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?
I have the same Janome serger, and it is a little workhorse! I was able to take a class shortly after I purchased it (several years ago now!), and tho I learned how to use it's many applications, I still mostly use it finish seams.ReplyDelete
Still, I can't imagine sewing without it!
I've had mine for about four years and I just took another class on how to use it. Hopefully I'll start a project soon enough to get my skills together.
I can't wait to see your latest and greatest!
I couldn't believe I waited so long to get a serger when I finally did it. Mine is very basic, but it finishes seams and does a decent rolled hem, which is all I ask of it.ReplyDelete
That's really neat. I need to do that at some point, too.ReplyDelete
Wow, I am just like you.... I recently bought a Husky S25 which happens to be a very difficult machine to use... That was what I thought only after reading 'Serging with confidence' I realized that the difficult part was to put my fear away and do stuff with the machine!ReplyDelete
I might give it a try with the online course on PR. Thanks for sharing! Happy serging!
I have the same Janome that you and I am delighted with it for many years, its finish rolling is preferred for me.ReplyDelete
When I bought my serger the man from the shop delivered it at my home and gave me a few basic lessons. I'm glad he did or else it would have frightened me a lot. I remember I already used it the other day. But I'm still not using all of its facilities because I'm a bit scared of them as well.ReplyDelete
So I'm extra curious to see how your top turns out. It could be just the step-up I need to try new things with my serge.
Good for you. I've been using a serger since they first became available for home use in the early '80's. Soon after I purchased my first one I took an all day hands-on workshop from the Palmer/Pletsch people. I never looked back after that. Of course these days I, like most people, mainly use my serger to finish seam.ReplyDelete
Great job, Eugenia! I received a Brother serger for my birthday in June, and I have used it mainly to finish seams until this month. My goal for this next month is to do exactly what you are doing now. I have already watched the DVD that came with it, and am plugging my way through an intro to sergers book.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for sharing. I am excited to see how you use the new techniques you learned!
thanks for this post - you have inspired me. Now I use the serger for basic seam finishing but I always think it should do so much more.ReplyDelete
Welcome to Sergerville! I adore mine and use it for all sorts of things: flatlocking, seam finishing, rolled hems (when I'm too lazy to do "real hemming"), ruffles, lettuce edges… it goes on and on. I can't believe how much fun it is to play with. Glad you've joined the serging party!ReplyDelete
I'm embarrassed to admit, mine's still in the box. And has been for the last month and a half. Umm. This weekend, maybe?ReplyDelete
I actually took classes when I bought my machine. I use it more now for more than finishing edges now that I sew so many knits. But you really need to use it a lot to get to know it well.ReplyDelete
I am dying to get a serger - I'm so happy you showed some alternatives to what it can do - I thought I was sold on the Babylock Imagine -but I am going to check out this serger - my Janome dealer is literally less than a mile away!ReplyDelete
That is great, enjoy your machineReplyDelete
We call them overlockers here in Australia. I was so scared of it while at fashion college. I never knew how to re-thread it. I hope one day to buy one for myself. They are great to finish off a hem.ReplyDelete
My serger is somewhat under utilised as well. I am comfortable with threading and changing the stitch and cutting width but thats about it. I must dedicate some time one day to trying out new things.ReplyDelete
I'll have my wonderful new serger tomorrow!!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately, I don't own a serger. I must admit that threading one alone, looks intimidating! I am glad you are getting to grips with yours. It's a shame to have a tool you can't use.ReplyDelete
That is wonderful! I still have not used my serger for anything other than finishing seams...I will definitely have to break out the dvd and see about some of these techniques!ReplyDelete
Mine scared the hell out of me when it first arrived, but I'd spent so much money on it, I felt I had to get to know it. So I read the manual from cover to cover (less impressive than it sounds - there's only about 30 pages!) and eventually got the knack of threading it. I still do just basic stuff with it and it's not 100% reliable but it's just helped me whip up 6 pairs of school trousers so I'm feeling kind of warm & fuzzy towards it right now.ReplyDelete
Yay for making a new friend! ;)ReplyDelete
I have the same machine and am just learning how to use it. I'm so glad I read this post, as I never thought of patternreview.com for its online classes. Yours sounds like it was invaluable. Thanks!ReplyDelete
That's so cool. I will have to try that for ruffles!ReplyDelete