Serger Secrets: High-Fashion Techniques for Creating Great-Looking Clothes by Mary Griffin, Pam Hastings, Agnes Mercik and Linda Lee Vivian (1998)


Serger Secrets: High-Fashion Techniques for Creating Great-Looking Clothes by Mary Griffin, Pam Hastings, Agnes Mercik and Linda Lee Vivian (1998)


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Serger Secrets: High-Fashion Techniques for Creating Great-Looking Clothes by Mary Griffin, Pam Hastings, Agnes Mercik and Linda Lee Vivian (1998) is reviewed by individuals who actually purchased this highly rated book.

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By A Customer
This review is from: Serger Secrets: High-Fashion Techniques for Creating Great-Looking Clothes (Rodale Sewing Book) (Hardcover)

Susan Huxley and crew have done it again. Like their earlier “almost a textbook” classic, “Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry,” their new book covers introductory basics and proceeds through an alpha section on specific techniques. The introductory section includes pages and pages of charts on threads, stitches, needles and special use stitches. All include clear photographs, careful descriptions and appropriate uses. The photographs of current machines get right IN there better than you can right in front of your own machine. To whet your appetite for decorative serging there follows a photo gallery of dozens of gorgeous garments serged with techniques explained in the encyclopedic section. The encylopedic section covers just about every decorative serger technique conceivable plus some. There are twenty-one pages on heirloom sewing alone and seven different decorative uses for flatlocking. Each entry provides the details on machine settings, feet, fabric, threads and notions. The detail is summarized for each in a sidebar; the accompanying text goes into more detail and the photographs are actually helpful. The five authors of this book have produced some absolutely gorgeous wearable art – that is actually wearable. Agnes Mercik’s bomber jackets will have you all running to the fabric stores to get your own jackets started. Linda Lee Vivian and Mary Griffin’s heirloom sewing make make me give up Victoria’s Secret – I’ll do my own lingerie now thank you. Ok so there are some ‘goofyisms’ in the text — probably the editorial team should have made sure the whole thing was reviewed by at least one of the five authors. For example, the caption under one photograph of the guts of a five thread machine (I happen to own the same model) states that all three loopers are never threaded at the same time. Oops. Of course they are — you don’t get a five thread stitch otherwise. Just as in “Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry” you chalk some stuff off as endearing oversights. (“Sewing Secrets” advocates trimming most seam allowances BEFORE sewing. And how, one asks, would one do any fitting adjustments then?) So what?! You wouldn’t be referring to this book if you didn’t even know how to thread your machine. Are you ready to really push the serger envelope past overlocking edges? Grab this book at this great price and get your serger screaming!

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This review is from: Serger Secrets: High-Fashion Techniques for Creating Great-Looking Clothes (Paperback)

I got my first serger a few months back, a high end Husqvarna Viking Serger, the Huskylock 936, which has 5 thread serging as well as cover stitch (incl chain stitch) capabilities. I must admit, I felt quite intimidated, since there is a huge step from understanding and mastering an ordinary sewing machine to understanding and mastering such a 5 thread wonder, with all it’s parts, threading etc. The Huskylock 936 is wonderful in that it is computerized and when you pick which seam you want to use and the type of fabric, it tells you which tension etc. to use. But, no matter how much automatic stuff, if you sew quite a bit, the time comes where you have to adjust settings to get the result you want, especially if you want to sew on challenging fabrics using challenging threads, ribbon, yarn etc. for special effects. No matter which year model of serger you have, whether it is computerized or not, sergers are pretty much the same. When I look into mine, I see the same basic parts as on other brands and models and also have no problems understanding the explanations in Serger Secrets, even if they show it on different/older sergers. For that reason I strongly disagree with the reviewer who gave a super low score saying that “Sergers has come a long way in 10 years”, indicating that the sergers in this books were obsolete and that this book won’t be of help if you have a new serger. I could not disagree more! I must say, after getting the book, I read it quite quickly, as it was so easy to read and understand, everything felt really useful and for that reason it was even fun and excited reading. I could not put it down and got read eager to start trying out all the techniques etc. that the book shows you, amongst others because I started feeling like I really understood how this machine works. That help is really good to get, it really gives you a lift. I must add though, that when I looked at serger books here on Amazon, I found it difficult to choose, I felt like getting a few, as several seemed really nice. I had to decide on getting one basic book to learn me how to work the machine and how to be able to get everything out of it that it can do. I have not regretted at all that I chose this book for that! I chose to add one other book though: The Ultimate Serger Answer Guide: Troubleshooting for Any Overlock Brand or Model (Creative Machine Arts Series). I felt that it would be useful to have that one as a reference book in handling problems that could arise. The latter one is IMO not the type of book you just read through, but when I find myself having to handle a challenge, I look the problem up in that guide and easily (every time) finds the solution. The book list several possible answers, but most of the time the first option has solved it for me! It simply lets me solve things without any frustrations, which is worth a lot. When I start a project and I’m unsure about something, I quickly look it up in Serger Secrets to remind me of what I already read – just love this book for that. It really gives me all the answers I need. The intimidation I felt at first, was gone after reading a bit of this book, since it quickly gave me the confidence to start experimenting, and when I was done reading it, I felt real confident that I would be able to learn the ropes necessary to have a ball with my new serger, creating clothes and other things for myself/others. For any person new to serging, or those that never got started with the serger they got quite a while ago, I can’t recommend this book enough and the same goes for the other one I mentioned. They are a perfect pair and no doubt a must have, as I see it! Since I mostly sew with knits and would like to learn all the techniques used for such fabrics, I ended up adding a third book after a while, Singer Sewing with Knits (Singer Sewing Reference Library), also a super easy to read book which has so many useful techniques for creating clothing from knit fabrics. Couldn’t put that one down either when I got it and use it to look up things when needed. That book is also an older book, only available used (from only $0.97-2.71, I got mine at $0.99 and to my surprise it was new even if it was sold as used), but it really does not matter that it is 18 years old! What it shows you, are techniques as usual and useful today as they were when the book was new in 1992 (it really doesn’t matter that the photo’s show outdated clothing!). These three books really has been great, they’re giving me the results I want! Getting that professional finish without going through the frustration of having to figure things out by trial and error (or not being able to do certain things) or having to go to a course to learn, is really great! Can’t ask for more!

And, real important to me, nothing has been too complicated for me to utilize, including language wise (with English not being my native language). I really appreciate it when books are as easy to read and understand as this one (and the other two I referred to)!

Conclusion Rating
Purchasers found Serger Secrets: High-Fashion Techniques for Creating Great-Looking Clothes to be of the highest quality.

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