Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Learning Something New is Scary

Erica Here:

Do you ever get intimidated when it's time to learn a new skill? I sure do. You see, I love having mastered a skill, and I like being good at something, but oh, the learning curve.

My latest Mt. Everest to conquer is in my sewing room. My mother graciously gifted me with her serger sewing machine. And now I need to learn to use it.

I remember when my mom got this machine...I was in high school!
I'm somewhat intimidated. I didn't really start sewing until a few years ago, and I've never used a serger. Did you know this thing has a knife in it? And changing oil on the space shuttle can't be more complicated than the diagram for threading this contraption. There are three separate threads, and a labyrinthine maze of hooks and levers and loops to wind those threads through.

My serger didn't come with the instruction manual, and since it's circa 1987, the company no longer supports this model.

So how do I go about learning? (BTW, my mom lives far away in Florida, and isn't available for tutorials...she hasn't used the machine in 15 years anyway and said it would be as much an adventure for her as for me to re-learn how to use it.)

My method in this case was to watch a couple of YouTube videos on sergers (not that they had any for my particular model) and dive in. :) Messing about with it promptly led to me breaking the only needle I had for it, two trips to the sewing machine store because they no longer sell the style of needle I needed and we had to guess as to what would work, and a few starts and stops with the sewing.

I am nowhere near proficient, but I am excited about having this new-to-me machine. It will make sewing baby gowns for Bundles of Love Charity so much easier! And I love the nifty way it stitched and trims all in one go. If you have never seen a serger work, or don't know how one works, here's an instructional video explaining the basics. And if you're wearing a ready-made t-shirt, flip the hem up and take a look. Your shirt has most likely been serged and sewn to keep the jersey from fraying.

So, question for you...what new thing have you learned to do lately?

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  1. I don't really sew, but have wanted to try a Serger for repairing those seams and hemming pants. I almost bought one when I was making burp cloths and baby blankets for my grandsons.
    As far as learning something new, well, my 2008 car had a recall, the company does not yet have the replacement parts made. Because I cannot drive it they have been giving me loaner cars since July. Everyone is different. They all have the push button start, I'm still looking for where to put the key. Driving a SUV was difficult and I hated it. It was like learning something new. They have me in a 2017 minivan now. It's easier than the first van they put me in, where I hurt myself just driving the thing, getting out was painful. If I had $40,000 I would probably buy this one. They have no idea when the parts will be available for my car, and I like having the extra room. Since my knee is not surgically fixable I really need a medical van with hand controls. That should be a fun learning experience.

    1. I have a love/hate relationship with getting a new car. I can't find where anything is for the first few months! I love my Chevy Equinox now, but it was a big change from my Olds minivan...which was a huge change from my Olds 88...

  2. My daughter has a serger. Not sure of the model.
    Even though I crochet each pattern that is new and different is always a challenge. I get a feeling of accomplishment each time I master one I didn't think I could do.

    1. I hear you about new crochet patterns...I have a few old standbys that I do over and over (for the baby afghans I give away) but when I have to start something's a challenge! But like you, I love the finished product and the feeling of 'There! I did that!' that comes.

  3. I taught myself to knit last winter by watching a lot of youtube videos and untangling a lot of yarn :)

    1. LOL! That's fantastic! I haven't ventured into knitting yet. My mother and daughter knit...

      so many possibilities so little time!

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