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155 of 155 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2000
I agree with the Sew News editor, who states on the cover: "This book should come with every serger purchased." Close-up photography and to-the-point tips show you how to solve just about any problem, no matter what your serger brand, model or vintage. If you own a serger, or are thinking of buying one (shopping guidelines are also included), buy this book. (By the way, I own several other serging books by Naomi Baker and Gail Brown, and this is new information not repeated in those other books.)
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112 of 112 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2002
Let me first start by saying I think this is a good book to have, but I don't think it should be your first or only book to have. It is an excellent reference....especially for the beginner or less experienced serger. (but would also be a worthwhile investment for someone more advanced)
The book is easily read and has excellent pictures and diagrams. It is soley a problem solver and not a technique teacher (which is why I don't think it should be your only reference book if you are new to serging).
This book has an awesome reference sheet on page 79 if you are looking to buy a serger (upgrading or buying for the first time).
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67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 1998
This is the book that persuaded me that I could profitably use a serger, and that I could deal with whatever gremlins showed up (I'd heard serger horror stories for years-- people having to go to dealers to rethread machines, etc.) But with the clear checklist of features of various sorts of sergers, I figured out what I was going to want to look for when I "test drove" sergers... and picked out a serger I've been very happy with. And the troubleshooting tips (the bulk of the book) have saved me much frustration. One of the cheapest and most valuable serger accessories you'll buy.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2005
I received this book from Amazon only 3 days ago but it has proved invaluable. I recently purchased a serger for the first time and initially found it quite a challenge. However, the manual has helped somewhat but after reading this book (I bought two others as well including Serger Secrets which everyone recommends) I would highly recommend this Guide. It covers all the commonly found problems and questions that people ask about sergers. It also has very good diagrams including line drawings which are very helpful. It's very easy to read, to understand and to put ideas into action. The book also covers some of the main sergers and comments on how to manage individual problems on them.

All in all I couldn't recommend this book highly enough. After being concerned about making anything I sat down the next day and made a fleece pullover within about two hours. This book gave me the confidence to do that.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
This book helps you understand your machine and how to change it to do what you want. Whether it is not serging correctly or you want to be innovative, she guides you through the steps to achieve the look you are after. The pictures are great, helping you understand your goal.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2010
I got my new Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 a while ago, and was totally new to using sergers. I had one Norwegian book about using a serger, but real soon found that it was way too limited (most of it was description of projects), so I went on Amazon, thinking that my best bet would be to find some English language books. I am the type that really like to understand how an item works and functions, and I want to get the most out of it. I also want my sewing projects to have a perfect, professional looking finish.

I soon found out that there are quite a few books that has real good reviews, but finally decided that my choice would be Serger Secrets: High-Fashion Techniques for Creating Great-Looking Clothes. But, initially I did feel quite intimidated, thinking that it would be quite a challenge to learn how to use and understand this machine which is so different and much more complicated than an ordinary sewing machine. One of my greatest fears was that I wouldn't be able to handle challenges that arise, e.g. when things don't go as they should. After looking around, I found out that this book would be my best bet. The book covers a lot of brands of sergers, but the book was published already in 1996, so it is quite a lot older than my serger. But I soon found that it really didn't matter. I think it is wonderful how one chapter of the book covers "insider insights", brand specific serger information, for most of the serger brands (Babylock, Bernina/Bernette/Funlock, Brother/Homelock, Elna/Elnalock, Juki, Necchi/Allyn Int'l, Janome/New Home/MyLock, Pfaff/Hobbylock, Singer/Quantumlock/Ultralock, Husqvarna Viking/Huskylock and White/Speedylock/Superlock - it is quite an extensive list). The rest of the book describes problems which are general and valid no matter which serger you have. Most things are general, one serger is much like another for most things, I think. Sure new features come each year, but their general parts are mostly the same and works the same, so problem solving will be the same for the most part and even if you own a newer model of some serger (e.g. like me), you'll soon find that you find solutions to most things in the book. The features that are more new and modern is mostly covered in the instructions manual. E.g. my serger is computerized, it will tell me which tension to use etc., but despite this, the tension itself, the loopers and needles work just as on an older or more simple serger. Every time I have had a little problem, I have just gone straight to this book and found the problem in question. When you look up a challenge you're facing, the book lists several possible things which may cause it, and I have found that normally the first one on the list will make the problem disappear, like magic! I just love this book, saves me a lot of frustrations and trial and error to figure out problems! This book and Serger Secrets really has given me the confidence needed to throw myself into making things I haven't done before using techniques new to me. I am having lots of fun with all the options my fantastic high end serger has!

Actually I think that all sergers should come with a copy of this book, as all these small things that may cause you problems, may turn people off from learning to master these wonderful machines that makes your project look like made by professionals. It is easy to give up when you face challenges if you consider yourself a not too tech savvy person, but having this book sure makes a huge difference! For that reason, I can't recommend this book enough! I think it is a must-have!

There is one thing I have to make clear though - This book is not the book you turn to in order to learn how to use the serger and techniques used to get the results you want though, which is why I really think it is perfect to be paired up with Serger Secrets! If you want to look more at Serger Secrets before deciding if you want to buy it, you can find it on Google Books (quite a bit of it can be read there, so you can get a real preview of how useful it is, but you still need to buy it to really enjoy it). This book however, is my troubleshooting reference, when I have a problem, this is the one to turn to! I don't even bother to try to find the problem in my instructions manual, as this book is way better, easier to use and lists many things it sure isn't easy to imagine yourself, e.g. how adding something as simple as a thread net may be 100% necessary to get the stitches to form on some fabrics/threads, while you in some other cases need to remove the nets if you have them on... Many such small things which makes a huge difference in your every day use of your serger!

The book has "Look inside!", so take a look at the contents at the front of the book as well as the index at the back of the book - it has both, so it is easy to get an overview of what the book covers as well as look up a specific problem when it arise, using the alphabetical index. This book is very reasonable, the Amazon price is around $11 at the time and it is also available new/used from affiliate sellers from approx $7. You sure get a lot for your money!

After initially buying the two books mentioned, I chose to add a third book which I just love too, a book specifically about sewing with knits and techniques used to get professional results: Sewing with Knits (Sewing Reference Library) It is amazing how this wonderful book is available from $0.91! I bought my copy listed as used at $0.99 from an Amazon affiliate seller, but when it arrived, it was brand new. I soon found that this too, just like Serger Secrets, is filled with large amounts of wonderful, high quality pictures that makes it very easy to learn the different techniques described. These three books form a wonderful trio for me - they are all so helpful and that at a very reasonable price! I have added my reviews on all three, since they're all older books, which may make some buyers skeptic, and I really want to add my view on this, I find that it has been no problem for me, I feel no need to get newer and more up-to-date books as the ones I got, cover everything I need!
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2006
If you are new to serging or even experienced, you will find this book a valuable asset in your sewing library. I am new to serging and have found it to be a very helpful. Most owner/instruction manuals tell you how to thread and use your machine but don't get into a lot of detail about the actual how-to of serging or problem-solving. This book covers everything from needles to sewing with various types of threads to troubleshooting with lots of illustrations and photographs.

There is a reason why people buy sergers and never use them. Unlike sewing machines, sergers are a little more complicated and can be down right intimidating, so good reference books are a MUST! This book, along with "The New Singer Sewing With A Serger", have been very helpful to me. Sergers are great machines and reference books such as this will give you the confidence and ability to get through problems and master your serger.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2006
My wife was a first time user of a serger that I bought her for Christmas (I know - great Christmas gift - but it was what she wanted!) - anyways, she tells me that this book is very helpful for providing a lot of useful hints past the basic instructions you get with a new serger - she would recommend it for anyone who usually needs just a little more hints tht a basic instruction guide provides
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This book goes over what can go wrong when you serge--and it has lots of advice on making it go right. As an example, I was relearning my serger after a long hiatus. I had forgotten a lot of how to use the machine. At one point, I started to hear a loud "clack" when I stitched. The book let me know that a burred or dull needle will make a rhythmic clicking or clacking sound as it pulls up from the fabric. I changed the needle and the old needle did indeed have a burr on the end--I could feel it when I ran my finger down the point. If you are trying to get your rolled hems perfect or prevent loopy edges or any other number of issues that sergers can have, this is your guide.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2005
I was a little overwhelmed by my Singer serger but this book helps. It has so much good information that I can understand and I am not a professional in the sewing world, this is my hobby. I am now brave enough to try new threads and different serging techniques that I wouldn't have with only the information given in the manual that came with my machine. I also understand better the way a differential works, too. The books says the truth, it does "demystify" sergers. Now I feel that if I run into a problem I can find the answer in this book, fix it and get on with my project. Thanks for writing a good book on sergers!
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