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

  1. #1
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Sergers........Tell me about them

    I was never one to be intrigued by those machines until recently. I find myself being drawn to them more since seeing a show that was on PBS ad being used. What fasicnated me is one of the gals had one where she pulled all her threads together and with a push of a button it all threaded and pulled it through unlike what the other lady had where she threaded them one had a time and it seemed like it was a chore to do so.

    As I recall the one that impressed me was the BabyLok Evolution. Can't remember what the other gal was using.

    Guess what I want to know is do these run using a foot pedal or do they have some with a start/stop button. That woud be my main need is a start/stop button.

    One of them also does all her quilting using a serger so my next quesion is how do they do so without using the cutting blade that trims fabric when they use a serger if they are using it for quilting.

    I've also heard said some folks actually sew clothes on sergers but yet the only thing I've ever seen demonstrated is the straight feed and it stitching the edge of fabric while cutting the excess off.
    Last edited by clsurz; 03-15-2012 at 05:28 AM.
    clsurz

  2. #2
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    I have the Babylock Evolve and got it because it threads with a swoosh. I don't use it as much as I should. Mainly if I make the gk's jammies I always serge the seams and any dresses or clothing I always use it but never have used it for my quilting. It is operated by foot pedal. You can raise the cutting blade out of the way so it won't cut.

  3. #3
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I HAD to have one a few years ago. I found a used Singer Serger on Craigslist and I was gifted it for my birthday. I used it alot right after I got it because I made everyone in the free world pajama sets for Christmas that year! It is a bear to thread and it just drives me crazy! I have used it a couple times in the past 2 years but only when I sewed a fleece vest and some pajama bottons. About 8 months ago, I broke one of the needles while I was using it. It is now sitting on a shelf under my sewing table, still with the broken needle and now it is unthreaded because my quilt helper Lily pulled on the threads. I'll probably put it up on CL. I just don't use it enough.

    I did see an episode of Sue Hausmann's America Sews where a guest made a serged quilt. I guess I wasn't inspired enough to drag mine out and try it!!
    Last edited by auntpiggylpn; 03-15-2012 at 05:53 AM.
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  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I'm a don't-know-a-thing-about-serger person ... so here for observation and education!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member echoemb's Avatar
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    I sold my serger this year. It was a bear to thread, took a class and it was still a bear to thread. I hadn't used it for a couple of years and of course, couldn't remember how to thread it so I sold it. I think they have their place and Eleanor Burns had a series where she pieced with hers. I don't sew clothes anymore so I still can't remember why I bought it. Because I could I guess.

  6. #6
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    My Babylock threads the threads indididually, but automatically. It works with a foot pedal and I made a baby's christening dress with lace, tucks, the whole 9 yards on it. There are more expensive machines than mine and they might have a start/stop button. You need to email the serger companies with your questions or go to the dealerships and have demonstrations. I wouldn't be without mine for regular sewing, mending, alterations (shortening jeans, etc.) Everything that I can do on a regular sewing machine I can do a little bit easier on the serger except intercepting curves. The next quilt that has blocks I am going to do on the serger.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 03-15-2012 at 06:06 AM.

  7. #7
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    The BabyLoc is the cadilac in threading from what I hear. Any serger in good repair can work, some with more and some with less elbow grease involved on the operator's part. I sat in on a class recently where a quilt as you go sandwich was made. I wore my Singer U234D out several years ago after many hours of overuse. LOL I am trying to save enough to purchase a new machine, probably a Bernina.

    The strips to be quilted were layered so that they opened out after being serged with the serged seam inside.I am going to try to replicate the technique with my home sewing machine.'

  8. #8
    Senior Member dixie_fried's Avatar
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    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.
    "And I guess I might have made a few mistakes.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I sew used to sew tons of clothes, made alot of my last daughters. I still do some but I never used a serger. I would zig zag all my seams edges though...still do with clothes and they look professional. I could never afford one or I rather buy fabric. Just saying your sewing machine can do it to with an extra step!! lol or maybe I don't know what I'm missing!
    *Rachel*

  10. #10
    Super Member sash's Avatar
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    I have a cheap White serger that I bought several years ago at Hancock Fabrics, and had a h--- of a time learning to thread it. It came with a cd and I would look and look at that until I finally got it. I do like to use to for finishing seams on certain articles. I've never oiled it or changed the cutter. Don't even know how to oil it. Guess I need to look in the manual re: that. Anyone know about oiling it?

  11. #11
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    I also use mine when I make clothing. In fact, I'm looking to upgrade one of these days and get one that flatlocks so I can put the professional looking hems in knits. I DO use my serger around the outside of blocks that I am appliqueing. It sure keeps the fraying under control. I also serge around the edge of my quilts before binding, again for fray and string control.
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"
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  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Sash, oiling a serger is even more important than oiling a sewing machine because the serger does so many more stitches per minute. On mine, there are just two oiling spots, both underneath the machine, where the round rods slide back and forth through thingies with holes (two places where parts rub together). It's important to brush out or vacuum out lint before oiling.

    I used my serger a couple of times to make a quilt. Personally don't care for so much extra thread in the seam; makes the seams bulkier. I have seen intricate quilts done on a serger using strip piecing, but it takes expertise.

    The real value of a serger to me (assuming the serger has differential feed, which most do) is its ability to sew knits without stretching them out of shape. So much better than a sewing machine for this! However, since I rarely use knits in quilting, it's not that useful to me for quilting.
    Last edited by Prism99; 03-15-2012 at 08:30 AM.

  13. #13
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    I contemplated getting a serger last year. You want the new ones that are self threading. They are ideal for sewing clothing with beautiful finished seams. They can be used for piecing but the overlooked thread edges can make a slightly more visible seams under the top. Some people use the overlock seams as accents on the top of the quilt top and that works well. I decided to buying a better Benina sewing machine instead of the serger and couldn't afford both. I don't sew enough clothes anymore to justify the cost but I would still like one.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ksdot417's Avatar
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    I saw an episode of Fons and Porter where the guest made a strip quilt with ruffles entirely on the serger. It was so cute - made me want to go out and buy one of the new ones.

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    I have had a serger for many years, I am on my 4th! I started with an inexpensive Juki, upgraded to a nicer one, then to the top of the line Viking Husky 930 and was very happy for a long time (tough to learn to thread, but after learning ALWAYS thread top looper first, then bottom looper, then needles) I did ok. Then I fell in love with the Babylock Extrodinaire!!

    FOOT PEDAL INFO,

  16. #16
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    FOOT PEDAL INFO (sorry got cut off) I am assuming you have issues with your feet, so why couldn't you put the foot pedal up on the table and push it with your hand? I have done this when working on a tall table and barstool, where I couldn't reach the floor. Could have stood up but where's the fun in that?! Linda

  17. #17
    Senior Member almond's Avatar
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    When my sister passed away, her husband gave me her serger. We are starting to make friends. I love the way it gathers as you go for doll clothes. Receiving blankets are a snap to make with the serged seams. I don't use it alot but when I do I like it.
    Mary

  18. #18
    Senior Member katz_n_kwiltz's Avatar
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    ill tell you what i know- sergers are a wondeful contraption!! they sew, they cut, whats not to love!
    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..fer cryin out loud.
    i bought my brother on amazon.com just before christmas, for $198.00- FREE SHIPPING! do yourself a favor, dont go for the high end stuff, jus cuz it would be nice to have, do your homework on all the models, brother, janome, whatever. find one thats in your price range too, i know the vikings are waaaaay overpriced. even if it doesnt have all the bells n whistles you want, sometimes a compromise is good!! good luck!
    katz

  19. #19
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda8450 View Post
    FOOT PEDAL INFO (sorry got cut off) I am assuming you have issues with your feet, so why couldn't you put the foot pedal up on the table and push it with your hand? I have done this when working on a tall table and barstool, where I couldn't reach the floor. Could have stood up but where's the fun in that?! Linda
    There also may be conversion kits that could adapt one over.
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  20. #20
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    Nancy Zieman did a 3 part series recently on using your serger. Episodes 2514, 2515, 2516
    http://www.wpt.org/sewingwithnancy/sewing.cfm
    I have 2. A Bernina bought at the thrift store "as is" for $30. It just needed to be oiled and purrs along beautifully now. I keep it threaded with black thread. The second is a little bit newer Singer. Got it at an end of the weekend garage sale for $3. Just too good of a deal to pass up. Nothing wrong with that one. So this one stays threaded with white. I don't use either one often, but they are nice to have for some things. I serged the edges of the fabric leaders on my quilt frame. Serged the edges of my muslin I use in cheese making.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by katz_n_kwiltz View Post
    ill tell you what i know- sergers are a wondeful contraption!! they sew, they cut, whats not to love!
    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..fer cryin out loud.
    i bought my brother on amazon.com just before christmas, for $198.00- FREE SHIPPING! do yourself a favor, dont go for the high end stuff, jus cuz it would be nice to have, do your homework on all the models, brother, janome, whatever. find one thats in your price range too, i know the vikings are waaaaay overpriced. even if it doesnt have all the bells n whistles you want, sometimes a compromise is good!! good luck!
    katz
    I have one of those Brothers with the jet air threading. I would NEVER own anything else!!!!!! Can't repeat that often enough. I use it all the time. Best invention since sliced bread!!!!! Don't buy anything else. It's worth every penny it cost.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 03-15-2012 at 11:38 AM.

  22. #22
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I am on my second serger. The first was a Bernina one and it was harder to thread. The problem being if one of the threads broke or ran out you had to start from scratch on all four. I traded it in on a more advanced Bernina several years ago and the rest is history. I make at least 20 Linus quilts a month and I make them pillowcase style. I sew the top, back and batting together with the wrong sides out with the serger and then turn the pillowcase like sandwhich right side out and machine quilt it. The serger assures me a neat even small seam all around the inside of the quilt. It is also great for garmet sewing and a necessity for knits. If you are working with a material that ravels excessively running a row of serger stitches around it will solve that problem. The only drawback is that if you use it for a seam it cuts off the excess so you can not pick it out and make it larger again. There are a lot of neat things you can do with a serger including making lace. If you take a class or talk with a dealer they can tell you all of the details. I would have a problem sewing without mine.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  23. #23
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Those of you who own the Baby Lock Evolution 8-Threas Serger Overlock Machine what is the price of it and what all comes with it?
    clsurz

  24. #24
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feathers-N-Fur View Post
    Nancy Zieman did a 3 part series recently on using your serger. Episodes 2514, 2515, 2516
    http://www.wpt.org/sewingwithnancy/sewing.cfm
    I have 2. A Bernina bought at the thrift store "as is" for $30. It just needed to be oiled and purrs along beautifully now. I keep it threaded with black thread. The second is a little bit newer Singer. Got it at an end of the weekend garage sale for $3. Just too good of a deal to pass up. Nothing wrong with that one. So this one stays threaded with white. I don't use either one often, but they are nice to have for some things. I serged the edges of the fabric leaders on my quilt frame. Serged the edges of my muslin I use in cheese making.
    Thanks so much for posting the link for sergers w/ nancy. I thought I had saved it , thanks.

  25. #25
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    I guess no one owns the BabyLock Evolution or knows the price of it since no one responded to my query on price. That's ok! Today I am going to a sew shop that is an authorized Baby lock dealer and hopefully they will have one to show me and quote me a price.
    clsurz

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