advice on serger
6 years ago
I’m looking for a serger and am on a tight budget. I’ve found a White 1600 barely used, still in the box for $200. Is anyone familiar with this machine? I need it to do some light piece work. I can upgrade later on but in the meantime will I get some good use out of it? With professional looking results? And minimal frustration? I know nothing about sergers so any other recommendations are welcome! Thanks!6 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
I’m also interested in this topic. So far the consensus seems to be that a poor quality serger is worse than no serger, and that if you hate to thread it you’ll never use it. The Babylock Imagine seems to be a very popular model but it’s 3x the cost of my sewing machine, which makes it very hard for me to justify.6 years agoSherry @mim22
What a shame you don’t live in Oz. I have 3 Bernina overlockers to sell, I have just got Babylock Enlighten and it does everything. I know they are pricey but worth every penny. Inserting piping is a breeze, rolled hems are beautiful and you can even do pin tucks and put in exposed zips. Good luck with your search just do lots of research and try different machines in the shops and you will find one you are happy with.6 years ago
Thanks for the replies. Anything in that price range is out of my league at the moment. What I’m looking for is a low end machine that I can squeek by on for the time being. Or a used mid-range machine to keep an eye out for. Or for someone to tell me that that a cheap serger is not even worth it. Sarvi, I know this is pretty much what you said but I’m hoping someone will pipe in with something to the contrary! I’ll be working mainly with quilting cottons, finishing the edges of doll clothing. So it doesn’t have to be efficient at doing much more than that. White 1600 lady got back to me and will sell for $150, so that’s looking more appealing. Although reviews I’ve read are pretty pixed.6 years agoNicole @motherof5
If you are only after something to neaten edges and make leggings and such a cheaper overlocker should be fine.
If you find the seams are pulling apart(and you are feeling brave)you can ‘play’ with the stitch length and tension bit always ALWAYS write the existing tension down before you do so that you can re-set it.
Try E-bay,I recommend Husquarna (sp)? and I have seen those go of on Ebay for as little as $20! I have had to stop my self-four overlockers(sergers)is enough for any house!6 years agoLucyM @LucyM
I agree with Sarvi. There is a Simplicity Easy Lock Differential Feed serger that has become clutter in my sewing space. I bind seams, press seams allowances under, french seam, et cetera, all to avoid using (…threading) that cursed machine. Hold out for the best quality machine you can afford AND are willing to use. Good luck.6 years agoNicole @motherof5
That would always be my first recommendation,save and get the best second hand you can afford.
As for threading it,I have had several machines and no matter how careful you are at some point they need re-threading.
I find with practice it gets easier,I always get my manual out and try not to do it when I am in a hurry. I remember spending a whole babies nap trying to thread my machine,unsuccessfully,only to come back that evening and thread it perfectly first time.
I just got the feeling Wendy was after a machine right away and the one she found appeared to suit her needs and her budget.
~Nicole~6 years agoemstone @emstone
I bought a Singer 14CG754 and I love it. I bought it from Simplicity.com and used a coupon code that gave me 20% off my first time ordering from them. I also waited to order when it was on sale and got it at an even bigger discount. I know this is much cheaper than some of the other models out there but I really love it. I use mine mainly for neatening seams and rolled hems, it is also very easy to thread and after threading it a few times I can now do it from memory. Hope this helps and let us know what you decide on.6 years agoscgoble @scgoble
I have a Brother 1034D and love it. It’s a basic machine and goes for just under $200 new on Amazon. It’s easy to use (thread) with excellent instructions. I highly recommend it for basic seam neatening and sewing with knits.6 years agomrsc1345 @mrsc1345
I just want to pipe in and say that I have a cheap serger (cheap cheap!) and honestly I love it. I also have the Brother 1034D (What what scgoble! Serger twins!) that I bought off amazon. When I got it I was super intimidated, but eventually I conquered my fear and learned to thread that thing and away I went! I ended up taking a intro to serging class which ended up being two hours devoted to mostly teaching people how to thread their machine. But I did get to see a whole range of peoples sergers bought at different prices and I think my humble little brother did as good as almost all the competition, except for one fancy smancy $2000 serger which did the nicest rolled hems I’ve ever seen. So I am pretty satisfied , I don’t think spending more money on a “better” machine would make a difference for me. I think that as with any serger threading is the worst part, and if you don’t want to put in a few hours of practice right away to really memorize how to thread it, just buy big neutral cones of thread so they blend in with your fabric and you can be serging for months before you need to rethread. I also believe in buying the best equipment you can afford, I saved and spent more on my sewing machine than my last car, but I would make the same decisions over again. I don’t know if I will ever upgrade my serger, unless I win the lottery of course!6 years ago
Thanks for all the input! I think I’ll take my chances on the White 1600, despite it’s shady reputation. It’s the most accessible thing right now and I’m hoping it’ll serve me well as long as I’m patient and don’t ask too much of it. At Least I’ve heard that it’s an easier one to thread. It’s reassuring to hear that some of you are happy with your inexpensive sergers. I have a feeling that some of the negative reviews of lower end ones have to do with the frustrating learning curve. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyhow! 🙂6 years agoJess M. @mommy2maria
I went with a Brother 1034D as well (I have a few friends that have one as well), as I couldn’t justify the purchase of a “higher quality” serger—like Bernina or Huskys….since I wasn’t sure I’d like it……but I’ve gotten a ton of use making baby gifts and clothes for Maria.
You can always upgrade at a later time.6 years agoKarenK @KarenK
I owned 2, yes TWO White Speedylock 1600s. One went back to the store and the other went into the garbage can after several months and a trip to the repair shop. I second the Brother 1034, I’ve heard nothing but positive things about it and the price is affordable.6 years ago
Uh oh! Thanks for posting, Karen. So many people with positive things to say about the Brother 1034 and now a definite double no to the White 1600. I’ve found a Brother 1034 on Ebay and will go with that. Probably worth the extra $80 or so. Close call! Thanks again, everyone!6 years agotami @tami
Check out Janome. Their base model is around $2-300 and was great for me for at least a couple years. I know many other WAHM’s who started their businesses with that modeled and would recommend it as well. It’s definitely a work horse!
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