I have been sewing since I was 8 years old and, believe me, that is a long time! My sister has always been the cook in the family and I was the sewist. She has recently found the joy of sewing. Most of the things she has made so far are for her grandchildren and I have to say, she is doing a great job. She has made some adorable baby and toddler items.
She got a serger last week and we got together and played with it. My goal was to show her that threading can seem complicated but it's not impossible. She bought a Brother 1034D and for the $200 she paid for it, it is a great little machine. If I needed a new serger, I would definitely buy one.
I am on my third serger in 25 years. My first one, that I bought in the mid 80s, was a basic 3 thread White that after about 5 years I killed when I hit some pins and not only ruined the knife but bent the loopers. It would have cost more to fix than I had paid for it. So then I bought a Pfaff that used awful industrial needles and you could spend hours trying to get it threaded. You almost needed to stand on your head to thread the loopers. It made a beautiful stitch if you were patient enough to thread it. I used it alot but a couple of years ago I just couldn't get the tension right. I still have it in a box in my sewing room but it is SICK (probably more like DEAD) and the local Pfaff dealer won't even look at it. He just wants to sell me a $2000 Baby Lock. Oh, no! About 18 months ago I bought a Janome 644D when they were discontinuing that model. I really like it. It's a good basic 3, 4 thread machine. I also have a Janome Coverpro 900CP that I just don't use as much as I thought I would. (I'm thinking I would if I did more sewing knits.)
Back to the title subject. On a recent trip to the local Joanns, I bought the Spring 2009 issue of Sew Stylish. It is a magazine aimed at 20 somethings from the publishers of Threads magazine. It has some really good, simple tutorials. It has articles on inserting zippers, how to read a pattern, how to sew in a sleeve, how to put in a hem by hand, how to fit a sundress top and more. It has so many good instructions that I have ordered 2 more copies of this issue...one for my sister and one for her daughter who got her first sewing machine for her birthday in May and is excited about learning how to sew. If you happen to see this magazine I would highly recommend getting it.