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Thread: Do I want a serger???

  1. #1
    Senior Member mjmachin's Avatar
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    Do I want a serger???

    I have a chance to buy a used Husqvarna Viking Serger mjodel 905 for $400, with a box of feet. I have never used one and thought I don't need one, but my DH says I should check it out! I piece quilt and do some sewing for my grandchildren. Should I be using a serger to piece my quilt tops? Seems like extra work (?) Thanks for any help and insight you can give me. This is a great group for information and help!

  2. #2
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    Try threading it before you plunk down the money. That causes more concern and frustration among serger owners. I have a Babylock with the jet air threading system. I gave my Bernina away because of the threading issues. Personally I would never use it for a quilt other than some charity quilts that I have specific patterns for. I like accuracy in my quilting and that involves ripping out sometimes! Not easy with a serger! Plus the serger cuts off the seam allowance.
    Last edited by snipforfun; 07-12-2013 at 08:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    I know some people will want to throw rocks at me... BUT, I had a used serger given to me. It sat there for almost a year with me not even wanting to give it a try. So, I passed it on.

  4. #4
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    I love my serger, but I have never used it for quilting. Some say it would make the seams too bulky. I cannot even count the numbers of items I have used it for ~ sewing clothes, nice finish for hems etc. It can be cranky at times when threading (or maybe I get cranky threading it!) but it comes with practice.

  5. #5
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
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    I love my serger. It is my second. My first one was a nightmare because of the threading and tension issues. Once you got it set right you sure didn't want to change it! Unfortunately you need to change it to do rolled hems, which I love. I now have a Baby Lock with the jet air threading and am IN LOVE!!! Let me tell you that I have only done one quilt on it, but scant 1/4 inch wasn't an issue with this one. I know you can measure and accurately mark where your 1/4' is to your left needle and do a good job, just haven't done it. I love it for seams on clothing and you will love it for your grandchildren's sewing. I have the Imagine and would love to get the Evolve, which has so much more for me to use - just cannot afford to do that now. You should try the serger, have the threading explained and try it. If it is too hard, it WILL be hard. Save for a Baby Lock instead. You may even want to check out a Baby Lock so you can see the difference. Good Luck
    God Bless Quilters and Sewers
    Marti

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have one I use very infrequently. I almost never use it for quilting. I can really live without it especially when it comes to threading and adjusting the tensions. The older ones are particularly hard to thread. AS one responder said .. try threading it before purchasing. The only reason I have one is it was a hand me down.

  7. #7
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Someone gave me a serger as well. Never used it and passed it on.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  8. #8
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    I have two sergers, an older Bernina and a Babylock Evolve. Neither of them make me totally happy. I love how the Bernina stitches and how you can control the width of the stitch, but I have to fiddle with threading and the tension knobs. The Babylock is self threading and no tension knobs, but the stitches fall off the edge of the fabric...they will tell you it doesn't or that you aren't stitching correctly, but it does. Just look at a sample of its stitches at the store, and you can see that they aren't snugged up next to the fabric. This is a particular problem when going around curves. And the space to the right of the needle is very small. Now, they say that these problems are solved with the newest model, the Bablylock Evolution, but I haven't seen it. I would not use it for quilting because of the problems others have mentioned and it is next to impossible to get a quarter inch stitch width without changing some of the settings. I know some people use their serger for just about everything, but finishing edges or doing a rolled hem is about all I use it for. I think they now have an attachment for sewing machines that has a cutting blade so that it does the same thing on edges that a serger does, but I haven't seen that in use yet.
    Penny

  9. #9
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    The Huskylock 905, being a fairly recent serger, isn't going to be dreadful to thread, but will take some practice before you feel like it's "easy". There is a definite adjustment going from one needle, one thread and thread path, to 3-4 thread paths and 2 needles! There are serger quilt patterns. I use mine less than my sewing machine,and haven't used it for quilts as of yet, tho' there is a shop here that teaches several serger projects a year and one is always a quilt! It's another tool in the sewing room if you do home decor -- especially nice for pillow cases! -- and if you sew garments -- it's the go-to machine for knits, as well as seams in woven fabrics, overcasting and seaming at the same time eliminating the fraying common after washing homemade items. The Baby Lock automatic threading is wonderful, no ifs ands or buts, and the cost is appropriate for the technology you are buying. Check out some utubes on serging -- then decide! The Crafty beginning serging class would be helpful if you decide to purchase any serger.

  10. #10
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    I have a simple Brother serger, no problems threading, and it gets used for clothing and home dec projects. That said it hasn't been out for a few months! If I had space to leave it set up I would do more with it.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Sailorwoman's Avatar
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    I have a Husqvarna Viking 936 and I love it. It was a bit difficult to thread at first but I found a great video on Youtube that makes it very simple. I do not use it for quilting but for any other sewing, it is in regular use. But, you must decide whether you would get the use out of it. We all love a great deal but it is only a great deal if it is something you want and will use.

  12. #12
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    all great comments - as a part time serger user and former machine sales person - know what you're going to use it for before you get into it. I found that folks who bought one thinking they'd find a use for it usually didn't use it very much. The ones who knew what they needed it for before they bought it were the ones who used them the most.

    As snipforfun said, you probably won't get the same accuracy with a serger as you can with a sewing machine, but use of "wooly nylon" thread or similar, can give you nice, soft seam allowances for quilts and garments where you want a different look and feel. I've seen several kids quilts and throws made with sergers with the seam allowances on the outside.
    Kate

  13. #13
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK View Post
    Someone gave me a serger as well. Never used it and passed it on.
    Same here.
    Jeanann

    Theres nothing wrong with me a little chocolate won't fix.

  14. #14
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    I had a husqvarna serger and hated it! It was a major operation to thread it, get the tension right, use it, then change everything to another stitch including the plates. The best thing I did was trade it for a janome. Threading is really easy, you get it right the first time. Works like a dream. Yes, I've made a quilt with my serger too. The fabric was ravely and the serger took care of that.

  15. #15
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    I have a Baby Lok serger that I bought new and it has thousands of miles on it, but that was when I was making clothes and not quilts. I have yet to use it in any way on quilts, and for $400, that would buy a lot of quilting supplies and/or fabric. I would pass on it, personally.

  16. #16
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    I make clothing for my niece and household items. It is VERY handy for this type of use. I have had one for some thirty years and this is my second one. I can't imagine going back to finishing hems without one.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  17. #17
    Senior Member mjmachin's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for your comments and advice. This has really helped me make up my mind. I do not need something that may be a hassle with threading etc every time I want to use it. And I really do not think I would be using it enough to warrant paying out that kind of money. I have done just fine all these years without one, so I think I will continue as I have been and enjoy my quilting/sewing at every opportunity I get!! You are a great group, I am so happy I joined. Thank you all !!

  18. #18
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    I have a simple Brother serger. I've never used it on a quilt. I use it for clothing and home decor. I got it as a christmas gift one year. I like having it, but it can be a pain to get the threading/tension right and at times I've had to walk away before getting very frustrated with it!

  19. #19
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Talking

    When I worked for House of Fabrics, one of the employees talked me into buying a Baby Lock serger. I have never used it for quilting and we don't seem to have a good friendship. I HATE trying to thread the damn thing and the knife stopped working. Put a new one in and it is STILL not cutting. Too much of a hassle for me. Your lucky your DH wants you to spend money on a sewing machine!! THAT IS RARE !!!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK View Post
    Someone gave me a serger as well. Never used it and passed it on.
    Exactly what happened to me! A friend gave me her serger, and I'm going to give it to a lady in our quilt group. This way, if ever I need to use a serger, I know where to find one!

  21. #21
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I have the same serger, mine is about 8 or 9 years old and the motor has seized. The replacement motor is no longer available. It was a good serger but I would not buy another one. My DH took it apart and said that the gear assembly is wearing and doesn't seem well designed to him. It has not been used for an extended amount of time either. $400 seems like a lot to me for an older model machine that only cost $800 to start with. I am planning on buying a Baby Lock to replace it.

  22. #22
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    I have an Elna and it is the pits to thread, but I do use it an awful lot. Have several men in the family and hemming pants is what I use it for. Finishing the edges.

  23. #23
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    Used my serger all the time (Pfaff) when I made clothing, but since I started quilting, it sits in the closet collecting dust bunnies.

  24. #24
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    I have two - one I bought years ago and another I inherited. I can't say really have an issue with the threading if I just follow the diagrams. They both have the air threading system so maybe not as difficult as some. I almost never use them, but mostly because it's not out and ready to go. If all I had to do was sit down and go, would probably use it a lot more. Maybe I'll do that and see!

  25. #25
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I have 2 sergers set up all the time. I do a lot of custom, weird, or just plain strange, sewing requests. I love sergers and have no trouble threading them. If any of you ladies want yours out of the way...
    I have only used them in quilting to go around the edge before binding. I think it makes binding the quilt easier, but it isn't necessary.

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