Color Coordinated

Sew Well - Nina Cardigan - Color Coordinated Stitching

I have a sewing confession to make:  I rarely use anything other than ivory or black thread in my serger.  If my fabric is light, I’ll use the ivory, and if my fabric is dark, I’ll use the black.

After deciding to put my Polly Top on hold for a bit, I pulled out some coral-colored sweatshirt knit from Mood and my Style Arc Nina Cardigan pattern.  When I was cutting the pattern pieces out of the fabric, I realized that neither ivory nor black would do these seams justice.  Plus, the openness of the cardigan meant these seams would be on display more often than most.  So, I made my first trip to Joann Fabric since moving to Seattle.  It was surprisingly far away!  A few coupons later, and I was the proud owner of a set of bright coral serger threads.  Color coordination for the win!

How many different colors of thread do you typically keep around?!

27 thoughts on “Color Coordinated

  1. Nothy says:

    I usually try to buy matching thread at the fabric shop if I have a specific garment in mind. But I often stock up on fabrics that I like without having a finished piece in mind. For these projects, I generally have to route around in my thread drawer for a match.I find brown thread is a good universal thread colour – it disappears into all the dark colours easily. And a pale blue shade thread if the fabric is a light colour for the same reason.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I usually have an assortment of different greys threaded up, or different blues. I find the “melange” of shades goes well enough with almost anything I sew. At the moment I have olive green in there which I used for a wool jacket.

  3. Angela says:

    Well, I do have quite a few colors of thread for the serger. But, I will get them one at a time, using the 40% off coupons from JoAnn’s, so it hasn’t been a huge expenditure. And, a cone seems to last forever, so I figure for a few dollars I can match the colors of tons of outfits pretty well.

  4. Kelly says:

    I pretty much always use matching serger thread…whenever Joanns has thread 50% off I will add a new color. I think the main ones I am missing right now are brown and green :)

  5. Kristin says:

    I use gutermann thread (from in all 3 of my machines (regular, serger, coverstitch) and I have all the colors of the rainbow. I still find that sometimes my color just won’t match right – that’s when I pull out the gray thread. For some reason gray seems to blend with just about any color!

  6. Sallie says:

    I’m with you! I buy color coordinated thread for the sewing machine – if I HAVE to, but even there I try to get by with either black, white or navy – which I buy huge spools of. But for the serger? I usually just try to get away with white or black as well. I do have red, just in case, but they rarely get pulled out. Obviously if it’s a garment where the seams will show, like your cardigan, it’s best to get all matchy-matchy.

  7. debbieiles says:

    I’m with you there. I even have an air jet threader on my new Juki which makes threading a dream but I am still lazy and stick to the basics. I splashed out and bought some grey in addition to my white and black thread but haven’t used it yet! On a special project I would change the thread, but generally not for my day to day wardrobe.

  8. sallybeemakes says:

    Like you, I just mostly use black and white serger threads but I also have navy and (weirdly) bright orange ones. I use a threead that matches the fabric in the left needle so it isn’t noticeable if the seam pulls a bit

  9. Sarah says:

    Snap! I mostly use black and white too. Strangely I’ve enough reels of thread to do bright pink, but it sounds like I should be buying grey too!

  10. Judi says:

    I do not match serger thread…the exception being red. I have white, off white, medium gray, black and red. I do match colors for my sewing machine. I do use/buy serger cones of thread for my regular machine if it’s a color I frequently use.

  11. zilredloh says:

    I’m much like you – I only have black and white serger thread.

    I’ve even taken to sewing more with neutral color thread on my garments – unless there is top stitching of course. I just hate to run out to the store for just one spool of thread.

  12. Carolyn says:

    I own every color under the rainbow and change the colors out for each new project. I even do this with my lined garments because I want my garment to look as good on the inside as it does on the outside.

  13. gingermakes says:

    I match my sewing machine thread (I buy a spool of thread when I buy fabric so I’ll be ready to sew whenever I feel like starting). But I have three colors of serger thread (white, navy, and turquoise) and just use whatever’s closer. If nothing’s close, I use the turquoise thread because I like it, and if seams will be visible, I just don’t serge them and finish them another way!

  14. Michelle says:

    I used to just do black, white, or gray until I bought a used Babylock serger. Now, I try to match at least the need thread(s) to my fabric, if not all four cones. I’m still oddly fascinated by the jet-air threading and can thread the whole machine in about 5 minutes, so I no longer dread re-threading/changing colors on my serger any more.

  15. Vanessa says:

    I read the other day that light grey thread disappears into practically every fabric colour (I think it was on the Craftsy blog). I don’t own a serger but it sounds like it’s worth a try :)

  16. Summerflies says:

    Yes normally I do the same… sometimes I get normal spools if it is something special but not often. I have red, black and white but recently bought grey. Australian Stitches magazine had an article that said red, grey and off white (I think) would blend in on just about everything and they had samples.

  17. Ally says:

    I ONLY own black serger thread… Ah! Guilty admission! I’ve been lucky so far in that none of my knit projects have reeeaallllyyy required anything else. Maybe I will have to make the dive and buy white too, I know, how extravagant of me ;)

  18. Jennifer says:

    I always try match my thread to the garment (both machine and serger). To save money on serger cones, I generally only buy 1 cone, always with a coupon, then use my machine to wind 2-3 bobbins from it to use in one looper and the needle(s). My serger doesn’t know the difference but, my budget does :) With that said, however, with the stretch cones, I only expect to have white and grey since I can’t wind those and they’re $$.

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