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Thread: sergers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sandi19's Avatar
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    I'm considering buying a serger. I've never used one before. I make bags and simple household sewing projects, and also quilt. Would this be a machine that would be useful? I have an opportunity to buy one at a discount before my husband retires from his job(we get an employee discount).
    What do you think...useful, or not needed. Also, what would you recommend and why?
    Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    I love mine, and I use it for everything!! It really depends on how much you sew. #1, don't be afraid of it.
    Will you get lessons?

  3. #3
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    I bought a serger 6 years ago, a nice used Babyloc from a sewing machine store. While I don't use if frequently, when I do it's very valuable. Because I don't use it monthly, I wouldn't buy one new. It has made making drapes, and other home dec items super easy, and you can't beat those beutifully finished seams. I'm not into making clothing items, and the one time I used it in quilting I regretted it. I was piecing together the backing of a quilt. Once I put together the quilt I was disappointed with the bulk of the seam on the back, wouldn't do that again.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sandi19's Avatar
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    I sew every day. Lately, I've been making bags, totes, and pillows for friends, as well as quilting.
    Do I need lessons, or would I be able to teach myself using the internet and practicing on the machine?
    I've taught myself to quilt using the internet and advice from friends, but no lessons.

  5. #5
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    You likely don't need lessons, although its nice to be taught how to care for your machine. If you can find that online too, you're all set! If you are buying new, some machines come with a video of how to use it anyway!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sewze's Avatar
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    Just a tip: You also have to remember to oil all the 'metal that touches metal' with every 8 hrs of use or if the serger sits for a month without use. Love my serger.......you can even quilt with them........but, you have to read up on doing it with a serger.

  7. #7
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandi19
    I sew every day. Lately, I've been making bags, totes, and pillows for friends, as well as quilting.
    Do I need lessons, or would I be able to teach myself using the internet and practicing on the machine?
    I've taught myself to quilt using the internet and advice from friends, but no lessons.
    A lot of it depends on what kind of sewing you do. I sew for people, make clothing, do alterations, and make window treatments, duvets, etc. The serger saves a lot of time for those things. When I make fleece throws I serge the edges with decorative thread. For quilting I don't use it except maybe when using flannel. If I am making large plain tote bags for shopping bags I use the serger, but not for anything lined. I have 2 sergers. One is set up all the time for the stitch you see on your tee shirts and sweat pants. The other is the one I use for everything else. I would get one from a dealer so you can get lessons. There are several price ranges up to computerized ones. You really have to learn a completely new way to sew when you have a serger. I love mine. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I got a Bernette serger a few years back, and like it when I use it. Handy to have, when needed. If you have a good opportunity, I'd say get one.

  9. #9
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewze
    Just a tip: You also have to remember to oil all the 'metal that touches metal' with every 8 hrs of use or if the serger sits for a month without use. Love my serger.......you can even quilt with them........but, you have to read up on doing it with a serger.
    Mine (a Viking) says NOT to oil the metal parts. They stay sharp from the metal contact. I have had mine at least 5 years and have never had to repair or replace anything; just have it cleaned and serviced yearly.

  10. #10
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    I have a Bernina serger that I bought several years ago. I don't use it a lot, but when I do it is great to have. I used it more when I made more clothing than I do now.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i bought one gosh probably close to 10 years ago...when it arrived my son's girlfriend popped in the video, threaded it and sewed a little bit with it, i remember she had a problem with the threading part, her eyes are not so good and it was a problem, but she liked using it and made a purse...fast forward 7 years, it was put away for a few years with no one having any interest, then my daughter wanted to try using it making leotards for the girls for gymnastics...so i sent it home with her, where it lived in the back of her van for another year...then she gave it back to me... i thought...i bought the dumb thing...i should learn to use it...so i set it up on the table...and found...ooops it needs to be threaded... and the instuction manual is in the form of a vhs tape...and our vhs player died about a year ago and we have not found another one...everything is on dvd these days...so back in the case it went, and has lived since under the bench in the entrance way...
    they may be great for sewing certain things but i have not been able to try this out...some day's i think i should just sell it...some days i think i should really try to find a new vhs player...do they even make them? probably not...and do i want to spend more money...not really...so there it sits useless, and it has probably under 5 hours of use in its history...

  12. #12
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    i bought one gosh probably close to 10 years ago...when it arrived my son's girlfriend popped in the video, threaded it and sewed a little bit with it, i remember she had a problem with the threading part, her eyes are not so good and it was a problem, but she liked using it and made a purse...fast forward 7 years, it was put away for a few years with no one having any interest, then my daughter wanted to try using it making leotards for the girls for gymnastics...so i sent it home with her, where it lived in the back of her van for another year...then she gave it back to me... i thought...i bought the dumb thing...i should learn to use it...so i set it up on the table...and found...ooops it needs to be threaded... and the instuction manual is in the form of a vhs tape...and our vhs player died about a year ago and we have not found another one...everything is on dvd these days...so back in the case it went, and has lived since under the bench in the entrance way...
    they may be great for sewing certain things but i have not been able to try this out...some day's i think i should just sell it...some days i think i should really try to find a new vhs player...do they even make them? probably not...and do i want to spend more money...not really...so there it sits useless, and it has probably under 5 hours of use in its history...
    Depending on what brand it is, if there is a dealer take it in and have them show you how to thread it. Also there may be someone on the board who might have one and could take picutres that you could follow.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff that I love and it is so easy to thread. It is pretty old now. Probably 10 years. I do need to have the cutters replaced.

    I also have an inexpensive one from Hancock's, I think a Janome. I am not sure without looking. Anyway, I am not impressed with this one. I think it is much more complicated to use and thread.

    I would recommend you look at the one you are interested in and see how easy it is to thread. I find this is the main difference. I would love to have the new ones that thread themselves, but on a fixed income that will never happen. They probably cost more than my car is worth.

    When I make a denim or corduroy quilt for utility use, I sew it together with the surger(unless of course, it is a rag quilt). Sewing it on the surger I know that the seams will not unravel and fall apart.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DeniseP's Avatar
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    I have had sergers for 13 years and would be lost without one. I have two, one is industrial that I keep in the basement because it is too large for my sewing room. That thing can serge anything and I love it. The only thing it cannot do is a rolled hem. It's like a bulldozer with anything else. My home serger is a Viking that lives in my sewing room.
    If you do buy one, make sure it has differential feed (most do now, but it is good for putting an edge on knits without stretching the fabric) and does a nice rolled hem. I love the rolled hem for tablecloths and napkins. I would definitely buy one if I could get a discount. You will LOVE it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Sewze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sewze
    Just a tip: You also have to remember to oil all the 'metal that touches metal' with every 8 hrs of use or if the serger sits for a month without use. Love my serger.......you can even quilt with them........but, you have to read up on doing it with a serger.
    Mine (a Viking) says NOT to oil the metal parts. They stay sharp from the metal contact. I have had mine at least 5 years and have never had to repair or replace anything; just have it cleaned and serviced yearly.
    Mine also, is a Viking Huskylock 936, 3 yrs old and the manual says to oil it every 8 hrs. of serging or if not used for awhile. Also, the repair/maintenance person, club instructors told us to do this maintenane. Perhaps the newer ones require the oiling process; whereas, the older Viking sergers did not.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DeniseP's Avatar
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    I hope the store you get it from gives serger obedience classes. Or maybe you have a friend who could teach you how to use it and give you little pointers on using a serger.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    I love my serger. I use it in concert with my sewing machine for many projects. I am enclosing a picture of my serger crazy quilt. I just pile up scraps from the bin and start serging them together in any old way planning that I will have a 15" when all is said and done. I make it bigger than I need and then trim it back with a large square template. I don't worry about bias edges as when done I serge the edges of the whole block, and then make quilt as blocks for a rather large quilt or as panels for a nice sized crazy tote. I made a big one to hold my serger accessories and instruction book. Handy dandy for traveling to a class. Also sewing the trimmed blocks together can make a wonderful crazy quilt for baby. I find babies love the riot of color and pattern and the serging makes the seams so strong they can safely teeth on it. Did your kids chew on their blankies when teething, mine did.
    Sewing with Nancy on her web site has many free videos for serger projects. One thing I use all the time is to use the rolled hem feature on long strips of fabric that will be gathered and used for ruffles on all kinds of projects. Also the serger drippings....the long thin strips that come off the cutter can be saved and used for making fringe on all kinds of fun projects. I do recommend you get one with the self threading feature as it makes serging sooooo much easier.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    np3
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntmag
    I have a Bernina serger that I bought several years ago. I don't use it a lot, but when I do it is great to have. I used it more when I made more clothing than I do now.
    Ditto

  19. #19
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandi19
    I sew every day. Lately, I've been making bags, totes, and pillows for friends, as well as quilting.
    Do I need lessons, or would I be able to teach myself using the internet and practicing on the machine?
    I've taught myself to quilt using the internet and advice from friends, but no lessons.
    I use my serger all the time and never had a lesson. There are great books to have as a reference. It was intimidating at first but now it's one of my best friends :lol:

  20. #20
    Junior Member Joanie Owen's Avatar
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    I've had 2 sergers. My first was a Singer which I gave to a neighbor who had done me many favors. The first quilt I made was a brocade crazy quilt. Bought 3 packs of Brocades from Joann's when they carried them and it made up into a very luxurious quilt and needed the serger because of the fraying fabric. The one I have now is a Viking. I use it to make tote bags and back packs. The threading instructions are on the cover when you drop it down to thread but if I ever got a new one, I'd go the expense to get the self threading kind.

  21. #21
    Kas
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    i bought one gosh probably close to 10 years ago...when it arrived my son's girlfriend popped in the video, threaded it and sewed a little bit with it, i remember she had a problem with the threading part, her eyes are not so good and it was a problem, but she liked using it and made a purse...fast forward 7 years, it was put away for a few years with no one having any interest, then my daughter wanted to try using it making leotards for the girls for gymnastics...so i sent it home with her, where it lived in the back of her van for another year...then she gave it back to me... i thought...i bought the dumb thing...i should learn to use it...so i set it up on the table...and found...ooops it needs to be threaded... and the instuction manual is in the form of a vhs tape...and our vhs player died about a year ago and we have not found another one...everything is on dvd these days...so back in the case it went, and has lived since under the bench in the entrance way...
    they may be great for sewing certain things but i have not been able to try this out...some day's i think i should just sell it...some days i think i should really try to find a new vhs player...do they even make them? probably not...and do i want to spend more money...not really...so there it sits useless, and it has probably under 5 hours of use in its history...
    Yes, they still sell VHS machines. In fact, my DVD player has a VHS side and I can copy (if I knew how! :lol: ) a tape to disc with it. It wasn't very expensive, either. We just still have small kids and a huge collection of DVD's I refuse to rebuy as DVD's so I needed a VHS player.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Quiltntime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandi19
    I'm considering buying a serger. I've never used one before. I make bags and simple household sewing projects, and also quilt. Would this be a machine that would be useful? I have an opportunity to buy one at a discount before my husband retires from his job(we get an employee discount).
    What do you think...useful, or not needed. Also, what would you recommend and why?
    Thanks for your input.
    Bought my White serger in the mid '80's. Not sure if the White serger is still available. It serges beautifully, so why buy a new one. Just be sure the threading is easy. There were models out there, that took a degree to learn how to use them.

    I use it for hemming skirts & slacks, edges of fabric before washing. Many projects too numerous to mention. If you have an opportunity to buy one at a discount....Go for it....You'll never regret you decision. :thumbup:

  23. #23
    Junior Member seabolt22's Avatar
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    I have 2. The first one Igot in the early 80s . It was made by simplicity, just basic. It is a workhorse still going strong. The other is a singer that I got from a friend whose sister died and she inherited. She does not sew. It is an older model but has variable speed. I use them a lot. The trick to threading one that is not self threading is to after first time when changing thread is to tie new thread on to old thread. Also tie a piece of dental floss to thread and use as leader when threading from scratch. Makes threading much easier.

  24. #24
    Super Member sash's Avatar
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    I also have a White serger; bought it at Hancocks. It's just a cheap one, but it does what I want it too. I had a whole lot of trouble learning to thread it and I watched the tape time after time and finally got it figured out. I think I spent a whole day one time trying to figure out how to thread the darn thing. It was a really good tape to watch and made it look easy. They make much more advanced sergers than mine is. I do enjoy having it though.

  25. #25
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    The sergers are great I think, but they are not for everyone! I have two and yes they can be a bit difficult to thread, but you learn! I really use mine.

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