But all that’s changed now. I signed on for the Pattern Review online class, Break your Serger Out of the Box, taught by Jennifer Stern, and now that I’ve completed (almost) all of the course worksheets my little Janome and I are the best of friends.
During the course I learnt how to thread it fearlessly, adjust all the tension knobs to cope with different fabrics, alter the differential feed, change the needle plate and disengage the knife. Pretty embarrassing that I couldn’t do all that before, isn’t it?
Once we had the basics sorted out, Jennifer taught us how to do some brilliant and useful things with a serger. Here’s a picture of just three of the many samples I churned out.
The top one is a really neat rolled hem on a fine cotton lawn fabric – I have used black thread so it shows up but, of course, I could have used a matching thread or even a nice shiny decorative thread.
The middle sample shows how you can use a serger to make gathers – this is a great way of gathering fabric and neatening the edges at the same time.
The bottom one shows a lettuce hem on a knit fabric – here I used a combination of black and gold threads.
I am already benefiting from my new found knowledge because I am currently working on this pattern, Simplicity 2599 -
I’m making the one with the three ruffles below the neckline (the top right drawing) and the sample of the gathering in my photo above is a mini practice run for the ruffles – I’ve used the coral coloured silk that I’m making the top in.
So, how about you - is your serger friend or foe? Have you been using your serger for a whole range of stitches or are you a little wary of it? Do its knobs and knives thrill you or terrify you?