Learning Something New

Winston Salem, North Carolina
January 10, 2018 3:37pm CST
A few months ago my sister (@Morleyhunt) gifted me a spare serger that she no longer needed. I drove home with it in the trunk of my car. Hauled it into my house and parked it (safely enclosed in its plastic case) on a shelf in our basement family room (which doubles as my sewing and craft area). Life at the time was hectic, and the case has been sitting collecting dust for the past few months. Life is a little slow around here at the moment (I don’t expect THAT to last long), so I decided it was time to see if I could figure this bit of sewing technology out). It came without a manual, so my first task was to find the appropriate documentation online and print out a manual for reference. Then with the help of the manual and some online videos, I did some experimenting. I threaded and re-threaded the machine. I stitched and sliced a large scrap of fleece fabric into thin strips as I fiddled with the tension knobs in an attempt to get the stitches evened out. A couple of hours later I decided that my experimentation had been successful, and decided to try out the serger on a fleece poncho that I am making for my daughter. Everything started out smoothly. The serger cooperated and did a beautiful job stitching and trimming the seams. Unfortunately, it can’t do everything and I needed to resort to my conventional sewing machine for some topstitching. Ten minutes of sewing, and I managed to bend my one and only double needle. So the project is once again set aside until I can get into town and buy a new double needled (and perhaps a spare or two). Overall, though, I’m quite pleased with myself. There is something very satisfying about learning something new!
12 people like this
13 responses
@MALUSE (41357)
• Germany
10 Jan
What does 'serger' mean, please? The word is not in my dictionary.
3 people like this
@xFiacre (4602)
• Ireland
10 Jan
@maluse Nothing to do with Serge Gainsbourg - I’ve been listening to him today.
3 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
10 Jan
A serger is a specialized type of sewing machine that uses multiple threads to stitch, trim and finish a seam all at the same time. It's also known as an overlock sewing machine or overlocker.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
10 Jan
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37049)
• United States
10 Jan
That is awesome you could find the information online. My singer one is very old and I don’t know how to work it so I always just sew by hand.
3 people like this
@shaggin (37049)
• United States
10 Jan
@Platespinner very cool I wouldn’t have expected to be able to find manuals for such old ones.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126340)
• Bunbury, Australia
10 Jan
Like Malu, I didn't know what a 'serger' was. They are mostly called overlockers here. YouTube tutorials can be so useful. I used my machine to make some bean bags the other day but the stitching was terrible. Eventually I reckoned I had the bobbin threaded incorrectly so I went to YouTube. One tutorial had the person's hand in the way so you couldn't really see what they were doing. However I got it done in the end.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
10 Jan
Some YouTube videos are less than helpful. Particularly when they don't show the bit you really need to see.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126340)
• Bunbury, Australia
11 Jan
@Platespinner Luckily what she was saying was enough to set me on the right track.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
11 Jan
@JudyEv I'm a very visual person, so most of the time I need to be able to see EVERYTHING.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (10308)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
15 Jan
I learned a little about sewing machines when I was a kid. Did you know that regardless of size and sharpness no needle can puncture a penny?
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
15 Jan
I don't find that difficult to believe but must confess that I have never experimented to prove it for myself .
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (10308)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
15 Jan
@Platespinner If you do, don't let my daddy find out!
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
15 Jan
@UncleJoe I can imagine the consequences for that!
@LadyDuck (164097)
• Switzerland
11 Jan
I was considering to buy one, I think it's the same that we cal "overlock", the machine cuts the edges of the cloth.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
11 Jan
Yes, it is the same type of machine. Why we call it a serger on this side of the ocean, while everyone else calls it an overlock machine is one of the mysteries of language that I don't understand.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (164097)
• Switzerland
11 Jan
@Platespinner I have no idea, it's just like to ask why British are the only one to call potato chips "potato crisps".
1 person likes this
@kobesbuddy (49867)
• East Tawas, Michigan
10 Jan
I agree with you, learning something new is very rewarding and leaves us with a sense of accomplishment:)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
10 Jan
I wasn't sure I was going to be able to figure out threading the machine (they're known to be complicated) and am quite pleased with myself.
1 person likes this
@kobesbuddy (49867)
• East Tawas, Michigan
10 Jan
@Platespinner You have a good reason to be proud of this, it's very hard to thread these machines.
@Srbageldog (8613)
• United States
11 Jan
I have never learned to use a sewing machine.
• United States
11 Jan
I love sergers! I bought one 2 1/2 years ago and it is STILL in the box. I need to drag it out and start using it.
@Tracy04 (10868)
• Malaysia
11 Jan
Wow! What a nice sewing machine!
@Morleyhunt (19894)
• Canada
11 Jan
I knew you would find a way to up the ante.....the serger isn't that hard to thread....the diagram is right there on the machine.....once it's threaded, I tend to cheat...knot a new thread onto the old....loosen the tension to 0 and pull it carefully through. I guess that means that you won't need to bring the machine with you when you come for a visit.
@Tampa_girl7 (25868)
• United States
11 Jan
So this is a special type of sewing machine ?
• Eugene, Oregon
11 Jan
Nice gift from your sister. Anne uses a serger a lot with her art quilts.
@peachpurple (12865)
• Malaysia
11 Jan
I love trying out a new sewing machine