Serging

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Serging

Postby crfriend » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:52 pm

I'm working on a project and I need to know if there's an easy way to undo a serged edge. The specific problem involves an elastic which is serged to fabric and then folded over and sewn down. Since the elastic is shot I'm looking to replace it with new but need to get the old completely removed.

Ideas? Or, in this case, is it down to scissors and removing the entire edge?
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Re: Serging

Postby Sinned » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:51 pm

The best that I could do is this: http://www.theartfulcrafter.com/serged-stitch.html. If there's plenty of material then using sharp dressmaking scissors cut the material off just above the serge. We've never had to do it so I have no real experience.
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Re: Serging

Postby Zorba » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:53 pm

Your seam ripper is your friend...
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Re: Serging

Postby crfriend » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:14 pm

Zorba wrote:Your seam ripper is your friend...

I've done most of the work with the seam-ripper already, but the problem is the serged edge itself not the other bits. Of course it doesn't much help that it's white elastic, white fabric, and white thread. At this point in time I'm leaning towards cutting the edge off and using narrower elastic to compensate as there's not much wiggle-room in the design.

If nothing else, this has been -- and continues to be -- a "learning experience". The ultimate option may be to deconstruct the original completely, make a pattern, and rebuild from scratch using new fabric.
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Re: Serging

Postby Tor » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:55 pm

I'm not an expert, but have one close enough to ask. The way to remove a serged seam is to cut the straight threads about every inch and work them out from the centers of the sections. You have to be careful that you cut them often enough to avoid knotting things up with will make things very difficult to remove. The looped threads will fall away once the straight threads have been removed.
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Re: Serging

Postby crfriend » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:45 am

I still haven't conquered the problem of the serged elastic, but I suspect that's going to be down to very sharp scissors, bright light, and steady hands. The rebuild will likely involve fold-over elastic if I can find it in bulk.

I may as well be candid, part of the focus has been on knickers as decent men's ones haven't been available on these shores seemingly since the mid 1980s so I've deconstructed a couple of ones that had shot elastics (and replaced the elastics on one set -- 110 inches of linear hand-stitching; it took me most of the day) and I'm absolutely astounded with how complex the things are (well, these were nice ones and not your typical "tighty-whities"). I'm no tailor (I'm a computer engineer not a tailor! (with apologies to Leonard "Bones" McCoy)), so custom-builds may well be beyond my capabilities -- or patience levels.

On a happier note, once the light problems were solved, my sewing skills did start to show serious signs of recovery to the point where near the end of the 110 linear-inch run my best efforts are near machine-quality. I learnt to sew when I figured I'd be a bachelor for life; it's a very useful skill. Sooner or later I'm going to clear the second bedroom to use as a sewing room. And install high-intensity lighting.

I also have a couple of scratch-builds for skirts in the cards once I have space to work.
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Re: Serging

Postby Sinned » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:56 pm

One reason I hate these new high efficiency lights that we are forced to buy for general use. They just don't produce enpugh light for really serious detailed work. I work with small items - electronic repairs, models, reading, sewing, stamps, that sort of thing and they don't give enough light. So I have to buy a small high intensity lamp to compensate which uses either a normal filament bulb or LED. The normal bulbs are useful for ambient light to stop me walking into furniture or stepping on things! We have stockpiled enough oreinary bulbs hoperully to last us the next 10 years. Our rooms upstairs have units that take the silvered spotlight type bulbs. We were going to replace the units but since you can still buy the bulbs we have held off. Once these are discontinued then we will replace the units.
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