Serger as Pattern Cutter

Back when I was doing my research on cutting and sewing sweater knit fabrics, one woman, who'd worked in the fashion industry for decades said to me, "You know, you can just use your serger to cut out your pattern pieces. Then you don't have to worry about fraying." Hmm, well, it sounded logical. I knew that machine knitters often cut out necklines that way. But a whole sweater?

It's been about a year now, since I first heard of that technique. No one else has ever offered that suggestion! I've finally decided to try it out on the Tangerine Top.

Here's the back.

I started by carefully placing my paper pattern piece on my fabric. I held the pattern in position with weights and traced the paper pattern using my Collins Air Erasable Pen. You can see the traced pattern piece below.

Lining up the purple line with the blade of my serger, I used a 3-thread serger stitch to cut the shape and finish the edge at the same time. Before serging, I spent lots of time adjusting the differential feed to be sure the edges, especially the neck and armholes, did not stretch.

The back piece has outside pointing corners, which were easy to serge this way.

I can see where this method might be useful if you were seaming very thick fabric and couldn't fit the double layer of fabric under the presser foot of the serger. With this method you only serge through one thickness of fabric at a time. The plan now is to cut out the front in the same manner. I'll use a contrasting facing for the neck with interfacing perhaps for the asymmetrical front. Binding will be used for the armholes.

I'll stitch the pieces together with my regular sewing machine -- no need to stabilize edges any further. All I need is a little time to finish!

If anyone else has experience cutting out your pattern with a serger, please share in the comments. It seems so quick and easy! Any drawbacks I haven't anticipated?



  1. thanks for this post - this is the way I had planned to do my cut and sew - it seems to make a great deal of sense to me.

    1. My pleasure! I'd love to hear how your project turned out and how this method worked out for you. :)


I love hearing from you!
{Comments are moderated in order to prevent spam.}