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Thread: Sergers........Tell me about them

  1. #26
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I had that air-threading BabyLock on my wish list, but jeepers, if the air mechanism breaks, how do you thread your serger?

    I have a really low-end Brother (which I think was manufactured by the same company as BabyLock) that I absolutely love. I can almost thread it with my eyes closed - the first two sergers I had were enough to make you pull your hair out. So frustrating! And if you didn't get it set exactly right, the dern thread would break - you'd have to start all over. This one is a piece 'a cake. Converting to the rolled hem stitch and back takes five seconds. It's more difficult to convert to the coverstitch look - but I've read that you do better to buy a machine made to do coverstitch if you want to make a lot of t-shirt-type things.

    I trim and serge the edges of my quilts when they're quilted and ready for the borders or binding to be applied. Such a nice edge and a good guideline for sewing on the next step.

    I made a whole quilt top on the serger once - it was a lot of fun and since it was for a toddler, I bet it will last a long time. The back of that quilt was so neat and clean that I thought about maybe doing another top with colored threads so that all the serging shows on top. That could be pretty.

    If I ever manage to buy the air-threaded serger, I would still keep this one around as a backup. Have fun shopping and I hope you find the new toy that works just right for you.

  2. #27
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katz_n_kwiltz View Post
    BUT- dont get the cadillac of machines like the baby lock with the jet air threading, ive read about it, and most complaints are with that type of serger, that if the air goes out, you cant thread it..well..katz

    I've done quite a bit of research on this model and have read no such report. The sites I visited that had customer reveiws were all 5 our of a 5. It also has 25 years warranty, 10 years on parts, 5 years on electrical and 1 year labor.

    I went today to a sew shop where they are the authorized retailers for the machine and the gal that demonstrated it to me just retired a few months ago from Babylock and is now working for this show shop to demonstrate those machines and more. With a 10 year warranty on parts replacement if something like what you mention happens it will be replaced.

    With all this 8-threader does what's not to like. If something as mentioned here happens the manufacturer will make good on it.

    I did alot of searching on this model and I have yet to find one negative report. I didn't buy it today but will be doing so in a couple months or so only because I like to pay cash for such things so I have to get my cash together to do so.

    I did however leave there with a Rowenta Steamer iron machine and some fabric. :-) You can sew using one thread or eight which is combining serger and over stock together.

    After her demonstration of all the features and what you can do with it she showed me some quilts that were quilted on it and also ruffles put on the quilt with that machine.

    She told me that folks seem to think you can't put button or zippers and while it is true you can't do buttons you can do some zippers. She showed me a sample they had just done a couple days ago in one of there serger class putting in a zipper in a mini bag they had made.

    There are so many things you can do with this serger that it puts to shame any sewing machines on the market as well as other sergers.
    clsurz

  3. #28
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    So how much were they asking for them?

  4. #29
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    Mine was $2500 with about 40 feet in a special package. I got it at Ruthies Notions, in Florida at a Nancy Zieman show, and could not go home to AL without it! Like I said, I have the Viking Husky 930 and love it, but I absolutely am devoted to this one! I would sell the Husky, but may keep it just threaded up for utlity. Linda

  5. #30
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    The shop I went to wants $3900 new or buy floor model for 2900 plus tax which comes out to $3100 and some change. I'm looking around to get it for alot less than $3900 let alone $3100. I think I can do better. To save $1500 or so I'll drive where ever to do so.

    I was pretty sure last night I saw it somewhere online for $1800 which was a sale with $1000 off and unfortunately I failed to save where I saw it. I was shocked when this lady said $3900. I figured more around $2500 for a shop like that since I had seen it online for $1800.

    Wish Baby Lock allowed them to sell them online and not just in there shops.

    I'm in Georgia near Savannah/Garden City which is where this one was I saw today.

    Now I could see paying $3500 or even $3900 if it gave you a bundle to go with it.

    I was looking a couple hours ago online and near as I can tell it can be gotten for between $2500 to as high as $3900.

    I'm a patient person when it comes to such things and it's just a matter of time until I find it at the price I want it for. At $3900 that is double what I was expecting to pay for it. I have the money to buy it at that price however I choose not to. Its not like its something I must have.
    clsurz

  6. #31
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    I love my serger for home dec and garments. I've had one for 20+ years. It is definitely a specialized piece of equipment, and it isn't good for everything. I use it all the time for rolled edges on napkins, receiving blankets, and the edges of ruffles. I use the regular 4 thread overlock for almost all knit fabrics I saw and pretty much all the children's play clothes I do. There is nothing better than a serger for knits! I also use the special elastic application foot to apply elastic to crib sheets I do for a charity.

    However I don't think I would use it for quilting though. A serger uses 3-4 threads and it makes a thick seam. It is also harder than might be obvious to get a perfect seam allowance! I also haven't ever seen one that uses a start button, just the foot pedal. That doesn't mean there aren't any, but I think it would be hard to control the fabric and use a button at the same time.

    Summary: I love my serger, but it is a special purpose machine.

    Pam

  7. #32
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    Best time to buy a serger

    Dear Clsurz, I saw your post about buying the Babylock Evolution. I just attended a 3 day Serger Workshop held at a local Babylock dealer here in CA. We used the Evolution.....a dream machine. I own an older Evolve. I love my Evolve, and the Evolution is a newer and improved version. The evolution has the Wave stitch (nice for decorative edges), improved safety features, improved lighting, and you can thread both loopers at the same time. It also has an improved jet air threading....a motorized whoosh! Generally speaking the dealer will have very good package prices at these events. Our dealer offered the Evolution 8 thread macine, the workbook, the inspiration guide, 16 foot pkg, a huge decorative thread assortment in a nice case (retail value $450.), additional Gold Standard warranty of 3more years, and $1000.00 Trade-in allowance .....all for $3092.00. If you just wanted the machine, extra warranty, and 6 feet, the price was $1999.00 I would recommend the books though, as they really contain great instructions. My advice to you is to watch for a sewing/serging class or multi-day event sponsored by a Babylock dealer in your area. These events are held for the express purpose of educating the public about their products in the hopes of getting new customers. The number one reason people don't use their sergers is the difficulty they have threading them and getting the tensions right......Babylock has solved these problems....easy peasy threading and auto tension. They are worth every penny!!! Good luck!
    *~~~Janet~~~*

  8. #33
    Senior Member Little RoO's Avatar
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    I agree the idea of the airflow system would be wonderful....but the PRICE !!!
    I have a Frister Rossman that I bought about 5 years ago. The base opens up completly showing all areas so threading is reasonably easy. In honesty I wonder how often people change their threads....If I need to change the threads I take off all tension and cut the threads and tie small knots from the new colour thread and feed through the feeders then I just have to thread the needles. I reckon that takes me the whole of two minutes.
    I also do dressmaking and some upholstry so use it regularily....I even put in zips and piping.
    Mine cost 250 which is about $360..........
    If I was paying $3000+ it would have to make me breakfast in bed for at least a year as well !
    My honest advice is to anyone looking at getting a serger is see if anyone will let you have a go first....the speed on these things can be pretty intimidating and not for everyone.... which brings me to the footpedal. I'm not so sure that a start stop button would make me feel totally happy as I would have to take my hand off the fabric to press the button to stop.....as it has a cutting blade it would be really easy to go through just that bit more fabric than you wanted.......anyway these are just personal thoughts but I hope they might help.

  9. #34
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    There is an attachment for the Bernina sewing machine that allows your domestic machine to work like a serger. It's less than $200 and is great. It's called the Bernina Sidecutter Serger Attachment. Ask if you can try it at a Bernina dealer. I'm happy with mine.

  10. #35
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanetM View Post
    Dear Clsurz, I saw your post about buying the Babylock Evolution. I just attended a 3 day Serger Workshop held at a local Babylock dealer here in CA. We used the Evolution.....a dream machine. I own an older Evolve. I love my Evolve, and the Evolution is a newer and improved version. The evolution has the Wave stitch (nice for decorative edges), improved safety features, improved lighting, and you can thread both loopers at the same time. It also has an improved jet air threading....a motorized whoosh! Generally speaking the dealer will have very good package prices at these events. Our dealer offered the Evolution 8 thread macine, the workbook, the inspiration guide, 16 foot pkg, a huge decorative thread assortment in a nice case (retail value $450.), additional Gold Standard warranty of 3more years, and $1000.00 Trade-in allowance .....all for $3092.00. If you just wanted the machine, extra warranty, and 6 feet, the price was $1999.00 I would recommend the books though, as they really contain great instructions. My advice to you is to watch for a sewing/serging class or multi-day event sponsored by a Babylock dealer in your area. These events are held for the express purpose of educating the public about their products in the hopes of getting new customers. The number one reason people don't use their sergers is the difficulty they have threading them and getting the tensions right......Babylock has solved these problems....easy peasy threading and auto tension. They are worth every penny!!! Good luck!
    I agree! Reason I did not buy it yesterday. Moore's Sew in CA has a youtube video. Guy was doing a demo to a bunch of folks and he presented a bundle for machine, books, and 16 feet. Although he did not name the price on that piece one knew that worst case sceniro would probably be around $3900 for all of the bundle or perhaps even less.

    I've put out feelers in JAX, FL and other parts of GA and will check SC, NC and AL as well and states along the eastern board. It would be more than worth it to travel to any of these to save $1000 or more and since I enjoy traveling it would be like going on a hunt for me. LOL
    clsurz

  11. #36
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I have a Baby Lock Evolve and it threads with a swoosh as you describe. However, each of the loopers have to be threaded individually. It is the later models that do it all in one go. So far as I have seen, they are operated with a foot pedal.I do half of my sewing on the overlocker and I think it is a wonderful tool.

  12. #37
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    I used an industrial one when I worked at a shirt factory and loved it. Haven't ventured past that.

  13. #38
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanoePam View Post
    However I don't think I would use it for quilting though. A serger uses 3-4 threads and it makes a thick seam. It is also harder than might be obvious to get a perfect seam allowance! I also haven't ever seen one that uses a start button, just the foot pedal. That doesn't mean there aren't any, but I think it would be hard to control the fabric and use a button at the same time.
    Pam
    This Baby Lock Evolution will allow you to use only one thread. It is an 8-thread machine with 4 for serging and 4 for overlock. The lady demoed using one thread and up to the eight threads (serging and overlock all at once). She said the only thing it won't do are buttons. It will sew, quilt, and has even done zippers using the serger (although it does not do all types of zippers). I saw first hand the beautiful quilted tops they had on display using the serger.

    Perhaps all other sergers might not do quilting well but this baby certainly can. I've never been one to like sergers that is until I saw this one demonstrated first hand.

    Regarding start/stop button no sergers as of yet have those but she alluded that is something in the works for babylock in the future. The lady retired from baby-lock less than six months ago and now works part-time at this shop demonstrating all there baby lock machines and others they sell.

    I've seen pictures online with folks using there sergers and even locally here and again saw it yesterday at that shop and the work is awesome on it.

    I guess on gets what they pay for. This machine feeds various thicknesses of fabric with ease.
    clsurz

  14. #39
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jitkaau View Post
    I have a Baby Lock Evolve and it threads with a swoosh as you describe. However, each of the loopers have to be threaded individually. It is the later models that do it all in one go. So far as I have seen, they are operated with a foot pedal.I do half of my sewing on the overlocker and I think it is a wonderful tool.
    Yes you are correct. I mentioned it to the lady and she chuckled and told me my TV was playing tricks on me and showed me how it was done individally. There are no brands yet that do the swoosh as I originally indicated. LOL
    clsurz

  15. #40
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixie_fried View Post
    I absolutely love my serger. But, I was sewing clothes long before I quilted.
    I have a Viking 3/4 thread serger, not really fancy...I thread it myself. It's easy once you've done it a time or two, and if you can tie a skinny knot, it's possible to just feed the new thread thru if you want to change colors. I only have a foot pedal...have never seen one with the start/stop like sewing machines, but, I honestly have never looked for that feature so it may exist and I am just not aware of it.
    I couldn't sew knits without it. It makes such a nice finish on garments...helps make them look more professional, and makes a nice sturdy seam on kids clothes. Pretty much every piece of clothes I sew I serge the edges of each part unless the seam will be enclosed.
    Nancy Zieman has a "Serge and Merge" quilt--I will try to find the link to the video.
    Same here. They are indispensible for hemming jeans and slacks as well. Make for quick and easy finished seams!! I will always have a serger in my sewing room and my dream is the Babylock Evolve!!

  16. #41
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    I have an old Bernina serger that I have put many hours on. It is difficult to thread but I made many many outfits from interlock knit for myself, daughter and niece. I love it for making pillowcases as well. I feel I have really gotten my money's worth out of it but have never used it for quilting. I have dreamed of replacing it with one of the Babylock air thread machines..I am pretty sure they have the patent on that technique and would definitely want to have it. It is a great additional to the sewing room!

  17. #42
    Senior Member canuckninepatch's Avatar
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    I have a Singer serger that I got a number of years ago and have definitely gotten my money's worth out of it over the years, with making kids' clothes when mine were growing up, and now with my grandson. I don't use it that often, but when I need it - I need it. I made a bunch of receiving blankets with curved corners (so I didn't have to stop and start) in a new born size, and as my grandson got bigger (he's now 5 months) I made a larger size. He loves to be swaddled when going to bed, and so even at 5 months he's wrapped up like a little "samosa". I would not sell it for anything. I may not use it for another year, but it's there when I need it. As far as the threading goes, I'm a visual person, and there's a picture on it with colour coding for the threading of the various threads. I have no problem threading it, and have never had to get out the book to do so. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!
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  18. #43
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    I have had several sergers over the years & the one I LOVE is my Babylock. They are usually pricier than the others but they thread themselves (the loopers anyway) with a shot of air that shoots the thread where it needs to be. The singers I had especially the 5 thread was a "nightmare" to thread & I had years of serger experience. They only work with a foot pedal but I'm sure someday someone will make one with a button to start/stop. For quilting they would do a perfect 1/4" seam & most of them move the knife out of the way when needed. For anyone who does a lot of sewing I think a serger is a must. They finish a garment off so nicely & makes it look so much more professional. If you get something other than a Babylock, there is also a technique where you tie your new thread to each spool of the ones already on your machine & gently pull the threads thru the guides & voila, your machine is threaded. It is important however, for you to learn to thread your machine yourself in case nothing else works. Hope this help
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  19. #44
    Junior Member railroad's Avatar
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    I purchased one at a thrift store and use it to make pillowcases. Have started a tradition of giving grandkids a Christmas pillow case at the Thanksgiving gathering. THey love them....When they reach the age of 25 they get cut off from new pillowcases, but if there happen to be extras they still want them!

  20. #45
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    I am a serger lover!! Over 20 years ago I thought it was something I would never use and can't remember what prompted me to get one. I got a White 634D and have loved it from the start. I never make a garment without using the serger for finishing seams. I do not use it for constructing the garment. I made all tableclothes for my daughters' weddings with rolled hems; wire edged fabric for ribbons; wedding veils with rolled hemming; dozens of dinner napkins with rolled edges to fit the season; wonderful flannel receiving blankets with wooly nylon edges-I couldn't begin to count the number; I could go on and on. A serger is set up right by my sewing machine. Yes they are more difficult to thread, but if you are careful you don't have to do that very often, just tie-on and pull thru the needle. I just bought a used 936 Huskylock and already love it also. It will do more than my old serger, but my 634 retains a place in my sewing room. I cannot imagine being without a serger (and I thought I would never use one)!!

  21. #46
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    I might add that as in sewing machines, not all sergers are good. One that does not operate properly would quickly turn you off of sergers. Do your research.
    Quote Originally Posted by mopec View Post
    I am a serger lover!! Over 20 years ago I thought it was something I would never use and can't remember what prompted me to get one. I got a White 634D and have loved it from the start. I never make a garment without using the serger for finishing seams. I do not use it for constructing the garment. I made all tableclothes for my daughters' weddings with rolled hems; wire edged fabric for ribbons; wedding veils with rolled hemming; dozens of dinner napkins with rolled edges to fit the season; wonderful flannel receiving blankets with wooly nylon edges-I couldn't begin to count the number; I could go on and on. A serger is set up right by my sewing machine. Yes they are more difficult to thread, but if you are careful you don't have to do that very often, just tie-on and pull thru the needle. I just bought a used 936 Huskylock and already love it also. It will do more than my old serger, but my 634 retains a place in my sewing room. I cannot imagine being without a serger (and I thought I would never use one)!!

  22. #47
    Super Member PolkaBabe's Avatar
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    I would not be without my serger, in fact I would love to have a second one, this way one would have black thread & the other would be white/light gray. Make a many of my clothing with it. Have pieced an easy pattern quilt & it worked fine.

  23. #48
    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    If you get a serger get a Babylock Evolve...the auto thread feature makes it a must. A serger is just a sewing machine that does a different seam. There are a lot of ways to do that different seam, so it can be very versatile. I have made quilt tops but I don't quilt on it. I have made bags, clothes, accessories, doll clothes, and it can so some limited decorative stitching techniques as well. The one you saw was on Sewing with Nancy and that show is the reason I traded my high end serger for a Babylock. It is not a substitute for a regular sewing machine but adds another dimension to your sewing abilities.
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  24. #49
    Junior Member judord's Avatar
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    Oh, my goodness! I can't believe the replies I am seeing here. I have had a serger since about 1990. I couldn't live without it. I have sewn many clothes, quilts and anything with it. In fact, I have had 3 of them. The Babylock I have now is the easiest with threading. You have to thread each one separately, but you just push it in and it threads itself. It is so easy. I wouldn't want to make clothing without it any more. It just looks so much more finished and professional with the seams serged. Go to your local store and let them demonstrate it for you; and try it yourself. You will never want to go back to anything else. I don't sell them; I am a nurse, so no advantage for me here.
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  25. #50
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    Although the self threading ones are nice, they are very pricey. I have a Pfaff that is older but has a differential feed and I love it, very easy to adjust and not too hard to thread the lower looper. I do not use it that much, but when I need one, I really NEED one.
    pat design

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