/ 22.2.11 / 11 Comments /

Works in Progress…Sewing Scarves, Learning to use a Serger

 At Christmas, my dear hubby gave me a Singer Serger and I spent a good amount of time learning how to use it.  But I was still a little iffy on the threading. Sewing with a Serger is very similar to sewing on a regular sewing machine, except that you have FOUR different threading patterns.   (As far as learning to sew with it. Most machines have colored dots to show you the path each thread should take.  But the learning curve is a little steep. (Read below to find out more. :o) But it's incredible more efficient..cutting off seam allowances and finishing the raw edges as you sew. You can put up the cutter arm and sew without cutting too, which makes it very versatile. It's a little tricky turning corners..until you've practiced. But to sew straight seams is no biggie once you get the used to it.

 Sergers do Double Duty

 It has two upper threads and two lower threads.  You also have two upper needles and two lower needle like arms. The tough part is learning how to thread all four ‘machines’ in the right order. But once you have that down..it’s a cinch!  It simply requires a lot of practice.

Silver Scarves

I’m in LOVE with my new serger!  It is faster than any sewing machine I’ve ever used and it makes beautiful finished seams.  It was the perfect machine for our project of sewing 100 scarves for the ladies who would be participating in the Tres Dias ministry night that was coming up.

Sergers Rachels and mine

I was afraid the Serger would be too hard on the gauzy chenille. We had to edge finish the fabric because it raveled so badly.  Thank goodness the blue satin was heavier and easier to hem.  We used the small tight edge finish  1/18”  rather than the wider 1/4” seam.

journal covers

Christi and our friend, Peggy had already made these cute fabric booklet covers for the weekend participants. They are so pretty! And I love the glue-on foam flowers they added. I’d like to make a journal cover like this!


Donna and Christi

This whole project went so much faster with a Serger…and even faster with TWO Sergers!  Thanks so much Christi for asking me to drop by and help. (Christi reads my blog regularly and we go to church together. :o)


We had a great time chatting while we whipped out the scarves. It was a fun and fast project or at least it seemed fast. Time flies when you're having fun-LoL!  And best of all--I got LOTS of practice on my new machine and feel like I’m ready to sew just about anything with it!  And I was so thrilled to get to help contribute to the Tres Dias Ministry weekend.

NOTE: I'm adding several SERGER TIPS as a P.S. below.  Micky and I have some extra information for those of you new to using Sergers. See below. *

So what are you working on this week? I’m joining up with The Clip Cafe’s WIP linky party. She takes such lovely photos and has some awesome sewing posts too! Plus her photography is absolutely fantastic!  

signature

*LEARNING CURVE, LOST MANUAL, ONLY NEED THREE THREADS TO SEW, EASY RE-THREADING TIP
From Donna ~
  • Three Threads are All You Need
Four is an extra and I can't remember off hand what all you can do with it other than some extra fancy stitches. But Rachel and I only use three threads.
  • Learning to Thread the Machine
My friend has a very old Serger and just follows the diagrams on the inside to thread it. I have to say, it's a BabyLock and I LOVED how beautiful it's stitches were compared to my Singer...Oh..well..live and learn. :o) To get over the learning curve, you just have to thread over and over again until it isn't intimidating any more.   I spent a whole day just threading over and over again, first working with one color..then the next etc. until it was comfortable. I only threaded one of the top needles. You can use either one..it doesn't matter. It changes how wide your stitch will be. But you don't thread both top needles as far as I can tell. You Do need to thread both bottom 'needle arms' as I call them. And it is important to thread each one in the proper order. But the diagrams inside your machine should show you which goes first. Once you have it threaded right..most of the trouble is over.
  • Lost Manuals--Hunt Online
Also, what model is your machine? It may be that you can find a manual online. Mine doesn't have a manual. I use the online version.  Rachel never had a manual, she just followed the diagrams inside the cover to learn to thread.
  • Tension Knobs
Then it's just an issue of tension. Start out with putting all the knobs on 2....and if it doesn't lay right...change it to 3 all the way across. The manual has suggestions for changing the various knobs to accomplish things..but it isn't necessary. :o) Just keep them all the same to make it simple.
  • Why You Should Learn to Use a Serger
It's an investment of time that is worth it. After sewing so many scarves, I finally got comfortable with the machine and quit being afraid of it. And I was dreading using it because of that fear. It's so sad too because once you feel comfortable with a Serger you can sew so much so fast and save tons and tons of time, that I regret not having bought one years ago. It's kind of like never learning to use a computer. People let their fear of it and the overwhelming nature of it keep them from ever using one. But the potential for communication and connectivity, production, and creativity is huge..and worth a few days or even weeks of learning curve. :o) Learning to use a Serger opens up a whole new WORLD of sewing potential and productivity!! I'm just beginning to taste my new sewing future...and boy, do I ever want more!! :o) I think you will love it once you get started. :o
RETHREADING TIP From Mickey... 
Once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it! I don't know if you've heard this tip yet: when it's time to change the thread don't unthread the machine. Clip the existing thread one or two at a time by the spool, leaving a long tail. Tie the new thread onto the old with a strong double knot. Then run the machine. The old thread will carry the new through the threading process for you. If you're threading the needles and the knot is too big to pass through, clip the thread when the knot gets to the eye and re-thread. This method will waste some but it saves a ton of time and headaches!
 From Donna ~ I love this tip..but I learned the hard way that you have to be paying attention to when you are running low on a spool. Oops!

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11 comments:

The Clip Cafe said...

Oh your so kind in you comment to me! I love that flower fabric! I was just given a serger but it is an older version and no instruction booklet. It has 3 threads (i have heard 4 is better?) and I haven't tackled threading it yet :-S

mickey said...

Once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it! I don't know if you've heard this tip yet: when it's time to change the thread don't unthread the machine. Clip the existing thread one or two at a time by the spool, leaving a long tail. Tie the new thread onto the old with a strong double knot. Then run the machine. The old thread will carry the new through the threading process for you. If you're threading the needles and the knot is too big to pass through, clip the thread when the knot gets to the eye and re-thread. This method will waste some but it saves a ton of time and headaches! Love the print on the book covers!

Donna said...

Yes I have Mickey. I was just telling Christy about how to do that. I love it..but I learned the hard way that you have to be paying attention to when you are running low on a spool. Oops! :o)

Casa Decorada said...

Good morning! I'm so happy to be here .... Lindo your blog and I am his follower! When you want to come DECORATED HOME!
Hug from Brazil here!
Valeria

Needled Mom said...

I think the worst part of using a serger is the threading. They are fabulous machines and I am sure you will love it for years.

Christi L. said...

I'm in love with that serger. I think Rachel will have to do some pretty serious pushing to get me to hand it back over, lol!

It was great fun having you over!! Thanks for the help, tips and chat! All were a blessing!!!

Kellys Art Journaling/ Sharing The Journey said...

Hi Donna;
This is such wonderful information. It looks much to technical and hard for me... I never took to sewing very well, and you add in a serger there and well I am at a complete loss! LOL.
Thanks for sharing.
Big hugs
Kelly

Kerrie said...

I have always wanted a Serger and really was interested in all the info-thanks! You are so ambitious! Send some of that energy to me, pls! hugs, K

Caroline said...

Kevin asked me if I wanted a serger but I told him i don't have time for the learning curve right now. How providential you had all those scarves to make at just that time! I suppose there may be one in my future, finances and time permitting, LOL!

PTK Designs said...

I have a serger and I love it! The 4th thread is useful for sewing seams that will be stressed. It is called the safety stitch. It gives you a beefier seam. I especially use it for pants. Great for the crotch seams.
Another tip is to save your empty spools. Instead of buying 3 or 4 spools of matching thread, only buy one spool. Put an empty bobbin on your sewing machine bobbin winder. Use some poster putty to attach an empty spool to the top of your bobbin. Wind your thread off the one spool you have purchased. This saves you money on the serger thread. If you need more explanation let me know.
Patricia

Gloria said...

Hi Donna. What a wonderful husband you have. He gave you a Serger and you probably had been wanting one for the longest time. Yay! My friend YAYA also got one from her hubby. She's learning to use it too. I think it's great that you added all this info because I'm sure it will be a big help to those that have a Serger. Me, well I have a Singer regular machine and it's all I could do to sew a straight seam, tee hee. Right now I'm cutting out material for a journal and some of it requires sewing. Thanks Donna. I'm trying to catch up on posts I missed. Take care.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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