i work at a bridal /formalwear shop doing the alterations and selling
and bridal consulting....i mentioned in passing that i would love to
take a class about serging if they ever got one....well they went and
bought the serger and i don't know how to use it...it has a video
tape...do you think i can learn to do it by myself? i usually do well
with some sort of a 'teacher' ie hands on....now i'm so nervous about
them buying this machine...and feel the pressure to learn to use
Sure, Linda, watch the video. Thread the machine with a different color
thread in each place. Follow the threading instructions carefully. Most
early problems are the result of mis-threading. The order of threading is
*very* important. Hang in there! We're here to try to solve your
Using a serger is not difficult, but it does take patience to do it
well. A teacher would be best - did this serger come with a free class?
A lot of them do! If so, do take it, as the classes are really the best
way to go. If not, there are a number of good books on the market, and
using them in conjunction with the serger's instruction manual and video
is a lot better than nothing.
Your workplace would find it very beneficial to send you on a paid
course of several days worth of lessons, if there is one going. The
best place to make your first enquiries is at the shop where they bought
the serger. You have the advantage of already being able to sew so it
won't take you very long to get used to the serger. I speak here as one
who learned to use her serger purely from the manual (no video with my
first serger!), and THEN did a course to improve my techniques later.
Just to start with, they need you to be able to dedicate at least one
whole day without interruptions to serve customers to become familiar
with the machine and some of the things it can do: work your way through
the instruction manual, making samples of the different stitch types on
different fabrics, and keep a close record of each one. Make a book of
them to refer to in the future. Put the pressure back on the workplace:
they bought the machine, so they need to ensure that you know how to use
it properly, or their investment is wasted. This will take both time
What type/make of serger is it? If we know the make and model, we can
give more specific help.
Also, pop over to my web site and have a look at some of the things I've
done - quite a few are done with the serger. There are others here with
pix of what they have done too. I make wedding stuff, costumes, quilts,
all sorts. I deeply love my serger.
they purchased the serger at the local fabric store ...it is a New Home
i can bring it home and play with it...great idea about the notebook and
notes...I think they really thought they were doing me a great favor but
i know nothing about one...you are giving me great faith...i appreciate
Do ask the shop about lessons then. I was concerned that if it was a
warehouse or internet purchase, there would be no back-up like this. A
local store is much more likely to do lessons you can get to.
Best of luck, and yell when those threads tangle!
BTW, learn how to thread from scratch! It's not difficult, and can save
you a lot of hassle!
Probably in a bridal shop all you will be doing with a serger is finishing off
any seams that you have to cut off. I hardly ever cut anything off though,
I've learned over the years that you never know with people, and some will put
weight back on after you've taken in something.
I do use it sometime to do hems, by serging the fabric then turning it up and
stitching close to the hem edge. I only do this if I have the right thread
color,and if the original was done this way.
You really must be careful not to have anything under the cutter blade that you
don't want to cut. With big bridal dresses and full bridesmaids dresses you
have to be VERY CAREFUL to watch at all times that you don't have anything but
the seam in the way of the cutter. Bridal alterations are always way to close
to the wedding to get the dress replaced, if you were to cut something you
What I do use the serger for alot, is to cut off the netting inside bridal
dresses, but I remove all threads. (actually I have an older serger that I
keep unthreaded for this purpose), I marked inch marks on my serger and if I
have to cut off three inches, I just line the edge up and serge away only
cutting not sewing. This speads up cutting off hems greatly, you do have to
guide the net straight though. You could just serge off the lineing layers,
but I don't do this because if the netting catches one thread of the serged
hem, then you have a thread mess.