Quilting Blog

Free Serger Sewing Tip: How To Thread a Four-Thread Overlocker


If you enjoyed this free sewing tip, be sure to sign up for Amy Alan’s “Beginner Serger Sewing” course on Craftsy.


Video transcription:

Hi I’m Amy Alan with Craftsy.com and today I’ll be showing you how to thread your serger for four-thread overlock. When you’re threading your serger I’m going to recommend that you get four spools of polyester serger thread that match the colors of your serger that you’ll find next to your tension dials.

So here I have all these colors: My lower looper is red. My upper looper is blue. My right needle is teal. My left needle is gold. So when you’re threading your serger you always want to thread it from right to left, but you want to make sure that you start threading with your upper looper. So to get to that I’m going to take off the waste collector, I’m going to open up the looper cover and then I’m going to go for my first thread. So my upper looper like I said is blue, so I grab that. Come up here through the telescoping rod. Come down here and this is my first tension area I can tell because it has a blue dot it matches my thread color. I can also look at the threading diagram inside the looper cover and I can see that that’s where it’s telling me to go first. I come down through my tension disk, right here, and then I look for the blue dots and the blue line that tell me where I need to go next. First this, this one, and then my threading diagram shows that I’m going to come down here. Then I want to come up here, and through the eye of my upper looper. Now to more easily get to my upper looper I can bring up my blade, I can disengage this, moving it over. Then I can get in just a little bit closer, and it’s also easier for you to see. Disengage that blade, so then I can thread the eye of my upper looper. So once I have this thread I’m going to bring it underneath the presser foot.

So then I’m going to go back and because we’re going right to left, remember, now I’m going to do my lower looper. So I pick up my red thread, feed it up here through the top, go through that same tension disk down here. And again I’m going to follow the guide looking for everywhere where it’s red. And here the guide has me coming through one of the same places as I do with the upper looper, which is just fine. Now this machine actually has a really handy feature to help me get to some of the extra tension points with the lower looper. So if I press this lower-looper auto threader that brings down these two other red dots so I can easily get to them. So I put just a little bit of tension on my thread and that’s going to help me to lead it into these two places, and then I can thread my lower looper. Now if you have a hard time threading it through the eye you can just sort of snip it off and that will give you a good, clean, fresh edge to get through the eye right there. Grab it, make sure you’re not getting caught on anything else and that all of these little places are staying threaded, and then bring it underneath your presser foot.

So next we get to do the needles. We’re going to start off with the right needle. And this BERNINA actually has a needle threader, which is wonderful. If you don’t have one you can just thread the needle yourself. Over here I’m going to choose the selection forward to choose the right needle so it’s ready for me when I get to it. So grab my teal thread here, bring it up, around the tension disk, down, and because it’s not a looper we don’t come down into here, we follow the threading guide right here that says I come over. Go around this. And then I have these two little coils here, one for each needle. So I come down through the one on the right because I’m threading the right needle. So you come around through this coil and then you take the threader. So then I have this little loop on the back of the needle here that I’m going to grab and just go ahead and pull through, so then my needle is threaded.

I’m going to do the same thing with the left needle. Go ahead and bring that threader back here. Pull this up, then come down through my tension disks up here. Through this coil, here’s the threader again. There I have a little loop that I can grab and then bring it under that foot. Then I can reengage this blade, close my looper cover and I’m all set for a four-thread overlock!

Thanks for watching and if you want to learn more about all the amazing things that you serger can do, come join my Beginning Serger class on Craftsy.com!


Related serger sewing tips:


Ruth Hurley

I am so pleased that a serger class is being offered—can’t wait to purchase it!


This sounds like what I’ve been looking for!


Thanks a lot for the tip !


Thank you so much for this tip on how to thread up the overlocker/serger. I have had one of these machines for years and have never used it properly because I could never get it to sew without having lots of trouble, in fact I have even considered selling my machine, but now you have changed my mind and I will definitely be coming back to you for more helpful tips.
Thank you!
Love and hugs
Susan xxx


So nice to have some instruction on sergers.. Thank you so much, like Susan wrote I have had my serger for years & it has been in the closet because it is a pain in the neck to thread, half the time I can’t get it right so back in the closet it goes, almost gave it away a year ago… YIKES.. So glad Craftsy is here to save the day… Thanks again for your wonderful instruction….



I am so glad also that a class is upcomming in th future, I have had a serger for the past three years, still in the box, can’t seem to thread it. Looking forward to the class at last. Very excited.



Thanks for the tips. Much needed information that I have been looking for.


I have a bet with my Brother about Art Movements of the 20th Century. Can anyone recommend a good reference book?


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