Question and Answer Period!

A Blog Buddy has asked what settings I use on my Janome My Lock 334 serger for a rolled hem, since we have the same machine, and since she does not have the manual for her machine.

Well to start, I have a selection of reference books, my next favourite thing to buy besides fabric and notions! They might help – like my “Singer Sewing Step By Step” and my “Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide”, along with my serger manual.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

There are a lot of sewists looking online for that manual.  The best they can find is the manual for the MyLock 634D, which they all claim is close.  It can be downloaded as a PDF from the Janome site. I can’t believe some sites have the MyLock 334 manual for sale for $14.99.  EBay has it for $9.99.

To start making a rolled hem on my serger first I set my serger for the perfect 4 thread stitch. As instructed in the manual, I started with 3’s on all four of my dials and then one dial at a time, starting with the needle tension dials, dialled up or down until I found a tension to my liking. My end result might be a little tight but I don’t like any loose threads. After checking all four dials, I ended up with this… 3, 3, 4, and 5 ….. (Just like tuning a guitar, I think!)

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Then I replaced my Standard throat plate (marked S underneath) with my Rolled throat plate (marked R underneath) and set my serger as suggested in my manual:

Stitch length dialled down to R – check
Left needle removed – check
Rolled hem needle plate installed – check
Needle thread polyester – check
Upper and lower looper thread woolly polyester – check (wha? “woolly”?)
Needle size No 11 – check
Standard setting on tension dials – 0 (empty), 4, 3, 7 – check
Result – Priceless!

Here’s a tip – before you start sewing your rolled hem, hold on to the tail at the back to gently guide your fabric through.

And another tip – you can have the cutter up – to cut off excess seam allowance/hem as you serge your rolled hem – or down – serging close to the edge of the hem. The farther away from the edge you dare to go the bigger your “hem roll” will be.

Remember, you might have to adjust the tension on your dials, but the manual helps by showing diagrams of what correct tension looks like, and what it does not look like. Mine seemed to work with the 0, 4, 3, 7.  Of course, this might be different if you use different fabric.  I was using a light denim made of 70% cotton, 28% polyester, 2% spandex. How does this look?

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

On the left side, the rolled hem was made with the cutter down, so it is slightly wider.  On the right side, the rolled hem was made with the cutter up, so it is narrower.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Here’s another look.  On the top, the rolled hem was made with the cutter up.  On the bottom, the rolled hem was made with the cutter down.

Oh yes, here is the page of the Janome manual dealing with tension adjustment for a rolled hem….

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Another tip – for threading your serger – DON’T! I have managed to sew many garments etc on my serger without threading it. If I have to change the spools, one at a time, I snip the thread right at my spool and tie the thread end that is left in my serger to my new spool. After all spools have been replaced and tied, I gently pull all my old threads, all together, slowly, through my machine. I can usually make it all the way to my sewing needle holes and my looper holes before having to cut the knots out and thread the holes by hand. Where did I learn this? My manual!

It is a shame that these sewing machine and serger manufacturers cannot make their manuals more accessible – this is the Information Age after all!

Speaking of which… Are there any more serger tips out there anyone has to offer? We would love to hear about them!

2 thoughts on “Question and Answer Period!

  1. OMG, this thing looks like a mini nuclear reactor. If it’s not set right does it start a countdown like in The China Syndrome. Oops I just gave away my age didn’t I. (The China Syndrome came out in 1979!!)

    1. Now now it’s not THAT scary! And although I couldn’t POSSIBLY know what “The China Syndrome” is – I must say – age is just a number!

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