Tuesday, March 9, 2021

What I'm Reading: A Beginner's Guide to Overlockers, Sergers & Coverlockers

Okay, so maybe I don't need to read a beginner book if I've had my serger for like, 8 years. But the problem with knowing what you're doing is that you can get stuck in a rut. It's never a bad idea to refresh yourself on techniques you may have forgotten all about, so I had no qualms about picking up this book at my library.

Like most serger books, A Beginner's Guide to Overlockers, Sergers & Coverlockers starts off explaining the different types of machines. Right off the bat, I learned something! Admit it, you don't know the difference between an overlocker and a serger either. The author explains that an overlocker only cuts and finishes edges. It does not do the fancy stitches like a rolled hem, which is possible on a serger. The book also discusses coverlockers (known to me as coverstitch machines) and combination machines (overlocker and coverlocker in one). 

The first 40 pages of the book are informative and get into the fine details of each machine and its parts, thread, fabric, appropriate stitches, and machine threading. The rest of the book contains 15 projects you can complete on a serger and/or coverstitch machine, ranging from pillows to tank tops to make up bags.

If you are new to these machines and don't have the ability to take a class, working your way through this book would be a great alternative. Each project builds on skills and gives enough exacting detail to ensure success. Some of the later projects even get into specialized presser feet, which is rare in these kinds of books. Unfortunately for me, my library's copy was missing the patterns, so I can't comment on them. Whomp whomp. 

It was clear from reading this book that the author has forgotten more about overlockers than I'll ever know, but I did think she was a little quick to assume that all machines are the same. For example, my serger (the perennial favorite Brother 1034d) does not make a chainstitch. Reading the manual is still the first thing you should do whenever you get a new machine, because they are not all the same.

For the beginner serger/coverstitcher willing to work through some projects in order to learn, this book is a great place to start. There are a lot of photos, concise text, and professional guidance. Just keep in mind that no generic book will ever replace your particular machine's manual.

Curious about other beginner serger books? Check out my other reviews in this post. This blog contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

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