(If you could care less, don’t want to laugh a little, and don’t want to get to know me a little more, scroll down to (TIP))
Yes, I’m cheating on both my husband and the crock pot with my new sewing machine accessories—I haven’t been cooking and I think I have something dying in my refrigerator because of this new affair. I am able to sew knits soooooooooo much more quickly and efficiently. I’ve produced twice as many pairs of the cutest little trainer underwear in about half the time. Considering I got everything pre-cut, they should be done, and now I only have 5 pairs left. Now I can stop feeling like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad friend. I’ll make it up to you, Danielle, I promise; I’m sending them back tomorrow!
With the amount of sewing that I do, one would think that I must have an awesome sewing machine and an awesome serger and an awesome room with a great set-up…Yeah, not so much. This is what I have:
That’s it. Oh, yeah, that’s the dining room :). Every time my MIL has people over for dinner, my whole worktable is dismantled and then reassembled. I will say that my husband and MIL do a great job of keeping things organized and do their best to put it all back in the same spot—I guess I can’t complain 😉
What does bother me is that I don’t have a serger. I want one soooooooooooooooo bad, but here is what I’ve learned in serger research:
You get what you pay for
If you can’t thread it (the hardest part), you can’t use it, so you have to get one you can thread
The “best one” is completely in the eye of the beholder—whatever someone owns seems to be the best
Whichever brand is sold by the store I find myself in is “the best”
Salespeople will ALWAYS try to sell you the top of the line machine regardless of whether I quilt or sew apparel or sew other stuff and regardless of what I want or my budget (oh, there’s credit!—yeah, right), so are therefore useless.
There actually are things a serger can do that a regular sewing machine just cannot do, and those things are very useful in apparel production, so I really do need one. Damn [and she sighs].
My research did provide me with what I consider to be a more affordable option: Brother Serger Lay-in Thread Machine+. At $200, you really can’t go wrong, especially since they range from about $800-$3000+). The Brother has gotten decent reviews, but the threading thing is still an issue. They have also said it doesn’t handle heavy fabric very well. I can also assume that the blades are probably not the best and will dull quickly. I don’t want to spend the required big bucks to get one of the many “best machines” and I don’t want to spend even $200 on something that may need nearly as much money in upkeep/maintenance (which means it will sit unused). Grrrr…
And then, the mentor of all mentors, suddenly appeared: Mr. Tim Gunn. (No, not really, but you know when you have one of those Aha! moments…) Sitting at my machine, staring at it and saying, “Why won’t you just sew the jersey nicely? What do you want from me? What can I do to help you?” and when I received nothing in reply: “I HATE you! You hate me, but I hate you more! You totally suck, you know that?! Why do you have to be such a b*%@# all the time?!” That’s when I heard Tim’s voice say, “Make it work.” And I did 🙂
(TIP) Thanks to Google, I found a way to make my Singer Precision 7444 work. Reading through comments, blogs, reviews, articles,…I found that my answer would be an Even-feed Walking Foot, Jersey/Ballpoint Needles, and a Twin Jersey/Ballpoint Needle. The walking foot pulls the top fabric through at the same pace as the bottom fabric going through the feed dogs. This makes working with knit fabrics, slippery fabrics, stripes and plaids, and for quilting. This didn’t even occur to me as an option because Singer’s Presser Feet Instructions says’s it’s for Quilting and Home Décor—this is why you don’t read the book 🙂
|$16.91, free shipping
|$5.49, free shipping
Wait! It doesn’t trim edges and coverstitch! But, Aha! I can quasi-faux coverstitch with the Twin Ballpoint Needle!!!
|$6.99, free shipping
|The twin needle stitches two rows side-by-side and zig-zags across the underside. I don’t have anything for cutting. Yet. There is a side cutter attachment that works as a serger, but that isn’t the problem with sewing knits, so I don’t need it. Trimming seams is my excuse for sitting in front of the TV and watch reruns of Project Runway. So, the foot and needles are a more-than-affordable option and, really, I love my machine—I work her hard
and she always does what I need her to do and still wakes up in the morning. We “make it work” every day, Tim.
I am slowly but surely on my way to getting a serger, even if it’s the cheap one, but I have to be able to justify the cost because I’m
cheap on a tight budget. And, when I can buy cheaper attachments (about $30.00 total) that get the job done-bottom line- I don’t want to have to try to find more room for another machine :).
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