I have dreamed about owning a serger for a very long time. Since before I really knew what a serger was used for, truth be told. My mom, who made me many wonderful outfits when I was a child, used to lament her limitations with regard to knits and stretchy fabrics. As an 80's teenager I was forced to craft stirrup pants without the benefit of this mythical machine. Although they turned out fine, I was sure they would have been better had I used a serger. Bathing suits and riding breeches were dreamed about but never made because it wasn't worth buying the fabric if you didn't have a serger.
When I was at university, I found a promotional contest with a serger as the grand prize in Canadian Living magazine and decided I would enter and win. Note that I did not intend simply to enter, but to enter and win. It was my first attempt at manifesting destiny and I had no doubts about my prospects of success. And why not? My apartment was filled with loot that my roommate's mother had procured by way of contests. Bicycles, T-shirts, electronics, appliances - Mrs. H. won them all. For several years in a row her winnings included at least one destination vacation, cruise or automobile. Mrs. H. approached the contest gig as a business, recording her expenses and the value of her winnings and she kept going only as long as she was making a profit. She even had a system: she only participated in contests that allowed multiple entries, and she sent in hundreds. When I decided to win the serger, Mrs. H. was in the middle of an extremely lucrative streak and I was eager to follow in her footsteps.
I have long since forgotten specific details, but I do remember that the contest rules specified that you could send in multiple entries as long as they weren't mechanically reproduced. So, one Sunday afternoon shortly before midterms, I sat down and wrote out my name, address and phone number on 100 slips of paper. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated and I started feeling a little uneasy about the studying that I was not doing. I had to wait until Monday to go to the post office for stamps. My quivers of doubt turned into sticker shock when I realized that 100 stamps were going to cost $40 - more than I was spending on groceries for a week. But I had already sealed my entries into $12 worth of envelopes so there was no turning back. I affixed the stamps and watched the envelopes disappear into the dark mouth of the mailbox.
I don't know if the envelopes ever reached their destination, but it turns out that I'm no prize winner . I continue to make my donation to worthy fund raising raffles, but I don't delude myself into thinking I might win something. Twice my name was selected for door prizes at work functions and twice I was disqualified because I wasn't present for the drawing. Once I was in the bathroom throwing up after accidentally eating gluten. I didn't even make it to the second party because my car wouldn't start and I was unable to get a taxi due to a huge snowstorm.
Well, I may not be lucky, but I am finally the proud owner of a brand-new Baby Lock Imagine serger. On the advice of several members of the Bend-The-Rules Sewing Flickr group I headed to my nearest independent sewing center to test-drive a few. Carol and Marie were extremely helpful in guiding me through the various features and comparing makes and models. They gave me a pile of scrap fabric and let me play by myself for over an hour, after which I decided I either had to buy one or spend the night in the store. Fortunately they had one in stock (and on sale!) so I was able to bundle it into my car along with several miles of thread. I hear that stirrup pants are back in style. I'm so ready.