It’s been lurking in the back of the closet for years. At least 16 years, as far as I can tell. That’s how long it’s been since my children were young enough for me to sew matching pajamas, sweatsuits, leggings and Zubaz for them. Those were the heydays for my serger. Me and my machine – we spent a lot of time together back then.
Recently I pulled my old pal out from the recesses of its hiding place. Not only did I dust it off, but given its long retirement, I took it back to the sewing shop where I bought it for a good tune-up. Soon it was lubed, oiled and ready to go. I just wasn’t sure I was.
Sergers are finicky machines. With not one but four gigantic spools of thread and complicated threading schemes involving upper and lower loopers and two needles, just getting it ready to sew is a complex business. Unlike my regular sewing machine, which I can still operate on autopilot, this one was going to require a hefty re-learning process. Me and my machine needed to get reacquainted again. It didn’t help that I couldn’t find my manuals. But Google solves all, and I soon had an electronic version of my 25 year old booklets.
Once I worked up the nerve to start sewing, the real fun began. Ugly messy stitches ensued, followed by the hit or miss process of fiddling with the tension knobs for each spool of thread. It took several days, more Google searches, many scraps of fabric and lots of thread, but finally I mastered it. I had a good stitch going!
By now I’m sure you’re wondering just what could possibly entice me to resurrect this old relic and re-engage in battling with it? The obvious answer is grandchildren. But they’ve been around for almost 5 years now, and despite feeble promises to sew knits for them I’ve yet to deliver on that. No, it’s napkins. More accurately, lots and lots of napkins for our son’s wedding reception. In keeping with some homespun elements of their outdoor celebration, his fiance envisioned vintage looking napkins in various patterns. And so I volunteered. Happily. After all, I have a serger that makes fast work of just that sort of thing.
Today was the true test. I finally set aside my scraps and set to work for real. My serger hummed and stitched, overcasting each edge with absolute precision. Just as I knew it would. I created neat rolled hems on all four sides of 25 napkins with ease with my trusty machine. So far so good.
Woman vs. machine? Naw, we’re a team again. Me and my machine. And only 200-some napkins to go.