I've just finished setting up and playing with my very first overlocker - or serger, if you're visiting from the USA.
I bought it from a wonderful man at Mr Stitches/Canberra Sewing. He sat me down in front of the display machine and taught me how to thread it, how to adjust all the dials, what the different effects were and how to achieve them by adjusting the aforementioned dials.
If you're in Canberra, you cannot get better service than at Mr Stitches. The man who owns the store and served me is actually called Peter, but there used to be a sign out the front that said "Mr Stitches", so he'll always be Mr Stitches to me.
(Side-note to anyone wanting to go check out his store, the sign now says "Stitches of Canberra" - it's in Colbee Court, in Philip, on the opposite side of the court to the medical centre.)
I bought my first sewing machine from Peter years ago, my little Brother NS10. Again, he showed me how everything works, how to adjust all the settings, even how to wind the bobbin! If I can, I buy all of my sewing hardware there, as it's a local business that's well worth supporting. He also sells a great range of quilting fabric and haberdashery supplies!
(In case I've been too subtle: Canberra region sewists, make your next purchase from Stitches of Canberra!)
Anyway, after Peter's excellent tutelage (during which my husband stood by patiently - thank you husband!) I felt confident enough to pull my new overlocker out of its box, plug it all in, pull out the sample with its pre-threaded tail, pop in my new red spools of thread, thread it all up, run through a quick test swatch, then mend an old shirt that I'd been meaning to fix for about three years.
Yes, that's right: the very first thing I used my overlocker for was not a silly little tote bag or equally straightforward project, it was a delicate seam reconstruction of an old favourite that I am terribly attached to.
And you know what?
It worked brilliantly!
I'm finally wearing it again, comfy as the day I bought it! No really, I'm literally wearing it right now, as I type this.
So thank you, Peter, AKA Mr Stitches. I cannot sing your praises enough.
Oh, and Brother are pretty neat too, for making such an easy-to-use entry-level overlocker.
Now onto my next project: the red cowl-necked dress!