Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Sewing Machine Alert

I had expected that by now I'd be back in the swing of blogging, but you may notice a 17-day gap since my last post. This is due in part to the recent unexpectedly nice weather. However, the main competition for blogging energy has been my new serger sewing machine. Much of my garment construction involves sewing knits, and I've wished since the 1980's that I had an overlocker/serger. I always told myself it was a frivolous luxury that I could do without.

I can't explain what mental switch flipped this fall. It had something to do with shopping for tractor parts, and chainsaw parts, and chainsaws, and tires, and car parts. Instead of saying "Must conserve dwindling funds," my brain said, "Hmmm...Wonder how much a new sewing machine costs?" Instantly, I was cruising Allbrands.com, where I found just the machine I'd been craving, a Juki MO 735 with all the trimmings, for less than I expected. This website looks like a vast, impersonal warehouse outlet, but they are also in-the-flesh sewing machine dealers in Louisiana. When I had trouble with the last sewing machine I bought from them (a "White" brand made by Husqvarna-Viking), I called their number and got to talk to a lovely man named Alex who walked me through fixing the problem.

The serger arrived right away, and I spent the first few days with it just threading it and reading the manual, and threading it again....Threading a serger is a very different affair than threading a sewing machine, and there are 27 different ways to thread this particular model, depending on what you want it to do.

These five men's' tee-shirts are my first project with the new machine. I know how to use the overlock stitch and coverstitch functions now, and I'm really thrilled with how much better the serger stitching works than the conventional sewing machine kluges I'd been using. The seams and hems lay flat and stretch exactly the right amount. Awesome. You can see I'm still learning to use the coverstitch, and my technique is a little wobbly, but I'm having a wonderful time!

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