Using the Serger

Carollina Song stopped by today to walk me through the first steps of using the serger, which was very helpful, as I was somewhat intimidated by it. First we set it up and she had me try running a stitch on some scrap fabric — my cotton tardigrades. Went great! The doubled bit of stitching you see is for a neat finish; she pulls the extra tail through, the way you would in knitting. It makes for a secure finish, though rather time-consuming. I’m not sure I’m such a perfectionist as she. 🙂

The next photo is trying a bit of satin, with different tension settings. The first one, the default 1.0, pulls just a little. The second, .7, gives a neater look. And the third, 2.0, is *very* puckered! Which might be fine, if that’s what you’re going for, but good to do it intentionally and not accidentally. Sewing is all about tension, I think. It’s good to be tense. But not too tense.

(Too loose is also a problem…)

I wanted to do at least one little project before signing off today, and I had just a little bit of my Star Trek chibi fabric left, which was perfect. The serger had come threaded with four different colors of thread, which is useful for learning on, as it makes it easier to see which thread goes where. But most of the time, you’re going to probably want to match your threads, so sometime soon I’m going to go pick up some Gutermann’s serger thread, probably in something fairly neutral, like grey, so I can use it for lots of different projects.

But what to do with all this colorful thread, already so neatly threaded into the machine? I thought I could use some colorful fabric and let the thread be a fun decorative element. So I tried making some little cocktail napkins, and I had just enough fabric to make a pair of double-sided napkins, and I think the 4-color overlock stitching is actually adorable, in a cheerful decorative sort of way.

I think the Castles fabric I have on hand, which is also very colorful, might respond well to a similar treatment, so I’m planning to try a bigger set of napkins in that sometime soon. The serger is very fast — I’m pretty sure once I know what I’m doing, I can knock out a set of four napkins in an hour, if not faster. Wild!

And with that, to bed — it’s been a busy, full day, and I am ready for my book and my bath.

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