Monday, June 1, 2009

How to divide serger thread into smaller spools - a silly kind of tutorial

Make no mistake - I hate serger thread! They shred and split and fly here and there when one is trying to thread the serger. BLACK serger thread is the worst! Black attracts a lot of static cling and the thread shreds and splits even more than the other colours :(

That said, I still use it for some projects that really require it...like sewing up seams on jersey knits.

The problem, as many of you are familiar, is that your store will only have the exact matching colour in a jumbo spool - and chances are that it won't fit onto your little home serger anyway!

So what to do (short of buying 4 separate spools)?

Some places/books will tell you to wind the thread onto bobbins. But you quickly run out, often in mid serge, and then have to rewind constantly. Not ideal for large projects.
Here is what I do...

Equipment:

1 electric egg beater
carboard tubes

Method:

Get yourself 4 inner cardboard tubes.

I cut the long tube of a used roll of tin foil - can't you tell? You can also just use 4 tubes from toilet rolls, probably much easier.

Take one of the metal spindles from the egg beater...


...and tape one of the tubes securely to it.


Hand wind the thread a few times around the tube first


Then attach the spindle back onto the machine.

Place the original large spool on the floor and position the egg beater upright on the edge of a table. Like so:


Holding the thread trailing from the tube in one hand...

(You will probably have to hold on to the machine with your other hand cos it tends to migrate off the table when turned on)

...turn the machine on at the slowest speed and let it do the work!


As you get more confident, turn up the speed a little at a time (on my machine, it goes from 0 to 9!) and keep winding until you are satisfied with the amount on the tube.

Cut through the tape to remove it from the spindle.

And voila! you have one small spool of serger thread ready for use on the serger.



Repeat with the remaining tubes and save yourself $ buying 4 large spools of annoying thread.

Helpful or not? Do let me know by leaving a comment...*wink wink*

:D


27 comments:

  1. Fabulous! Clever! I don't know if I've ever seen the giant serger spools. I mean, the ones I use are the 1000 yard ones - cone things about 5" tall?

    ReplyDelete
  2. thumbs up..very good idea!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Okay, this is absolutely brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an ingenious solution! It reminded me of another clever trick I saw at www.magstitch.blogspot.com (see left hand sidebar link called Silly Wrapping). I use cardboard tube sections to store ribbons and bias binding with a paperclip to hold the end onto the roll.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Geez now I realize why I shouldn't have thrown away that empty maxilock big spool the other day, I never think about things like this! I've used tiny bobbins on my serger before! Though I've not seen those super large spools, this would be helpful to keep from buying doubles or more of colors you won't use 'that' much! One problem, I don't have beaters, I've got a kitchen aid, maybe it could work! By the way I found you by googling something completely different about serging!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Really a good blog for those who are interested in stitching...
    I shall recommend this blog to ma close friend who is fond of stitching tops

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,

    I just made a different winder myself. I used one bobbin and the plastic inside of a roll of doggie poop bags (could have cut off part of a pen too, to get a long cylinder). I super glued this to the top of the bobbin. Then I wound some card board onto it, until it had formed a suitable "adapter", being wide enough for the spools I wanted to use (card board spools made from cardboard or toilet rolls). I fasten the bobbin part of this "adapter" to the bobbin winder, fasten the thread as usual and start winding.

    I also have a stick blender that has a balloon whisk. I wouldn't be too surprised if that one can just be stuffed inside a toilet roll inside. Just tested it, and I was right! The whisk is so elastic, it just goes together to form a tight grip inside the card board "spool"! So, if I will make larger spools, I might just try that method! Thanks for the idea! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi again,

    Now I have tried out the "Stick Blender Winding Method"(TM) LOL... It works SUPER! As far as I can see, it works even smoother than with an ordinary mixmaster AND there is no need to use tape. With the balloon wisk put on my Braun Turbo Stick Blender, all I have to do, is to put one hand around the whisk and it conforms to the size of the toilet roll inside. Push it inside the roll/spool, and it stays beautifully in place. I only had a smaller thread cone to test it out with, so I put it inside a plastic box (a bucket would work super too) and put it on the floor. I sat (or stood) above it, blender in one hand, thread in the other (to guide the thread onto the cone) and it worked like a charm. This model stick blender has a 1-10 (or something like that) speed regulator and I started off at 3-4, but soon found I could move on to higher speeds.

    So thanks a lot for giving me this super tip! Hopefully my own testing may help others too, so we all find methods that works for us! I can't afford to buy 4 of each of the huge cones in the 6 colors I would like to get me started with serging, so this will save me lots of money. No toilet roll insides (and cling film, alu foil etc.) get thrown out here, I often reuse them (wind bindings, FOE, stretch lace, twill tape etc. on them), they're real great for many things! Even better than putting it in the paper recycling bin, I think!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my goodness, you sure got my creative juices flowing, LOL... I can't test it right now, but just thought I'd mention this. I mentioned these methods at my sewing class yesterday, and the owner of the place said that winding yourself sometimes can give a bit of trouble, e.g. the thread can get tangled etc. I have one of these manual "crank" type of yarn winders. In the past I have used that to wind thick upholstery thread too, I simply cut a toilet paper roll inside vertically, and wound it around the yarn winder "cone" tightly, then taped it, so that I would have a spool which I could remove when I was done. When I was done with it, I made circular "reel bottoms" from card board which I also fastened to it, so that the thread actually sits on a "proper" reel. Don't think that is necessary for this though. What I am thinking though, is that it might be possible to find a way to hook the mixmaster or stick blender onto the base of the yarn winder hand crank. The advantage with this would be that you then would have a thread guide which automatically would wind the thread onto the cone with a professional "pattern". You know how the thread looks on the cones, it is wound so that it will come off the cone very nicely, no danger of tangling or anything. So, for those who also own a yarn winder, finding a way to motorize it using a mixmaster or stick blender, might just be a good idea. When I'm up for it, I'll see if I can find a way to get it to work and if it does, I'll post about it...

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lotta - wow! I'm glad to have inspired you so :) I've often tried to figure out a way to use the winder on the sewing machine to wind bigger spools and your first method is great. I know what you mean about winding the thread so that it 'meanders' up and down the cone (tube). When using my egg beater, I guide the thread side to side across the tube so that it mimics that, though the results are not so 'professional'...as you can see from the pictures. But it doesn't haveto be perfect. I've not had any trouble with thread getting tangled during serging. I think as long as you try to distribute it as constantly as possible, it won't mess up.

    Thanks for all your comments and wonderful enthusiasm :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't have a serger, have never seen serger threads. But I appreciate the ingenuity here!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm speechless! You are a genious! Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very nice. I wish i had seen this in the afternoon. I did it by hand and it took me a lot of time. Next time i will do it your way!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Many thanks for this BRILLIANT cost-saving idea!!I can only assume you place the cardboard tubes directly onto your Serger. My question is - do you have problems with the tubes jumping, spinning, or otherwise causing problems with your stitching as you serge?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I Gone through your Website its really amazing.
    very good information on Transformer Winding Machine product i got know useful information thanks for this.

    Semi-Automatic Coil Winding Machine

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your blog is really good.. you having nice content.. its very helpful to all. thanks for sharing this..

    Semi-Automatic Coil Winding Machine
    Armature Winding Machine

    ReplyDelete
  17. Please remember serger thread is 2 ply and NOT strong enough for seams!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I gone through your blog. Its really good.very useful information..Thanks for sharing this.
    see my products also
    Foil Winding Machine

    Transformer Winding Machine

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your blog is really amazing.. nice to read. Thanks for sharing this.
    see my products also
    Foil Winding Machine

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your post is really good. Useful content. Very helpful to me. i have similar products.
    I have blog for Foil Winding Machine

    Visit my products also

    Stator Winding Machine

    ReplyDelete
  21. Roll Rewinding Machine- If you are in a high production business or you are working in a big production company, you will certainly see that there are always raw materials that are on a flat sheet. These sheets are always in bulk and might seem to be useless. These roll of films, cloth, paper or metals can be slit or rewind to make it useful again by using roll rewinding machines.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love love love this post - exactly what I needed! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. We are manufacturer of Heavy Duty Winding Rewinding Machine with quality equipment. Film Winding Rewinding For Batch Coding, Winding Rewinding For Batch Printing, Winding Rewinding With Inkjet Printer, Winding Rewinding With Thermal Transfer Overprinter. Winding Rewinding Machine for various industries.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hilarious and brilliant! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

It is always a treat to get a comment! Thanks for yours :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails