I bought myself a birthday present, a serger. For anyone who doesn't know, I like to sew, and have been wanting a serger for years. I finally bought myself a nice sewing machine 4 or 5 years ago, which I absolutely love--before then I was using a really basic one that I'd had since I was 12. I had held off for quite a while on the serger because the ones that had the features that I thought I wanted were always pretty expensive--around $1000, which is a lot for me to spend on myself. I found one recently that does 2-5 threads, and a cover stitch, and was much more reasonably priced, and ordered it last Wednesday. I bought a Singer Quantumlock if anyone cares :) It arrived Friday.
So far all I've had time to do is play with it a little. This sucker is quite a bit more complicated than any of the regular sewing machines that I've used. I had talked to a salesperson in a fabric store, and she was adamant that I should buy a machine from a place that offers lessons. I tend to be pretty quick with reading instructions, and I'm an engineer, so I opted for price (online) over lessons from a local dealer. I'm beginning to understand her point. I tried for most of an hour Friday night to get it threaded, and one of the threads kept breaking when I'd try to sew.
Saturday I made a run to a fabric store to buy serger thread (I had a rainbow of colors of old thread loaded up the night before...some of it may have been contributing to the breaking since the threads were not great quality). The cone thread was $3 a spool, and my machine takes up to 5 at a time, so I stuck to black and white for now. That night after Charlotte went to bed, I tried to thread the machine again and get it going. This time I had a couple of AHA! moments (one, when I realized there were 2 "loopers" that looked almost identical, and that I was threading the wrong one--they're even color coded for me...oops), and actually managed to stitch a couple of test seams. Woohoo! Of course, I've only set it up for a single stitch so far, but now at least I have an idea what I'm doing.
Now I just need to find time to cut out a pattern or two and actually make something with it. I have the perfect model to sew for...she's about 32" tall and 20 lbs, and not terribly picky about her clothes yet....