I’m kicking off me-made May with a new Juki Serger!
It’s been on my wish list for years now and I finally made it happen.
You might remember it took me almost 2 years before I took the plunge in purchasing my Juki sewing machine, which I love, and shared a review with you here. That was for a machine that I knew I would use every single feature of, but would I serge that many clothes? So, it’s really not surprising that I waivered for even longer on buying a serger.
But there has been this curiosity about making clothes that keeps coming back. And after making a couple of quilted coats successfully (ha!), it’s opened up a new sewing avenue that I just can’t resist exploring further.
This post is not a review as I haven’t had her long enough to share the kind of details a review post needs, it is, however, a pseudo unboxing of my new serger along with the bits and bobs I’ve picked up to help me in this journey. Plus, I reveal some of my plans for me-made May 2022 😊
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
WHY I CHOSE THE JUKI MO-654 DE
Why *this machine?
Well, after researching lots of different models and reading lots of reviews, I was most interested in a machine that had sturdy parts, had at least 4 thread capability, and could work with heavy materials such as denim. I wanted it to cut the fabric as it sewed, but also have the option of doing a rolled hem (‘cause that just sounded nifty and handy!).
I’ve heard amazing things about ‘air threading’ and was encouraged to pick up a machine that had this functionality. Given that this is a new sewing journey for me, I was hesitant to spend too much money on a machine. Most of the sergers that offer this technology also have a heftier price tag. On the other hand, several of the lower-end models with just basic functionality had recurring complaints about their machines stopping, breaking, or just getting temperamental with prolonged, heavy use.
My *sewing machine is a workhorse. I love her. Other than cleaning her and oiling her on the regular (see my Sunday Studio Maintenance routine here), I never have to worry about her; she just works! I also love that she’s made of metal and has really solid parts. I’m hoping these are the qualities I will find in my serger too!
WHAT THREADS DO I NEED FOR MY SERGER?
Before I even had my serger out of the box I was dialing my friends at Aurifil* for some guidance on proper threads to use in an overlocker.
I’m so thankful I did! They shared that you have several thread weight options to choose from:
The thing to keep in mind with serging thread is that you want thread that doesn’t shed too much and can withstand high speeds. Aurifil’s 40wt and Forty3 are perfect for this. They also shared that they’ve worked with 50wt regularly and with great success in their garment making.
When you have a few options to select from, I tend to like to pick up one of each to try them out for myself. This gives me the chance to explore how each type of thread performs and find the one that works the best for my sewing practice.
So, I went and did a little thread shopping and picked up these serging thread options:
- 4 cones of 40wt in the colour 2600
- 3 cones of Forty3 in the colour 2021* (I already had one cone on hand 😉)
- 4 large spools of 50wt in the colour 2000*
HOW TO CHOOSE THREAD COLOURS FOR YOUR SERGER
When I was picking my fabrics for my beige quilt coat, I shared with you why gray factors so prominently in my wardrobe. Essentially, Pips (my cat) sheds like crazy, and his extra fine, white fur sticks to everything! I can’t leave the house without bringing a little of him with me! This is why my wardrobe has evolved to focus on neutrals with a heavy emphasis on all shades of gray.
I have visions of sewing with lots of linen and natural fibers in neutral shades and, since you don’t need your serging thread to match exactly, I opted for neutrals that would see me through most of my garment sewing sessions.
As I gain more experience with serging and sewing clothing, I may expand on these options, but I think these are great foundational thread options to start with.
WHAT I PLAN ON MAKING
By now you’re probably wondering what the heck I plan on making!!
Years ago, I picked up some linen options (here* and here*) to make the dress, but every time I sat down and read through the steps, I was dissuaded to continue when it mentions serging your seams. I knew that serging would result in a cleaner more professional look and I figured if I was going to dive into me-made clothing, I should go all in.
Here I am going all in!
I also want to try pattern drafting my own tank top. I picked up this book on pattern drafting* years ago to help me with that. There’s one I’ve had in my wardrobe for years and I’ve always wanted to replicate it. Once I’ve given the dress a go, I think I’ll take my sewing skills a step further and try designing my own!
If you have tips to share on this front, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
For more quilty inspiration, check out:
- Dive into Me-Made Fashion with the Etched Diamond Quilt x Hovea
- Sustainable Quilting Through the Art of Improv
- Quilty Texture with Thread
- Do you Quilt and Forget? Revisiting an Old Favourite in a New Setting
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