I had an old and dysfunctional serger that was given to me a couple of years ago by a neighbor who was moving away. It had been given to her and she didn't know if it worked. I was ecstatic. The possibility to sew on jersey (tee-shirt) fabric without wonky seams was just what I had been wanting. That (free!) machine was the answer to my prayers.
Or so I thought.
I've sewn with it only a few times in the past three years because the machine had a tendency to eat my projects and was a great source of frustration. (Understatement.) The few projects that did make it out alive tended to have stitches pulling out after just a few washings. Baah.
Fast-forward to late last month. While I was on my solo adventure I was attempting to sew a skirt on said cannibalistic machine. Inspired to break out the serger and sew some clothes while the kids were away, I thought that maybe without the distraction of my peeps I could determine what was wrong with it. And I had just thrifted a bag full of cotton jersey tees that I desperately wanted to turn into some new duds.
I got as far as half of a seam and it was over. Done. Kaput. The seam was skipping and my fabric sucked into the feed dogs somehow. I took a deep breath, extracted my skirt from the feed dogs, and went to bed. (It is likely that I made a gin and tonic sometime between the Incident and bed but I'm not certain.) The next morning I put the serger outside with a "Free – take at your own risk" sign and sat down at my computer – Craigslist. Huskylock Serger. Let's see what we get.
And I found one.
A Huskylock 936, over a decade old, but ridiculously modern by my standards. (My sewing machine, inherited from my grandma, is from the early '60's.) A beautiful, marvelous, high quality serger for a ridiculous bargain. I jumped and he agreed to ship it to me, sight-unseen from Minnesota. It arrived this weekend. We had guests, so I left it in the box, knowing I'd need some quiet space to figure out where to begin. It has been a long wait.
Last night I finally had time to figure out my new machine. Sewing with a new serger makes me feel like a sewing newbie for the first time since grade school. I got out the manual, learned how to thread it (no small feat), and pulled out the skirt I tried to make on the old machine. (I first sent Pete and the kids to the park to reduce the likelihood of me freaking out in front of my family while learning how to do it all).
After cutting away the damaged bits on the skirt, I started sewing. And it worked. It worked! I figured out the basics and within an hour of opening the box I had a new favorite skirt in my wardrobe. I feel a new obsession coming on. I can't wait to get sewing again today.
If you are new to sewing, serged seams are the kind inside every t-shirt in your closet and down the legs of your blue jeans. They prevent unraveling and allow fabric to stretch. They make for faster, neater sewing. You can also wear serged seams on the inside or the outside, depending on what you're going for. (See above and below.)
So. Very. Happy!