This is how the machine arrived after unpacking it:
These aren't very good pictures but it's difficult to take pictures of thread. The threads are crossing over each other instead of lining up above the thread spools. I attempted to untangle a few spools and didn't think to take pictures until I had unwrapped a few threads but this is what remains after that failed attempt. At first, I didn't realize anything was wrong because I had never used a serger. After looking at my instruction book and following the thread path I knew something was up.
I'm not sure how it happened but I doubt it came from the factory this way. Nor can I imagine it could sew without breaking the thread yet under the presser foot was a sample sewn. Regardless, I had to rethread it before I could test that all was working correctly.
This is what it looks like threaded correctly. It didn't take over a half hour of reading and following the directions. I took pictures of the inside before unthreading it.
I didn't mention that the first thing I did was to oil the machine. It only tells you that on page 57 of the instructions - after it has you try a test sample. Interesting! After the first few minutes of confusion over the instructions to be honest, they aren't bad. If I could do this in just 30 minutes, others could probably do it faster. I hadn't slept the night before and I'm sure it would have been easier if I were well rested.
This is a sample of the first stitches:
Nice that it arrives with four different colors of thread. It makes the threading and stitches easier to recognize. This was sewn on a cotton/lycra jersey with the out of the box settings. Not bad, huh?
The next thing I did was to start documenting the fabric and settings in a notebook:
Sorry for the shadows but I have terrible lighting as I discovered when attempting to thread it. I'll have to get another general light for my sewing area. The machine's lighting is good for the stitch area but these older eyes need something more! BTW - the stitching along the lower edge was from my sewing machine while I was testing out a new stretch stitch. This was just a scrap of fabric.
I next labeled all the dials because I know I'll have trouble remembering which is which:
The illustrations on the machine are color coordinated and you can tell which thread belongs to each part of the serge. Helpful in tension adjustments. Did I say that right? Is there an actual word named "serge" as a nown rather than a verb? What would you call the collective group of stitches? I'm sure there is something proper, it just evades my memory at the moment.
I also labeled the areas for the width, length and differential:
I can't wait for my patterns from Style Arc to arrive and the fabric I ordered from Fabric Mart during their sale!