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Topic: Recommend a Serger for me, please. :D  (Read 499 times)
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CeeJayRose
« on: February 26, 2011 11:03:43 AM »

So I hope to be investing in a good serger in the next year and I have no idea what to look for. I've never even used a serger before. I just want something basic to finish off seams. I don't care about any of the fancy finishes or whatever.

I just want some ideas of which ones are better than others or what kinds of things to look for.


Thanks.
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Maggiedoll
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2011 09:59:21 AM »

You said "investing in a good serger" and then "just something basic to finish off seams," so I'm unclear on exactly what you want.  Some of the basic sergers are very good (the Brother 1034D gets great reviews and is one of the cheapest sergers out there) but to me "investing in a good one" generally means something you're not likely to grow out of, which generally means something that can do more.  You also didn't mention what you sew, or what you mean by finishing off seams.  For knits, you generally do most of the construction with just the serger.  If you get a 4-thread machine, you'd I guess you'd be overlocking seams on wovens that you'd already sewn with your regular machine..  But I looovee my 5-thread safety stitch, which does a chain stitch and a 3-thread overlock all in one pass.  (I have a Juki MO-655)  If you do jeans or much home dec, a 5-thread safety stitch is something you should really consider. 
Then of course there's the coverstitch.  I don't have a coverstitch on mine, since everybody recommends getting a separate coverstitch, which I haven't done yet, but to plan on getting eventually.  I've heard some people recommend getting a machine with a built-in coverstitch as well as a separate coverstitch machine, I think that's mainly just as a backup. 
What do you mean by "fancy stitches"?  I think there are a few sergers that do decorative stitches, but for the most part, different serger stitches are pretty utilitarian.  Pretty much all sergers do a rolled hem, although some require changing a plate while others just have a little switch.  I think only the very lowest end sergers have the plate change, though. 
Some machines have a wider differential feed range than others, I'm not completely sure how much of a difference that makes.  Mine has the 0.7-2.0 range, I think the Janomes generally have an 0.5-2.2 range, which might be helpful if you do a lot of gathering. 
You might want to try the Serger search wizard on PatternReview.
It wouldn't be a bad idea to poke around on your local Craigslist to see if you can get a particularly good deal on a used one. 
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CeeJayRose
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011 01:35:42 PM »

I didn't mean anything fancy by "invest". It was just a word I used. I didn't mean for it have some grand meaning.

I forgot this was general sewing, not clothing. I sew clothing though. Just dresses, shirts, skirts...random materials (not knit so much though). Usually just whatever material I have on hand.

And really...I just need something that will be good and last for a while, but not super fancy and not super expensive. I need something that gets the job done.
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Maggiedoll
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2011 05:22:19 PM »

Lol, well then the big question is, do you not sew knits because you don't have a serger or because you don't want to?  For me knits are the biggest use of 3 and 4 thread overlock stitches.   
Like I said, I love having the 5-thread safety stitch, especially for jeans, but also for any other seams that you want to be nice and rugged.  It was something I didn't think about when I first started looking at sergers, but then someone mentioned using it for jeans and so I decided it would be a good idea.  I'm really glad that I got it. 
Although some sergers can get expensive, I think I'd only refer to them as "fancy" if they had the automatic jet-air threading.  In a lot of ways, sergers are the opposite of fancy; they're what you use for knits or for seams where you don't want to use a french seam or a Hong Kong finish--casual stuff. 
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CeeJayRose
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011 08:10:01 PM »

Hmm. Okay. Slowly learning more. lol

I usually just don't have knits...I find a lot of my material from second hand stores...or by taking old clothes and reconning so I just don't really have any knits... But I guess that's something that I might end up sewing with in the future I guess.
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