The year was 1984. The buzz in the sewing community was all about sergers. Doing what I do for a living, I knew that I had to purchase one, but in Beaver Dam WI a serger wasn’t to be found. To save travel time, I simply ordered a serger via mail.

When the package arrived, I obviously opened the box and lifted off the molded-Styrofoam cover to reveal this magical machine. Hmm, interesting—there were three threads still partially threaded through the tensions. Without thinking, I pulled out the threads. Later I read the instructions.

For those of you who own or have owned a serger, you know what happened next. It took me the better part of an hour to rethread the serger, while practically standing on my head to thread the lower looper and just about loosing my religion in the process. I later read in the instructions that the only sane way to change threads is to clip the thread at the base of the cone thread and then tie on the new color, pulling the new color through the tension dials. First lesson learned.

After learning a few more tricks of the trade, I presented my first serger program on Sewing With Nancy in 1985. My 3-thread serger could stitch a 3-thread overlock, rolled edge, and flatlock stitches. That machine changed the way I sewed, including never pulling out the thread tails from the serger tension guides!

PR shot with Early Serger in '88

Fast-forward 27 years. A serger still amazes me. Gone are the days of tying on threads in order to rethread the machine—ExtraordinAir Threading Systemis just as its name implies. Expanded are the stitch offerings—such as the 4 to 8-thread overlock, chain stitch, and cover stitch. Then, there’s differential feed, giving us the ability to control the pace at which the fabric is fed through the machine—fascinating!

2011 style serger—Baby Lock's Evolution

With this newfound information, I continually update my serger sewing skills and pass that information along to you. Today at, you’ll be able to view my latest finds in serger sewing. The eight-minute segment on Edgy Ruffles—Serger Style showcases three different techniques: Effortless rolled-edge finish made possible with a secret stabilizer (you’ll have to watch the video to find out), an elegant ruffled finish with a specialized wave stitch, and my favorite—learn how to gather with the chain stitch (no pulling threads necessary).

These techniques are featured on Indygo Junction’s London Jacket; it’s the perfect palette to showcase your newfound serger knowledge! You can find this jacket pattern, plus all the other notions featured on this video segment at your participating Baby Lock dealer.

Close-up of chain-stitch gathers and an edgy ruffled edge


London Jacket with Edgy Rufflles

Wave-stitch rolled edge

Edgy Ruffles—Serger Style is our April video on Nancy Zieman TV. You can find out more information on the techniques featured; just visit your local Baby Lock Dealer. Also, thanks to all the Baby Lock Retailerswho sponsor Nancy Zieman TV. If you sign-up on your local, participating retailer’s mailing list, you’ll receive notices of the new videos on Nancy Zieman TV, plus, you’ll receive coupons for some of the products featured during the online lesson.

Let me know your favorite serger techniques. Or, tell me what serger techniques/stitches you’d like to see demonstrated. I’m here to help!

Bye for now,

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