Sewing fringes with the BERNINA L 890

Hello everyone,

Sewing fringes with the overlocker? Yes, it's possible, easily. Ok, I admit, it takes a little time and involves a bit of hand cutting, but the result is something to be proud of, right?

In this article I would like to introduce you to the technique, respectively the procedure, and give you some tips on what to check to make it work – maybe not the first time, but the second time.

Sew Fringe with a Overlock/Coverstitch Combo – Instructions

Sew fringes with this technique that I only learned at the beginning of the year, but after initial doubts, I have to say that yes, I like the effect on decorative projects that are not too stressed.

For the procedure, you need the 2-thread overlock and the 2-thread chain stitch. I sew with it BERNINA L 890. Madeira Lana 12 turned out to be a good thread for my fringes.

Image of the BERNINA L 890.


The L 890 is perfectly suited to working with all types of fabrics, both knitted and woven. With BERNINA one-step threader ✓ Intuitive operation via touchscreen ✓ Fast, precise and quiet ✓ Made by BERNINA ✓ 100% designed and manufactured in Switzerland ✓

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Step 1

The base is a 2-thread wrapped overlock, point 9 on the L 890. Thread the bottom looper simultaneously with Madeira Lana 12 three times, this will make our bangs look full and fluffy.

If you are using more than one thread per threading path, it is important that each spool has a separate spool pin. You also need a separate antenna guide per coil. The threads will only meet at the pre-tension guide, for the 2-thread wound overlock it is at the red lower looper guide.

If you are wondering how this will work, three threads in the lower looper, I'd like to direct you to the video tutorial on “Alternative Threading Methods”. Especially with wool threads, using the Air-Threader will not work. Therefore, use a thread holder to thread the Lana threads into the lower looper. How to deal with this is shown in detail in the video:

For the left needle, I used Seracor 120.

Set the cutting width to 9, your bangs can reach approx. 13mm wide. Set the stitch length to 3. Set mtc to +2, we want to have as much looper thread in the stitch as possible.

The thread tension settings for this stitch were on my L 890 as follows:
Left needle LN 3, lower looper LL 2. It is important that the needle thread is loose!

Set the maximum sewing speed to 600 or 700 rpm. We recommend sewing slowly but steadily when using decorative threads. On the L 890 this is extremely simple, as we can change the sewing speed directly via the icon on the sewing screen.

Do a sewing test. It is important that the needle thread is loose, it should be visible to a width of 4 mm. You will understand why this is essential when topstitching with chain stitch at the latest.

The sewing test is to determine your machine settings, as depending on the thread-fabric combination they may be slightly different from my machine settings.

Personally, I keep my samples labeled; in case I want to duplicate the stitch for another project.

For the fringes I made two samples, in order to keep one with the rolled overlock – and another with step 2, using a 2-thread chain stitch. But later.

Sew your test and adjust the stitch so it looks like this. Don't forget the 4mm visible loose needle thread:

2nd step

The basis is the 2-thread chain stitch, point 16 on the L 890. Also thread the chain looper with a decorative Madeira Lana 12. I used only one spool, the multi-colored one. Don't forget the threading alternatives with a thread holder or try using a fine knot.

In the right coverstitch needle I used Seracor 120.

Set the stitch length to 3.

The thread tension settings for this stitch were on my machine as follows:
Straight cover stitch needle RC 3.3, chain looper thread 1

The sewing speed remains reduced to approx. 700 rpm.

To topstitch, place the wrapped overlock with the right side down under the presser foot (Chainstitch foot #C13). While sewing, the right edge of the foot helps hold the looper threads to the right, so that the seam is in the middle of the visible needle threads. It is important that the looper threads which are now on top are not sewn. You will notice that they are sewn on the underside.

Image of chain stitch foot no. C13.

Chainstitch foot #C13

Ideal for decorative stitches ✓ With markings as a practical guide ✓ Compatible with L 890 ✓

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Step 3

To complete the fringe, cut the needle thread from the 2-thread wound overlock, this will release the overlock loops to create the fringe. Scissors that are small but not too sharp work best. You can also use applique scissors.

As usual, iron the bangs with steam for better hold.

…and yes, it takes a while before all the pieces of needle thread are freed from the stitch – but a while…

Fringed fringes

Alternatively, instead of cutting the needle thread, cut the looper thread, right next to the needle thread.

I call this result “fringed fringes.”

Tips for Sewing Fringes

Fringes can be sewn along one edge of the fabric or along a fold. If they are on the edge of the fabric, remember to tighten the edge or hem it first, as the 2-thread wrapped overlock that is open will not be used to tighten the edges.

Why Madeira Lana? Because this yarn is a little “rough”, it makes the fringes more durable, and pressing will additionally stabilize the fringes.

Alternatively, I also sewed fringes with Mettler Silk Finish Cotton 28 and 40. They are a little shinier and allow you to achieve a different effect.

As with any creative process, it's all about the yarns, fabrics and techniques. Let your imagination run wild!

No chain stitch? No coverstitch machine? No combined machine? Use your sewing machine to overlock the 2-thread wrapped overlock using a triple straight stitch or other decorative stitch you like.

Decorative stitches by mixing threads? I'm planning a separate post on this topic, because with mixing yarns you open up a box of possibilities.

This technique is particularly effective in large and decorative stitches.

I like to use quick techniques to revamp off-the-rack clothing.

And here's an example with a rolled hem and three times Poly Sheen in the top looper. By the way, it's very simple with the Air Threader, if you want to try it.

Since rolling the hem with three times Poly Sheen gets really bulky, I recommend using the stringing foot, which makes training the stitch a lot easier.

Sewing fringes more: If you don't yet know fringes with the sewing machine, here is an example:

They are sewn with the Custom tack leg n°7.

Image of pointing foot #7.

Custom tack leg n°7

For sewing elegant decorations and imitation hems ✓ For fringes and 3D effects ✓ The hemming specialist ✓ For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓

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A video tutorial for the Tailer Tack Foot is available. The last third of the video is about sewing fringes, as you can see, also in combination with decorative stitching.

If you're asking what fringes are for, let me give you a project proposal. Please find a pillowcase decorated with fringes and a decorative chain-stitch shamrock in a separate blog.

With that, I wish everyone happy sewing with lots of fringed projects.


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