Welcome to another exciting week on QUILTsocial. While I’m always excited about the fun projects I can make, I’m even more excited about the amazing sewing machines I get to share with you.
This week, we’re up for something different. A serger? For quilting? Yes.
I’ll be playing with the Husqvarna Viking HUSKYLOCK s25 serger which looks amazing
Let’s dive in and see what it’s all about.
Setting up the serger
I’ve had access to a serger for several years. I don’t use it often, but I wouldn’t want to be without it. People tend to be intimidated by the serger and yes it can be finicky to operate, however, I’ll show how easy the HUSKYLOCK s25 is to use. I’ve got some great tips that’ll make quilting so easy and fast.
When I open up the box, this is what I see. Hmm – a lot of bits and pieces, but it’s not hard to put all those pieces onto the serger.
There’s a thread stand, a foot pedal, an accessory box, and a waste tray. Just a few extra things you wouldn’t see in a sewing machine box, but none of these are a big deal to set up.
The thread stand was easy to assemble and place on the back of the serger. The waste tray fits under the front feet of the serger so it doesn’t move. And look what else I found in the box. An extension table. Oh – I’m going to like that for the quilting part.
Here’s a better view of the extension table. I must say this serger is big! There’s loads of space to the right of the needle and with the extension table, I feel like I’m sitting at a very large machine. I’m loving this serger already.
Here’s a better view of the telescoping thread stand. Notice there’s room for five cones of thread. Yes – this serger also does a cover stitch.
An important thing to remember when serging – the thread stand needs to be fully extended! Ask me how I know this. One day when I wasn’t home, my daughter tried to use my serger with the thread stand closed down. Things didn’t go so well and I’m trying to help her on the phone!
There’s a nice big foot pedal so you won’t have any problems locating it when you want to get serging.
I recently got new flooring in my studio. It’s vinyl with a bit of texture on it. Let’s just say the foot pedals no longer slide around on the floor. Something to think about when and if you’re getting new flooring for your sewing space. While the laminate flooring was nice, the surface was very slippery and the foot pedals flew around the floor.
The bonus of this new floor? I can’t see the dust bunnies! Now is that a good thing or a bad thing?
The User’s Guide
I’m training myself to stop using the physical User’s Guide that comes with any sewing machine or serger. I’ve started to download all the user guides onto my tablet. That allows me to travel with all my user guides and doesn’t add any weight to my backpack. It’s a great idea! And once you get used to it, it’s no big deal. The user’s guide for the serger is easy to download from the Husqvarna Viking web site.
The big thing is to make sure you know your way around your tablet so you can easily find the appropriate page when you need it. And there’s no issue about keeping the paper copy open so you can reference it when you’re trying to do something on the machine and your hands are full.
I’ve yet to learn to read a novel on the tablet, but I love having the user guides so readily available to me.
When I received the serger, it was set up to do a cover stitch. I didn’t want a cover stitch, so I quickly scoured the User’s Guide to figure out how to convert it over to a 4-thread overlock stitch. I must say it was super easy to do. The User’s Guide was very clear and easy to follow. And guess what? My test stitch after converting everything worked. First time! That says a lot for how easy it is to change from one type of stitch to another. One must be patient as it does take a few minutes to make the changes.
There’s a great chart in the User’s Guide with each of the 25 stitches and the information needed for each including number and position of needles, cutting width, stitch finger setting, and other settings necessary for each stitch. This chart is invaluable!
As with anything – the more you use the item, the more familiar you get with how it works.
The presser foot
Like a sewing machine, the serger has a presser foot which keeps the fabric in place when serging.
There’s a slight difference with the serger presser foot.
In this photo, you can see the presser foot is sitting right on the stitch plate, but where’s the presser foot lever??
Now the presser foot is in the up position and the lever is down.
Yep – it works in the opposite direction from a sewing machine. I’m not sure why that is.
I don’t need to raise and lower the presser foot like I would on a sewing machine. I’ll be showing more on that later this week.
If I want to release the stitches, it’s easy to do by completely raising the presser foot using the presser foot lever.
The serger is a more industrial type machine than the sewing machine and it’s necessary to become familiar with some of the technical stuff inside.
In the photo below, I’ve opened up the two covers on the front of the serger. Both need to be open for threading and you can see a color-coded diagram on the right to assist with the threading.
The left side is where the loopers, that form the underside of the stitches, are located.
Here’s a close-up diagram of the threading. I know it looks complicated but once you understand what is what, it’s quite simple.
Not only are the thread paths color-coded, but they are numbered in the order in which they must be threaded. Failure to follow that order will result in the stitch not working.
There’s also a diagram on the left which shows the position of the clutch that engages the upper looper. For stitches 1 – 21, the upper looper is used and for stitches 22 – 25 (cover stitch and chain stitches), the upper looper is disengaged with the clutch.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to convert the serger from the cover stitch to the 4-thread overlock.
I’m using a 4-thread overlock stitch so I don’t need a fifth cone of thread. Here’s a look at the loopers that have been threaded.
It’s a bit hard to see in the picture, but there are small color-coded dots on all the thread guides so it makes it super easy to follow along.
There’s a fairly large touch screen on the front of the HUSKYLOCK s25 serger to help.
In the bottom right, you can see there are 5-speed settings to choose from. If you’re a speed demon, keep it at the top, if you’re timid, lower the speed. Sergers are fast. It may also depend on the technique you’re doing, you may want to lower the speed.
As I move up, I see a diagram of the stitch (in real size) I’ve chosen as well as the stitch number and name. (Number 4 4-thread overlock side). Above the diagram, I get the suggested needle size based on the settings I’ve chosen.
To the right of that is the position of the needles. There are two rows of holes for the needles. In this case, I’m using the middle position on the front row and the leftmost on the back row.
The next function shows me the recommended cutting width.
The Exclusive Sewing Advisor is in the top right corner. I get to choose the type and weight of fabric I’m using so the HUSKYLOCK s25 serger does all the tension settings for me. Seriously?? This is amazing!!
The big arrows scroll through the different types of stitches. There are 25 in all ranging from 2-thread to 5-thread overlock, chain stitches, cover stitches and a 2 or 3-thread rolled hem. I’m only going to be touching one stitch this week. But I want to try them all.
The stitch length can be changed in the bottom right corner and the differential feed setting is in the middle along the bottom.
That’s amazing. There’s so much flexibility to the HUSKYLOCK s25 serger. I wish I had more time so I could experiment on more fabrics and more projects.
To the right of the touch screen are several more buttons. The top three are related to saving, deleting and retrieving personal stitches. That’s fabulous. When I want to work on something totally crazy, I can create my own stitch! There’s a settings menu and a stitch information menu.
So much right at my fingertips. All those things that made sergers scary in the past are gone!
I know the cutter isn’t a big deal. No – it’s a big deal. I’ll show why later this week when I tackle my project. What I love is how easy it is to change the movable upper cutter position. I don’t need a screwdriver to change it from the down (disengaged) position to the up (engaged) position.
I simply pull on the screw, the cutter comes out and I swivel it up and lock it in place. It doesn’t get any easier than that!!!
To show how easy it is to convert from one stitch, in this case, coverstitch, to 4-thread overlock, here’s my first test sample after I converted everything. The coverstitch was done in pink thread. My 4-thread overlock was in gray.
It worked the first time! That’s how easy it is to operate the HUSKYLOCK s25 serger.
There are so many other features I haven’t had time to touch on. The great lighting system on the large workspace, optional presser feet for specialty techniques and more.
I’ll play around with some of the stitches tomorrow before I get into my projects later this week.
Be sure to come back tomorrow as I take the Husqvarna Viking HUSKYLOCK s25 serger for a test drive.
Have a great day!
This is part 1 of 5 in this series.
Go to part 2: Understanding the basics of a serger
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