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Thread: serger selection

  1. #1
    Member masmipa's Avatar
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    i am new to serging--and frankly don't know what threads do what stitches. i am hoping to find an inexpensive (probably used) serger. My main machine is a Bernina 630E--(so i blew the budget on that!)...

    what features should i look for in a serger? should i stick with Bernina for any synergy between the features/usage/accessories of my main machine?

    any suggestions on where to find a good deal on a used serger?

    any recommendations on the 'need' for coverstitch capability? :?:

    thanks for any suggestions!!

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It's not at all necessary to stick with the Bernina brand for your serger; there is no feature interchangeability between a serger and a sewing machine.

    IMO, you definitely want differential feed. Probably most sergers have that now, but back when I bought mine it was optional. It *really* helps with sewing on a variety of stretches and eliminates the need for a third hand. :D

    I did not buy one with a coverstitch and have regretted it ever since. It's really easy to make t-shirts and other types of tops on a serger and the coverstitch provides a very professional finish. Without it, a lot of my stuff looked more on the "homemade" side.

    A lot of people really like automatic threading -- where the air blows your threads into place. Threading is the most tedious aspect of serger use, so this might be worth looking into. It's a feature I'd like to have.

    Before buying any serger, check the reviews at http://www.patternreviews.com . Check Craigslist, eBay, and your local sewing machine dealerships for used machines. Check the reviews before purchasing, and I would probably also check the model for "completed listings" on eBay to see what they actually sold for there.

  3. #3
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Check out the new BabyLock. (I am not a dealer). I bought one a few months ago and I love it. It has air that blows the thread through the loopers. It's very quiet and so easy to use.

  4. #4
    Member masmipa's Avatar
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    thank you for the advice--i'll check into it. do you have a model number? or price range for the one you purchased?

  5. #5
    Member masmipa's Avatar
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    very helpful info--thanks... although i could not find reviews of sergers at the website you recommended--just sewing machines.

    appreciate your help! :-)

  6. #6
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I am on my second serger. I actually broke one of my loopers. It could be repaired but I decided to trade up. Both of my sergers were Berninas. Unless you get a really inexpensive one they are all getting much eaiser to thread. I like the built in rolled hem feature. Pushing a button or lever sure beats changing a coverplate etc. As for the coverstitch that is easy enough to dublicate with your regular sewing machine with a double needle. If you do it on the regular sewing machine you don't have to worry about the coverstitch pulling out. I am sure you have had a T shirt that had the hem come unraveled. That only happens if it was serged with a coverstitch.

  7. #7
    Member masmipa's Avatar
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    thanks... were your Berninas the 2000 series? they seem to be very popular. i sure am happy with my Bernina Artista--so that is a name i favor. (although, i'm not sure the sergers are made by Bernina--just FOR bernina).

    with the double needle sewing, what stitch? just straight stitch? i've never used a double needle... thx

  8. #8
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the section of the website that includes serger reviews:
    http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/Reviews/

    I have used a double needle in my Bernina sewing machine. You thread the machine with two threads and use a straight stitch. The top looks like parallel lines of straight stitch; the underside looks like a zigzag. Basically the single bobbin thread zigs and zags between the two top threads to form the stitches. When using a double needle on stretch knit fabrics, I found it very easy to stretch the fabric out of shape while sewing because the sewing machine doesn't have the differential feed option. Sometimes I would get tunneling also, probably from not having the bobbin tension loose enough for the fabric. Sergers do many more stitches per minute than sewing machines also, so sewing a hem with the serger should (theoretically, anyway) go faster than on a sewing machine.

  9. #9
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    A double needle looks like twin stitches on the front and on the back it looks like a ziz zag. You can buy them in a varity of widths for woven and knits.

  10. #10
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    My Bernina sewing machines were and are a 1260, a 1530 and now a 220. I just purchased the 220. I haven't really used it yet but it weighs a lot less than my other two machines. I am going to take it on my retreat next week. The serger that I broke was a 400D. My new one is a 1150MDA. I used to do a lot more garmet sewing. The serger is great for that. I am mainly using this one to make Linus quilts. I do them envelope style on the serger and then machine quilt them on my sewing machine.
    If you are willing to learn the ropes you can do a lot of sewing with a serger. It will do eveything a regular sewing machine will do except buttonholes. I have used it to make pillows with a ruffle and a zipper. Every step was done on a serger. The majority of mass produced clothing is done on a serger. It is so much faster than a sewing machine. The only drawback is that if you make the garmet to small there is no going back as it cuts off any fabric past the seam line.

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