Two, Three, Four, and Five Thread Serger Stiches

woman sewing on serger

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A serger is a unique sewing machine that trims the seam and encloses the seam allowance or edge of the fabric inside a thread casing — and all in one step. Sergers are available with a variety of useful options. You can create different stitches and results based on the number of threads you use on the serger. 

Each brand of machine is slightly different, but the basic stitches that can be made are the same. Here, you'll see examples of sewing done on a Husqvarna Huskylock 936.

  • 01 of 10

    Narrow Two Thread Overlock

    Narrow Two Thread Overlock
    Debbie Colgrove

    This photo displays a narrow two thread overlock stitch. The narrow two thread overlock provides a narrow stitch that will bind an edge and minimally hold two layers of fabric together. It isn't a strong dependable stitch for seams but it does enclose the raw edges of lightweight fabric when you do not want heavy threads that would show through the fabric or leave an impression on the fabric when the seam is pressed.

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  • 02 of 10

    Two Thread Rolled Hem Stitch

    Two Thread Rolled Hem
    Debbie Colgrove

    This is an example of a two thread rolled hem. A rolled hem is created by sewing the edge of the fabric while stitches are formed enclosing the rolled edge. A rolled hem is commonly used on sheer fabrics and napkins. It requires a throat plate and tension adjustments.

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  • 03 of 10

    Two Thread Serged Pintuck

    Two Thread Serged Pintuck
    Debbie Colgrove

    These are two thread serged pintucks, which are commonly made on a sewing machine with straight stitching. These pintucks were made using two threads on a folded edge without the knife to cut the fabric. The serger stitching creates a more decorative pintuck than straight sewing machine stitching.

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  • 04 of 10

    Horizontal & Vertical Serged Pintucks

    Two Thread Pin Tuck Sewn Horizontally & Vertically
    Debbie Colgrove

    Here are examples of two thread serged pintucks done both horizontally and vertically. Playing with different options is a great way to experiment when making your own fabric.

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  • 05 of 10

    Three Thread Overlock

    Three Thread Wide & Narrow Overlock Stitches
    Debbie Colgrove

    Here is a three thread wide stitch next to a narrow overlock stitch for comparison. Three thread overlock stitches have a wider spread over the edge of the fabric than two thread overlock stitches. A three thread overlock stitch will help the stitched area lay smooth and flat.

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  • 06 of 10

    Three Thread Overlock With Differential Feed

    Three Thread Overlock Sewn With Differential Feed
    Debbie Colgrove

    This is a three thread overlock stitch sewn with a differential feed. The differential feed will gather the woven fabric and is used to sew perfect seams on lightweight to heavy knits.

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  • 07 of 10

    Five Thread Seam

    Five Thread Seam
    Debbie Colgrove

    This is a five thread seam sewn on a serger. Both the seam stitching and the seam finish can be sewn independently of each other or sewn at the same time. The seam stitching appears like normal stitching on one side and as a chain stitch on the other side of the fabric.

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  • 08 of 10

    3mm & 6mm Cover Stitch

    Cover Stitch Samples
    Debbie Colgrove

    Here are comparison photos of a 3mm and 6 mm cover stitch sample. A cover stitch is sewn without using the knife on the serger. It is commonly used to hem T-shirts and stretchy fabric. Two lines of straight stitching are on the right side and looping threads are on the wrong side, which allows the fabric to stretch without bursting the stitches.

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  • 09 of 10

    Triple Cover Stitch

    Triple Cover Stitch Sample
    Debbie Colgrove

    Here is a triple cover stitch sample. The triple cover stitch is sewn without using the knife on the serger and it is commonly used to hem tee shirts and stretchy fabric. Three lines of straight stitching are on the right side and looping threads are on the wrong side which allows the fabric to stretch without bursting the stitches.

    Using three rows of the thread rather than two allows you to hold the fabric "down" more than two rows of stitching would, therefore adding stability to the hem. This would be a necessary stitch for a fabric that would naturally roll or not lay flat.

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  • 10 of 10

    Three Thread Flatlock

    Three Thread Flatlock Stitch
    Debbie Colgrove

    This is a three thread flatlock or ladder stitch, commonly used for lingerie. Either the looped or the ladder can be correct depending on if the right sides or wrong sides of the fabric were sewn together.