I’ve steered away from making a lot of clothing in the past because I didn’t have a serger to make those clean finished edges that you see on ready-to-wear clothing.  However, I think that’s going to change with the most recent addition to my sewing machine collection!

White Super Lock 534 Serger

My main reason for not owning a serger was the cost.  While thrifting recently with my husband, he spotted the serger thread guide peeking out above all the items from an aisle away; you’ve got to love having a tall husband!  We rushed over and there she was, the White Super Lock 534 serger, sitting there waiting for me with a decent price tag of $49.99.  I had a 30% off coupon too so I was only $35 in.  I could not resist!

White Super Lock 534 Serger Machine

The machine is definitely not new, but it is in good shape.  I threaded it up with several different colours of thread so that I could see how the stitches came together and which ones needed adjusting.  There was a learning curve to threading the loopers, and I learned quickly that I had to thread them in a certain order in order for the stitches to actually lock together properly. When I started from left knob to right knob, every time I sewed the machine unthreaded itself from one of the loopers.  When I switched and threaded the machine from right knob to left knob instead (starting with the most complicated loopers first rather than the needles), instantly the machine was happy.

Serger Project 1: Red Polka Dot Knit Skirt

I have a box of sewing patterns in my craft room but as I’m currently pregnant, I didn’t have much on hand that would work for my recently rounder body.  I had a Simplicity 2608 knit skirt pattern available that was already cut out, so I decided to give it a shot. I hoped the knit material might be forgiving!

Knit pattern pieces cut out and ready for sewing and serging together

Other than sewing the two lines of gathering on the front panel of this skirt, I sewed this knit skirt entirely using the serger.  Here is the almost-finished product below.  Unfortunately my belly didn’t fit into the skirt, so I couldn’t actually get the skirt on.  I’ll have to save it for later!  I’ll hem it once I can try it on and see where I’d like the bottom of the skirt to hit on my knees.

Red Polka Dot Gathered Knit Skirt

Serger Project 2: Maternity Tank Dress

I was itching to make a project that I could actually wear, so I went to Fabricland and went through their clearance bin for some knit fabric to play with.  I found this purple snake skin printed knit for 75% off.  It has a lot of attitude so I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to pull it off!

I turned to the internet to find a pattern I could use with the fabric. I found the Women’s Tank Dress by Nap Time Creations  pattern which was a great starting point for my first serged dress.  I took the tank part of her pattern in size XL, but instead of attaching a skirt in the round to the tank, I extended the pattern pieces down into the trapezoid shape.  Stitching it up was easy-peasy since I only had the two side seams and the two straps.  I didn’t need a defined waist as in the original pattern, because well, what waist was there for me to define? Ha!

Snake Skin Print Knit Fabric - Pattern cut out and ready for serging

I learned a lot from making this dress.  For the neck line and arm holes, I serged the edges first.  Then I folded the serged edge over and sewed a line close to the edges to tack it down and act as top-stitching.  I used my sewing machine’s straight stretch stitch to do the job.

Serged Edges

For the bottom hem, I used a more generous turn-under, but followed the same concept with the straight stretch stitch.

Serged Hems

Here is a photo of the finished dress.  It’s not perfect, but not bad for my first serged project start to finish!  The bottom hem is a bit wavy.

Finished Knit Tank Dress

The dress came together nicely!  With the pregnancy, my work wardrobe has been slowly diminishing, but I think this tank dress works well for an office setting when dressed up with a bolero and belt.  The knit is quite stretchy so it should do me for a few more months!  I’m planning on making this dress again, but I want to bring up the neckline a little and experiment with a larger flare on the skirt.

DIY Maternity Dress | Craftcore Serger Follow Up

So far, I’m loving the White Super Lock 534.  It is real work horse and feels solid.  It doesn’t have a differential feed or any of those features you might find on the upgraded modern sergers, but I think this machine will do me well for making fun clothing projects, costumes, and even home decor sewing for quite some time.

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