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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: bedazzsewing
Date: 02-21-2005, 10:23 PM (1 of 19)
Hello, and I can already tell im going to love this forum!! I am looking to purchase a serger--need some advice. Looking for one reasonably priced (no higher than $200) and fairly easy to operate. Ive been sewing for myself for only 3 years so Im no expert, but I do pretty good for making clothes for me.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

User: bedazzsewing
Member since: 02-21-2005
Total posts: 2
From: DorothyL
Date: 02-22-2005, 07:35 AM (2 of 19)
Try to have someone around to tell you how to work the darn thing. I bought mine on impulse ("Oh look, a serger on sale. No one here knows how to use one? Oh well, I'll figure it out.").
Well, I'm still figuring.
It's a White and I paid about what you want to spend but it was half price.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: Pudge99
Date: 02-22-2005, 09:46 AM (3 of 19)
$200 is going ot get you a very basic machine. Nothing real fancy. I paid about $300 for my Janome Mylock 134d about 6 yrs. ago. It is a very basic 3/4 thread serger. I do more with it than I do with my regular machine.
I have just started learning what I can do with it. For the longest time all I did was sew seams and finish edges. In the last year I have learned how to do rolled hems and most recently gather. Mine doesn't do much more than that.

You should check with your local sewing machine dealers (Pfaff, Janome, Singer, etc.) and see what they have in your price range. You might be able to get a used one.
Pictures of my successes and failures
Pfaff 2040
Janome Mylock 134D
Singer Futura CE-100 w/ Autopunch
Husqvarna Viking 3D Sketch
User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
From: Kylnne2
Date: 02-22-2005, 09:49 PM (4 of 19)
Well hmm, what comes to mind is Janome for $199 purchased on line. Janome is the same as the New Home brand. The Sears Kenmore is also Janome but the Sears price on sale for a 4 thread with lay in tensions is $249. I think off sale it is $349. The New Home 504D can be purchased on line with free shipping for $199 and comes with a video. It does not require to change the plate to do a rolled hem and it is a good basic serger and basically the same design serger as the Kenmore.
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
From: bedazzsewing
Date: 02-22-2005, 11:29 PM (5 of 19)
thanks for the advice--ive been doing research on all the ones listed--very exciting information out there. keep the advice coming!!
User: bedazzsewing
Member since: 02-21-2005
Total posts: 2
From: Kylnne2
Date: 02-23-2005, 01:14 AM (6 of 19)
Not to be confusing but I believe Master Craft is also Janome. Yep, Janome is all over the place..including sewing machines. Kenmore, Master Craft, New Home, Huskystar for Viking, Elna and I think the new Paff Grand Quilter is also Janome along with some of the Bernina's and Berninas new embroidery machine. Janome has the least of amount of repairs needed according to the techs. They seem to be the machines with the most features for the price. In sergers there are many new affordable models in all the brands and some very expensive models. And to think that all of these home sergers started with Juki and their industrials..they made a home machine called the Babylock..Tacony got the distribution rights and look how sergers took off. :) All the major companies now market the overlocks with differntial feed, added electronics and speed controls, computers and auto tensions. Soooo..there is a wide variety from which to choose. When shopping it depends on what you want a serger for..just to overcast seams or use it for, binding, puffing and gathering, blind hem or are you looking for coverlock and chain stitch or maybe to use for deco looks. Do you want 3 threads or 10? It depends on the budget also :)
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
From: creatingfiberar
Date: 02-26-2006, 12:46 PM (7 of 19)
The store I purchase my Janome from will allow a trade up within a specific period of time.(Not sure what that is, forgot to ask, was so excited about my serger :whacky: ), but the nice thing about purchasing from a shop is they show you how to re-thread, and the options on the machines. You may start out with a basic serger then get used to it and then be able to trade-up, just make sure and ask.
Trying to stay sane in a serging world, could someone bring me MORE coffee!
User: creatingfiberar
Member since: 02-20-2006
Total posts: 6
From: Tom Land
Date: 02-26-2006, 01:38 PM (8 of 19)
As most have indicated be sure you get the serger somewhere that you can get help. Don't assume a machine is good because it is made by the people that make another good brand. If you look at four sergers with identical features from four different brands that are all made by the same company and the prices range from $299 to $899 do you really they is no difference? Machines are made to different specifications using different materials. Most of the time you get what you pay for but you never get what you didn't pay for.
Make sure you sew on the machine before purchasing. Ask questions. If you don't get good answers you are in the wrong store. When you think you have found the right one try a couple of others first just to make sure.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: vasallese
Date: 03-01-2006, 08:19 PM (9 of 19)
Hi, my 2 cents worth on sergers: Look around & compare. There are the basic models, there are the models with bells & whistles. I have had 3 sergers. This last one is the Imagine from Baby Lock & I love it. It was expensive, but I love to sew & I deserve to have a machine that I can rely on & makes my hobby (& not to mention saving my sanity) fun. This one adjusts the serger settings as you sew. I love that, cause I ruined the last one playing with the settings to much. I do miss not having the 5 threads, I have only 4, but I was willing to make that exchange. There are those with 8 threads, but I do not believe I'll be needing them anytime soon.
I have not had to send this in for repairs, & I have had it for 8 years now. I like to think my Dad is smiling on me with this cause I got it with the money left to me after he passed away.
A serger finishes off the seams so nicely. I have made quilts with it, too. It just helps the whole sewing process. So, go compare & have a good time.
User: vasallese
Member since: 03-01-2006
Total posts: 6
From: gamiejean
Date: 03-06-2006, 08:38 PM (10 of 19)
HI, i am new to this forum , last November bought myself a Kenmore Serger and very very happy with it , did not know a thing about the machine , sat down and listen to video very helpful ,and explain every- thing . Got it going ,been going ever since made 30 PJ`S bottom for christmas ,does beautiful job Paid $200.oo something with tax PS : Make sure you buy one already threaded.
User: gamiejean
Member since: 03-05-2006
Total posts: 1
From: crazy4quilting
Date: 03-09-2006, 10:37 AM (11 of 19)
Hi There,

Read your thread and wanted to let you know that I have my White Speedy Lock, which I can give the ultimate praise on. I've had it for over 10 years now, and have only had to service it once. It was about $400.00 way back then, but everything was more expensive before the "Mass Production" trend (but unfortunately - ususally more durable). It has a metal body construction, which makes it a heavy-duty model. I also have several different feet attachments that are compatible with it like a pearl/cording foot, elastic foot, etc. I recently bought a Singer Serger for about $230.00. I thought I would have a back up just in case. It sews very nicely as well. Haven't had any trouble with either one. Just thought I would give you some models to compare on. Once you get one and use it, you will never know how you existed w/out it. :cool: Happy Sewing!
A Girl Can Never Have Too Much Fabric!
User: crazy4quilting
Member since: 03-14-2002
Total posts: 51
From: MotherInLaw
Date: 03-09-2006, 01:56 PM (12 of 19)
Hi Libby, Glad to see someone from the Big Easy here. I was from Chalmette before Katrina but we were flooded out so I'm in Kentwood now and love it. Where is your place of business? Going to any of the Irish parades this weekend? They are having the annual parade in Chalmette this weekend so I am planning on going for my cabbage and veggie.

For Christmas I was able to get a Singer 5 thread serger/cover stitch and love it. It was 599.00 but is worth the price. I also had a Euro Pro which was a good machine but nothing like the Singer which is more expensive of course but the features are worth paying this price.
I'm regressing back into my youth, I just have to figure out how I'm going to convience my body to come along with me.
User: MotherInLaw
Member since: 06-25-2005
Total posts: 1118
From: nannylin
Date: 03-11-2006, 07:35 AM (13 of 19)
My mother-in-law gave me a White 734D serger about 2 years ago--one that she didn't want any more. It sat in the closet all this time, unused. Your inquiry inspired me to get it out. I love it! The instructions for threading are very clear and easy to follow. The results are beautiful--I can't believe how fast it is compared to my sewing machine. The perfect appliance to buy just because you want one!

After this experience, when I am ready to move up, I would consider buying a used machine from someone who is also moving up.

Just my 2 cents!
User: nannylin
Member since: 02-27-2006
Total posts: 47
From: toastydeath
Date: 03-11-2006, 07:08 PM (14 of 19)
I'm looking around my area for used industrial sergers. Does anyone have used industrial-specific advice or experience? Things to look out for, etc?

I'm basically looking for:
- 500-600 dollar range
- Four thread, two needle (I need some stretch, so no five thread)
- 6500-ish spm (no need for a 9000 spm serger)
- Differential feed
- Knee or pedal operated presser foot (i don't think this is even an option, but don't want to get shafted into a hand lever operated presser foot)
- Walking foot would be nice, but is optional (and i don't think i'll find it in the used 600 dollar range)
- 1/3 hp is fine - i'm not sewing sails or denim
User: toastydeath
Member since: 03-11-2006
Total posts: 13
From: toastydeath
Date: 03-23-2006, 07:28 PM (15 of 19)
I got myself a brand-spanking new industrial serger, a four thread Yamata FY2000A. Aside from being generally scary, it's an awesome machine. $700, plus $60 in shipping.
It went through 32 layers of heavy cotton at full tilt without stopping, stalling, or otherwise complaining.

Took about two hours of setup, then another two or three hours to set up all the threading. Though, it takes about ten minutes to thread the whole thing now that I know what I'm doing. Comes with a little pair of tweezers, which are absolutely necessary to get the thread through the loopers and needles. However, if i wasn't so mechanically inclined, I'd have a huge, $700 dollar problem on my hands - it took a lot of adjusting and fiddling with various screws and knobs to get it working properly.

After the chain is started and all threads run off the cones smoothly, it doesn't stop for anything. The sensitivity to speed is taking some getting used to, and i'm getting irritated when I switch over to my domestic sewing machine - the foot controlled presser foot is a great feature that speeds up what i'm doing tremendously. I'm already thinking about buying an industrial straight/zigzag machine to replace my dying domestic.
User: toastydeath
Member since: 03-11-2006
Total posts: 13
From: LadySloPokes
Date: 03-26-2006, 11:48 AM (16 of 19)
thanks for the advice--ive been doing research on all the ones listed--very exciting information out there. keep the advice coming!!

Please, whatever you do, whatever machine you decide on, Please purchase it at an authorized sewing machine dealer. You might have to pay a little more for it, but you'll end up getting much more for your money in the long run. Personalized service, lessons and trade-up later on are just a few of the perks that some dealers offer their customers when they buy machines. Some may even do repairs and warranty work on their machines. Most will let you "test drive" a few machines to give you an idea of what the machine will do. I would also recommend trying several dealers who have 3-4 different brand machines that they sell-better to be over informed than not informed at all!!

Good Luck, and let us know what machine you get!!! :bg:

Cookie :wink:
LadySlo...yes am I, but hey, I'm gettin' there! Are you sure it's supposed to look like this?! Proud owner of Singer Quantum Decor 7322 & Singer Quantum Futura CE 200.. "A balanced diet is having chocolate in both hands!"
User: LadySloPokes
Member since: 08-15-2005
Total posts: 198
From: jonesy2243
Date: 03-27-2006, 11:46 AM (17 of 19)
I recently bought a euro pro serger and the threading is very easy and it works great but there are some things that are not explained very well in the instruction manual. If you have been sewing for some time, most of it you can kind of figure out ....if you've got lots of patience. :nervous:
User: jonesy2243
Member since: 03-27-2006
Total posts: 3
From: Kylnne2
Date: 03-29-2006, 03:31 AM (18 of 19)
Jonesy, if you have the threading down pat and you think it is easy then you have it knocked. I would say that all you have now before you is a fun learning experience. Most sergers thread basically the same, some models have their buttons and levers in different places and some models require a plate change to do rolled hem while with other models you just move a lever. The fun part is learning the different types of stitches that your serger can do and knowing your sergers parts and functions. I think soon you will be saying several "Wows" with the fast easy professional results your serger will soon perform. I hope you enjoy your new serger for a long time to come.
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
From: dunnsunn
Date: 04-07-2006, 01:17 PM (19 of 19)
about sergers. I borrowed my sister's a couple years ago and had to pay a bernina dealer 5 bucks to thread it for me. I thought it was impossible to get ready to operate, so I took it back to her and wrote serger off my want list. Now it may go back on as I'll be prepared to spend forever getting it ready to go! thanks for the inspiration!
User: dunnsunn
Member since: 04-07-2006
Total posts: 5
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