How to Sew a 1/4″ Seam on the BabyLock Ovation Serger

Hey Everyone,  Thanks for all the lovely and encouraging comments!  Today is actually a response to two questions I received about how to sew a 1/4″ seam on the Ovation.    The method I’m about to show you to get an accurate 1/4″ seam can be applied at any serger…  It involved two different things:  First the cutting width setting  and secondly how to feed the fabric under the presser foot.   I used specific parts of the needle plate to guide the fabric under the presser foot.  If you don’t own an Ovation Serger, examine your needle plate and presser foot.  I’m sure you can find a guide that will work.  If not sent me a photo of your serger and we’ll figure it out!

BabyLock Ovation Serger Manual: How to Start to Sew and Chain Off (Page 25)

Hey Everyone,   I’m back from our short vacation at the Cape.  It was very fun!   Now it’s everything serger.  I’ve finished 6 of the video lessons for my new Fashion Serger Class coming soon to patternreview.com  …and I’ve shot some more fun videos for you guys too!   I want to take a minute and thank everyone who’s following along and watching my videos.   I’ve been receiving questions and comments via email  (this is very fun :) … In addition to answering your email, you may see your question as a topic for an upcoming video.  Please feel free to keep them coming!

Today I want to show you the “proper” way to start sewing with your serger and how to chain off.  It sounds simple enough, but there are a few good tips in there that can keep you from breaking a needle, knocking your machine out of timing or snapping a looper.

I also want to share a tip for working with hard to feed fabrics (This is one of the questions I received via email).   I was going to include it with today’s video, but it was getting on the long side, so I decided to save it for the next one.  I’ll post that on Sunday :)

Zip it Up – Easy Techniques for Zippered Bags

zipHey Everyone, I had to do a special post about this new Craftsy Class.   Have you ever had the opportunity to take a class from someone that you consider to be a hero in your sewing life?  Way back when I used to work at Manchester Sewing Center, I was in love with Lazy Girl Patterns.  If one of my co-workers was doing a class using one of Joan’s bag patterns, I was the first student to sign up.  Then, as I started to teach classes myself, one of the first classes I taught was The Thread Library. (I scooped this picture from the Lazy Girl’s website because I don’t have mine to take a photo of…)

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Recently, I was putting together a box of sewing supplies to give to one of my Mom’s good friends who loves to sew.  I put the Thread Library (full of threads) in with all the other goodies that I sent off.

So, when I noticed that Joan has a new class on Craftsy, I had to share it with you.   When you sign up for the class, three of her most popular patterns are included… Sweet Peapods, Becca Bags, and Fabulous Fobio Key Fob. The key fob is Lazy Girl’s newest pattern, and it’s a fast little project that can hold your keys and it attaches to your Becca bag!   …I’m signing up :)

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BabyLock Ovation Serger Manual: Cutting Blade Cover Seam Guide (page 24)

Hey Everyone,  I want to share my happy news with you.  My husband and I are having our marriage blessed in church with a full wedding mass this weekend.  I’ve been waiting for my husband to want to do with with me, and I’m beyond happy and excited.   We are going on a family vacation to the Cape, this will be the perfect beginning to a few days off!  …I thought I would find a dress… something nice, but not over-the-top wedding gownish.  I had no luck, so I decided to make my dress.  I started with Vogue 1032… a simple fitted dress with a V-Neckline.  After treating the bodice to a full bust adjustment, 3 extra inches of vertical length and making it a little more modest by moving the V up 4 inches… I stitched it up in some old matte jersey I had in my stash.  …I little fine-tuning, and I was ready to go.  I went to Banksville Fabric in Norwalk, CT and found beautiful Rayon Matte Jersey and beautiful Chantilly Lace.   In the end, I used the lace to overlay the bodice and waistband.    (That’s my excuse for not posting anything last week :)

I promise to do a “Tour of the Dress” video when we get back from vacation next week…I don’t want to show it now, because my husband hasn’t seen it, and I know he’s one of my YouTube fans :)  (I did put a few pics on instagram and on facebook)

Anyway… I’m also shooting my new Fashion Serger Techniques for PatternReview and I managed to upload another episode of the BabyLock Ovation Serger Manual too!   Check out how to use the seam guide that’s on the Cutting Blade Cover.  See how to use it if you’re working with both needles or just the right needle to get an accurate 5/8″ (and custom seam allowances too)… Let me know if you have questions :)  Enjoy

BabyLock Ovation Serger Manual: How to Set Up for a Cover Hem

Hey Everyone…  Today I want to show you how to set up for a cover hem on the Ovation.  The trickiest part for me was clicking the thread into the thread guides in the back of the machine.  No worries… now that I figured it out, it’s super easy!  On Friday this week I’m going to show you the variety of cover hem and chain stitches that you can use on the Ovation.

One note before you watch… I lost the footage from my “A Camera” … so there are no “beauty shots” of me talking, or wide angle views of what I’m doing… (so sorry about that!).   The only thing you really miss is a view of putting the cone thread on the thread stand and bringing the threads through the antenna guides on top of the thread stand.  If you need to see me do that, please check out one of my earlier videos  How to Thread the Ovation.

Questions, please let me know!

BabyLock Ovation Serger Manual: Differential Feed (page 13)

Hey Everyone… Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!   I’m looking forward to a fun weekend at Abby’s volleyball tournament.  It’s the last one of the season that I’ll be able to attend.   Plus, I’m also planning some floating time in the pool, I’m so excited for the warmer weather :)  Which brings me to a scheduling note…because of the Holiday, I’m going to post videos on Wednesday and Friday next week.

Today I want to explain and show you how to use the Differential Feed Settings on the serger.  If you do not have an Ovations, take a second to take note of what the specific number setting are on yours… That way, you’ll be able to compare them to what I’m showing you :)

I’m not going to go over specialty techniques that you can achieve using your differential feed in this video because I want to keep it short, but don’t worry, I will be getting that information to you soon!  (Things like Lettuce Edge and Gathering fabric).

I really wanted to wear one of my tees that I made out of a funky colored wool knit mixed with a gray knit that I used for the V-Neckline and armhole bindings…   I though I looked OK when I did my “beauty check” before getting in front of the camera…   Sadly, when I started editing the video, I scared myself!  So, I’ll be up close and personal for my talking points (I cropped out some of the scariness)!  Enjoy

 

BabyLock Ovation Serger Manual: Needle Threader – Stitch Length and Width

Hey Everyone, Who knew?  The standard needle threader that comes with most sergers and sewing machines actually works!  I’ve noticed them among the accessories for other machines that I’ve purchased, but I’ve never bothered to try it.  If you have trouble getting those needles threaded, give the needle threader a try!   I also want to review stitch length and width.  These are two adjustments that you can use to tailor the look of your stitch whether it’s being used for a decorative detail or to finish the edges.

Stitch Length on the serger works exactly like stitch length works on the sewing machine when you’re using the zig-zag stitch.  Usually the numbers on the stitch length dial refer to millimeters.  On the Ovation serger there are two stitch length ranges from .75 to 4, one for standard finishing and construction seams and one for rolled hem stitches.  When you adjust the stitch length, you’re adjusting the length of the needle stitches.  This brings the looper threads closer or farther apart.  The smaller the number on the stitch length dial, the closer the looper threads are …just like creating a satin stitch on your sewing machine.  When you pass over the “-0-” from standard to rolled hem, the stitch finger is disengaged for you! (That’s why there is two identical ranges of stitch lengths… The difference is “with stitch finger” for standard serging and “without stitch finger” for rolled hem.)

Stitch Width on a serger is really means “cutting width”.  The stitch width dial on the Ovation has two sets of number that refer to the distance from the tip of the needle to the cutting blade.  The larger numbers refers to the distance from the O1 (left needle) and the smaller numbers refers to the distance from the O2 (right needle). Just like with the stitch length, the lower the number, the smaller or more narrow the cutting width.     Adjusting the width of the stitch affects two things.  In addition to affecting the width of the stitch, you can also adjust the width to accommodate the weight of your fabric.  You may need to trim a little more off  by selecting a lower number on the width dial to get heavier fabrics to lay smoothly under the looper threads.  In reverse, you may need to cut a little wider to get lightweight fabrics to fill the looper threads.

Wider stitches need to be supported by the “stitch finger”.  All sergers have a stitch finger. With some brands, you may need to insert or remove the stitch finger for narrow stitches like a rolled hem.  Other brands and models may require you to adjust the stitch finger to engage or disengage it depending on the width of your stitch.  The stitch finger on the Ovation serger adjusts automatically when you adjust the width of the stitch.  It moves closer or farther with the cutting blade as you adjust the width of the stitch.

Let me know if you have questions!  Thanks for watching.

Baby Lock Serger Manual: How to Thread the Ovation

Hey Everyone… Good News, my husband assured me that we have excellent “Band Width” … So I can upload  “Threading Preparation” on my computer, and “How to Thread the Ovation” on his laptop!   I’m really excited that all of the “preliminary” videos will be completed today.   I focused on the Ovation to get to the point where the machine was threaded.  …On Tuesday, I’ll still be using the Ovation, but most of the information will be useful to everyone who owns a serger.

I’ve also made great progress on the new serger class I’m working on for Patternreivew.com.  My approach in planning this class is a little different.   I’ve been making tees, ponte knit jeans and skirts, experimenting with different stitches, threads and techniques.  I’m excited about how this class is shaping up!   Check out the “behind the scenes” on my instagram.

There are two videos today… First I want to review page 19 of the manual…How to put a variety of different kinds of thread on the spool stand.  You may need to use the cone holder, spool caps with/without foam or thread nets to help the thread spool off properly.

The second video shows how easy it is to thread the Baby Lock Ovation using the air feeding system.  I also show how to use the lint brush/needle inserting tool…  Hope you like them…. Questions? Please let me know!!

Baby Lock Ovation Serger Manual: Accessories – Needles and Threads – Set Up

Hey Everyone,  Today’s Episode of the Baby Lock Ovation Serger Manual covers everything you need to know before you thread the machine.  Instead of one longer video, I’ve uploaded three separate videos.  That way, you can watch what you’re interested in, and skip what you’re not!   I’m excited to rev up the engine and show you all the things that a serger can do, but we have to get through all the preliminary stuff first.    So, check out today’s videos and let me know if you have questions!