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This book is a great mix of advice for getting the most out of your new serger. If you are a sewist and are thinking of doing serging, I can only say that as a lifetime sewist, someone who HAD to make her own school clothes, serging was a big revelation to me. We did not have home sergers when I was in high school and I sure wish we had. I used to make my own clothes as it was lighter on my budget and...I'm really tall. Back then, pants were usually too short as were shirts and jackets, and there was never fabric to let down. (I understand now that shorter gals have to alter almost every pair of pants.) In EITHER case, a serger can be your friend, making alterations and sewing projects a breeze. A serger sews a seam, finishes it with an overlock and trims the excess seam allowance all at the same time. Or it can make a rolled hem (as you see on fabric table napkins, for example.) And I can recommend the Brother 1034D Serger if you are thinking of a first machine. Mine is an older version and I've gotten lots of use out of it; it's a well-tested design and parts are easy to obtain.

Back to the book: the first chapters are about the machine itself (in general, as there are several types of sergers that do different things) and a chapter about the different types of stitches. Your machine may not do them all; for example, simpler machines do only 3 or 4 thread stitches. More advanced machines do 2 thread or even 2 and 5 thread and some machines do coverstitch--which you can see if you look at a hem on store-bought pants or skirts or sweaters; this is the stitch that is a chain on the wrong side covering the hem and on the front, a simple single line or double line of stitching. Most machines do not do chain or coverstitch; often it's a dedicated machine that will do this special stitch. But the book covers all these stitches. There are pictures of stitches and helpful tips on what goes wrong (for example, which thread tension to adjust if your stitch looks wonky.)

Then you progress to the projects. Now, this is clever. I'm the type of learner who needs to DO to LEARN. So if I need to perfect a technique in sewing, for me, it's best to have a project in mind to employ what I need to learn. Each project in this book has a tip section on the side, telling you how to use stabilizer, or otherwise improve your result. The projects vary from a baby rug that looks like a kitty cat, a really nice kitchen set including a casserole cover, a mitt and a decorative towel. The project lists the stitches used, materials needed and the level of skill. The kitchen set is "intermediate" meaning this book will be useful to not only beginning serger users but to others as well. This set is so cute, I want to make gifts for friends using this pattern.

There are also fleece projects--which is good because fleece and a serger are best friends. After you learn how easy it is to sew up fleece, you will be making robes, blankets and outerwear for your family and friends.

There are also patterns for pillows, tablecloths, runners and even a t-shirt quilt, which is a really addictive and fun technique that uses old t-shirts that may have memories but are worn out. You use the screened design on the t-shirt and quilt them into a nice throw. This is a nice way to use a dear but worn out t-shirt with many memories that is not really suitable to be worn anymore or to "thin the herd" if you are a collector of too many t-shirts.

All in all, this book is suitable for the beginner, but anyone who likes serging can use the projects as not all of them are beginner projects. This makes this book something to grow into or--something useful for anyone who likes to serge. I really like these projects, so even though I've been serging since the 80's, I am still getting a lot of enjoyment from this book. And it has helpful reminders for ANYONE on adjusting a stitch to get the best out of the serger.

Highly recommended!
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on August 13, 2012
I bought this and another book along with my new serger. I was new to serging and a bit intimidated. I read both of my books and the manual before touching the machine. Quite honestly, I didn't find this book very helpful in learning my machine and in getting up and running on it, but I really like some of the projects in it. If you want a good book to help you with your first serger get: The Complete Serger Handbook by Chris James. Very helpful.
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on February 13, 2013
The title says it all and this is a very good book to get the beginner up and going. The pictures are absolutely terrific. The photos of the stitches is essential to a beginner. A lot of thought must have gone into what to put in this book. This is now in my sewing room, right next to the sewing desk for easy reach!
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I chose this book because it seemed to be the newest out of all the books on serging and I'd been told that sergers have changed so much in the last ten years that the older books are obsolete. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but I found the book to be both comprehensive and educational. One of my sewing students wants me to teach him to use a serger, so I got this book hoping it would serve as a guide for us both. I learned a great deal and my student was pleased to get the book once I'd finished reading it.

The book covers the basics of how to thread the machine, adjust the tension, how to use the different stitches, etc. At the end, it has several easy projects you can make using your serger. I'd give it five stars and recommend it to anyone who's just starting out with a serger.
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on July 12, 2014
I have found more uses for my serger in this book that I thought you can only do with a sewing machine. I'm glad I took a peak to see what basic techniques I can learn and apply in my sewing projects. Glad I purchased this book. It also has projects in here that you can try. I have not tried them yet. I have a few ideas that I want to apply to a couple of projects I'm working on before I start something new. This proves that there is always something new to learn.
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on October 29, 2014
Slightly disappointed, but some useful info anyway. The basic information is presented clearly, but most of the book is devoted to the projects to help you learn to use the machine. The photographs of the projects were what disappointed me. It is unclear how the stitching should look on many of the projects because the choice of fabrics was so cluttered with texture or pattern. I think it would have been easier to follow if the projects were done in more muted fabrics where the choice of stitch type was easier to see.
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on January 17, 2012
A very good book and very instructive. I rate it second to the one Nancy wrote. It is very well written.
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on February 6, 2014
I've been sewing for over 30 years and just this Christmas I bought my first serger, well of course I needed some help learning to use it. This book has great pictures, easy to read instructions and easy to follow drawings. Lovely home deco projects in back. I would recommend this book to beginners, intermediate and advanced sewers.
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on September 23, 2014
I haven't even been through it all but I love it already! So many great projects for me to try...I cannot wait! Easy to follow and informative. Up to date projects, not those bored grandma crafts you see in some books that are just hideous. I have been enjoying reading and learning.
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on June 6, 2016
Went to the website mentioned in the ebook to download the pattern and the web site told me they do not exist. Without the patterns the book is not as useful. Although the information in the book is good, without the patterns you can't practice them.
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