Advantages to shopping at a local Sew Shop 

Sewing shops today have a very hard time competing with online shops on both price and selection. However, there are many benefits to a local shop like Daley by the Yard. Personal service, same day product delivery, on site repair, new machines to test are just a few…

I believe there’s a place for local quilt shops in the current retail landscape, but there’s no denying the sewing and quilting landscape is shifting quickly and dramatically. Consumers don’t need quilt shops for what we used to need them for. They are no longer the exclusive or best source for a key element in quilt making – premium fabrics.

Then what do we need quilt shops for? What will make a shop survive and thrive through this shift?

Many of Daley by the Yard customers tell us that what brings them back to our store is NOT price, selection or even location, but the attitude and feel of the shop…We bend over backwards to make you feel welcome and not rushed. Our clients are welcomed to simply browse. We want you to feel welcomed. Remember when you visit, our store staff are wonderful: enthusiastic, knowledgeable, love to share their opinions on their likes.

What a local sewing shop has that no online shop can ever have is in-person interactions. No amount of blogging or photo sharing or video making can ever compete with the experience of one-on-one help that a knowledgeable, caring person can give you as a customer, whether that’s through a class held at the shop or just a retail purchase. The feeling you get when you’re in the shop is directly dependent on the people who work there and how they interact with you. Do you feel like you belong?

We should certainly support our local quilt shops, even if it means paying a dollar more per yard for fabric, but local quilt shops are equally responsible for embracing their customer. Please visit Daley by the Yard for a truly rewarding experience.

Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:14:00 AM

Serger Sewing Machines for Beginners and Advanced Users 

What is the difference between a serger and a sewing machine?

A serger is a wonderful complement to a sewing machine. There are functions that a serger machine can perform that a sewing machine cannot, and vice versa. Do you even need a serger? Well, that depends on what kind of work you need to perform.

In addition to joining pieces and hemming, a sewing machine can be used to attach zippers, create buttonholes, and so many more specialty stitches. A sewing machine can also be used for quilting and other topstitching applications.


Do you plan to make clothing and home décor? Do you want your projects to be durable, and have a beautifully finished appearance? Do you crave quality and speed? If so, you should consider purchasing a serger.


Where a sewing machine falls short, is when it comes to “finishing.” Seams made with a standard sewing machine will have raw edges along the seam allowance that will either need to be covered with hem tape, finished with a zig zag stitch, or trimmed with pinking shears. The hem tape option looks nice, but is time consuming. The zig zag finish is lackluster. Trimming with pinking shears is both lackluster and time consuming.

A serger is great for eliminating this problem- it can make the seam, trim and finish the seam allowance, all in one pass! A serger can also create decorative rolled hems, and is great for sewing stretchy and knit fabrics because the stitches will stretch with the fabric, unlike a standard sewing machine stitch. A serger is not ideal for standard hems as the edge will want to roll.

A coverstitch machine is wonderful for hemming stretch fabrics and will help you achieve that lovely hem that is commonly found on t-shirts.


Sergers and coverstitch machines are not useful for making buttonholes, attaching buttons, quilting, or decorative topstitching.

If you already have a sewing machine, a serger or cover-stitch machine will be an excellent addition to your sewing arsenal. Many seamstresses will acquire machines in the following order:

    1    Sewing machine

    2    Serger

    3    Cover-stich machine


Have you ever used a serger before? If not, you may consider investing in some extracurricular reading. Though most machines will come with a manual, they aren’t always the most comprehensive. To fully unlock the potential of your machine, we recommend keeping this book on hand for reference.


Features to Consider When Shopping for a Serger

There are any number of features incorporated into a quality serger.  Here are a few of the key ones to look for in a model that you might be considering.


Differential Feed

A serger has two sets of feed dogs that push the fabric through the machine. Differential feed is what controls the feed dogs. By adjusting the differential feed ratio, the user can achieve an even finish to the seam. Conversely, a decorative, ruffled edge can also be made.


Automatic vs Manual Threading

Seamstresses around the world can agree: the single greatest frustration when using a serger is threading, and it isn’t just a matter of getting the thread through the eye of the needle. Each thread will have to travel through multiple channels, some in hard-to-reach places, and in a very specific order. Tweezers will usually be required; most manual-threading sergers will come with a pair. Even for experienced users, re-threading a machine properly can take fifteen minutes or more; for new users, thirty minutes or more is common. For this reason, many people opt to pay hundreds more for a machine with automatic threading capabilities.


Number of Threads

The most basic of sergers will use at least four threads, and some machines work with up to eight threads.

Most home-based users will only need the four-thread machines.


Stitch Length

Stitch length on a serger is the same as stitch length on a regular sewing machine; the smaller the length, the closer together the stitches. For a rolled hem, the stitch length will be small.


Stitch Width

This controls where the blade cuts the fabric. Ideally, the thread will huge the fabric just tight enough for the seam to sit flat. If adjusted improperly, the thread will hang off the edge of the cut fabric or there will be too much fabric inside the thread loops, causing bunching.


Adjustable Tension

As with a regular sewing machine, thread tension has a lot to do with the overall look of the final project. Tension will need to be adjusted differently for a rolled hem, and for different fabric types.


Included Accessories

Most sergers will come with a pack of needles, a multi-purpose foot, and tweezers. Some basic sergers will also come with a few accessory feet. If you are using a serger primarily for finishing inside seams, you will only need the multi-purpose foot.


Stitch Configurations: 3-4, 2-3-4, etc

All sergers will have at least four threads. Most sergers will allow only three to be used, and some will allow only two to be used. A four-thread stitch will be stronger than a two or three-thread stitch.


Different Stitches

A serger will perform a variety of stitches. What to use will depend on the project.

A four-thread overlock stitch is the most common and is noted for its durability and strength. It is often used on clothing seams.

A three-thread overlock is also very common, but is not as durable as a four-thread overlock. This stitch can also be used for a blind hem.

A two-thread overlock, if possible, is not recommended for seams, but is great for finishing raw edges while keeping it light and flat.

A two-thread flatlock stitch is like a faux coverstich. (A coverstitch is accomplished with a completely different machine.)

A rolled hem, using two or three threads, is often used for decorative purposes and is a great option for quickly hemming lightweight fabrics.


Models $300 and Up

Sergers in this price range will perform the same basic functions as the less expensive models, and will sometimes offer more than five threads. They will offer 2, 3, 4, or 5-thread stitches, they will trim the seam allowance, and will have differential feed to prevent unwanted puckering or stretching.

Where these machines rise above the rest is in durability, stability, and reliability,

Some have additional features, including automatic threading and coverstitch capability. Threading a regular sewing machine can be a major source of frustration, so you can only imagine the frustration of manually threading four threads in a more complex machine. Automatic threading can be a much appreciated feature!


Please stop in and visit us at Daley by the Yard for all of your Serger needs and questions.

Posted by DaleyByTheYard Admin Friday, February 03, 2017 7:19:00 AM Categories: Ideas