Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

The Sew What’s New Archive

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: sewing maven
Date: 05-18-2006, 08:36 PM (1 of 13)
I was thrilled when I first got my Juki MO735 serger as it was new, performed all the serge functions and coverlock. However my thrill was short lived because the machine will not hold timing. Loopers have gotten jammed so many times (resulting in my running the machine up to the repair shop to be readjusted numerous times) that the last time it happen I actually broke the upper looper. Sadly, the US Juki supply house has been out of loopers for months and awaiting shipment from Japan! Now I have been without my machine more oft than with it.

OK, enough complaining. The store where I purchased my machine has offered to take it back in trade towords a new machine (a more expensive one). I paid $995 for my Juki and was offered a Viking for my old machine plus 1300. I am also looking at PFAFF.

I would love input - I am looking for versitility, reliabilty and some speed.
User: sewing maven
Member since: 04-02-2006
Total posts: 11
From: chris b
Date: 05-18-2006, 08:59 PM (2 of 13)
I have an Elna 945 which is almost identical to the 5 thread Pfaff(forget the number). I love mine and if she will let you and you can afford it I'd take a look at the Pfaff and see if it is more to your liking.

My first serger was a Simplicity that wouldn't hoild the tension or timing. I fondly refer to it as a "boat anchor" because that is about all it was good for.
Pfaff 2170,Pfaff 7570,Elna 945
Singer 301A,Singer Redeye,Singer 15 HC
Simplicity 2/3/4
Pfaff Creative 3-D digitizing,3-D Fabric Decorator
Pfaff PCDMac2.2
Embird,Studio,cross stitch,
EQ5....and adding all the time!
User: chris b
Member since: 01-10-2001
Total posts: 109
From: MaryW
Date: 05-19-2006, 06:38 AM (3 of 13)
I have a Pfaff Coverstyle. It is awesome and scoots thru denim layers as easy as fine cotton and four way stretch knits. I have switched back and forth for different finishes and the 5 thread safety stitch. I haven't tried the rolled hem yet. So far it works like a charm, but it is a ------ to thread.

I am sure I will get better at it the more I use it. I just haven't threaded it very many times yet. Used the same thread for the last couple of projects. Here it is.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: DorothyL
Date: 05-19-2006, 08:11 AM (4 of 13)
I have a Pfaff 4862

and I love it -- now.
We had some difficulties at first. It has a bit of a quirk and I have to be especially careful to get the left needle in the tension but then off I go.
I got one that had been used to teach dealers to use it, so I got a really good price and it has the same warranty as brand new.
It is really easy to thread.
I'd say be sure you study all the features the different models have then go for the Pfaff that offers what you need.
You sill love it!
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: MartySews
Date: 05-19-2006, 02:32 PM (5 of 13)
I have the Pfaff 4874 (10 thread serger) and love it. I used to have the Pfaff 4862 which was my first serger but wanted to do more decorative stitching so DH surprised with my 4874. I did manage to knock the timing out of sync when I accidently stepped on the foot pedal while changing settings. $143 later, it's working fine - a very expensive lesson to learn. Many people in my ASG chapter like the Babylock Imagine (4 thread w/o coverstitch) because of the jet air threading and auto tensions. In fact, 3 members bought one after seeing the Imagine in action at one of our meetings. I have heard that the Viking 936 is a great one to own too.
Good luck with your search.
Happy Stitching!
Marty :up:
It takes one moment to change a life.
User: MartySews
Member since: 02-23-2003
Total posts: 504
From: Marilyn in MD
Date: 05-19-2006, 07:28 PM (6 of 13)
I have a Viking 936 and simply love it. You touch the screen to say what type of fabric you are going to stitch, and it does the settings automatically for you. It isn't nearly as difficult to thread as my old serger. I considered one of the jet-air threading sergers until I read in one of the sewing magazines that over time, bits and pieces of lint and dust are pulled into the machine and eventually can damage the serger.

The best thing for you to do is "test drive" a few sergers, using your own fabrics, then choose the one you like best. Also, check out the dealers. You want a dealer who will provide a series of lessons on how to use the serger and, as important, who will be there for you in the future. One that offers serger classes would be really nice. I still occasionally go to classes at my Viking dealer's to learn new serger techniques.

Best wishes in making your decision.
User: Marilyn in MD
Member since: 03-13-2006
Total posts: 14
From: esrun3
Date: 05-20-2006, 09:23 PM (7 of 13)
I have the one Marilyn has and love it! Very easy to learn to use and runs like a charm. Gets way more work out than I ever thought it would when I bought it!
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: mommydionne
Date: 05-23-2006, 06:14 PM (8 of 13)
I have the viking 910 (step down from the 936) didn't think I would use the coverstitch, perhaps should have gone for it but am very :up: happy with the 910, handles multiple layers well and does a great rolled hem with minimal fussing (I like the 3 thread rolled hem better than the 2 but each to their own). It does take some practice re: corners as there is a fair bit of distance b/c the blade and needle (longer wheelbase than my old singer :dave: ) and it is large requiring a chunk of table space but that's ok with me. The blind hemmer is great once you get the hang of it, I can now make kiddie pj's entirely on the serger.
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
From: Kylnne2
Date: 05-25-2006, 06:10 PM (9 of 13)
I have an Elna 744 that I purchased new for $800. It is only a 4 thread but has 16 stitch programs, Chain stitch and 3 coverhems, narrow and wide double seam coverhem and triple seam coverhem. It also comes with a clear foot for deco chain work. You don't have to change the foot or plate for coverhem and it switches over easily for coverhem and ends coverhem easily because of the auto needle tension release button. It has automatic tensions and a tilt needle bar with 5 needle positions for easy changing. The front 3 needles are for coverhem and chain stitches and the back 2 are for regular serged stitch programs that you just dial a number to set the stitch. This machine is very similar to the Pfaff's 4862 and even takes the same feet as the Pfaff Coverhems. I used to have the Pfaff 4862 and the Pfaff and Elna design is very similar. The Elna 744 is not a computerized model like the Elna 945 and does not have the pro cards like the 945. It is a very easy serger to thread and use and does the job well. I have owned several sergers and this has been my you can tell if you have seen my posts about it all over the internet. :)
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
From: wezi44
Date: 06-02-2006, 12:28 AM (10 of 13)
I purchased a My Lock (4 spool) 11 years ago for my mother. It works great. It is a little hard to thread, as I have recently found out, but for a more seasoned electric sewing machine user, it would probably be somewhat easy. My cat seemed to unthread it rather easy. I have never purchased one, but the Singer sergers look like they might be a good one also. Probably depends a lot on what you want it to do for you. I know I just purchased a Singer machine last weekend, embroidery type, "Ingenuity."

I grew up using a Singer treadle that Mom purchased new in 1954, so using an electric machine is kind of foreign for me. I actually prefer the treadle and embroidering and quilting by hand, but I guess I better graduate up to the electric, more modern models.

Have a great day and I am glad that I joined this site.

User: wezi44
Member since: 05-13-2006
Total posts: 4
From: Tom Land
Date: 06-08-2006, 10:28 AM (11 of 13)
The Pfaff 4874, 4872 or 4862 are my favorites. Elna has the identical machines as the 4872 & 4863 with a couple of minor differences (the needlebar is subjuect to break where the needle chuck pivots). I like the Viking 936. Just not as well. Living in Hunington Beach you have easy access to the Pfaff Service center there.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: busylizzycat
Date: 06-08-2006, 07:35 PM (12 of 13)
Just my 2 cents worth. I struggled with my Janome 234D for long enough that I just stopped using it - grew to hate it. Got a Babylock Imagine and love it, love it love it! I have really put it through its paces over the last few years, from slippery sheers to heavy upholstery fabrics, and have yet to have a problem with it. My dealer sold my old serger for me on consignment. LH
User: busylizzycat
Member since: 03-13-2004
Total posts: 7
From: Kylnne2
Date: 06-09-2006, 04:08 AM (13 of 13)
The Pfaff coverlocks that Tom posted and also the Pfaff 4842 non coverhem are like the Elna's. I had the 4842 (non Coverhem) but gave it to my DDIL when I purchased my Elna 744. The 4842 is also a very nice serger. It is strong and does lovely stitches. I really do think the Elna's Coverhems are nicer however than some other brands because of Elna's 5 needle placements.
As far as the needle clamp on the Elna's breaking..I can understand how and why this would happen, especially if one is unfamiliar with the steps taken before tilting the needles. It is very easy just 3 steps but if one leaves off one of the steps I can see where breakage could occur. There is a triangle on the fly wheel and you just turn the wheel toward you to align the triangle mark with the one on the head to move the needle clamp up and the upper looper out from in front of a needle postion, then you swing the needle clamp safety lever down to the right then press the needle clamp release button while tilting the clamp towards you. You can then change needles easily. This feature has spoiled me for using any other serger besides the auto tensions. To finish ..just push the needle clamp back in position and put the needle clamp safety lever back in position. It sounds complicated when posting but it is only 3 steps to change then just push the clamp and return the lever to original position. If any of these steps are not done..I can see where breakage can occur. Especially if using a 2nd hand machine or if one does not have a manual or the video that explains this.
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at