An overcast serger is great for finishing off raw edges, but the interlocking threads can be used a number of different ways. I just finished up a couple of skirts for my nieces, and needed some simple belt loops to keep the sashes in place. A tight and narrow serged chain made a perfect little belt loop that could be sewn right into the seam allowance (without pulling free).
|Removable Stitch Finger removed.|
Very little explanation is needed to create a tight chain, but I'll walk you through my serger's (brother 1034d) settings.
Stitch Length: R
Three thread, with needle in the right position.
Right Needle: 4.0
Upper Looper: 5.0
Once your needle and loopers are threaded, with tension adjusted, creating the chains is as simple as controlling the pedal. As the loopers do their job, a tight chain is formed. Guide the threads straight behind the presser foot, without pulling them through. Steady pressure on the foot pedal will create a uniform chain. Make your chain as long as necessary, and trim as needed for individual loops.
Chains can then be inserted into seam allowances to create belt loops. Sewing machine stitches can catch between the interlocked chain, and secure the loops. I recommend backstitching to ensure that the machine stitches catch the chain.
Quite simple, and really handy.