Unpick a Serged Seam the Easy Way

Unpick Serging

I used to be so scared at the thought of having to unpick my overlocking, but it’s actually pretty easy. I’d almost say it’s as easy as unpicking a regular sewn seam. Like everything, I’m sure there is more than one way to unpick a serged seam, but this is my favourite.

Below you can see the two needle threads running horizontally and the upper looper looping in between them vertically. To unpick your serging, you need to focus on the needle threads.

Unpick Serging

Start by sliding your unpicker underneath the two needle threads. Take care to avoid the looper thread. Push your unpicker through to cut the two needle threads.

Unpick Serging

Repeat this every 3-4 stitches. Above you can see I’ve done it roughly every 4th stitch.

Unpick Serging

Once you have gone all the way along your seam, put the unpicker under the looper threads and pull it up to loosen them. You don’t want to cut them.

Unpick Serging

Once you’ve loosened the looper thread enough, pull on it with your hand and the whole seam will come undone!

Unpick Serging

If it gets stuck along the way, try giving it a harder tug. If it’s still stuck, use your unpicker to loosen the stubborn section.

Here’s a little video of the fun part…

Not so scary after all. Do you have a different method you use?

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  1. says

    This is so useful. You can’t imagine how much pain and tears we have to go through to unpick a serged seam, but you’ve made it easier now!! Love this post.

  2. Geri says

    Just found this on craft gossip. I am so thrilled over your tutorial. Have served for a long time a never knew this. Many thank you’s!

    • margaret says

      I don’t unpick – I gather!! At the beginning (or end) of the seam find the needle thread which runs through the middle of your serging. Lift it out and simply pull as you would for gathering, easing the work along the thread and pulling it right out. That loosens the stitching nicely for lifting out the second needle thread and doing the same. If either of them snap from the tension of gathering, simply start up from that point again. The looper threads are released, and simply lift off. As they haven’t had any tension from pulling and aren’t weakened, wind them onto an empty spool, and use for any handstitching you may have.

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