Project Decorative Serger Bag
Skill Level: Beginner
Skill Level: Beginner
Learn and master a wide assortment of serger techniques while creating this beautiful and unique bag. This bag incorporates thread rosettes, ruffles with a decorative rolled hem, belt loops, flatlocking and criss-cross strips. All of these serger techniques can be used for a variety of future serger projects. Download printable instructions.
For the rosettes, set serger for a narrow 3-thread stitch with heavy decorative thread in upper and lower loopers and regular serger thread in right hand needle.
With this technique, you will not use any fabric to serge on, but just the thread. Try to serge at an even speed to create an even thread chain.
Hold the threads to the left side of t he serger as it chains off. Put some tension on the thread by pulling lightly.
Serge off at least 2-3 yards of th read chain. You can also serge some extra to keep on hand for another project. Set aside.
For the ruffle with a decorative rolled hem, cut fabric strip for ruffle approx. 2-2/14" wide by the width of the fabric.
You will probably need to cut and join two strips together, depending on the project size. The ruffle will be attached once one side seam is serged together.
Cut some extra strips of fabric for testing in order to make serger adjustments. It is easier to do the rolled hem first before gathering the top edge of the fabric.
Thread serger with heavy decorative thread in upper looper and regular thread in right hand needle and lower looper.
Set serger for a 3-thread rolled hem. Serge the lower edge of the fabric strip, trimming off a small amount.
Attach the Ruffling Foot to serger.
Thread and set serger for a 4-thread overlock.
Adjust both stitch length and differential feed to highest numbers. These settings may have to be adjusted for different fabrics.
Test first. Always use a 4-thread stitch for gathering as it makes it easier to securely gather the edge. Some fabrics gather more than others.
If your fabric is not gathered enough, pull up on the two needle threads only and gather. Set aside.
The Ruffling Foot can also be used to gather a ruffle and attach to a flat fabric all in one step.
For the belt loop strips, if the belt loops are going to be applied to the project along a straight edge, then it is not necessary to cut fabric strips on the bias.
However, if they will be used to create curves or loops on the fabric, then cut strips on the bias.
The belt loops will be created first and then applied to the fabric. Be sure to cut the fabric strips the correct width (7/8"), according to the instructions.
The Belt Loop Binder is an attachment that is screwed onto the front knife cover that is always used for cover stitch techniques.
Attach it using two white screws and adjust so that fabric feeds in correctly (download attached instructions).
You will use either a triple cover stitch or a wide cover stitch.
Always cut extra fabric strips so that you have enough to use for testing.
Make sure that the strips are long enough to fit around the top edge of the project.
The strips that are cut on the bias will be used to create a "swirly" shape. Set aside.
For the criss-cross strips, fuse Wonder Under to back of fabric. You do not need a lot of fabric for this technique.
Using rotary cutter, cut strips not more than 1/4" wide. Size of strips can vary as well, and it is not necessary to use a ruler.
Remove paper backing from back of fabric and fuse strips in a pleasing manner to main fabric. Do not cover y our main fabric with too many strips as the strips are to be an accent.
With the wrong side of fabric facing up, serge a few rows of chain stitching diagonally across the fabric.
You may choose to serge all the rows of stitching using just the chain stitch; however, by combining a narrow cover stitch with the chain stitching it will add some interest to the fabric.
Apply a small amount of the Unique Stitch glue to the area where the rosettes will be positioned.
Take the thread chain that you created earlier and coil into a very small loop to start. Place directly on the glue on the fabric and continue looping it around itself to create the rosette
Make and apply as many rosettes as desired.
Apply a hot-fix crystal to the center of each rosette.
To create the second side of the project, thread heavy decorative thread in lower looper and regular thread in left hand needle.
Set the serger for a wide 2-thread flatlock stitch. Pay close attention to threading reference chart in the attached instructions.
Serge a wide 2-thread flatlock stitch onto the lower edge of the project with the "loopy" side of the stitch showing on the right side of fabric. You can add additional rows.
Above the previous stitching, mark three rows evenly spaced approx.1" apart and 1" up from lower edge of the fabric
Sew on the first row with right sides of fabric together to create the ladder of the 2-thread flatlock stitch.
Optional : For a more decorative ladder stitch, thread a heavy decorative thread in the needle (size 90/14) and regular thread in the lower looper. Set the stitch length between 3 and 4.
Sew second row wit h wrong sides together.
Sew third row with wrong sides together.
When the serging is completed, lightly pull on each row of stitching to flatten. Press lightly.
On the top row, thread narrow ribbon in a double-eyed needle and weave it through alternating "ladders."
Mark a line approximately 4" from top edge of fabric.
To determine if the position of the fourth row of flatlocking is ok, position the ruffle at top edge of project and check to make sure they do not overlap.
Serge this row with wrong sides together and pull the stitching flat.
Attach the belt loop strips to the center section bet ween the third and fourth row of flatlocking in a curve pattern. You may want to mark the shape with a disappearing pen first.
Note: The curve pattern will not work well with fabric cut on the straight of grain; make sure your belt loop strips were created with bias strips.
Place belt loops on these lines and pin or lightly glue in place with KK 2000 spray adhesive.
The belt loops can be serged in place using a chain stitch or attach them by sewing them on a sewing machine.
Position and create two more thread rosettes, applying a crystal in the centers.
Serge one side seam of the two fabric pieces together using a 4-thread overlock. Press seam to the side.
Serge along top edge to clean finish.
Place ruffle along top edge of fabric adjusting gathers to fit. Pin in place.
Serge the ruffle to top edge of fabric using the 4-thread overlock.
Note : You can also serge the ruffle to a raw edge instead of finishing the top edge first.
Place a belt loop strip (serged on the straight of grain) on top of the ruffle along the top edge. Serge it in place using a chain stitch or use a straight stitch on sewing machine.
Create a loop at one side and sew or glue in place.