Saturday, July 10, 2010

Adventures with the serger - Originally posted 21 May 2007

So I borrowed some books from the library to get a hold of my fears of using the serger. I did that proactively, actually, before I even got the serger. There was one book that I liked better than the others, as it seemed more like a workshop type of writing. Anyway, in there, one of the first things said is that, once you get used to having a serger, you will wonder how you could live without one. Well, I did make that comment over the weekend.

Oh and it took about 3/4 into the book before they finally explained that, to start serging, there is nothing better than to... well... just do it... Thanks! So I took it out of the box and just started. I did samples first, to see what it would/should look like when everything was going fine...

Serging my infamous chiffon was soooooooooo easy. And serging the borders of my corset belt were easy too (once I figured out how to properly thread the left needle).

So I had heard that a serger is damn difficult to thread. Well, my mom's sewing machine was damn hard to thread too, so I figured that I could handle it. And, after reading in the book that you could tie your new thread to the thread already in there and just pull on it to make it go through the machine, I thought that I had found my easy way out... which works... most of the time...

So, I already mentioned that I had issues with threading the left needle. See, I started with the rolled hem, which requires only one of the two needles. No biggie. Then, I wanted to serge the borders of the corset belt pieces, which would require both needles. I thought that it was uber easy to thread the left needle, which it was... for the most part... When I tried to serge, it didn't look like my samples that I had done earlier. So, I thought hard about what could be the problem. The book was talking about remembering the "TNT" principle and that that solves 80-90% of the problems. TNT stands for Tension, Needle, Threading. So I thought that it might be tension and played with that a bit. No, that wasn't it. Then, I thought some more. I was like, "Okay. What has changed since you took the serger out of the box? I removed the thread from one needle and then rethreaded it. Therefore, the problem must be with the threading."

Now, I am no fool (well, yes and no), so, after rethreading the left needle, I looked in my manual to make sure that I had done the right thing and, per the illustrations, I did. So I looked at the manual again. Oh, well, there was one thing on the illustration that I had not seen: they indicated that they pulled the thread out of the tension disk upward. I hadn't done that... so I do... but nothing changes. Then, I think to read the description and it says to pull on the thread coming in and out of the tension disk. I was skeptical but pulled on both sides and then I heard a "click". Oh sh!t! That was it! My tension on the left needle was not kept because it wasn't fully engaged. Damn!

Later, I had to do another thing with the rolled hem, so I removed the left needle again. No biggie. This time, when I rethreaded, I did everything right. I was done with my serging so I was going to put the machine away but decided to make sure that everything was in working order (so that I could just pick it up whenever) and tried a sample thread... the threads were not mixing up as they should have... they were all individual threads... Now what?

I open the machine and see that the lower looper is partly unthreaded. How the hell did that happen? So now I check with the manual as to how to thread it. Well, the instruction manual has decided to simplify the illustration but, in doing so, it complicated finding every single little f***ing holes that the thread needed to go through.

After much trial and error, I finally figure out the whole thing for the lower looper... only, in the process, the upper looper had partially dethreaded itself. DAMN! This one was much easier to rethread.

So, now, with all these adventures, I dare say that I know how to rethread my serger from start to finish. And now, knowing where every single little hole is, I think that it might take me about 10 minutes to do so. It might get faster even over time, as I get more used to passing the thread through the little itty bitty holes while grasping it on the other side with the tweezers.

But... still... I don't know how I could have lived so long without a serger! ;op

Comments I had received

From Haifa:
I love my mini-serger so much more than any sewing machine.... except for the threading, that is.

From Akilah:
You know, whenever I have trouble with my seams looking iffy on my serger, it's generally because I've forgotten to check the tension disk after I've rethreaded the serger. So I feel your pain. *g* The only downside to owning a serger is that I never have an excuse not to finish my seams...

From me:
hehehe. good point! Now that I have one, I have to say that, if there was a recommendation that I would give to a belly dancer who loves making her costume: get a serger. Man, the applications for that thing with the costumes that we do! *sigh* Yup... I'm officially addicted.

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