For Christmas this year I made David a purple sweater:

and he got me two sewing machines:

Really, it was the other way around.  He got me two sewing machines, and I used them to make his sweater.  

Can I tell you how much I love these machines?

I adore these machines.

I have been thinking for a long time about getting a serger.  I would look at them online for a while, search for used ones on Ebay, decide that I didn’t want to fight with a machine that might or might not work, figure that the zig-zag function on my regular sewing machine worked well enough, try to do a twin needle hem and fail (the twin needle never works well on my machine— it jams and skips stitches, I have no idea why), then repeat the whole process of searching and musing about a coverstitch.

So David went out and got them.  He made me get the better coverstitch machine too.

I’m really glad to have these machines, and I’m also really happy I waited till I had been sewing for 3 years before getting them.  Here are some of the things I know now that make me appreciate having a serger and a coverstitch.

  • My favorite things to sew and wear are mostly knits.  Knits handle so much better on the serger— no stretching and bunching.  And the seams have plenty of give.
  • My least favorite part of sewing is finishing seam allowances.  The serger make this easy by seaming, trimming, and finishing in one step.  I haven’t used it yet to finish seam allowances on wovens but I think it will still go faster because I won’t have to trim the allowances by hand.
  • After three years of sewing I’ve come to appreciate having a garment look professionally finished on the inside.  But…I always thought it was my lack of skill that made my garments look home-made.  Now I think I was just missing the right tools.  A serged seam covers a multitude of sins.

Here are some details on the sweater.  I love the way the contrasting thread came out:

And here it is in situ:

I also used these machines to sew my sister’s top, and my last two Burda wraps.  So that makes four garments in January alone!  The same number I sewed between September and December of last year!  Here’s to re-using the same pattern.

I’m still getting the hang of using the coverstitch to do hems.  In theory it is supposed to hem and finish the edge at the same time.  But I find that if the raw edge of the hem falls between the two lines of stitching then the fabric bunches up and gets distorted.  I’ve experimented with first finishing the edge on the serger, then turning it under and hemming with the coverstitch, and I’ve also tried hemming first then trimming the raw edge with the serger.  Does anyone with more experience know the best way to go about this?

Oh, here’s a picture of my teal wool Burda wrap.  It looks so different in the more drapey fabric!  At first I wasn’t as crazy about this version but I wore it today and now again I feel like I need to make a few more of these.  I think this and the Burda raglan t-shirt from 02-2010 are going to be my go-to top patterns for a while.

Thank you sweetie! I love the gifts!