How to Change Serger Thread with the Tying Off Method

I used to dread using my serger simply because I hated changing the thread color. For a long time, I used white thread for EVERYTHING and you know? What they say is true - it's what's on the inside that counts. At least, that's true for this perfectionist. I hated the way the inside of my garments looked. Of course, you don't have to always have PERFECTLY matched serger thread for every garment, but it does help to have an easy way to change the thread without wanting to stab yourself in the eye with a dull pencil every time. So here's my super easy way to change the thread colors. You'll notice my standard is to use three threads on my four-thread serger. I find this produces a nice, strong, stretchy stitch for most of my sewing on knits and wovens. If you prefer four threads, the method is the same; you will simply have to thread both needles at the end...but that is the easy part. It's the loopers that give us fits, amirite?

Step 1. Admire those cones all nicely threaded through the loopers and needle. Ahhhh...it pains us to unthread them. But wait, we don't have to! Progress to Step 2...

How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 2. Snip the current threads as close to the cones as possible. Leave them dangling precariously. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 3. Precarious dangling! Place your new color cones onto the serger. See? I snuck some gray ones in there. I'm sneaky like that. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 4. Carefully tie the new thread onto each respective old thread. I simply loop both of the threads around my finger, pull them through the loop, and voila. Someday I'll ask a Boy Scout what kind of knot that is. Make the tails as short as you can without compromising the strength of the knot. A half-an-inch-or-so is perfect. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 5. Tie on all the loopers. Leave the needle thread precariously dangling. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 6. Lightly tug on the threads as you push the power pedal to feed through all the threads. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 7. At some point, you will see your new color start to shine through. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 8. And then you will have a moment of panic when only two threads are coming through, and it appears that everything has come undone. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 9. Thread the needle thread as usual. This part is easy, so it doesn't need any special tricks. You can do it. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Step 10. Tug on the threads again as you press the power pedal to feed the machine. After a few seconds, the world will be right again. See that gorgeous gray chain coming out? Now you're ready to sew. How to change serger thread using the tying off method

Easy, right?! Now you can see why I don't fret the serger anymore. In fact, I sew my knits almost exclusively with the serger except for hemming. I use a double needle on my regular sewing machine for that...but that is another tutorial. :)