advice on serger
10 years ago
Tami, would that Janome be the Mylock 534? because I’ve just located a lightly used one for $50. I might just go with it since if it’s a dud it wouldn’t be a huge waste, but if you’re saying that it’s a good one then all the better!10 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
Thanks so much for the tips on the specific models & numbers, ladies, that’s really useful!10 years agoMasha RichartKeymaster@roundtheworldgirl
Piping in to thank everyone – thanks to this thread and my husband’s urging, I’ve got a Brother1034D on my Amazon wish list (and I have a feeling he is going to surprise me with it later this year) 🙂10 years agoJennifer1568 @Jennifer1568
Do you use a serger to do rolled hems and neaten seams? Do you sew the seams on the sewing machine and then use the serger to finish them? My machine has an overlock stitch that I sometimes use to finish seams that can’t be french seams. What is the advantage of a serger?10 years agoscgoble @scgoble
Personally, I use mine to neaten seam allowances before sewing the seams. It’s just easier for me that way. I also use it for all knits sewing. It truly changed my life when I got mine. 🙂 I am too lazy to do couture-type seam work on all my garments, so serging them makes for a very nice finish.10 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
Even though I basically know what a serger does, I still have a little trouble envisioning how it will fit in my workflow — here’s an article I’m finding helpful that talks a bit about that: http://whatthecraft.com/whats-a-serger/10 years agomrsc1345 @mrsc1345
Jennifer1568, I use my serger to all of the seam finishing on the clothes I make. I sew the seam with my regular sewing machine, and then zip it through the serger, which cuts off the extra fabric and finishes the outside edge so the fabric doesn’t fray and come apart. I also find that the few times I have been too lazy to run it through the serger (which usually takes a total of 3 extra minutes per garment) the inside of my clothes become a mess, not only fraying but the seam allowance wrinkling every which way, where my serged allowances stay nicely where they belong. You can sew the majority of your seams with only your serger, but using your regular machine makes them stronger, better for kids clothes. For me, I really think it adds a great touch to my clothes, taking them from “home-made” to “handmade.” Add in the ability to make fast rolled hems and sew through knits like a dream (I love sewing knits now!) it was definately worth the money for me. I also use it whenever I am feeling lazy, because it is 2-3 times as fast as my sewing machine, if I want to make a quickie pillow cover, or a drawstring bag I use my serger instead and am done in a snap. I also serge all around my quilts before I put my binding on and it has made such a difference in my finished binding look, and makes it easier to handstitch on!10 years agowith love Heidi @with love Heidi
I use my serger (overlocker) all the time when I sew. When sewing clothes I generally just sew the seams with the overlocker (I don’t generally bother to use the sewing machine first, I fact I have did for the first time this week on a Tea Party sun dress). I wouldn’t worry about the overlocked seams on their own not being strong enough as I am wearing a polar fleece jumper (sweater) Mum and I made in about 1995 (yes, 17 years ago!) and the seams have just a single pass of overlocking (and I have at least 3 of these jumpers) and are still holding up very well, in fact looking at them I could have sewn them yesterday. I remember mum getting our overlocker in the early to mid 90’s. It halved the time it took to sew everything because instead of having to do 2 passes on the sewing machine (one of the basic stitching and then the large zigzag to neaten the seams) things were sewn together in just one pass. And the seams looked great.
One piece of advice would be get a better quality one rather than a poor quality one. When I began regularly again 2 1/2 years ago, I was using work’s overlocker (a Singer) and it would not easily sew the 2 layers of polar fleece and one of quilting cotton together (I now have it set up permanently for rolled hems). When I bought my own overlocker that Christmas, I made sure I tested it with all those layers. I bought a Janome Mylock644D (mum’s was a Janome and is still going well) and it is brilliant and still going very strong with 2 1/2 years of excessive use. Two things I really like about it are the easy lower looper threading, it has leaver that brings the lower looper into an easier threading position and the little plastic bin that sits on the front to catch all the little bits that get chopped off (not sure of technical name but keeps things cleaner).
One other thing, I also invested in a gathering foot for the ovelocker and it is great and I use it regularly. It was fairly cheap about $30 AUS (especially compared to a ruffler $100 AUS). Not super relevant for Oliver and S patterns but if you’re sewing for a girl you may be adding ruffles to (lots) of other things.10 years ago
Thank you all for your input! I’ve gone with the many recommendations for the Brother 1034D and have just received it. I’d never used one before and can now understand why so many say it is life changing! Holy cow! Talk about fast! I’ve been more and more ambitious about the quantity of sewing that I’d like to do and, since I can’t seem to squeeze more hours out of the day and sleeping less turns me into a drooling monster, I think the serger is what will actually allow me to be more productive. I’ll be back soon with questions, I’m sure! 🙂10 years agoJess M. @mommy2maria
The only thing I suggest is that you practice changing the threads and sew on scraps first. I’m still new to mine, and I’ve had a few times where I was gung-ho and didn’t make sure my fabric was out of the way, and cut into my fabric and not at the seams 🙁 So I tend to sew without the knives until I need them, and go carefully when I do. At least until I get the hang of it.9 years agoNicole @motherof5
Bumped -baby baby!9 years agoTamara @justsewit
Wendyls, I’m glad you are enjoying your new serger. All I can say is that you can feel free to practise “speeding” without the worry of getting pulled over, fined and the like – you may be in for accidental needle breakages though but this is the only warning so I will let you off just this once hehe!
Did your dealer offer a free lesson to take you through the basics? Is there a dvd or online video tutorial to take you through the basics? I was lucky to have both and found it very helpful as it was really out of my depth to start with – the only overlocker/ serger I used was at school and even then it was old, clunky and we weren’t really allowed to touch anything!
Scraps are good to try things out on so keep them handy. You’ll get to know it through practise with scraps. Threading has to be in order – hopefully your manual will tell you that – or else the stitch looks disgusting!
Has it got a coverstitch component also or just the serging part? Mine is basic so I am looking to add a coverstitch machine to make a sewing trio rather than upgrading – I think hubby would be a bit put out if I did that (he painstakingly chose it apparently).
A little trick I do to make changing threads easier is to snip near the reel and tie on the new colour AFTER I separate the threads near the needle first. Then I just gently pull the thread and the new colour comes through. For the needles though, I take the thread out of the needle itself and then pull the new colour through, snip and thread the needles with the little gadget in the toolbox. Makes it faster and it is only sometimes I have to rethread the whole thing because the thread has repositioned itself.
Glad to know you are bonding with your serger.
Tamara9 years ago
Thanks for all the advice, Tamara! Yes, we’re more than bonded at this point. More or less joined at the hip! I used it today to make about 200 continuous feet of ruffles (which, of course, had 200 feet of rolled hem).Yikes! No needles breaking, but it did need a couple of rests!
Actually the instruction manual is pretty thorough and I haven’t had to crack open the DVD yet. That’s a great tip about changing thread although I’ve been doing it the long way for now, until it becomes second nature. I’m really looking forward to figuring out what else it can do!
A cover stitch machine sounds like fun. I haven’t gotten to the stage of pining for one of those yet. Right now I’m pining for a new sewing machine. Let us know what you decide on! 🙂6 years agoDeb @Mynorth
It looks like I will need to replace my Bernette FunLock serger. It was damaged recently and since it’s 20 years old (or older) perhaps it’s time to replace it.
The sergers in my price bracket that I’ve been looking at are: Juki MO0664D, Brother 1034D & 1134D, and Janome 8002D
Threading a serger is not an issue for me and I have a Janome Coverstitch so I don’t need an air-threading or coverstitch feature.
After reading through the posts on this thread, it appears the Brother 1034D gets several thumbs up.
Any advice or personal experience with other machines would be much appreciated.
Deb6 years agoEnbee @Enbee
I’m not an expert in sergers by any means, but I have the SINGER 14CG754, and I really like it. It seems to be roughly equivalent in price and function to the Brother (? maybe? Like I said, not an expert!). For actual garment construction, I’ve only used the four-thread stitch, but I played around with 2 and 3 thread stitches when I was first learning to use it, and they all seemed fairly successful – at least, the stitches looked even and uniform and held the fabric together.
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