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Class Reviews > Break your Serger Out of the Box

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Posted by: Kemish
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About Kemish star
CA United States
Member since: 4/24/06
Reviews: 68 (classes: 3)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 12 people
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Posted on: 10/23/13 2:00 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 25 people   
Web site/URL: Break your Serger Out of the Box
Review for Break Your Serger Out of the Box.

I took this class because I wanted to learn more about my serger/coverstitch. I had (at the time I took the class) a Elna Lock 5 thread machine, which my tailoring instructor, who had up graded to a new serger, had given to me.

This class is designed for those of us who have serger, but really don’t know all of its capabilities.

The class begins with ‘Making Friends’ with your serger, which made me laugh ‘cause if there is machine in my house that I am going to yell at it is my serger! The serger that the instructor uses throughout all the videos isn’t like the one I had at the time I took the class, but non-the-less I still found the information invaluable as the instructor explains the different loopers, tension discs, (the best way to make sure that the thread is properly threaded through those tension discs) stitch finger and threads guides to name a few. Also, the importance of referring to the owner's manual and always keeping that handy!

She also explained the importance of cleaning the serger, which anyone with a sewing machine knows that, but how often do we really give our sewing equipment a good cleaning?

The class continues with a video regarding serger threads including specialty threads such as wooly nylon and pearl crown rayon. There is also a presentation regarding needles and how some sergers do require a specialized needle.

I think what I really appreciated from this was the section where the instructor explains why some spools of thread get used up faster than others and how to swap them around so the thread cones are depleted at the same rate.

Also covered is deferential feed (DF). What is it? How it can assist in when sergering different fabrics and examples are shown as to the best way to set DF for the best results.

The rest of the lessons cover the different serger stitches and their respective settings. Here there are many examples of what is a balanced stitch vs. an unbalanced stitch. Personally, I think this is the best part of the class, where the instructor shows how to read a serger stitch and which stitch is good for which application. She doesn’t give tension numbers -i.e. set lower looper to 4 and upper looper to 6 or whatever! Rather, she explains how to read the stitch so you – the serger owner and user- can figure out how to set the tension dials on your particular machine.

I would much rather have someone tell me what the tension dials are set at (rather than having to figure it out on my own!) but all sergers are different and all fabrics require a different tension (that’s why you got to test, test and test!) so this section was really very informative and really helped me to understand what is a balanced serger stitch vs. what is an unbalanced one and how to manipulate those pesky little serger tension dials to get what I want.

There is also a section on how to work with tricky fabrics particularly knits and sheers and then a section for building your serger skills such as sergering around corners. Lastly, specialty techniques are demonstrated (i.e rolled hem on sheer fabric, flat lock stitch and the lettuce edge to name a few).

The download material is very complete and a good review and a place to write notes as you watch the videos. There are also places in the download material to attach examples from your serger so that you have a reference to go back to when working on a project. Ultimately after watching the videos and reading through the download material and doing the examples, you’ll have your own serger workbook specific to your serger, which will be helpful for future serger projects.

Would I recommend this class? Absolutely. Jennifer Sterns is an excellent teacher. She explains every step without any erroneous information. She is precise in her explanations, which I like. The video production values for this class vary a bit, but that didn’t bother me too much. I think these were produced in her home studio so it is sort of nice to see the instructor in her own place using tools that are readily available. I took a class from Jennifer Sterns at the ASG Conference in Los Angeles, which I really enjoyed so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

I really took this class because I have wanted to buy a new serger since mine (the Elan lock 5 thread) doesn’t have DF and to switch to a coverstitch is actually quite hassle. This class provided me with a good overview of the intricacies of a serger and what a serger can do and its application in my garment sewing so now, I feel that I am better informed to buy a new serger.

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chisgran said... (6/2/15 12:38 PM) Reply
Thx for the review for this class. Seems like it one need to get. And thanks for being so detailed. It is appreciated.
ASiverson said... (10/24/13 9:36 AM) Reply
I've taken this class also, and my fear of my serger is gone! Jennifer Stern is a terrific instructor.
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