Serger Basics (Digital Edition)


featuring Marta Alto & Pati Palmer

Download/Watch Online

Learn to master serger basics with the help of this two hour video based on our book Sewing With Sergers. You’ll learn how a serger works, tensions, stitch types and uses, threading tips, and techniques like turning corners, gathering, rolled edges and flatlocking, plus easy details including collars, cuffs, hems and binding. A NOTE FROM PATI AND MARTA: This is a vintage Palmer/Pletsch video. You will see us in our 30s…a LONG time ago. Other than the machine styles, the information is still excellent and the closeups are amazing. We added a machine update at the beginning, but of course manufacturers keep coming out with newer features, so do visit your local dealer. (2 hrs)

SKU: PP15-978-0-935278-59-0 Categories: ,

Serger Basics - Serger Stitches Video Class Sampler

Learn Serger Basics with Pati Palmer and Marta Alto

When sergers were new for home sewing enthusiasts in the early 1980s, Pati Palmer decided there needed to be a book to help us use this strange machine. She and Gail Brown took apart a serger and put it back together to learn more. Then they wrote the first ever book on how to use this wonderful machine. That book, Sewing With Sergers, was their all time best seller (over a million copies so far) and still going.

Enter Marta Alto who fell in love with the machine and took it to new heights of creativity. After teaching hundreds of serger seminars and workshops, Marta made two videos for Palmer/Pletsch, Serger Basics and Creative Serging.

We have now turned those vintage videos into streamed online classes for your convenience. The information is still excellent even though the look of sergers has changed and they’ve added more features.

1.0 GB Storage Space required for Full Download

1.5 Hours, English Language • 7 Videos + 3 PDFs

How a Serger Works

Serger Threading Tips

Serger Stitch Types

Mastering the Rolled Edge on a Serger

A few years ago Pati Palmer and Marta Alto added an update for the beginning of this course in which Marta shows new accessories and features which are in lesson one. You will want these accessories when you see the extreme closeups of them in use. Of course, in the rest of the course, you will be watching a much younger Pati and Marta making history teaching this class in their very retro clothes! Just enjoy the information and use your imagination of what you could do with it today!! The main difference in the machines today is that the tension dials have gone from being attached to the front of the machine to being set into the machine, but the basic techniques are no different today. The information is excellent. You will feel more empowered than ever, even if you have a machine that sets its own tensions.

Marta shows you practical applications like sewing in a circle, turning outside corners, ripping a serged seam, mastering a rolled edge, the easiest painless placket sleeve for a shirt, and uses of flatlocking. You will see uses in garments to inspire Serger use in fashions today. 

"Serger Basics" is...


• A tour of Serger machines
• Accessory feet
• Slow-motion close-ups of how a Serger works
• 5-stitch types and their uses
• Threading tips
• How to balance tensions and serge a seam
• Love and care of your Serger Machine


• Turning corners on a Serger Machine
• Easy slit-sleeve placket
• Serger Techniques on side seam pockets
• Sewing in a circle on a Serger for Placemats and other Decorative Elements
• Gathering on a Serger and easy ripping


• Serger elastic for lingerie (a half slip) and swimwear

• How to master the rolled edge on a Serger
—tension adjustments
—solutions to problems

• Rolled edging around corners with your Serger for napkins & lettuce rolled edge
• Flatlocking—2- and 3-thread plus tension adjustments & hems with your Serger
• Crossing flatlocking seams


• A completely serged top—the sewing order and secret tips to assure a perfect top
• Easy serged details
—an easy Peter Pan collar and an easy convertible collar
—fast French binding for a neckline
—serger spaghetti straps and loops
—”painless” placket and cuff

Bonus Class Materials: Palmer/Pletsch Guides to the Serger Machine and How Serger Stitches are Formed

Available for our digital edition, these two handy PDFs will guide you to a better understanding how Serger machines work, the Serger stitching process, and include a Serger Worksheet where you can learn to record and track your favorite Serger stitches from your machine.

Interested in a bit more?

How about a Serger Techniques Sampler Video!

Video Class Instructors: Pati Palmer & Marta Alto

Pati Palmer has been teaching sewing for 37 years and is the founder of the Palmer/Pletsch International School of Sewing in Portland, Oregon, training consumers and sewing educators. Pati is the author or co-author of 10 sewing books and editor/publisher of 20 more books and 18 how-to videos, as well as the creator of eight Palmer/Pletsch sewing notion products. Based in Portland, Oregon, Pati has produced more than 220 sewing patterns for the McCall Pattern Company as well as Vogue Patterns.

Marta Alto - Sewing Instructor & Author - Palmer Pletsch Digital

Marta Alto’s sewing experience stems from her study of home economics at Oregon State University, combined with several seasons sewing costumes for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Marta is co-author with Pati Palmer of The Palmer/Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting, Pants for Real People, and Jackets for Real People. She stars in most Palmer/Pletsch DVDs. During the past 30 years she has taught sewing throughout the US, Canada, and Australia. See our workshop pages for the four-day Fit workshops Marta teaches.


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