I recently participated in a charity sewing event, and I brought my serger to use for the day. I was so amused by my fellow sewists’ reactions to my conebobbinspools of thread that I had to create a tutorial.
Let me back up… As many of you know, when you first purchase a serger, one of the investments you make is in the thread. While one cone isn’t going to break the bank, buying four of them each (in oodles of colors) will definitely start to add up. Not to mention sorting out the storage of said cones.
I do keep four cones of the most frequently used colors on hand, but when I decided to round out my collection, I knew there had to be a workaround. I found several techniques online, and then I did my own thing based on a mishmash of these ideas, incorporating my needs based on the machines I have. Now, I only buy two cones of the colors I’ll use less often, and I use this technique in place of the other two. And actually, you could buy only one if you just want the color for a project or two. I know I’m not the only one doing this type of thing, but since it was new to my friends that day, I assumed it may be unknown to some others as well… so here it is!
serger thread hack
what you’ll need:
- a cone of serger thread
- empty thread spool, labels removed – the smaller Gütermann ones are the ones I use*
- empty bobbin that works with your bobbin winder
- hot glue
- sewing machine (or bobbin winder)
*I’m sure any empty spool would work. I use this one because it stores easily (see below), it is almost the exact width of the bobbin, and I have a lot of them.
1) Apply hot glue around the edges of the top of the empty spool (opposite that rough ridge where you secure the thread). Be fairly generous with the glue to fill up those outer holes, but avoid getting it into the center hole of the spool; that needs to remain clear.
2) Press the bobbin onto the spool, so that its center hole is aligned with the spool’s. Hold it for a couple of seconds until secure. Then, reinforce the attachment by applying a little more hot glue at the holes, if the bobbin has them like this one does.
3) Place the newly minted combo on your winder, with the bobbin locked in, if applicable, just as it would be if you were about to wind a bobbin.
4) Set the cone on the table next to your machine for the moment. Secure the end of the thread from the cone onto the spool (not the bobbin) and wind it around a few times, in the same direction that it will continue to wrap when you press the pedal. Don’t put the thread through any of the channels in the machine that you normally would — the thread will go straight from the serger cone to the spool.
5) Hold the cone of thread in one hand, grasping the bottom of the cone as to not get in the way of the thread. Start to lightly press the pedal. With your other hand, guide the thread, moving it slowly up and down the length of the spool as it winds, keeping it evenly disbursed along the spool. You can pick up speed as you’re comfortable, but it will be easier to control if you don’t max it out. Keep it up until the spool is as full as you’d like.
6) Clip the thread between the cone and the spool, and you’re done! One last thing — if you are using a Gütermann spool like this one, place it on the serger right side up, with the bobbin on top. If you do it the other way, as the thread feeds through the serger, it can get snagged on the rough ridge at the bottom.
Oh, I almost forgot one of the best parts! For storage, the conebobbinspool fits neatly inside the hollow part of the serger cones, as I (rather excitedly) demonstrate next…
At the previously mentioned event, not only did someone capture a video of me refilling one of these, but he even edited it and set it to music. Thanks Andy! ;-) (You can click here to see it if it isn’t showing up for you below.)