Have you looked online? Sometimes you can find the owners manual at the manufacturers website.
I just started serging too and it took me a while to get all the tensions right but once I did that it's been great! I have a used Singer serger that I bought from a friend. I just made a suit for a girlfriend out of a lightweight shantung and I serged all the edges......no fraying! It was a beautiful thing! And the garment looks nice and finished and clean inside! I will admit that I didn't cut the fabric a bit bigger so when I serged the edges I lost a bit of fabric, and you don't think it will matter much but it does! I must have lost 1" on the waist and had to let it out 1" to fit properly! Lesson learned!
Like marypoppins, I have my sewing machine on one side of the table and the serger on the other so I can bounce back and forth as needed.
In August 2011 we are moving to Sterling, MA (16 miles north of Worcester) from NJ. After 11 months of being unemployed my husband and I decided that we need to move to where the work is. The job market in NJ is awful! We have moved my husband to MA already since his job started on June 1. My son and I will move up in August after he is done with Boy Scout camp and Tae Kwon Do camp. I am looking to meet some crafty people and to find a nice community theatre to join (I love making costumes for theatre and halloween!).
I am moving to Sterling, Ma in August and would like to check out your place! It sounds like a perfect place for artists/craftspersons! I am hoping to find some crafty friends! Mostly I crochet and sew (clothing and costumes for stage/halloween) but I also can felt, make paper and paint. Sherry
I've got two crochet sightings: 1. in the movie A Christmas Story, the scene when they are in the car and get a flat tire, the mom is wearing a red crocheted hat/scarf thing. I want to make one! 2. in the musical Wicked (we saw it the day after Christmas, it was my SIL and BIL's gift to us) the character Elphaba (The Wicked Witch) wears a grey crocheted cap.
I share many of the same bad habits already posted. I think my worst one is that I cut thread with my teeth because I never have enough scissors around. I do have one good pair that I only use for fabric and it's never near me when I need to cut the thread! But I am trying to change that, went and bought more scissors for cutting everything other than fabric.
I hold pins between my lips, drop thread ends on the floor, leave pins everywhere, buy fabric on sale and never use it (got two boxes of it and no place to store the boxes!), sometimes I will put pins on my shirt (up near my shoulder) so they are more handy and forget to take them out (not fun on wash day!). Also, my sewing supplies are usually jumbled together in a cardboard box.
The worst times of the year are Halloween (I always make myself a costume) and if I do costumes for a theatre group I belong to......there's sewing stuff EVERYWHERE, thread, pins, fabric scraps....you name it and it's underfoot for a few weeks. I am getting better and do not clog up the kitchen with sewing, I go upstairs to my Father In Law's dining room table (he's a disabled widower and never uses that table....and it's nice and big and I can leave my sewing there as long as I need to).
I am improving on the organization part....bought some cheap plastic containers one for each: thread, patterns, sewing tools/notions, zippers/closures, fabric (there's several of those!). I use a gallon size zip bag for patterns because I can never fold them small enough to get them back into those small envelopes. It's quite a nice system...all the pattern pieces in an enclosed bag with the cover of the pattern on top of the pattern so I can see it easily.
I'm sure I've got more bad habits just can't think of them right now!
Oh wait, just thought of one.....Not using enough pins when cutting out my pattern and my cuts are choppy and uneven, this does not make for nice looking seam allowances so then I end up trying to make them look nice after I've sewn the seam by cutting them some more.