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Message Board > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Just got my first serger--is there a good all in one online resource? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Just got my first serger--is there a good all in one online resource?
tturchin
tturchin
Member since 12/22/10
Posts: 2
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Date: 1/24/11 2:17 AM

I've been poking around this forum and google, and am looking for a basic 'serging 101' type website or blog posts. I just got my first serger back from my babylock dealer--I bought a Baby Lock Imagine off Craigslist after spending months looking for a great deal on one! Before I go in for my class I want to have an understanding of the basics, so I can concentrate on more advanced things during the class. Unfortunately for me, the video that came with the serger is a VHS, which we haven't had a player for in years. :P

What I've found online covers things like setting the tension on sergers and threading the machine, which isn't a concern with the Imagine. I want to know more general serging information like "why would you use 3 threads and not 4? and vice versa? In garment sewing, is it better to serge the pieces of fabric separately then sew them together on a sewing machine, better to sew them and then serge the seam allowance, or do you just do the whole thing on the serger?" I seem to come across references to people doing all three of those things, which has left me confused.

Thanks in advance for the help!

DarkMorford
DarkMorford
Advanced Beginner
WA USA
Member since 10/27/09
Posts: 65
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Date: 1/24/11 4:18 AM

This forum is probably one of the best online resources you're likely to find, honestly. Plenty of folks willing to share knowledge.

A 3-thread overlock is going to stretch more than a 4-thread (good for knits) and it's less bulky (good for lightweight fabrics). The downside is that, because it doesn't have that fourth thread doing the mock safety stitch, it's not going to be quite as strong a seam. Whether or not that's acceptable depends on the project.

Likewise, the order in which you sew and serge is going to depend on what your project requires. If it's something you're going to want to adjust fitting on, for example, you probably won't want to go to the serger right away—because the machine trims the fabric as it goes, you won't have any room to let the piece out if necessary.
-- Edited on 1/24/11 4:19 AM --

Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
Advanced Beginner
MD USA
Member since 1/8/10
Posts: 1457
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Date: 1/24/11 10:10 AM

Like Dark said, this site is about as good a resource as you're going to find. In addition to the boards, the knowledge base has a lot of information. But if you've got a serger with automatic threading and automatic tensions, why not just experiment? I don't know how much the same it is, since I have tensions to experiment with too, but I've found that (in addition to the manual and the video that came with it) the best way to get to understand it and get comfortable with it has been to just use it. I've serged lots and lots of little scraps in various ways!

Do you have to inform your serger of what stitch you're doing? ..I've always wondered that about sergers with automatic tension, since with some of the stitches, like a flatlock vs. a 3-thread overlock, really the only difference is in the tension..

I bought a basic serger book at the same time as I got my serger, and besides a quick (and rather unhelpful) glance through the book, I haven't used it at all. Although I will admit that I spent awhile considering serger options and deciding on a model, so I had a very good idea of how I wanted to use a serger before getting one.

My most-used stitch (depending on how you define that, I guess) is the 4-thread overlock, which I use mainly for construction with knits. Rolled hems I use for edges in home dec. 5-thread safety stitch for construction in jeans and home dec (althogh I usually sew with my regular machine first for the home dec, the regular machine is long stitches more for basting since for stuff like slipcovers I have to keep checking and adjusting, so need the seams to be easy to rip out.) The regular three-thread overlock I use mainly for just overlocking, seams that I've already sewn to prevent raveling, either together and pressed one way, or separately and pressed open.

The #1 serger tip I have is these plastic clips, which I grabbed when they were buy one box get one free (not that you need nearly that many! ) Since you can't use pins with a serger, I use those instead. They're too big to fit under the foot and too obvious not to notice, so they work very well as a pinning alternative for serging. (I should really add that one to the tips listings.)

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My (overly complicated) blog: http://maggiedoll.com/

raymondmom
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raymondmom
Advanced Beginner
CA USA
Member since 9/21/09
Posts: 376
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Date: 1/24/11 10:44 AM

I am taking the online serger class here and the information is very easy to understand. I managed to fix up an older Elna serger that had been given to me.

Joanne

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Joanne

tturchin
tturchin
Member since 12/22/10
Posts: 2
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Date: 1/24/11 11:02 AM

Thank you so much for the helpful replies--that was great! I also found this site last night after more searching, if there are any other beginners searching for some basic serging info!
http://www.whatthecraft.com/arts/sergerhelp.html

Dropdeadbeautiful
Dropdeadbeautiful
Advanced Beginner
AZ USA
Member since 1/1/08
Posts: 2
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In reply to raymondmom


Date: 2/2/11 11:16 PM

Where is this class listed? I just bought a serger and would like to take the class?// What are the times?? Thanks, Dropdeadbeautiful

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Dropdeadbeautiful

annenet
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annenet  Friend of PR
Advanced
VA USA
Member since 8/2/03
Posts: 1506
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Date: 2/2/11 11:28 PM

Where are you? I know here (Virginia) G Street does beginner classes for any kind of serger. They're tricky so it's well worth it!

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So many projects, not enough time
At my house in VA:
Bernina 1010, Activa 220, Artista 630E, B580
Singer 201-2, 221, Bernina Serger 1300MDC, Babylock Enlighten, Babylock Sashiko, Consew 75T

At my Lake House in PA:
Bernina Artista 165E, Singer 503A. Bernina Serger 1100d

http://sewingtechie.blogspot.com/

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