Sunday, May 11, 2014

Just Serging Along

I knew it would happen sooner or later but I found myself longing for a serger. What could a serger do that a sewing machine couldn't do? Now much, actually, but it does everything so much easier and faster! It can sew an overlock seam and trim all in one step and oh, oh so fast. With a regular sewing machine an overlock stitch is quite slow as the machine moves back and forward because there is only one needle and one bobbin. In a serger sewing machine there are dual needles and dual lower threads so the action is not just twice as fast but, but, but...four times better?

I waited patiently for a good serger to appear on Craigslist but at a bargain price. I was eyeing an Elna Pro 5DC so I did my homework and it appeared to be a good model, 20 years old, but with mixed reviews so I was taking a chance. The woman I bought it from said it was her mothers, who bought a new self threading model, and she was just not into sewing like her mom and was given permission to go ahead and sell it. She showed me how it worked and it came home with me:

Not too huge, fairly easy to follow with good diagrams, many attachments, and all threaded up with white cone thread. I did have to buy a manual online so I could figure out what the electronic readout was telling me but it was a decent guide. After playing around with it awhile I figured I better put it to use so I cut out a knit dress, pretty simple style but not too much to lose. It was so quick and made sewing on knits fun. Since I had always avoided knits (too hard to sew on) but used them anyway, this is quite the revelation. Here it is in action:

I am actually resewing this seam because it didn't lay flat and the skirt portion was too large anyway. This color forced me to rethread with darker thread since I had only been working in white and that was hard but it was my first attempt and I expected it to be difficult. Cone thread is expensive to initially purchase so I stopped by my local thrift shop where I have seen cone thread and snatched up 2 variety bags to get me started. I was using dark blue, tan and gray on the cranberry red skirt; not the greatest but better than white, I thought.

Here's how the dress looks without hems:

I hope it looks better when it's finished and I'm wearing it but it was a good first try with a new toy. Now I'm looking for new projects what I can make with a serger but I don't think I'll have to twist my brain too hard to continue to have fun with my Elna serger.



5 comments:

  1. Hi! I bought a elna pro 5 dc- I can't get the computer screen on!? What's the secret!??

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    1. Hi Quinette, did you get any answers to your question? My sister just gave me her macine and I have the very same problem!

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  2. Mine was also dim but look to see if there is a dial or some kind of control where you can "turn up the volume" on the light. I no longer have this serger or I would look at mine.

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  3. Hey. to the right of your needle is the little arm that swings down... what is that called? I broke mine and I can't find the name of it to order another one... HELP :)

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    1. Upper knife? The two cutting blades, upper and lower are the ones that cut the fabric as you sew and the upper knife or blade does swing up to get it out of the way if you are not cutting. That is some serious serging to break that baby!

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