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Topic: Should I get a serger?  (Read 5696 times)
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« on: July 04, 2011 03:22:29 PM »

I'm a beginning seamstress, and I'm wondering if I should get a serger. Do they make sewing easier or faster? And can i do the same thing with my sewing machine?


« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011 09:01:22 AM »


An overlocker or Serger is a great machine to have as a compliment to the sewing machine but it will never replace the sewing machine.

An overlocker will only perform a stitch that prevents the fabric from fraying and some overlockers will even do a coverstitch which is very usefull when finishing off the sleeves or hems of t-shirts. If you are creating trousers, shirts or generally garments that do not have a lining or only a half lining, then the overlocker is an invaluable asset to have along side the sewing machine.

Nearly all sewing machines nowadays will come with the function to perform a variety of overlocking stitches but these are essentially a glorified zigzag stitch. The sewing machine can only produce the stitch with the 2 thread combination as it always does with the top thread and the thread in the bobbin. The overlocker on the other hand will perform this stitch in a combination of a 3, 4 and 5 thread chain, of which the sewing machine could never produce. The overlocker will trim your threads as it sews in one operation with the use of a top blade and a bottom blade, very much like a pair of scissors. And again the feature that a standard sewing machine does not have. There is however an add-on that Bernina produce called a cut and sew foot which acts very much like an overlocker but the machine is still restricted to the 2 thread combination.

So my advice would be, if you are doing a lot of sewing and you are wanting to produce clothes to a professional standard like a pair of trousers of which can only be done with the help of an overlocker machine, then go for it. The overlocker is an excellent machine to have and you will not be dissapointed.

When buying an overlocker start by having a look at the make that your sewing machine is as you are obviously happy with the sewing machine that you are using now and having the same make would compliment each other very well. If this is not so much of an issue with you then i would test out various overlocking machines and purchase the one that you feel most comfortable with.

I hope that this helps you and good luck.




Michael Coates - Professional English Tailor
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011 09:30:27 AM »

Thank you very much. I think that at the level of sewing I'm doing now getting along with a zigzag stitch would be possible, maybe preferable. But I would like to sew my own clothes... I think I better see where I am in a few months and then revisit sergers. Again, thank you so much.


« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011 06:41:51 AM »


I agree, only get an overlocker when you are ready. The zigzag stitch is an acceptable way of sewing the edge of your seams before they are attached together just like overlocked panels.

Good luck and happy sewing.


Michael Coates - Professional English Tailor
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011 02:24:59 PM »

Yes, yes, yes, it is the best investment I ever made.  Makes your work look so much more professional.  I have a Brother 1034D and I have had it for 8 years and I love, love, love it.
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011 05:23:48 AM »

I have an overcast foot for my brother. <3 it.
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011 05:23:01 PM »

i think if you're beginning it's not necessary...it took me a decade of sewing before I got one and I've only used it really to make projects for my kiddos and cloth wipes, etc.  i'm starting more with knits for clothes now so i am sure it will see more use.  i agree with michael Smiley

Since my girls actually nap (knock on wood), I am going to start trying to work off my negative feedback.  Life got hectic with their early arrival.  I apologize for the inconveniences my flaking caused.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011 05:42:03 PM »

If you intend to much  sewing on clothing-sheers,denim,knits of any kind,satins,basically any fabric- GET ONE!! If you have the space to set up both machines, you will be suprised how much you use it! If you have your tensions correct you can eliminate most of your straight stitching on you regular machine. I use the serger more than the regular one.You can finish hems-gather-sew entire seams with out having to use other machine-rolled hems(fine finish on sheers)-endless things. the one I have was $200 and its great!Check them out....
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2011 02:49:31 PM »

In most of the finer clothing stores, the clothing is lined, french seamed, or have binding (hong-kong finish) on the seams, so a serger is not a necessity. Designer clothing has these finishes and people pay for the luxury. Nothing is compared to a jacket that is taken off and has a nice finish for other to see weather it is complimentary or coordinated material on a lined or hong- kong finish. Skirts, bodices, dresses with  a lining protects the outer fabric from body oils, lotions, and sweat that can ruin and break down finer fabric.
If you are sewing decorative for the home a serger is great for rolled edges on many things like napkins, tableclothes, runners. A serger is great for rolled hems with speciality threads on clothing and for sewing knits. You can find one at garage sales, thift shops, repair shops as people love to upgrade their equipment. Differential feed on a serger is great to use. It is a purchase that you can wait to do as your skills improve.

Sewing machines: Universal KAB, Kenmore 150 385.19150090, Brother XL-3125, Brother LS-2000

Combo sewing and embroidery machine: Brother SE270D

Sergers: Sergemate Companion 5040, Simplicity Serge Pro
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