manufacturers that have different features. Not sure which would be priority to have. Do you need to change plates to change stitch type? Re-threading ease. Do you need to remove or disengage loopers? I really want a user friendly machine or will not like using. Thank you!! Robin

    • Miranda
      Posted March 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi there Robin!

      First off, how fun that you’re looking for a serger! I have been using one for over 10 years, and really love the added possibilities they bring to the sewing room. As far as changing between stitches, the Diana is far easier than any other model I have used personally. I actually have two sergers right now, and thought that I would use them both, but the Diana is so simple to switch, I have put the other aside. Once you learn the basics of threading the machine (which is all easily explained in the manual, and indicated with colored dots throughout the machine itself) switching is a breeze.

      I go back and forth between serging and cover stitching all the time, even in the same project. The only time you replace the plate is to change from overlock to coverlock, and the plate change is really simple–just snaps on and off. The needles are easily removed and replaced with the little allan wrench that comes with the machine. Switching to coverlock, you do disengage the looper, which happens really easily by sliding a button and inserting a little hook into the looper.

      I used to be really lazy about changing thread on my serger, and switching stitches, because it was such a hassle. I really have found the Diana to be totally user friendly, and it has enabled me to use such a wider variety of stitches and techniques. On top of all of the ease, it is one of the only serger/coverstitch models on the market, and I can honestly say I would never go back to having just a serger after using the cover stitch functions on the Diana.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      xo

      • Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know if you are still in the market for a serger, Robin, or if you’ve bought one already, but I have to second Miranda’s Diana suggestion. The Diana is the only serger I’ve ever owned and though it doesn’t have the fancy air threading feature that some of the more expensive models have, I have to say that it is extremely easy to thread and to switch between different features. I found that there was a bit of a learning curve, since I had never sewn with a serger before buying mine, but I got over the intimidation almost as soon as I started using the machine. The color coding on the inside of the machine guides you through the threading and the manual is clear and easy to follow. In short, the Diana is very beginner-friendly; I love this machine and use it ALL the time. No matter which one you choose, I wish you luck in your search for the perfect serger!

        -Emily

        (P.S. I am in no way affiliated with Baby Lock; I’m just an enthusiastic Diana user!)

  9. Posted May 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been following you for a while, and I’ve just re-visited this post. I thought I’d let you know (and I’m going to let Miriam know, too) about how helpful you two have been with the serger features. So much so, that back in January I put a Diana on lay-away. I could’ve charged her, but am trying to practice delayed gratification sometimes. ANYWAY, I was trying to look up other reviews for the Diana and read a couple that weren’t positive and decided to come back here to see if you really, really liked the machine and not just because it was donated to review. From the looks of it, you really do recommend the machine. I hope to get her home by mid-summer and I hope to be ready (she’ll be my first serger) to get started because of these helpful instructions. Thank you so much.

  10. LindaC
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I’ve been trying to find a Diana serger/coverlock for months. The only BabyLock dealer within 100 miles of me doesn’t carry the Diana new. Any idea where I can get one?

  11. Kimbra
    Posted September 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I am buying a Diana on Monday thanks to stumbling unto this blog the other day. I have fallen in love with sewing with knits and find I end up with strecthed out armholes and such till my dress or top is done so i think i need a serger now.. so back to my dilema..when I asked the gentleman if it would shirr/smock he looked at me like I had 3 heads and handed me the brochure and said “these are the stitches it does”.. Well I have never owned a serger and what he showed me was all Greek to me. I am hoping you can answer that for me.. I have a sewing machine that will not do shirring with elastic bobbin thread like everyone is blogging about. I was hoping to be able to do something similar with the Diana.. Hope to hear a reply back soon. Please email me if you like. Thanks in advance and have a great day!

    • Kimbra
      Posted October 7, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      I got my serger and am loving it… Everything has worked out and I am learning as I go. With no one to ask all the little questions to I just muddle thru and learn by trial and error,, I guess this blog isn’t being monitored any longer which is a shame cause I was hoping to make a new friend I could learn from. Well have a good day all you sewing fanatics out there ,,,,

  12. Makayla
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    On the neckline of your dress, did you place the band on the right side of the fabric?

  13. Carolyn boland
    Posted January 19, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much. I bought Diana last year but even my local store doesn’t support using it in classes.
    One person knows how to use it. Also I went to a class with national educator and she did help me with it
    but class was geared to Evolution ann Ovation. Thanks for this wonderful tutorial,

  14. Christy Johnson
    Posted April 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Love the article, very informative. I have an issue that maybe you can help me with. I am new to using a coverstitch and have trouble with my ends unraveling on hems. I tried what you said, rotate wheel toward me one full turn and away from me one full turn, clipped threads, but it still unravels. Any tips? I’m actually using a brother coverstitch 2340CV. Thanks

    Christy

  15. Mary
    Posted May 8, 2014 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I have to admit, I grew up with an old foot-peddle straight-stitch machine, a hand-me-down from my grandmother because she felt so sorry for me being so small (and my sisters were so big) that she taught me how to sew my own school clothes, dresses that would fit me. My mom was so impressed, she bought an electric singer zig-zag machine, and I could do all kinds of fancy stuff with that, even make button holes. By the time collage came along, I was designing my own clothes and thinking of going into fashion design. But then, I married and packed that machine up with me. It was reduced to patching baby clothes (I had no time for anything else). Now I’m retired and grandchildren are coming. I want to get back into sewing, perhaps making baby clothes and cloth diapers. Like computers, the hard part is deciding how much you want the machine to do and the effort you want to put into your learning experience. Your article has opened up a whole new world to me about sewing machines. Like everything else, sewing machines have come a long ways!! This machine opens up so many new adventures in sewing which I could not even have imagined when I was a child. I definitely have to investigate this further!! Your tutorial is great, and you look very lovely in your home-sewn dress.

  16. Nagarajan
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks for ur imformaton. But i want overlock heming grinstich machine .and how t making.

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