There were about 10 people in our class and almost everyone had a different machine. I am SO glad that I got the Babylock Imagine, which has automatic tension and a very easy threading system. Using it seriously couldn't be more simple. I can't imagine having to deal with tension knobs and the very complex threading on some of the machines. One poor woman brought her serger that was made in 1982 and ended up beyond frustrated with it.
Our instructor was Pamela Leggett, who has her own pattern line, Pamela's Patterns, and has written quite a few articles for Threads. She was very patient with all of us and our different machines and shared a bunch of great tips for using our sergers. She gave us a few sheets of different techniques and as we completed sampes of the techniques, we pinned them onto the pages.
This way we have a working notebook of the techniques and can refer back to them later. Since I have automatic tension, my Tension Control sheet was super easy to complete! If you have a serger that doesn't have automatic tension, this sheet works as a cheat sheet for what tension settings your machine needs for different types of fabric. You record the tension settings for each type of fabric and then you have a logical starting place when you work with that fabric in the future. It's a great system but I am so glad that I didn't have to bother with all of that fiddling!
We used this worksheet method for a few different techniques in a my very first sewing class and I think it's a great idea.
The Serger Workshop was from 10am-4:30pm, so it was a lot of information to remember. Being able to have an actual example of the technique is so much more informative than just taking notes.
I highly recommend taking a class with Pamela and at Steve's in general. But remember to wear layers—it was freezing in there!