If you’ve just bought your first serger, you may be feeling a mixture of emotions – excitement about the possibilities of sewing with this amazing machine combined with the fear of tackling something so different from your previous standard sewing machine.
Even if you have a lot of experience with sewing, if you are new to the serger experience, we recommend taking a serger sewing machine class. You may choose to just take an introduction class, or you may sign up for a series of classes that will help you quickly become an expert.
But, whichever route you take, you won’t regret it.
Why Take a Serger Sewing Machine Class?
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Your new serger sewing machine operates differently than your standard sewing machine. You’ll be able to see one of the most obvious differences just by looking at it.
While your sewing machine uses just one thread, the serger will typically use 3 or 4 threads (although you can find sergers with up to 8 threads).
By using all these threads, the serger creates a very different kind of stitch than your sewing machine. A detailed comparison between sergers and sewing machines is available at SewingMachineSavvy.com.
Taking a class or a series of classes will help you learn how to set up your serger, when and how to use it, and when not to use it. Yes, there will be times when you do have to use your trusty old regular sewing machine.
If you choose not to take a class and just read the instruction manual, you’ll probably be able to figure it out. But, taking a class and getting help from a professional will get you up and running much smoother.
What Will I Learn in a Serger Sewing Machine Class?
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When choosing the best serger sewing machine class for you, it’s important to find out what will be covered. We’ve taken a look at several available classes and found some lesson topics seem to be fairly standard.
Beginning Serger Sewing Machine Classes
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As the song from The Sound of Music Says, “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.” You really do need to learn the basics of your serger to be the foundation of everything else you learn. You should expect to learn the following topics in a beginner serger sewing machine class.
- Understanding the parts and accessories
- Threading your serger
- Selecting tools and supplies
- Choosing the right fabric
- Adjusting the tension of the thread and the length and width of the seam
- Making basic stitches
- Maintenance and care of your serger
- Troubleshooting your serger
Advanced Serger Sewing Machine Classes
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Once you’ve mastered the basics, get ready to really have some fun. You can do so many amazing projects with your new serger. Here are some topics that we found available in more advanced serger sewing machine classes.
- Locking in serger stitches
- Navigating outside and inside curves
- Using differential feed
- Adjusting for different sized threads
- How to thread for the exclusive Wave Stitch and create yards and yards of Wave Stitch pintucks
- How to make serger crochet edging
- How to cover stitch a ribbon in place using a special slot on your serger’s standard foot
- How to create puffing strips
- Advanced troubleshooting techniques
Where Can I Take a Serger Sewing Machine Class?
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The two types of classes you can take are in-person serger sewing machine classes and online/video classes. Both have their pros and cons, and the best choice for you personally can be determined by the kind of learner you are.
In-Person Serger Sewing Machine Classes
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The availability of these in-person classes will definitely vary based on your location. If you purchase your serger sewing machine in a local craft, fabric, or sewing machine store, ask if they offer any classes that might be included in your purchase.
Many stores will list any class offerings on their websites, or you can make a few phone calls to check and see which stores may offer in-person classes.
These in-person classes sometimes require that you bring your own serger sewing machine to the class. So, if you go this route, be prepared to transport your serger and your supplies.
Your local fabric stores may also be aware of any experienced tailors or seamstresses who would be willing to come to your home to offer private tutoring. Be sure to ask if this is something you’re interested in.
Online or Video Serger Sewing Machine Classes
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There are many options for online or video serger sewing machine classes. We’ve found a few that we really like and will share some of the details below about three of them.
Keep in mind that most of these classes are not interactive. So, while it’s wonderful to have the convenience of being able to take the class when you want it and start and stop as you need to, the downside is that you can’t ask questions as you go.
So, if you get stuck, you may find yourself heading down to the local fabric store anyway.
This class is available online or on DVD and can be purchased for $14.99. A video preview is available at the link above, along with a detailed description of the class. And, you can see that the average rating by class participants is 5/5 stars.
The first two lessons are actually available for free, so you can try them out and see if this class is likely to meet your needs.
The synopsis on their website states, “Learn to tame your serger and make it sew like magic. Follow along and learn about easy threading, different stitches, thread applications, tools and maintenance.”
The instructor, Deborah Cacciamani, is a representative of Bernina sewing machines, but you can take this class regardless of the brand of serger you have. The lessons included in this class are as follows:
- Class Overview (free)
- Introduction (free)
- Serger Tools & Supplies
- The Parts of a Serger
- Threading the Serger
- Additional Serger Techniques
- Care & Maintenance
- Show & Tell
- Class Wrap-up
2. Baby Lock Serger Classes
Available on the Baby Lock website are more than 35 different serger sewing machine classes to stream.
They offer several classes that are specific introductions to their various products. These classes are free and are titled “Getting to Know Your [insert Baby Lock Model Name] Serger.”
They have several other classes that will work for you, even if you have another brand of serger. Some of the classes are project based, while other focus on a certain technique. Here is a list of some of the classes they offer. A full list of available classes is available on their website.
- Sewing with Knits: Lessons 1, 2, 3, and 4 – each class focuses on a specific element of sewing with knit fabric and the unique challenges and opportunities.
- Serger Trims: Part 1 and Part 2
- Serger Piecing and Quilting
- Serger Techniques and Tricks
- Project-related classes: Serger Embellished Pillow, Serger Cosmetic Pouch, Ruffled Serger Pillow, Ovation Serger Flower Pillow, Ovation Serger Fashion Evening Bag, Enlighten Serger Heirloom Quilt.
- Hemming Tips from a Pro
3. Serger Solutions: Troubleshooting Techniques from Heirloom Creations
You can see a full description of the class at Heirloom Creations, but a few of the highlights are listed below.
- Learning the basic parts of your serger sewing machine
- Understanding thread choices, spool placement, and how to thread the machine
- Tips about thread tension and smooth stitching
- How to use dynamic ribbon and wooly nylon threads
- How to do a more decorative flatlock stitch
- Multiple troubleshooting tips for the machine and your sewing projects
Your Serger will Change your Sewing Life
If you have a lot of experience using a standard sewing machine and are just now making the switch to a serger sewing machine, be prepared for some real fun. You may ask yourself why you didn’t start using a serger sooner.
Just remember that starting off on the right foot by taking a serger sewing machine class will get you going much sooner and will make your transition super smooth.
Keywords: serger sewing machine