This year I went on a Craftsy spending spree over a couple of the great sales that they have had. I wrote about in a post about my Craftsy List of Shame a couple weeks (months?) ago. I have decided that publicizing my progress through that list will be motivational for me and educational for you. Win, win. I was considering giving myself some kind of time frame or a specific release date, but I decided that it was way too much pressure. In fact I may even bounce around a bit depending on how I am feeling.
I am going to start with Beginning Serging with Amy Alan. This is one of the first courses that I bought when I bought my machine about a year ago. I usually watch the videos when I buy the lessons, but put off participating in the material. My first impression of Amy was that she was very sweet, and very informed. She knows a lot about her serger and was really well prepared for her lessons. I appreciate all the print outs seeing as how it’s an information based class rather than a project based class. Although it does have some cute projects and I suspect that completing them will be how I really master my skills.
Today I worked through the Introduction (lesson: 1), Lesson 2: Your Serger and How It Works, and half of Lesson 3: Basic Stitches, before my brain fizzled and died.
Lesson 2 mostly involved going over the parts of your machine using a checklist. Amy uses three different sergers (a Bernina, a Janome, and a Brother) to show where different parts are on different machines. It was surprising to me how different they were and how different my machine was than her example Janome (I drive a Janome 8002D). My take away was, don’t by a Brother. There was several times that she was explaining features on the other two machines that the Brother didn’t have. You also couldn’t see into it very well. Anyways, going over the parts on the serger clued me into a lot of things that I didn’t know and prepared me for adjusting things, like blade width, later. I learned that you can remove the stitch finger to make a stitch narrower. I also, learned that the blade width is the same as the stitch width.
Lesson 2 ends with an Amy threading her Bernina serger. My serger did not match up with hers at all and I was glad that I had already spent the time to learn how to thread it using my serger’s manual. Threading my serger becomes easier every time I do it, but I was jealous when I realized that my serger didn’t have the lower looper auto threader which moves the lower looper over so that it is visible while threading. Mine just stays hidden behind the machine, which makes me sad, but I’ve learned to thread it anyway. If I was buying a new machine I would definitely make sure that it had this feature though. I would also choose with one that marked the blade width in numbers, mine has no marking, you just kinda gotta feel it out.
Lesson 3 starts with, well, the basic stitches. I feel that I perfected my basic overlocking stitch, I was having problems with it curling the fabric. I fixed this by changing my stitch width and it lies nice and flat now. If only I could get the next stitch, a narrow hem, to lie flat. Actually, the next stitch was a flat felled seam, but I have little interest in that seam so I skipped it. I do what I want. It really seemed that the configuration for each stitch would change depending on the fabric that you used. I think that it is most important to understand how the seam is supposed to look and how the parts of your serger effects the stitch. I think that I am beginning to grasp that. The only complaint I had about Lesson 3 was that the stitch examples were kinda hard to see. The camera had a hard time focusing and Amy showed them rather quickly.