November 27, 2020

I Finally Did it! (well, kind of)

As I mentioned recently, my sister asked if I could make her some scrub caps with a ponytail holder on it to cover her hair when she's at work. (She's an occupational therapist and works closely with COVID patients.)

I said sure, and I was excited to sew something. It's been a while since I made all the masks, so I think I'm ready to look at the machine again ;)  

However, I have been having SUCH a hard time learning how to use the serger! I can thread it no problem, but I have trouble figuring out the correct tension on the threads (there are four threads and they each have their own tension). 

The pattern for scrub caps that I received from my friend/reader Gail said to serge all the edges before sewing them together. I was excited to get to use the serger! I felt ready to figure it out. I got an email from a reader who helped me troubleshoot a little, and then this morning after my walk I watched several YouTube videos about it.

After Jerry left for work, I went out to the garage and set up my sewing machine and serger, ironing board and iron, and a fabric cutting station. It was nice to have so much space out there! 

I spent about 45 minutes making tiny adjustments to the tension, trying to work out which thread's tension needs to be changed. Eventually, I found the sweet spot! I don't think it's PERFECT, but it looks much better than the piece I'd already tried. 

This was the first attempt:

See how messy it looks?! I didn't know what to adjust and I felt like each adjustment made it worse. But then today, after my reader's email and watching the YouTube videos, I made a much nicer edge today:

Since I got the tension to the correct adjustments, I then switched from the practice fabric to the actual pieces of the pattern. It went really well! I'd even watched a video on YouTube today about how to turn a corner with the serger (something that I couldn't figure out) and that was super helpful because I got to try it today.

Making the pattern was fairly easy. The instructions weren't very good so I had to do my best guess on parts. Anyway, I managed to figure out the tension for the fabric so now I can start doing more with my serger! And then I finally made a scrub cap for Jeanie, but when I tried it on, it was a little big, hahaha. I'll just consider it my practice one and maybe I'll try another tomorrow. 

This is what it looks like:

It has a cover for her hair and then you wrap the ties around it to make sure all of your hair is covered.

I'm excited to learn more about the serger and maybe make a few projects while trying it out. :)


  1. Congrats! I know you were having a hard time with it, but also really wanted to help and also needed a project to work on. Happy for you! :)

    1. Thank you! It is SO overwhelming--still--but I'm determined to get better at it :)

  2. Well done! Tension on a sewing machine is difficult. Good for you to figure it out on the very difficult serger. You’re a champ!!

    1. Thank you! I've always left my sewing machine on the same tension--haha! But the serger is totally different. It's fun--although challenging--to learn something new :)

  3. I'm so glad you figured out the serger! I was bummed that it was causing you so many problems (though I wasn't surprised!). So happy for you!

    1. Me too! I thought I'd NEVER understand. And I still don't, really--haha! But I am more confident and I am still excited to keep playing with it :)


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