Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Serging away

An impulse buyer I am not, especially where pricey items are concerned.  Plus, Mr. C and I tend to keep things forever, so buying the right thing always seems imperative.  I consider, debate, agonize and research online before I acquire a possession.  None of which I did when I bought my serger in September.  Since we were going out of town for a week it seemed the ideal time to take my beloved and ageing Pfaff sewing machine in for some preventative maintenance.  Just in time, as I discovered the couple who owned the Pfaff dealership were retiring and the store was closing.  Everything was half price!

There were three sergers, and my eye fell upon a Babylock Eclipse.  I had long wanted a serger, but I kept putting off taking the time to really find out about all their features, and which would be best for me for the money.  Two things stuck in my head: self-threading and Babylock.  So here was a serger that was both.  But was it really half price?  Was it a good buy?  What features did it have?  Would I regret not buying one with more features?  The owners were focused more on their closing business than on making a sale, and the manual for the serger was nowhere to be found. I stared at the little white machine, I fondled it, I talked to a helpful serger-owning customer.  Mr. C, who is inclined to frugality, nevertheless said to buy it if I thought I really needed it.  (Sadly, he didn't say the same thing about a top-of-the-line Pfaff sewing machine which weighed in at several thousand dollars even at half price.)

But, as I said, I am not an impulse buyer, so somewhat regretfully we left the store and drove back to our part of town to go eat.  And the farther away we got, the more I wanted that serger.  Before someone else snatched it up!  So as soon as we sat down at the table, I pulled out my phone and called the store and charged it.  It was mine!  After we returned from our trip, a day before the store closed, I went to pick it up along with my rejuvenated Pfaff.

It stayed in its box for about a week until I sat it and myself down in front of the TV and tried it out while watching the DVD that came with it.  What it does is so final compared to a sewing machine: It cuts off fabric!  It lays down a thicket of thread!  But after serging scrap after scrap it was time to try it out on an actual garment. I had cut out this Marcy Tilton knit top before I bought the serger, and the directions even say to sew the seams first and then finish with serging.  Perfect!  And, yes, that's just how it turned out.  So easy to use!  Such lovely little seams!  The inside of the top is as tidy as can be.  I love it!  I also love this top with its neckband that adjusts by means of little pleats on the outside as decoration, as I've done here, or more subtly on the inside. You can read my Pattern Review here. Then I immediately whipped out the pants I'm wearing here in ponte knit.  They're from an OOP Sandra Betzina pattern, Vogue 1061. You can see them better below in the black version that I made years ago and have worn often.  They're pull-on pants and what's unique about them is the waistband that uses negative ease instead of elastic, so very comfortable.

The purple top is the same Marcy Tilton pattern with the neckband made in a sheer knit burn-out, with the adjusting pleats sewn on the inside.  I also added cuffs of the same knit burn-out.  This is from another project that I'll post here soon.  The burn-out was a perfect match for this very inexpensive, lightweight knit.  Unlike the green top which is a very drape-y, stretchy rayon-spandex knit, I think this one is all cotton and doesn't have a lot of stretch, so I would have been better off cutting it a bit larger, but it's okay.

 I signed up for a basic serging class on Craftsy, and then Craftsy offered the advanced serging class for free, so I've signed up for that also.  I've watched the introductions, but I've yet to proceed any further with either one.  When I do I'm hoping to expand my serging repertoire beyond the basics, but for the moment, the basics are just fine.


  1. Enjoy your serger - you'll never go back, there's nothing better for sewing knits. I totally agree with you on how beautiful it makes the inside of the garment look. And Babylock is just about the best you'll ever find - you will have this machine for years.
    Love your Marci Tilton tops, too - I have that pattern, I'll have to sew it up one of these days.

  2. Ohhh - how exciting. A new baby. You won't know yourself once you master the serger. I do most of my sewing on it now and only sew a seam first if I am unsure because - yes it cuts the fabric and is also a PIA to unpick.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your top. That neckline is wonderful.