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on July 25, 2014
There's a reason this book is still in print after a quarter of a century! It occupies a useful niche not duplicated in any other books I've seen so far. It has more focus on the practicalities of actual garment construction. [Edited to add: it's been updated a few times since 1985.]

The bathing suit construction sequence alone may save me many times the price of the book.

The book assumes you are an experienced though not necessarily expert sewer. So, it is pithy, and in some cases assumes you will take the information and run with it. (E.g. a tip about extending a facing assumes that with a clear line drawing you will be able to figure out how to do it--without a blog-like series of ten steps with photographs.)

The tips on using pearl cotton or something woolly in the loopers as very compatible in look with sweater knits are helpful, and a spur to creative design. The tips on facing to stabilize these knits are also good. The serged barrel buttons for a sweater or coat are brilliant. I feel I am much closer to being able to realize a nice-looking "blanket-stitched" coat with roll cuffs, or a sweater-jacket, after reading this book.

Some of the construction information this book supplies might be found in the instructions for a sewing pattern intended specifically for sergers, but this little book will help you adapt patterns you already own for serger use, and that's the beauty of it.

The line drawings ARE clear and in some cases more so than a photo would be. Yes, the fashions shown in some cases are dated, but the information is still helpful.

The serger information is generic, not specific to a certain brand of serger, so in some cases you are referred to your manual for machine-specific instructions. Machines do differ.

In addition to what the book DOES cover, I'd have liked some hints on how to do a few more of the common waistband treatments that employ sergers, such as serging a narrow seam allowance on the inside and topstitching or stitching in the ditch, instead of folding under and stitching by hand. That one I can figure out in the case of a full elastic waist, but when there's interfacing, a button, a buttonhole, and the ends of the waistband are sewn and turned, while the rest is serged as I just described . . . for that, it would be useful to have sequenced instructions! Also for waists with only back or side elastic! These are excellent waistlines and I'd like to know how to do them.

A few other areas could usefully be expanded. There's not much on differential feed, though what's there is correct. If you have d.f., read your manual and learn when to use it, because it's invaluable for stretchy knits--and knits are why many people own a serger.

All in all, a very good and useful book, and if the concept were expanded just a bit, it would be fantastic. Maybe it's time for the 2014 version?
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on September 27, 2007
I have purchased LOTS of different serger books, all of which teach you how to thread your machine and adjust for a balanced stitch, many of which suggest weird "crafty" applications for sergers -- but this is the first book I've found that tells you how to start incorporating your serger into a variety of basic garment construction: children's wear, underpants, jeans, sweaters -- you name it. The clothing styles in the illustrations are a bit dated, and I wish the book was larger and had color photos rather than line illustrations so as to be easier on the eyes, but the techniques apply just as easily to current fashions. The content of this book more than makes up for the lackluster visual appeal. How to adapt commercial pattern instructions, change sewing order, and techniques for the serger in garment construction, proper threads and needles for different types of fabrics are all covered well. This might not be the ONLY serger book you'll ever need, but it will be a handy reference for any new serger owner or for anyone who has been using their serger just to overcast seam allowances and who wants to learn more.
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on July 22, 2013
I bought this book and it was very helpful when I bought my first serger.

Ultimate endorsement: my grandmother bought it in 1985 with her first serger too. Now that she's dead I have 2 copies.

The illustrations are great, and it has tips on making legwarmers and stirrup pants. Sure, you can find all this information on the internet, but what will your grandchildren put on their bookshelves when you die?
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on June 16, 2017
Have first serger and love the help given in book
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on June 12, 2011
As an experienced sewer I am very comfortable and adept with my sewing machine but the serger was a little scary. Then I accidentally cut a hole in a garment I was serging and I put the serger away. I purchased this book and several others to help me overcome my serger fear and begin using this amazing machine. I have been following the steps slowly and am getting more comfortable with it. I highly recommend it for beginners because it is very detailed and for more experienced users, as it has provides helpful hints and insights for a variety of uses.
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on March 25, 2014
If you have a serger, you need this book. Very easy to follow, answers most all of your beginner level questions. Gives some ideas of projects to start out with. I use it as a reference when I forget a "how to". I have become a fan of all books by Pati Palmer, as they are easy to read, with easy-to-follow instructions. Try her fitting books too!
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on August 23, 2013
I just purchased my first serger and was very anxious to receive this book....I was surprised that it came so quickly Aug 17th (just 3 days after purchase!!!) and....I quickly looked through and it is LOADED with informative information...it seems to cover every issue plus much much more!! i know that I will use this book as a constant reference for getting to know all the ins and outs of serging. Highly recommend! I also purchased Seger Secrets at the same time....now I am ready to get busy serging !!!!
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on August 27, 2014
i love my serger and i love this book. when i was first working with my serger it was a constant source of frustration. i decided to order this book with its great illustrations and wonderful explanations, and it has been instrumental in my ability to thread and enjoy my machine.
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on June 27, 2010
I have sewn for years, but using a serger is new to me. I originally bought this book to assist me with the decision of what serger(s) to buy, as well as a resource. It is full of basic information and helpful hints. There are many diagrams to help with various sewing applications, and the explanations are easy to understand. Although the book primarily deals with clothing construction, one chapter discusses decorating applications. I'm glad I added this book to my sewing library.
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on April 4, 2012
I have never owned a serger before and thought I needed a tutorial of some kind before I attempted to use the new serger I bought. The DVD that came with the serger didn't give me the instruction I really needed and this book was great. I will keep it in the serger tote case because I know I will be using it often.
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