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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.

  11. #11
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I was wondering what a serger was...I found this wonderful video
    http://vimeo.com/8597316

  12. #12
    Super Member cctx.'s Avatar
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    I have a Singer model, and I love it. Check out the Sewing with Nancy Serger, their reviews sound reasonable.

  13. #13
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    I was wondering what a serger was...I found this wonderful video
    http://vimeo.com/8597316
    Her first statement put me off, when she said she didn't want to show you how to thread it bc it was complicated. If you buy the BabyLock it is not complicated. It is very, very easy to thread with the air system. I am not a dealer just a happy owner. I had a Pfaff before and it was very complicated and I hated using it. The BabyLock is a joy.

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