This is exciting! I’ve put off buying a new dress form for several years, as my old form was ‘OK’, and I had other priorities. But this is a year of going for those things I know I will enjoy. As Joan Rivers said, if not now, when…
After careful research, I purchased this Janome Artistic Dress Form in size Small, and I’m delighted. The comparative pic below illustrates my issues with my previous form (in red). It was a Medium, had a booty and tummy, very wide shoulders (which I cut off with a hand saw), and a surprisingly large neck. And it was short-waisted. I have a long torso, no booty or tummy, and a skinny neck!! Enter the new form on the right, wearing the dress form cover I made years ago in cotton rib:
This line of dress forms is available on many trusted sewing sites – SewVacDirect, SewingMachinesPlus, etc., and of course on Amazon.
Serger horror. I could not serge/cut a seam! This is lawn!
Look what I found. A huge piece of fabric somewhere in my serger. Even though I cleaned it after my pinafore sewing, and my daughter can attest to this, because I showed her the lint that comes from just one garment.
Well, even before this issue, I’ve known for a while that my Janome 8002D knives were dull, so I ordered both the upper and lower knives, they will be here this week.
Meanwhile, I like having two sergers, one with white thread, one for color changes. I’ve had a second serger for years, a Juki MO644D, that I killed by sewing over a quilting pin. Managed to destruct all the thread/guideline pins, presser foot and press plate, just not redeemable for much less than a new machine.
Absolutely indispensable – a serger. Forget pinking shears and overlocking/zigzag stitches on a sewing machine. Nothing takes the place of a serger for fabric and seam edges. IMHO, a good serger is a great investment in sewing satisfaction and professional finishes.
They work so well – powerful little beasts – that it’s easy to forget that they need care and feeding just like a sewing machine. So, some tips from a lover of a good serger.
Simple stuff – clean it. I use both brushes and cotton swabs to get into every nook and cranny. Have you used it for a few hours or on a linty project? Clean it. I actually clean mine for every project, and I do recommend this. BTW, cotton swaps are great for cleaning the bobbin race on your sewing machine.
Intuitive stuff – oil it. That machine is pumping its heart out and has so many moving parts- oil doesn’t really last very long. Your serger will love you back for a little oil. I do this frequently, and I use a wonderful oil pen.Varieties are available, Sewing Machines Plus, Wawak, etc., all refillable. They have skinny needles for easy application. Just be sure to use sewing machine oil!
Easily overlooked – the needles. Serger needles take a beating, and they should be replaced! Most of the time I have a 90/14 in my sergers, but have changed them for different threads and fabrics. My choice: Klasse universal needles – again, MHO, do not spend money on a serger-specific needle!
Don’t drop a needle into the machine while replacing it! I have a nifty brush with a helper-hole on the end, I think it came with my Juki:
The tricky bit can be threading the loopers. Try a serger needle threader! it goes in and out all those elusive spaces.
Deep cleaning – About once a month I remove all the threads from my sergers and give them a deep cleaning. I’ve had mine for years, and I think a little love goes a long way. My machines, and I recommend them both, mid-price, heavy, quiet, obedient! and old friends. I have tried air-threading machines and ones with dial-tension. I like these. The tension knobs facilitate nuance changes, really important for the loopers and needles:
Last thought – cutting blades. When is the last time you replaced these? They are like scissors, but in one project do more than a pair of scissors over many years. And they are easy and fairly inexpensive to replace.