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5/14/11: Tutorial — How to Easily Remove Serger Stitches


I suppose I can call myself a pro when it comes to removing seams but when I began serging in 2008, I had a problem. I was good at making mistakes while serging but I wasn’t good at removing the stitches and starting afresh! Along came some research and today I have an easy method (which was derived from different sources), that can take away the frustration and hassle that comes with removing serger stitches. 

You will need two tools to help you out: a seam ripper and a pair of tweezers. (My serger came with the tweezers I am using here.)
The serged sample I am using in the photos is a three-thread overlock stitch where medium blue thread was used for the loopers and a navy for the needle. 
Here are the front and back views:
I always try to have the needle thread a different color than the upper and lower loopers. It helps me identify the stitching line easily and that will definitely help when I have to remove the serging. 
Begin by cutting the needle thread (the navy blue thread), with your seam rippers near the end of the fabric if you can.

Then cut the stitching line every couple inches along the entire length of the serging. No need to cut through the loops!

After all the “snipping” is done, take your tweezers and pull on the needle thread at one end of the serging.

The needle thread will easily be removed because of the consecutive clippings you did with the seam ripper. Below you can see the needle thread has been removed and only the loops remain:
This is what it looks like from the back:

Continue removing the needle thread with the tweezers. I have found it easier to pull on the thread from the middle rather than the ends. Like so:

Once the thread has been removed completely, simply pull away the loops. It will happen in one satisfying swoop.
And you are left with a raw edge ready to be serged again. 

One last tip: fabric holes left by the needle can be removed simply by misting the fabric with a solution of 1 to 2 teaspoons of white vinegar to 1 cup water. Steam iron until fully dry. 

So what did you think of my tutorial? What would you have done differently? Do you have any advice that could help make it better? Have any suggestions for future tutorials? (Could be sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, and machine knitting related.) Comment or email me; thanks a bunch!
Tutorials and photos all rights reserved to the writer, Rebekah Fox. If you are interested in propagating this tutorial, please contact me to ask my permission.


  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial! So many times I’ve tried to adjust the length of an article of store bought clothing because I’m so short, but have always had a hard time getting out the original stitching. This makes it look so easy!!!

  2. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing! I’ll definitely be using this a lot. 🙂

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