Probably it is obvious that I like knitting better than sewing. Knitting gives me a sense of accomplishment. Mistakes in knitting can be easily corrected and knitting is so portable! Whenever I go to my MIL’s place, I bring my knitting bag with me; as DS can easily stay there for hours, I would die of boredom otherwise.
My sewing library is much bigger than my knitting library and so is my sewing stash. But I have to confess than my sewing skill is not at my expectation at all. I can draw sketch, make prototypes that look like my sketches; I can draft pattern and drape fabric on a dressform; I can make a perfectly fitted prototype. But when it comes to the actual act of putting the pieces together — sewing, I’m at loss. Most of my sewing projects end in frustration.
My latest failure is a viscose jersey dress. The bright green color is lovely, the fit and shape are perfect. I drafted the pattern based on a RTW dress. But the gusset destroyed the whole project. I should have known that I don’t have the skill to sew a gusset on a serger…
I’ve just bought my first serger and made a pair of pants for DS. It’s a Juki MO 654 DE 2/3/4-thread serger. There are many reviews available for this model, so here I just want to add a review from a total newbie perspective. I’m good at sewing and can sew almost anything that comes to mind. Usually I drape my own patterns. The reason that I sew and design knitwear is that I love creating /exactly/ what I want.
I’ve thought of buying a serger for years, but I sew so occasionally that I can’t justify the cost, and honestly, sergers look pretty complicated. After checking out most of the models, I decided to get a serger instead of one with also coverstitch. People seem to universally prefer to have separate coverstitch machine and serger, for the slimmer foot and better efficiency. For me mostly it’s the cost factor, those with coverstitch cost at least twice as much.
I’ve read through the manual before turning on the machine and I have watched a couple of videos on youtube. The first thing I noticed is that there is no stitch dial as in sewing machines. To use the different kinds of stitches you have to remove needles or do some modifications to the serger. As a lazy crafter, I’m someone that tries a function only if I have to. So far I have used only the 4-thread overlock and the 3-thread overlock with the left needle. I also discovered that stitch width is related to the stitch type and cannot be set separately. So if I use a 4-thread overlock the stitch width is 6 mm. For the 3-thread overlock, if I use the left needle then the width is 6 mm; if I use the right needle I get the narrower width (4 mm). The manual doesn’t tell you how to do a flat lock, I’ve found this tutorial: http://mama-hen-jenn.blogspot.it/2011/02/using-your-serger-to-3-thread-flatlock.html
Threading seems to be a difficult part. I have not tried threading yet, the machine came threaded and I just used the tying method. I discovered that it’s incredibly hard to thread through the needles though. I don’t know why no one mentioned it. There is no space to the right of the needles and there was (I removed it) a metal protection bar to the left of the needles. It was a nightmare even with the help of a needle threader. After removing the metal protection bar it’s more doable.
After serging the seam allowance, I kept on sewing the pants on my sewing machine (a Pfaff Select 3.0), what’s a joy to have all the harp space!