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Topic: do I need a serger to sell clothes?  (Read 9392 times)
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dangerous suburbanite
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« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2008 09:41:49 AM »

I think it's worth it to invest in a serger if you want to go into business - it gives your seams a professional finish, and more importantly the kind of professional finish that consumers have come to expect.

You could put french seams or Hong Kong seams on every garment you make, but I find that really impractical over the long term.

Also, serged seams hold up much MUCH better than zig zagged and pinked seams.
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« Reply #51 on: August 20, 2008 11:27:06 AM »

In my opinion, serged seams look so much more pro than zig zagging. I think french seams look really nice too, it's just much faster and easier to finish on a serger.

Time=money, right?
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pjhamel
« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2009 10:43:30 AM »

I am not even sure that this is the right section to post this, so if I should move it, please let me know.
I have been sewing for a while, and I want to open an etsy shop. My only problem is, I can't afford a serger, but I want my clothes to be finished on the inside--to look great.
In making garments for myself, what I have been doing is zig-zag stitching or over locking the edges to prevent fraying before I sew the actual seams. It looks okay, not as professional as it would with a serger, but well enough that I am satisfied.
My question is, would this be acceptable to sell on etsy? Would you buy something that was finished in that way?
Or should I just wait until I have saved enough to buy a serger?

Thanks, and I look foward to hearing your advice.
-PJ
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« Reply #53 on: September 09, 2009 10:53:29 AM »

I'm starting up a small line of clothing to sell along with my jewelry. I know I'll be working with jersey fabric, mainly a rayon and spandex blend. I'm trying to figure out ways to finish my seams. Usually, you would use a serger- it's quick and easy and looks neat and professional. However, I don't have one and can't buy one just yet.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how to professionally finish seams? I know you can leave a raw edge and it won't unravel (one of the wonders of knits,) but does this really look professional? Can anyone tell me if they ever saw a raw seam and it still looked okay? Someone suggested a french seam, but I think it'll take too much work and I don't want to have to jack up the prices of my clothing just because I spent extra time finishing.

Please, please, please just throw ideas out there, advice, suggestions, anything! I've been researching for days and have been pretty unsuccessful.

Thank you!  Cheesy
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« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2009 12:27:50 PM »

I've seen raw edges at Target and JCPenney and other discount stores. Since I'm a quality snob, it really gets to me. They still have serged seams because serged seams stretch with the fabric, but the edges on say the sleeves are left raw as a design detail. If you can't afford to buy a serger, I really wouldn't suggest sewing your own clothing line. Maybe you can find someone to sew it and you can sell your stuff together with you being the designer and them being the stitcher. The pieces I'm guessing would complement each other.

Although, if you don't have the $250 to spend on a serger, you might want to rethink how much you have to invest in starting a new line in the first place. Material and thread can add up, too.
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soorawn
« Reply #55 on: September 09, 2009 03:07:29 PM »

Maybe I am missing something, because it's the first time I hear knit doesn't unravel.  I certainly wouldn't buy anything with raw edges, knit or woven.
You can substitute by making a thick zigzag.  But... does it really to compensate the time you're going to spend zigzagging everything and then trimming to avoid the cost of a basic serger?  I totally agree with thesingingllamas.  Think carefully about what you're going to do and involve pen, paper and a calculator in that thinking.
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« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2009 06:29:18 PM »

The only alternative I can think of that will give you a nice finish would be a hong kong finish, which uses bias tape.  On straight seams you could do a french seam, encasing the raw seam.
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« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2009 08:04:15 PM »

I think that a hong kong finish is a nice idea. You have to start somewhere and sometimes that means starting without all the tools that you'd like. In my opinion, serging doesn't necessarily add to the strength of the garment. Clothing from before sergers existed are still around in museums and as family heirlooms. If you sew well and make sure that your seams are pressed well they can still look tidy and be nice.

I saw a shirt last week that had a tag on it that said something to the effect of "This is a unique washed garment and all visible flaws are part of the design finish and add to the aesthetic quality of the garment." Granted, you can't ride out your whole carreer on that kind of disclaimer but I don't see why you can't use it in your beginning line of clothing. Just make sure that everything else, cut, fabric, trimmings are all top notch Smiley
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Thesingingllamas
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« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2009 08:13:29 PM »

The problem is that those things that have lasted forever are wovens. You can do a basic stitch and a seam finish without a serger on wovens. A big thing that I think is important about a serger is that it stretches with the knit. A basic straight stitch on a machine will break when a knit is stretched. If you look at anything knit, it is usually either serged or flatlocked.

PS It is good that you are in Ohio and not trying to manufacture yourself in California because they have all kinds of laws about garment manufacturing.

And sorry if I came off rude before, it is just that so many people fail in clothing business, and I would hate for you to put even the smallest amount of money into something without thinking everything through and running the numbers.
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« Reply #59 on: September 09, 2009 08:34:32 PM »

Another option is a French seam .. where the edges are tucked inside and you can't see them.  I like that finish if you can't get a serger.
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