With practice, it will become second nature to use a gathering foot rather than a long stitch for soft ruffles; to make and attach piping in a single step; and to add binding quickly. Go through labeled photos of the machines; then see the challenges posed by different stitches, threads, and fabrics and how to meet them with style. Perfect every technique, and try them out on our projects.
Everyone knows sergers can make nice smooth-edge finishes on any number of fabrics, but how many know that there are at least two dozens different presser feet and other attachments that enable many sergers to gather, blind hem, attach strands of beads, couch ribbon, make pin tucks, or neatly serge a curved edge to a straight edge? Sewing industry expert Joann Pugh-Gannon knows all about these nifty accessories, as well as the ones for regular sewing machines, and in Making the Most of Your Sewing Machine & Serger Accessories she uses her expertise to create 32 home decor and clothing projects, including chair covers, pillows, valances, aprons, blouses, and bags. Each set of step-by-step directions features a materials list and a detailed serger setup chart. The more involved wearables--hats, vests, dresses, jackets--call for store-bought patterns, though gridded patterns are included when needed for the simpler items. Note, however, that some of the machine accessories and setup information may not be strictly applicable to your brand of serger or sewing machine. --Amy Handy