Thank you for all your comments and questions about my new serger – I thought I’d share my experiences so far!
And the very first step was threading. I didn’t find this easy at all, and gave up on the first day. Day two – I set the serger up in front of the TV, and watched the DVD instructions in very short bursts, pausing it while I completed each step. This helped, because you have to raise and lower the needles at different stages, which doesn’t come across so well in the printed diagrams.
After a few practices on scrap fabric (weeeee, I’m serging!) I made a very rough muslin of a t-shirt. I recommend doing this to get used to serging straight seams (easy), curves (you don’t go round the curve, but stretch the fabric straight), sewing on sleeves etc.
After I’d played around, made mistakes, and thrown my muslin in the bin (it was awful!) I read Sew U Home Stretch. Absolutely brilliant, and answered so many questions.
Serging is so different to sewing. You can’t really see what is happening, and it only sews in a straight line. for example, instead of stopping and pivoting where the arm seam meets the sideseam, you just stretch out the fabric and keep going. This feels weird, but works beautifully.
It helped me to mess up some horrible fabric before I read too much about serging. Finding out why I’d gone wrong was easier than trying to get everything right first time.
I am now half way through Maria Denmark’s Birgitte Basic Tee and am a convert! More soon.