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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: QuilterDebBee
Date: 10-12-2003, 09:19 PM (1 of 10)
Hi All,

I am new here infact just found this group tonight. I am looking for some advice/opinions.

I have a daughter that is a freshman in high school, she is 5 feet tall and has a nice figure but she is between sizes. To big for RTW big girls and not quite big enough for RTW juniors. She and I will spend hours shopping for clothes and 95% of the time we come home with nothign - both of us tired and ftrustrated.

I live very close to a great fabric store that offers classes - I plan on attening many classes since I want to learn it all! I loved all of the fabrics that I saw and I took DD back with me to see if she might be interested in me sewing some clothes for her. I figured that the time and energy could be better spent sewing, not shopping and coming home with nothing. She was VERY receptive, in fact she was busy running from fabric to frabric saying we could do such and such - it was a great time.

But I am concerned - lots of my freinds and others have said that I really need to get a serger. Well I have done a little home work and I would really rather spend the money on fabric. I have a Bernina 1090S and I have just spent the last 45 minutes going over the manual and it appears that I have all the capability I need.

But I would love some input. I have recently moved away from CA and my whole groups of sewing/quilting friends are not within easy access.


Deb in Kansas
User: QuilterDebBee
Member since: 10-12-2003
Total posts: 2
From: Aimee S
Date: 10-12-2003, 09:31 PM (2 of 10)
Hi and welcome you will love it here. and even though you dont have your sewing buddies I hope we can become your cyber buddies.

You dont have to have a serger in fact I sewed for many years with out one. I know some ladies here dont have one and have been sewing for many generations with out one.

I love mine for the speed. It makes the projects get done sooner. But before I started sewing for many others I did not have one. there are many ways to finish the seams. It is like a plus but not a necessity.
The more you disaprove, the more fun I am having!
User: Aimee S
Member since: 02-23-2003
Total posts: 488
From: dmoses
Date: 10-12-2003, 09:40 PM (3 of 10)
Hi Deb,

You don't 'need' a serger...I have seen some beautiful things made without the help of a serger.

Sergers are great for putting that nice industrial 'ready to wear' look on seam finishes. They are also very fast, especially when sewing knit fabrics.

I also have a daughter(13) who is about 5 feet tall. She is petite, but shapely for her age. She has clothing in junior sizes from 0 to 3...there doesn't seem to be any standard in sizing, so she tries on a zillion things before finding something she likes(usually pants or jeans). Tshirts are usually not a problem, since they are knit fabric.
Take care,
User: dmoses
Member since: 02-22-2002
Total posts: 964
From: maps
Date: 10-13-2003, 05:24 AM (4 of 10)
hi Deb, welcome, i have sewn for years without a serger, now that i have one i can't see doing any sewing with out one, i love the speed of it and how quick it finishes a seam.
User: maps
Member since: 06-18-2003
Total posts: 152
From: DorothyL
Date: 10-13-2003, 07:48 AM (5 of 10)
I have sewed for decades without a surger and still manage to finish all my edges one way or another. I suppose it takes a lot longer but I prefer my french, flat fell or bound seams to the RTW look. But a highschool student might not agree.
Remember, if your daughter has some reservations later about the clothes you make it's partly an age thing. My girls wanted to look like everyone else at that age. Now they ask me to sew for them again but I only do it when I want to.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: Debzy
Date: 10-13-2003, 05:58 PM (6 of 10)
welcome debs from another debs!:bg:

you'll love this group, everyone's so helpful and friendly, if you need any help all you have to do is ask.

sounds like you and your daughter had a great time! i love fabric shopping, it's so inspiring!

as for overlockers, i couldn't be without one, but i always find it hard to describe why! you definately don't need one, and if your bernina has any kind of overcasting stitch that should do you fine for most home sewing. a lot of people just use zig zag stitch too.

maybe if you really get into sewing you can treat yourself further down the line?
User: Debzy
Member since: 06-02-2003
Total posts: 71
From: QuilterDebBee
Date: 10-13-2003, 06:46 PM (7 of 10)
Thank All of you so much! I am feelign much better about not getting a serger right now. I will concentrate on taking classes, learning to fit properly, and working on these skills. I just cannot rationlize the cost of a serger right now.

My daughter has been wonderful about this! She has never been one to "follow the crowd" and she keeps sketching and coloring and asking,"When????" She has even realized that if I am sewing I can't be cooking and cleaning and doing laundry - so she has said she will help out.

So it looks like on payday we are off to the fabric store. I will let her pick something out and I will then learn and sew my little heart out.

Thanks again for your input.

Deb in Kansas
User: QuilterDebBee
Member since: 10-12-2003
Total posts: 2
From: sewnfrenzy
Date: 10-13-2003, 06:55 PM (8 of 10)
Hi and Welcome to the group. Don't let them talk you into something you may not want or need.

I've sewn for nearly 20 years and I've only had a serger for about 8years. You can sew anything you want on your sewing machine without every needing a serger.

I have two extremely picky teenage daughters(both size 0 & 1) that I have to sew for all time(we have the same shopping problem you do) and I do almost all of it on my sewing machine.

I love my serger. I use it whenever I wan to give whatever I'm sewing a nice professional looking finish to the edges. Sergers are great for sewing knits and fleece too, sews thru them like butter, but you can sew them on your sewing machine to.

Most sewers use a Sergers in conjunction WITH their sewing machine.

I would consider exactly what it is you want to sew and if your sewing machine works on those things, then only get the serger if it's something you REALLY WANT.

if you do decide to get a serger, I would recomend an easy threading on and one with differencail(sp?) feed

So much Fabric, so little time.
User: sewnfrenzy
Member since: 11-06-2001
Total posts: 39
From: DorothyL
Date: 10-13-2003, 10:59 PM (9 of 10)
Maybe you should be taking your daughter to those sewing classes with you. Maybe she'll be making you clothes. Then you would have plenty of time to cook and clean and do laundry..................opps..................... .never mind
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: Magot
Date: 10-14-2003, 03:14 AM (10 of 10)
I am a non serger owner who never thought I needed one to make clothes! I finish my seam with zig zag stitch or if it is not likely to fray or the item will not get a lot of use I don't bother. Chiffon/organza obviously takes a different finish but I have made clothes for years me me and the family this way. I'm just so glad I have a machine and don't have to sew by hand!

The best finish you are going to get on your garments is having them fit well - that makes a world of difference and if you are going to classes where they teach this then all power to your elbow! when in doubt look at Julie's tips on this site - she is a whizz! and have fun!

I spent hours with DD2 picking out fabric patterns etc for her prom dress and had almost come down to a final selection when DH arrived with DD1 with whom he had been buying a computer. They were loaded with gear/parcels and we were just about ready to start buying. I know who I'd rather go shopping with!
love and kisses, Jan
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
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