Serger Tips for Brother 1034D: Gathering


Seems like just about everyone that has a serger has a Brother 1034D. I've spent the last few weeks trying to get to know my serger a bit better. Last night I finally figured out the best settings to use with the Gathering Foot which was included with the serger. I've been sewing lots of dresses with ruffles lately so this is really coming in handy. Thought I'd share with everyone in case you're like me and still figuring things out.

The photos pretty much show how to set up your machine to create ruffles. If you're not sure how to get back to your usual settings, take a photo or write everything down before you go changing anything! Start by changing your regular presser foot to the gathering foot. Then, change the settings to the following:

Differential: 2
Stitch Length: 4
Right and Left Needle: 6
Upper and Lower Looper: 5

Also, lessen the pressure foot pressure to light to moderate pressure by turning the knob to the left a few turns.

You can probably increase the tension on both needle threads for even more gathering if you like. Just experiment!




Hope this helps someone save some time! Just as soon as I get the rolled hem figured out, I'll post those settings as well.

Also, in case you are in search of an affordable source of serger thread, here is where I get mine. I've ordered from this company twice and the shipping is super fast, the prices are awesome, and the thread holds up nicely. Other than the brand Walmart carries, I have no local source for serger thread so this really works for me!


*If you are in the market for a serger, I'd say this one is a great one to get if you are on a budget. I ordered through Fabric.com , used a coupon code, and spent about $155. Amazon has them for about $200.

53 comments

  1. Thanks for these tips Vanessa! I have the same one and have only done some basic serging. This is great!!

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  2. Thanks Vanessa! I just got one of these this past winter. I took a serger class too, but we didn't get to ruffles.

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  3. Awesome! Thanks for the tips! I am looking for an affordable serger and this looks like a good one.

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  4. thanks so much for this. I have been trying to learn my serger (we have the same one). this helps so much.

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  5. I have the same machine, and & the rolled hem is VERY easy. I just followed the instructions in the manual, & it turned out great! I'm wondering if you have had any luck attaching a ruffle/gather to another fabric simultaneously. When I attempted, I achieved beautiful results with small pieces; but when I tried on a trial pillow case, it would not gather well. Post if you have any recommendations! Thanks!

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  6. By the way, I just took a serger sewing class to gain confidence on my Brother1034D, and we inserted a zipper and made and inserted piping with the piping foot! It was super fast and easy! If you haven't tried already, you should order the foot! It will change your life! ;-)

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  7. Brooke-I sort of attempted to gather with 2 fabrics but couldn't get the top fabric to feed correctly. I was too worried that the ruffle wouldn't be gathered enough using that method anyhow so I didn't really try very long.

    I used the settings in the book for the rolled hem but it just wasn't turning out for me! I'll just have to try again. Thanks for the info about the piping foot. Will check that out.

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  8. thanks for the tips on the ruffle foot, I can't wait to try it out when mine comes. Also thanks for the thread tip, I was wondering where to start looking! :D

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  9. You rock my world for this post! Thanks so much for the specific settings! I can't wait to go do some gathering!

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  10. I've had this same serger for about four years now, and I've always wanted to figure out its ruffling ablilites. I just tried it following your helpful tutorial, and I am jumping up and down with glee! Two of my children are girls, and I can't tell you how many tedious ruffles I've made by hand! Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  11. I am looking into getting this serger, can I ask you where you got your coupon code? On that website they are currently $235, how were you able to get it for $150? SO CHEAP?!?!?
    If you have a spare second I would love to know!!!
    iamjamieb@gmail.com

    THANKS!!!
    Jamie

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  12. The source for thread is no longer available. Could you tell me where is another that you've found or how to get to this one now? Thanks!

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  13. Cindy, I believe this is the shop I ordered from! 4 spools (1000 yards each) run about $4.85 with free shipping.

    More recently I've been stocking up on Gutermann serger thread at Joann's when they have the buy one get one free sales!

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    Replies
    1. Wawak online has serger thread for great deals - many brands!

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  14. Woo-hoo! Thank you! I just received my serger for my birthday, and have just made a few seams with scraps. I dialed in all your settings, and got a perfect ruffle this morning.

    My life will never be the same!

    Thanks for posting your tutorials!!

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  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I got a serger for Christmas and am just learning how to use it. I was having trouble with the directions in the manual for gathering (it doesn't mention to change to the gathering foot). It wasn't working so a google search brought up your page. This is awesome. I whipped out a ton of ruffles in no time (working on a Feliz so I'm doing bunches of ruffles!) I can't thank you enough. I think I've died and gone to heaven.

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  16. Glad to know the ruffler worked for you. I want to make a full petticoat for my daughter & am hoping the ruffler will be easier than the usual baste-gather. any hints on how to change the presser foot? I can't snap the standard one off. I must've missed that part of the video/instructions. Thanks.
    Suzanne

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  17. @Suzanne
    Hi! If you'll look at the back of your presser foot holder, you'll see a tiny black button. . .raise up the presser foot and press the button and it will release the foot. To attach another, place the new foot underneath the presser foot holder and line it up, then while pressing the button on the back, lower the presser foot lever and the foot will snap on. Hope that makes sense! Look on page 47 of the manual (orange cover).

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  18. I think I understand the gathering stitch but how do you ajust if you have a certain lenght of fabric that has to fit in a certain space at a certain size?

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  19. @Diana

    To be honest, I'm not sure if you can set the machine to gather to a specific length. I use the gathering foot for patterns that call for a straight length of ruffle vs a ruffle that you would gather in the round, if that makes sense. For the most part, the settings I use and posted in the tutorial gather at about a 2 to 1 ratio. If I take a 30 inch length of fabric, it will gather to about 15 inches or so, give or take a few inches. Test it out on your machine ,see what ratio you get, and then you can figure out what length fabric you need to create a specific length of ruffle. Hope that helps!

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  20. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I just unpacked my brand new serger today, and google brought me to your blog- so nice to have creative people out there who've done the experimenting already!

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. This is wonderful! Thank you so much. I have this same serger, and just made a ruffle dress the long way. But I'm going to try this method next time!

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  23. Have you tried gathering a folded (no-hem) ruffle strip?

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  24. @Lisa I haven't tried that but I'm thinking it would probably work!

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  25. Thanks for these tutes! I have had my Serger for about a year and have only used it a handful of times because I was still lost how to get the post use out of it. Now I can!

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  26. Love your blog! Thanks for this post! Okay, so I feel kind of dumb asking this question, but... are you supposed to stick the fabric in between the metal plates on the gathering foot? Or just put your fabric in there like usual?

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  27. @Eileen - Hi! Hey, that's valid question. Since I was only using a single layer of fabric to make ruffles, I placed my fabric under the foot as you normally would. You would place fabric between those plates and underneath the foot if you wanted to create and attach a ruffle to fabric at the same time. Hope that makes sense!

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  28. Thank you so much Vanessa. I live in Chile and just order this foot from Amazon. I was following the instructions that come with the foot, but getting nowhere. Your instructions are great! I love your blog!

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  29. Cool! This is awesome because the instruction manual somehow totally skips this entire subject...

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  30. Update:
    I did everything you said but it did not work for me...did anyone else try this with stretch knit???

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  31. I have this same machine and I just learned how to use it. Your directions were perfect. Thanks so much. And the eBay store link works. Great price on serger thread. I found you through a Google search for "serger tips." :)

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  32. This is great! I just got this serger and this really helped. Do you have any tips for making and attaching the ruffle at the same time? I am having a hard time holding and guiding both fabrics through. No matter how lightly I press the foot pedal it seems to suck one of the fabrics in quickly and the ruffle is not being sewn on straight. Thanks! whitneye7@hotmail.com

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  33. I've been looking at which serger to get. You just helped me a lot :)

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  34. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have this exact same machine and was having problems figuring out how to make it gather 2 layers of cotton.
    I'm pretty new to the world of serging! You just made my day with this tutorial!

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  35. Please keep this site up! Wonderful advice. I just made 2 skirts with ruffles the hard way. Next time I am trying this.

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  36. Thanks so much. Just got this same Serger for my Birthday and mastered the basic serge stitch. SO I was glad to branch out and try this: http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c322/tjbjohn/tankdress.jpg
    And it worked great. Thanks for the great tip.

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  37. I've been looking to purchase this serger and was wondering where you got your coupon code? The website lists it as $235 right now but I can't seem to find a code for the great discount you received. Help please! Nice blog, hoping to get this serger soon :) natty3711@gmail.com Thanks!

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  38. Here is an Amazon link for one at $187.00:
    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-1034D-Lay-In-Thread-Serger/dp/B0000CBK1L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345494669&sr=8-1&keywords=brother+serger

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  39. Thanks - I stumbled across this, and your settings made MUCH better ruffles than the ones in the book (that I was struggling with!). I found them to be just a little over 2 to 1 ratio, in case anyone is interested.

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  40. I used this tutorial for the second time tonight. It's awesome, and so are you for sharing! Thank you so much!!

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  41. I am going to try this but I have a Janome 7034D. I hope I can kind of translate the setting lol.

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  42. I went over this website and I conceive you've got a large number of splendid information, Webspin UK

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  44. If you know the steps of proper feet care and apply them on a regular basis, you could keep yourself out of reach of these fungus's. What you should do is use your own blanket, sheets, and towels for the time being. best foot massager review

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  45. a big thank you for this, just arrived for my birthday/christmas present, so i am enjoying trying to use it, found the dvd only useful for the threading, so a very big thank you from me in England

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  46. Thanks for this! Just used it and it came out perfect

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  48. hi there! I found your post via google search. I'm following your tips and got it to work once, but I'm having a serious issue with the needle threads not going through. I just have a long 'stitched' area of the looper threads, unattached to the fabric since the needle threads don't make a stitch.

    Have you ever had this happen? Any suggestions? I just got this serger last week, and I was nervous to play with the tension for this reason :(

    thank you!

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    1. Hello! It's been ages since I've used my serger for gathering so not sure if I'll be much help. What I do anytime my stitches aren't coming out right is to rethread the whole machine and that always solves the issue.

      What's happening when you have the machine set to regular settings with the standard foot for serging? Is the issue only when you're trying to gather?

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