Can You Backstitch On A Serger? What To Know

Backstitching is a sewing term that refers to the technique of stitching a few stitches at the beginning and end of a seam to lock down the thread. Backstitching is typically used on straight seams, but it can also be used around curves like necklines or armholes.

Yes. You can backstitch on a serger. The reason this is not obvious is that, to the untrained eye, backstitching looks like what you would do if you wanted to hem something or sew in a zipper. But this is where things get interesting: there’s actually no way for you to use a sewing machine for those tasks because there’s no needle in front of the fabric.

Instead, when you want to sew something closed using only a sewing machine (this is called an overlock stitch) or if you want your seam allowance turned under and sewn down flat (this is called an overedge finish), then yes, you can definitely use your serger as-is without any modifications necessary.

What Do Sergers Do Instead Of Backstitching?

What do sergers do instead of backstitching? Like many sewing machines, sergers use a lock stitch to secure the fabric and prevent it from unravelling. The difference is that the stitches they make are much smaller and closer together than standard sewing machine stitches. This means that they’re more likely to hold even when cutting into the fabric at an angle or removing pins.

Serger stitches also have a considerable amount of stretch built into them, which makes them stronger than traditional zig-zag stitches and allows them to handle lighter fabrics without breaking through.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Serger For Finishing Seams?

You can get a lot of bang for your buck by using a serger for finishing seams.

  • Sergers are faster than sewing machines because they don’t need to be threaded or have their bobbin loaded, and they don’t have to stop in the middle of a seam to reverse direction.
  • Sergers are more accurate than sewing machines because they cut only the threads that are supposed to be cut, so you don’t have any double-stitching mishaps like you would when using a regular machine.
  • Sergers are more durable than sewing machines; unlike manual sewing techniques where stitches can easily come undone over time (or even tear out), the stitches on a serger will remain secure even after years of use due to their strong construction and design.
  • Finally, sergers offer many options not available with regular sewing: including rolled hems; decorative stitched edgings on cuffs, collars and pockets; zigzag stitch patterns (including quilting straight lines) and many others.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Using A Serger Without Backstitching?

If you’re a dedicated serger user and want to do everything on that machine, backstitching is an important skill. The drawbacks of not doing so are as follows:

  • You can’t use your Serger to finish seams, since you need to backstitch in order to secure the ends of your seam allowance and make sure it doesn’t unravel.
  • If you don’t finish your seam allowances with backstitching first, then you’ll have trouble using the Serger for any kind of gathering or ruffling because there will be raw edges exposed at those points.

If you’re really committed to making professional-looking garments without having all those extra steps (like hand finishing), then there are ways around this. One would be using a blind hem foot if indeed one exists for your specific brand of the machine; another option would be finding another way (like hand stitching) around finishing edges before using the sewing machine again.

What Are Some Good Alternatives To A Serger?

Once you learn to backstitch on a Serger, you can use the technique on other machines. It’s also a good idea to know how to do it by hand if your machine doesn’t have this capability. Here are some options for backstitching that don’t require a Serger:

  • Zigzag stitch
  • Overcast stitch
  • Blanket stitch
  • Chain stitch (for overlays)
  • Hemming stitch
  • Basting stitch
  • Cording stitches (for projects like curtains)

Can You Top Stitch Without A Needle Plate?

Yes, you can also top stitch without a needle plate by using a cover stitch machine or specialty presser foot.

What To Do If You Forget To Backstitch?

If you have a Serger and forget to backstitch, do not fear. You can still secure your seam in the same way by sewing with two passes of your thread. This means that you will pass over one or more threads as you go.

When you get to the end of your seam, stop with no tension on your fabric. Then sew back and forth several times over those threads (or at least one thread) so that they stick up higher than everything else. You can use this method whether or not you have a stitch regulator on your Serger. It’s just an extra precaution for when things go wrong, which happens sometimes.

If you don’t have a stitch regulator or are using another machine like a regular sewing machine or hand embroidery needlework kit then I highly recommend adding one in order to avoid any problems later down the line when trying out new patterns etcetera.”

How Many Times Should You Back Stitch?

The answer to this question is, that it depends. If you’re sewing a seam that’s thick or bulky and doesn’t need to be rolled over (like piping), then one stitch will do the trick. That’s because backstitching on a Serger holds better than regular stitches do because of all the pressure being applied by those two loopers when they’re stitching.

If your fabric is delicate or sheer and needs to be rolled over at some point, then you’ll want more than one stitch in place. You might want two or three stitches instead of just one if you’re working with something like lace trim or ribbon that may unravel easily in the wash.

Do not fear the backtrack. It really isn’t scary at all. it’s actually very easy once you get used to it. I promise.


A serger is a wonderful tool for sewing, but it’s not the only option out there. There are plenty of other ways to finish seams and fasten fabrics, so don’t worry if you don’t have one or think it might be too expensive for your needs.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, try using pinking shears or even just sewing a few stitches back and forth on each side of the seam until it feels secure enough without having to backstitch at all