Coming To Terms With The Serger

15 Mar

I love my serger!  I want to make that clear from the beginning of this post, because I’m mostly going to talk about the down side of a serger today.

My Babylock Imagine is a very special machine.  It will sew through anything, from silk to denim, without making any adjustments at all.  Not only that, but it threads itself while I’m thinking about what I’m going to fix for dinner.  It’s pure and simple heaven!

I feel this way about my serger because I’ve been to the dark side of serger-land.  I use to own a serger that thought every new fabric that entered it’s realm was an alien from another planet.  That serger simply could not tolerate diversity.  It would take me an hour just to warm the serger up to the fact that it needed to be somewhat flexible in its view of a new fabric.  At some point, the serger would win and cry, “Off with its head!”. The battle would be lost.  It wore me down!  (I know I carried that metaphor to the extreme, but I saw Alice in Wonderland last night and couldn’t help myself).

Enter the Imagine.  Sometimes, when I get a new toy, I can begin to feel overconfident in my skills.  I really thought I could do anything with that baby.  So, when the Hot Patterns 1090 instructions AND video said I could sew this beginner dress completely with a serger, I was ready.  Here’s a pic of the pattern front:

Here’s a pic of my completed garment:

Sigh…I’d give anything for a pair of shoulders. Oh, it’s not bad, and I’ll wear it (although it’s not the best style for me, so I’m sure when I wear it I’ll have a cardigan or jacket over it ala pic on right).  Here is the problem regarding the serger:  I think my serging skills are fine for sewing together a simple straight seam; but, when it comes to sewing on bands and things more delicate, I need to stick with my sewing machine.  See how the collar band seam is all ripply?

I really hate that!  I want ALL my seams to be perfectly smooth and straight, or perfectly curved…whatever, just perfectly perfect!

Lesson learned:  Even if the instructions tell me to do something a certain way, I need to consider my sewing skills and then do it the way that is best for me.  After all, Marcy Tilton says she NEVER sews a seam together on a serger, so who am I?

I really love the fabric I used for the dress.  It was an Eileen Fisher cotton/viscose/elastic knit from Emma One Sock. I also bought a piece in “mulberry”. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with that yet.

If you are interested in sewing up that dress, please be mindful of the fact that it will not turn out like the picture unless you take at least 5 inches off the length of the band at the bottom of the skirt.  If you don’t, you will get an a-line skirt, which sort of defeats the purpose of the design, in my opinion.

Up next?  I’m not sure, but I have lots of projects in the wings.  I just know I’m in desperate need of working with a woven.


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