Thursday, September 27, 2012


Last weekend I pulled out my serger for the first time. It's an older-model Elna, and though it hasn't been used in awhile, it works great. I've been excited about using it, but a little nervous to get it set up for the first time.

This is pretty much how it went:

I studied the three different manuals that it came with, and then I dusted it off and learned how to properly oil it. It came to me threaded with three spools of white. No big deal, and it sewed correctly except for a minor tension adjustment. The stitch I wanted to use required 4 threads, and also black thread.

I thought for a short time about just fudging it with the threads already in it, and getting my project done... but no, I had to learn it sooner or later.

Now, I've used a serger before, but it was probably 15 years ago. It was my mom's and I only knew one basic stitch, but I could thread that thing, and could adjust the tension pretty effectively.

For anyone who hasn't used a serger before, it can be pretty intimidating. Mine has 5 possible thread slots, with varying threading positions and needle positions. I'll post pics later, but this weekend I was pretty intent on just getting to know it enough to do my project.

So anyway, there I am about an hour into it, scratching my head and trying to understand what goes where, and learning how to move the needles. The manual with the threading diagram I needed cross-referenced the other manual to show how to move the needles and how to thread the lower looping needles which are buried in the machine. I was wishing I hadn't waited until the end of the day to start into the serger, because I was getting pretty tired.

Then, finally, I was ready to sew.

It felt like the heavens parted and the angels sang. It worked! The stitch wasn't perfect, but it worked!

What's also exciting is that I was converting a pair of pants into maternity pants. That's right, we're expecting another member of the family. This time 2-legged instead of 4, and not (as) covered in fur.

I loosely followed this tutorial, except that I used stretchy fabric for the entire panel, instead of adding elastic. And I made it a little higher so it would smooth out better. I also used a cheap pair of pants, since I didn't want to ruin any of my nice ones. I found a $7 pair at Kmart, and it worked great! Once the serger was up and running, it only took me about 10 minutes to finish.

I look forward to more adventures sewing maternity clothes :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pumpkin Time

We're almost back to my favorite time of year; there's a slight crisp in the air (well, almost, if you use your imagination) and rain on its way (it sprinkled the other day.) Time for spiced cider and pumpkins!

Today at my weekly S&B I made another little pumpkin, even tinier than my original Tiny Pumpkin (the darker one.)

I'm looking forward to making many more of these!