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The Miracle of Reading the Instruction Manual

December 6, 2011

Behold, a perfectly threaded serger!

Perfectly threaded!

But lets start at the beginning.

When my grandma died several years ago, I inherited (my mom already had everything she needed for sewing, and no one else in our family picked up the hobby) her sewing stuff. I am very lucky to have all of it because it gave me a ready made tool box of sewing supplies, tools, and machinery that I didn’t have previously. Previously I stole things out of my mom’s sewing area. I am still working my way through Grandma’s stash of bias tape and rick rack (seriously, who needs an entire cigar box full of rick rack? I guess she did sew for children and crafty stuff)! I have everything from tube turners to rulers of all sorts to bees wax and bars of soap (not sure what the soap is for, but it was well worn so must have been useful. For this reason I’ve thrown nothing out). But hands down the most important thing I got was her sewing machine, serger and sewing desk that has been jury-rigged every time she got a new machine.

And in all this time that I’ve had her serger, I never knew how to properly thread it. A month or so ago I was trying to rethread it and the threads just kept snapping. So I gave up and did without. Today, instead of doing other productive things, I decided to have one more go at it and pull out the manual. Holy cow, I didn’t even know which nob was for tension! I’ve been muddling my way along all this time and by luck alone was able to serge my hems!

See the perfect stitches?! amazing.

But now I am enlightened and the manual even has instructions for changing the setting for different fabrics (I could never get it to work with knits before). Grandma would probably be giving me a funny look right about now for never bothering to look at the manual before (she obviously used it because there are notes and magazine articles about sergers stapled to the inside, even the original receipt from when she bought it in 1996).

A holiday miracle. Now I can sew like Grandma did.


10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2011 1:47 pm

    Congratulations on getting it to work. My guess about the soap is that she used it for fabric marking. It’s a tip I’ve seen a lot, although haven’t tried it myself.


  2. December 6, 2011 2:24 pm

    How exciting – a new toy. I must admit they intimidate me!

  3. Marty permalink
    December 6, 2011 3:51 pm

    A special extra gift from your Grandma!

  4. December 9, 2011 4:24 pm

    yay! the hardest part is getting the thing threaded.

  5. December 14, 2011 1:13 am

    Yep, soap is definitely for fabric marking! I’ve used it quite a lot, and I like that it’ll wash away when I don’t need it anymore. Sometimes Tailor’s chalk and the waxy stuff can be hard to get rid of.

    Nice job on threading the serger! 🙂

  6. December 14, 2011 4:27 pm

    I should read my overlocker manual again, I mainly use it for seam finishing and I know there is a lot more you can do with it.

  7. December 16, 2011 8:32 pm

    We use soap at work and it’s so scented I sneeze every time my boss takes it out! Glad you got your serger threaded, I had the same problem with mine for the first 3 years I had it. Oh instruction manuals…. Ha!


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