Sunday, June 17, 2007

Beginner's Mind

I went to my sewing machine dealer's yesterday for an introductory class on my new serger. Although I'm fairly confident mechanically, I took advantage of the class anyway, and approached the class with a beginner's mind. There is always something new to learn, and the more complex machines have a real learning curve. Having the class speeded up my progress and showed me some things I might not have tried otherwise.

I was the only student, so I received a private lesson for 2 1/2 hours. Thanks Phyllis! We went through:
  • Basics of 2, 3, and 4 thread serging.
  • Rolled edge
  • Wave stitch
  • Cover stitch.
  • Serging on various types and weights of fabric, including denim, 4 way stretch lycra, various cottons, and wool.
  • Attaching ribbing, elastic, and lace.
  • Faux blanket stitch
  • Using the differential feed.

All in all, we covered a lot of information in a short time, and the class was a nice extra to include with the machine.

Oh, and there was a question on the boards recently site about paying extra for a Babylock in order to get the wave stitch. I paid a lot of money for my new machine, but the wave stitch was the least of it. Power, baby! The Evolve has a lot more power on multiple layers than my old Protege--so far, everything I've sewn on it has been like buttah. The Evolve does a lot of adjusting for you, so a lot less preparatory tweaking and figeting. There's a lot of ways to thread it depending on the stitch you want, yet it's pretty simple to accomplish. I can see the need to keep the quick reference guide nearby! I've heard nightmare tales about setting up cover stitches on multipurpose sergers, but it was no big deal on the Evolve.

Also, there was another question about sewing curves since the presser foot is wide. Again, not an issue that I've had problems with. I do think the lifter is placed oddly, but that's probably only because I'm so used to having it on the right hand side on the old Protege.

I see the biggest issue for me at this point is to re-train my eye so that I know where the fabric is in relation to the knife and needles. I had the Protege for so long that I could eyeball all of that. Hopefully, I'll soon have the same ability on the new one. It's a matter of practice.


Debbie Cook said...

A beginner's mind is a good thing to go to a class with. I've taken sewing classes over the years and always seem to walk away with at least a good tip, even if the real subject matter is something I know. And 2-1/2 hours with another sewing enthusiast is always a good way to spend time. Have fun with the new machine!

Marji said...

Enjoy it!
I think the discussion re the Wave centered around whether or not to buy the Imagine or the Imagine Wave - the only difference between the two machines is the wave, and it is several hundred dollars. The Evolve gives you much more than just the wave, so I think it's a moot point.
I too have never had any real difficulty with the curves and that wide foot.

Nancy (nanflan) said...

Oh, Marji, you're right! Why would Babylock do something so bizarre? There is no real rationale to have 2 machines the same with only one decorative stitch as the difference.