Subscribe to updates via email!

Sewing with a Serger: My First Impressions

What Would Julia Do? A T-Shirt Appliqué Dress Refashion
Mai-Linh's Reader ReFash!

After a long, long, loooooong week, all I wanted to do was check out some art on Main Street at First Thursdays on Main art crawl!

But what would I wear for this hot & humid evening?

sewing with a serger before dress
This. I shall wear this.

The fit is lousy, and I hate those stupid side-tie thingies!  

Time to take this dress from dowdy to darling!

First, I lopped off those stupid side ties!

snipping off side ties

Then, I stitched the two ends together.

Like this!

I snipped off that extra little bit of fabric and put my new tie-thingy aside.

Usually I don’t chop off any length until I’ve taken my piece in, but in this case, I just didn’t feel like stitching down the side slits on this dress.

Sooooo…I just cut off the parts with the slits.

shortening dress
See ya, slits!

Now for the dress!  

I decided to take it in exactly 1″ on each side.  

First I pinned…

Pinning side seam of dress

…and THEN I whipped out THIS AWESOME THING!!!!!

sewing with a serger

You’re looking at The Dreamstitcher, and my first serger!  As it’s tagline proudly proclaims, “IT’S A DREAM!  IT’S A STITCHER!  IT’S THE DREAMSTITCHER!”

dreamstitcher closeup
Life is but a dream!

So what does this crazy thing do, you ask?  Let me show ya!

sewing with an overlocker

This amazing machine actually cuts the fabric while locking that raw edge so it won’t fray!  No more pinking shears for me!

I look forward to giving you a full review of this machine after I use it a good bit more.

The last thing I needed to do to complete this refashion was give it a new hem!  Back to my regular machine I went!

sewing a hem

After a quick press, my new dress was done!  

I tied my sewn-together ties around my waist, had hopped down to Main Street!

dress sewn with serger
It matches my shoes perfectly!

There was much cool art to see!

The featured exhibit at Tapp's Art Center!
The featured exhibit at Tapp’s Art Center!
And this one will haunt my dreams!
And this one will haunt my dreams!
Post-art crawl drinks at Bourbon!
Post-art crawl drinks at Bourbon!


refashionista sewing with a serger before and after
What Would Julia Do? A T-Shirt Appliqué Dress Refashion
Mai-Linh's Reader ReFash!

30 thoughts on “Sewing with a Serger: My First Impressions”

  1. I love what you did here. I’m on my third serger and third sewing machine. The machine that I was given for graduation died of old age. Too expensive to repair.
    I’m one of those old ladies that swears by my serger. I always use my serger for cutting off hems of dresses or slacks.

  2. Hello..I´m from Tenerife, Spain. Many thanks because I´ve got a dress so similar and I need this tuto like water…jajaja. You´re really amazing.. Thanks for all…!!!

  3. I don’t even have a sewing machine yet but I’ve heard senior seamstress talk about how they LOVE their sergers! I love the dress!

  4. I am so happy for you!!!!! I watch Project Runway every year and just googly eye gaze at those sergers like they are foreign objects. I can’t wait to experience this new you are now enjoying. Thanks for all of the inspirations!

  5. just want to let you know it looks like your tensions are off. what I can tell from the picture the problem is in the loopers. check with your manual to adjust. I worked with sergers for almost 40 years. the tensions can seam scary but once you know how to adjust them it isn’t bad.

  6. Love all of your refashions and those of your followers. I’ve recently lost weight and you have inspired me to alter some of my clothes. I sewed years ago and have wanted to get back into it. I purchased a dress form and am presently having a blast!!! It’s nice to be able to wear a belt, since once again, I can identify my waist.

    Thanks for your inspiration!!!!!

  7. You are such an inspiration and that dress is adorable! I love my serger so much that after 20 years of an old, simple workhorse I upgraded to a fancy one. I listed my original (now vintage!) one on Craigslist but when it came down to it I just couldn’t part with it after seeing how cute they looked in everyone’s descriptions of “vintage serger for sale”. I backed out of the deal! Tsk tsk. But I did research the same, updated brand new version for the people for only $20 more. Now I keep my old one threaded w/black or white for clothes & my new one w/multi-colors for dog blankets I donate to rescue. 🙂

  8. You finally got a serger! I’m only a baby sewer, but I inherited a serger and love it. Glad you finally got one! I’ve been waiting for you to discover the awesomeness that is the server.

  9. In case you haven’t found it in your serger instructions, there is a way to serge a rolled hem. 🙂

    The dress turned out fabulously!

  10. Looks great. I love the print on that dress. 🙂 My serger is my sewing best friend. I use it for a lot more things than I thought I would.

    Just an FYI: Looking at the close ups of the stitching, you need to adjust the thread tension. Try changing the tension on the lower looper from 4 to 5.

  11. Sergers are great! tighten your lower looper a bit so it doesn’t show on the top of the fabric. if you look on the right side of your dress, you shouldn’t see any ‘bars” of thread.

  12. I used a serger for the first time a few weeks ago and am IN LOVE with it!! My fabulous local sewing shop let us rent them, and I plan on maying good use of it!!!

  13. Wait till you see what you can do with Wolly Nylon thread an your serger (Actually I don’t think they call it Wolly Nylon any more).
    Dress turned out very cute, as usual!


What do you think?