Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Marvelous Monday Darlings

Howdy Hon,

What day is it?  Woot-woot, Marvelous Monday Darlings!

It's been a long weekend for me.  My goddaughter got married and who was asked to make 15 dozen deviled eggs, yep that's right, me.  In case you were wondering that's 360 deviled egss, TOTAL>>>YIKES!  I was up all night, no really, ALL NIGHT!.  We laid down at 5:30am only to be back up at 9:30am to put the finishing touches on them (I do something a little different with mine that no one else does, at the moment) and then pack them into coolers, shower, dress, and drive to a neighboring city (actually 2 before the day was over).  Then was up all day for the wedding and activities.  But it was a beautiful wedding and I am so happy for her.  We had to be back up early to drive to neighboring city again for Sunday morning branch presidency meeting,  then church service, then Linger Longer, clean up and finally the drive back home.   But I am very thankfully that due to someone else also bringing deviled eggs (of course our side only wanted mine, tee-hee) to the reception we had enough left to take to the church Linger Longer the next day.  Woo-hoo double score, because let me tell you, there is no way I could have come home and cooked that night.  Anywhoooo... here I am up late tonight typing this blog.   Yes, I could have done it earlier, but you have no idea how tired I was, everything hurt today and I was bed bound!  But no more excuse a blog (and the blogger) must be consistent! Right?? Right!!

So, let's do it! 

Today I am going to share with you one of my classes from my favorite site Craftsy! What is Craftsy?  You can go to their about page and learn a bit more about them.  But basically it's an online school of sorts.  They have hundreds of classes that you can choose from in a variety of interest.  You buy a class, of course you can start with a couple of the free classes, and anytime you are ready to learn from that class you go to the website, pull up the class (on your desk computer, laptop, IPad, smartphone or tablet) and watch it at your convenience and at your own speed.  The set up is great, you can even ask questions and talk with you instructor or fellow classmates.  And the questions stay on the right side of screen for all to see, at any time.  You just click on the question that interest you and there you will see all the responses on that question.  The videos are High Quality and a joy to watch.  The best part, THEY ARE YOURS!! They NEVER expire and you can watch them AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT!!!

I have many classes with Craftsy, free and paid.  The first one I want to review for you today is 'Beginner Serger' -Machine Basics and Techniques- with Amy Alan.

CLASS DESCRIPTION:  Sewing instructor Amy Alan introduces you to the endless potential of the serger, an overlock sewing machine. Once you discover how easy and versatile it is, you'll be hooked! Start with serger threading and maintenance, then learn basic and decorative stitches. Create a serger stitch book you can reference again and again, and get all the troubleshooting techniques you need to serge like a pro. Practice your serging on three fun skill-building projects.

I got my serger as a birthday present this year thanks to my dear sweet hubby!  I had been saving for it and planning to buy it so it was up on my wall over my desk.  Which turns out is not only a great thing to do to help me remember what I really want but, it's also a great place for dh to get ideas of what he can get as the perfect gift.  That people is a WIN WIN.  I was so excited and planning to change the appearance of all my garments to have a cleaner finish and look more professional.  Well, that was great and all but, there is a bit of knowledge that has to come first.  LOL.  Although I figured out enough on my own to be able to do my goal of nicer finishes.  I was always in fear of changing the thread spools, of having broken threads, stitches too loose or too tight.  Then what?!?!  And, let's not forgot there are so many cools things a serger can do other than overlocking our seams.  I was determined to find a way to learn all those things so I could progress faster in my skill level.  Especially since I was opening my Etsy store and would be selling things that I made.  So who did I turn to, one of my greatest institutions of learning Craftsy (YouTube being my favorite institution).

The Beginner Serger, -Machine Basics and Techniques- with Amy Alan, has been such a great help to me on my journey to becoming well acquainted with my serger thereby becoming a more professional seamtress (even if still in training, lol)!  I will be breaking this review into 2 parts.  Part 1 will be the review of the class and Part 2 will be the review of the projects that we did in this class.  I will also be giving away the 3 projects I completed for this class, FREE, to 3 lucky readers!  All you have to do is subscribe to this blog (I know you may think that this is just a shameless attempt to get subscribers, yep, you're right!).  And leave me a comment below.  

**FYI- I should also let you know that I am now an affiliate of Craftsy, but this review is my own.  I bought this class on my own and receive no compensation for it or my review.  However, now that I am an affiliate, it means that if you should decide to click on any of the links in the side bar, or special pricing post I put in the future, will lead to a small compensation to me.  If you decide to click on any of those links please know I greatly appreciate your support!!**

In this class the instructor is Amy Alan.  She has the sweetest personality I have ever seen.  She has one of those sweet smiles that you only see on babies, just a joyful countenance.  That alone makes her worth watching.  Amy is very clear, engaging, informative and enthusiastic.  She was very knowledge on the topic of sergers.  The class is done in 8 Lessons, plus a bonus lesson from Amy as a 'thank you' for taking her class.  How sweet is that!

Photo of Amy Alan

Amy Alan, Instructor of Beginner Serging

Amy teaches sewing at Modern Domestic in Portland, Ore. and blogs at Really Handmade. She started crafting as a small child and has always made an effort to turn the everyday into art!

Lesson 1 - Introduction:  is about Amy, Craftsy, what to expect in the class and getting ready.  She also tells you about the course material provided and where to find it.  This is very vital information so that you know right off the bat what you will need to be successful in the class.  The handouts also include things such as what you will need for the projects at the end, a resource list, forms that show samples of work and useful tips to remember.  She provides worksheets for us to make a sample notebook that is based on our own experiences and our own machines.  This will be very helpful in the future trying to recreate the learned technique.  

Lesson 2 - Your Serger and How it Works:  is about threads, tensions, loopers, blades, dials, needles, changing colors and a whole lot more.  This is very helpful because you may know you sewing machine well, but I'm pretty sure there are no loopers on it, lol.  So in my case, I knew nothing about loopers nor how to recognize which thread was which looper.  Which tensions to change based on what the serge track looked like.  Changing colors was like creating a mini heart attack on demand, breath breath.   Now I can almost do it blindfolded, knowledge is power!  Understanding the cutting blade is also great to know.

Lesson 3 - Basic Stitches:  She teaches about 4, 3, and 2 thread overlock, flatlocks, rolled hem, stitch issues, and a whole lot more.  This was of course my favorite part.  I always wanted to do a rolled hem using my serger, tee-hee!  And all the different overlocks and flatlocks was simply amazing.  She was easy to understand and it was not too fast pace but no so slow you began to see sheep jumping over the fence.  It kept my attention (which isn't always easy, oh look there's a chicken).  I learned so much for this lesson and look forward to using flatlocks now.   I also appreciate the information on LOOPERS!!

Lesson 4 - Decorative Stitches:  I had no idea all this was possible with my serger.  This section went over various decorative stitches and various types of threads that can be used.  This was very interesting.  When I think decorative stitches I think of my beloved Cindy Lou (my brother's sewing machine) now she may become a little jealous that Ricardo (my brother's serger) has the ability to do a little decorating himself.  LOL, it's the battle of the machines.  Oh, back on point.  I appreciate her offering this lesson, although it was not vital in learning to use my serger it is very good to know everything that it is capable of.  Thereby giving me more options as a seamstress.  

Lesson 5 - Troubleshooting Your Serger:  is about issues with tension, machine, cleaning your machine and so much more.  This lesson should be required for all serger purchases.  You should definitely know how to do regular maintenance on your machine to keep it running smoothly.  She shows you how to clean it and what to take out and what you should NOT use to clean your machine and why.  Troubleshooting is always needed for any machine.  These are also included in the course material handouts so you will be able to reference them quickly when needed.  

Lessons 6, 7, 8:  These are your projects.  Each of these lessons is one new projects you get to make using a different technique and/or thread you just learned about (that I will be giving away FREE in part 2)!

Lesson 9:  is the BONUS lesson that Amy gives just as a 'Thank You' for taking her class.  That's a very giving person.  I enjoyed this lesson and the information that it provided.  I will only tell you that it was very informative and useful in my serger future!  You'll have to go get the class from here to find out what this lesson was about. 

That's it for Part 1 hon's.  I will have Part 2 posted next week and I will be giving away each project.  All you have to do is subscribe to the blog (I know, SMH, shamelss) and leave a comment.  You can just say, 'Hi Hon!', a comment, question or some helpful tip you have learned in using your serger.  

Well my dears, I now realize that it is 5:36am, Tuesday, phooey.  

Love and Shimmies,

P.S.  All the words in darkish red are links!  I couldn't resist not using some color for the other words!  :-)

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