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Thread: I think I need a serger

  1. #1
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    I think I need a serger

    Am getting into making quilted items that require finished seams. Don't know ANYTHING about sergers but I think I need one. Currently I am finishing the seams with a zigzag and then trimming them but I understand that this is what a serger does. Need a little help here......Thanks so much for your input.

  2. #2
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    a serger uses 3/4 or even 5 threads to cut, and stitch the edge of the fabric covering both the front and back. Exactly like a seam from a ready to wear garment looks like.

    I've had 1 since 1996 and I can't live without it now.
    "I would change the world for you but I wouldn't change you for the world!"

    Autism Speaks

  3. #3
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    You can piece by serger, there are some books out on doing so. Seams are bulkier, though. If the seams are in something like clothes, then a serger is great. I use a standard sweatshirt pattern, make a quilt top big enough for front and back, line it with flannel and finish with lightweight muslin. The inside seams get serged and so does the ribbing on the neck and sleeves. Looks much better.

    Serged overedge can be snagged or cut by careless user. Usually just serge over fixes.

    All kinds of sergers around. I'd go look at every dealer you have available, and check on how the serger threads. Some older ones can be a real pain. The self threaders (All Babylock) are very nice, but more expensive. Since I also make a lot of clothes, getting one was worth it.

  4. #4
    Super Member Quilty-Louise's Avatar
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    Yes a serger not only finishes the edges of items but it cuts off the
    the "scrap".

    They are super fast much faster then a regular sewing machine.

    I have two sergers.

    They have come a LONG way since I got my first machine 11 yrs ago.
    Not to mention the prices have come way down since then also.

    I bought my second serger at Joann's it was an "open box" display
    machine that I got for about $130 (after the discounts and such). It
    is a Singer model and is MUCH easier to thread then my older serger
    which is a Simplicity. Also try to get a serger that is easy to change
    from a 4(or more) thread to a 3(or 2) thread.

    If possible look for one that is easy to thread, has a good clear "diagram"
    for threading (second serger has one, but the first did not).

    About the only thing I really use my sergers for anymore is for the 3
    thread rolled hem. I just love the look of the rolled hem the most.

    But if you can "test drive different machines and research the.


    Good luck and have fun when you get one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Spudgm's Avatar
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    I have had a serger for 30+ years and love it. My first one still works but I can no longer thread it, I do not see well enough and my fingers do not work well enough to thread it. They are a lot of fun to use, but as someone else said I would go and try them out and see what you need. There is no sense paying for features you do not need. Good luck and have fun.
    -Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy -and- sorrow, stitched with love- http://spudgrandma.wordpress.com/

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Nothing beats a serger for a tidy edge, especially for really ravely fabrics. I don't use mine often but when I do .. nothing compares !

  7. #7
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    I also love my serger which I have had for 25+ years. I haven't used it making quilts but I have used of for clothing and all kinds of crafts. It makes such a nice finished seam and edge.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mtngrl's Avatar
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    I bought mine because I thought I'd figure out how to quilt with it. Turns out I want precision too much to use it for that. Every time I do use it for something , I am so happy I have it and would never part with it.
    "An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail." Edwin Land

    Blessings! Ruth

  9. #9
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    I've had mine forever... now have 2, one is set to coverstitch...couldn't live without them, they are such timesavers!!!!

  10. #10
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    I love my serger, use it in a lot of applications. But due to my advanced years and failing eyesight, I have a Babylock Imagine. Air threading and a needle threader. Perfect for me.

  11. #11
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I have two sergers. I do my own mending and always have so having a serger is very valuable to me. I actually bought my second one from my friend when I thought mine quick working. The are not for everyone though. I won't be without one.

  12. #12
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    What quilted items require serging. I have never used a serger in quilting
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  13. #13
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    What quilted items require serging. I have never used a serger in quilting
    You can actually sew a quilt using a serger. I have a pattern to do so. Haven't made it yet. My neighbor actually made one. Nothing quilting requires a serger. A serger is another tool for the sewing room if you choose. It can do many things, I use mine more for mending and sewing myself.

  14. #14
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    I finally bought a Juki serger from Allbrands.com in August of last year. I have been using mine to make fashion scarfs with the rolled hem feature. It's a lot of fun to use and not as hard to thread as I had imagined. The Baby Lock sergers have the air threading feature which is supposed to be wonderful. Have fun shopping for your serger. I think you will love it once you have it.

  15. #15
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I recently got the Brother 1034D and have been very pleased with it. I haven't made a serger quilt, but used it for a quilted bag and have made a bunch of pajama pants for the family. I know it would be nice to have the $5000 self threading one, but this was in the $200 range and so far no regrets.

  16. #16
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    With sergers like anything else, you get what you pay for. About twenty years ago I worked for a Bernina dealer who made her bread and butter doing custom dressmaking and alterations. Whilie I have sewn most of my life, more than 50 years, I had never done that kind of work. Using a serger in her shop convienced me that I could not live without one. In the years since sergers have become much easier to operate. Several years ago I traded my original serger for a more up to date on that is much easier to thread. I make about 20 Linus quilts a month and use the serger to make the initial envelope. I also use it to finish off the edges of my bedsize quilt backs that I will be handquilting. When I get in the mood to garmet or gift sew the serger always comes in handy. Over the years I have learned to just tie on the thread that I want to change and pull it through the loopers. I rarely have to actually rethread the whole thing. If you are willing to spend a little more money for a name brand one they will probably offer free classes. If you have small children or grandchildren you will find yourself finding all kinds of things you can make for them with a serger.

  17. #17
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    I have a pattern for different size travel bags and the pattern recommended using a serger to finish all the seams. Not really "quilts" but there is quilting within the design of the bags.....

  18. #18
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    I just use the overcast stitch on my sewing machine and it works fine.
    Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind see.
    mark Twain

  19. #19
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    I've had mine for around 30 years and wouldn't be without it. Mine is a singer and just basic but there are some really awesome machines. Don't know about the new ones but older ones were definitely one person machines. I'd advise shop around try them out.

  20. #20
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    I have been using a serger for 30 years and won't sew clothing without one. I have never used it for quilting though. I have a Juki 644D. If you are looking for a basic serger just to see how it does with the projects you are working on, the Brother 1034D is supposed to be fairly decent and is not too expensive.
    Laura

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  21. #21
    Senior Member snow's Avatar
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    I have a brother 1034D and I just love it easy to thread and use it does everything I need it to do had it for 3yrs. now no problems.
    Bring Your Conscious awareness to the source of loving and Caring

  22. #22
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    I have an old Kenmore serger from the 80's. I tried not to unthread it - just tie new threads on and pull them through. I recently upgraded to a new serger - Babylock Evolution. It had the two features I wanted, air threading and coverstitch. I do not sew knits but have to alter everything I buy. Coverstitch is the double hem stitch you see on ready to wear knits. This machine is expensive - about $2500 - it will be the last one I buy. I don't quilt on it but I am willing to look into it. I have grandchildren to sew for and do home dec. sewing, tablecloths, napkins, etc. One tip I would give is keep some muslin squares next to your serger. Every time you use a new stitch, make a sample, staple it to an index card, and write your settings and the project you used it on. Saves time not having to look up your stitch and settings every time. Go try them out and buy the best serger you can afford.

  23. #23
    Senior Member SittingPretty's Avatar
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    One thing I could never understand about patterns and sergers: why do we have to cut off the "scrap?" Why can't the patterns just use a smaller seam allowance so we don't have to keep wasting fabric? I know, I know. A lot of people still use a regular sewing machine, myself included, and still sew with a 5/8" seam. Just seems like such a waste to cut the fabric bigger just to cut it smaller when serging.
    SittingPretty

  24. #24
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    If you are making clothes, stuff ravels. I've seen expensive costumes sewn with just a straight stitch and the fabric raveled right out of the stitching.

    You could use pinking shears, zig zag, French seam, Hong Kong finish, rolled seam, or serge and keep it from raveling.

    I've made kids clothes from Sew Beautiful - they are usually 1/2" seam. Kwik Sew uses 1/4" on knits. I've seen 3/8 at times. Things look neater without strings hanging out.

  25. #25
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    When my 1981 serger finally gave up the ghost, instead of replacing it, I purchased a foot for my Janome sewing machine that cuts off the fabric. I use a knit-type zig zag (can't remember the name of the stitch) along with the this foot and it works great. Sews slower than a serger, but I dont make many garments these days so this works well. Mine is similar to this: http://www.amazon.com/Side-Cutter-Se...er+sewing+foot

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