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Forum > Beginner's Forum > When is a serger a necessity? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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When is a serger a necessity?
Can I make CJ's body shaper without a serger?
USMCMom
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USMCMom  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/15/12 5:41 PM

After reading ClothingEngineer's great review of Christine Jonson's downloadable pattern for a body shaper (#816), I went ahead and bought it and downloaded it. BTW, it's really well drafted and the directions are great. The shaper has a lining, and one of the suggested materials is Modal. I didn't have anything suitable for the outer fabric, like Power Mesh, but had some modal and decided to do a test run by just making the lining. The pattern uses 5/8 inch SA, which I thought was unusual for a knit garment, and then noticed you're never directed to trim seams. Not a big deal, since there aren't many. But then I noticed that all the construction details are for sewing with a serger. So, no trimming needed, of course, since the serger does that for you. The pattern came together fine, although I find sewing with Modal a challenge. Slipperly, sneaky stuff...But insanely comfy, I have to say. But now I wonder if it would be possible to do this garment without a serger? Just sewing 2 layers of Modal was tricky. The 2 layers seemed to want to "slip" and I wonder if attaching a layers of stretchy/slippery fabrics accurately can be done without a serger? And I've never sewed with PowerMesh, either. I suppose CJ would have included conventional sewing instructions if that were suitable Worst case scenario, I do have a pair of long leg Modal undies that will come in handy during the summer for wearing under skirts. I also purchased the Jalie shaping shorts pattern, so I may have to go with that. What do all you experienced serger users think? Am I just asking for trouble?

nancy2001
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In reply to USMCMom <<


Date: 4/15/12 5:57 PM

I can't advise you on sewing modal, but when I've made panties using power mesh I use my sewing machine, not my serger.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

NhiHuynh
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NhiHuynh
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Date: 4/15/12 6:24 PM

I think that this could probably be done on a sewing machine with a zigzag or 3 step zigzag stitch. You can see a pic of 3 step zigzag on my swim suit review. I sewed the entire thing on my sewing machine. The regular zigzag has less stretch than the 3 step. I haven't had luck with the straight stitch even with stretching as a sewed. I'll end up with at least one popped seam. Decide for yourself by testing different stitches with some scrap fabric.

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Twizard
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Date: 4/20/12 10:13 PM

I think any garment could be sewn without a serger. There are a lot of experienced sewists on PR who do not own sergers, and seem to be able to make anything. You would just have to be willing to trim or finish the seams with the machine. However, zig zag or overlock stitches are available on most modern machines.

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tateelliott

tateelliott
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Date: 4/21/12 5:12 PM

I've never sewn Modal, but that won't keep me from putting in my two cents. I don't know if you've read about other people doing this, but I often use a glue stick to help hold my fabric firmly when sewing. I learned this when I started quilting and didn't have a walking foot. It helps keep the fabric from moving.

You need to use a washable glue stick, although most are washable. The glue washes right out. Of course, you should test it first on a scrap piece.

Tate

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USMCMom
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In reply to tateelliott <<


Date: 4/22/12 3:41 PM

Thanks for the tip! I never thought of using a glue stick. I've seen them in office supply stores, usually with the school supplies. Is this the kind you're referring to?

sewme47
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sewme47
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Date: 4/22/12 11:36 PM

Nancy Zieman recommends sewing knits with a very narrow zigzag stitch when using a regular sewing machine-- she calls it a wobble stitch. Use whatever stitch length you would normally use and a stitch width of about 1 mm. I used to sew all knits this way before I got a serger. Works great!

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brigita
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In reply to USMCMom <<


Date: 4/25/12 0:37 AM

To me it look like you really need a serger. People who don't need it, they don't even think about it.
I got mine last month and I can't understand why I didn't get it earlier ?

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I'm sorry for my poor grammar. English is not my first language.

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ChickenFreak
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Date: 4/25/12 3:05 AM

I've been wondering, too, whether I want a serger. To a limited extent, I know what they do, but I find myself struggling when I try to imagine how one might, or might not, change my sewing life. How have they changed yours? What would be more difficult or time-consuming without one?

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ChickenFreak
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Vicsguy
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Vicsguy
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In reply to ChickenFreak <<


Date: 4/25/12 7:22 AM

I wouldn't imagine life without my serger or my wife.

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