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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: pretnichols
Date: 11-30-2006, 08:10 PM (1 of 5)
Okay, after a year of saving & debating, I think I am going to switch to purchasing a serger. I think it would be more beneficial to me at this time. So without getting into brand specifics (I know everyone has their favorites), what should I look for in a serger? I will use it to finish seam & hems, almost exclusively (until I figure out what else I can do with it.) My original plan was an embroidery machine, but I'm not ready to make the financial committment to it. I have about $500 saved toward the purchase, so hope this fits a mid-range machine.

Please share your thoughts on things I should be looking for, pitfalls, whatever! I will be purchasing it from the local dealer who sells Pfaff, Viking & Brother, among others. I truly appreciate your input.

Thanks in advance!

So little time, sew much to do...........
User: pretnichols
Member since: 10-16-2005
Total posts: 342
From: esrun3
Date: 11-30-2006, 09:37 PM (2 of 5)
I like that mine is computerized-I can put in the type of fabric and it will tell me the settings I need to use, it also has a memory function that I can save my own settings in. I also appreciate the color coded threading.

Be sure to take some classes with your new serger...I really enjoyed mine.
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: Mom of Six
Date: 11-30-2006, 09:55 PM (3 of 5)
I paid extra to have the bed change from flat bed to free arm. I have only used it once & could have done without it. What I wish I had was the coverhem.
Whatever you buy DO NOT use pins anywhere near the needles or cutters. I had to learn this the hard way but I did get a new serger out of it. I would also get at least a 4 thread machine.
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: Tom Land
Date: 12-01-2006, 12:34 AM (4 of 5)
In that price range there won't be a lot of difference in features. I would concentrate on ease of use & threading.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: Kylnne2
Date: 12-01-2006, 12:54 AM (5 of 5)
You could purchase a basic 4 thread serger with differential feed and it will overcast the seam and trim of the excess as most sergers do. The differential feed will help you to gather in an instant plus prevents puckers in fabric. You can also blind hem and roll hem with a basic serger and most sergers also flatlock. You might prefer a 5 thread or 8 thread or even a 10 thread serger. Do you want a mechanical or a computerized model? Knowing some of what serger capabilites are before hand and testing some models before purchasing I feel is the best way to have a serger you will be comfortable in using and have some fun with and use more often.
Rather than try to figure out what else the serger can do after you purchase it, maybe you can study up on serger capabilites before hand. There are sergers that are limited in the amount of stitches where other models have many stitch programs including coverhem. You might prefer just a basic serger to start and later maybe purchase a coverhem only machine or trade up to a combo type with coverhem. You can create an entire garment with these machines.
Rather than name brands ..most sergers usually work the same way with the upper and lower loopers and needles..but not all sound the same and some vibrate more than others. Some need plate changes for different stitches like rolled hem and some don't. Some have a high knife near the needles and some have a recessed blade. Sergers that can also do coverhem and chain stitch have a chain looper. Some 5 thread sergers only do 1 coverhem stitch and others can do three coverhem stitches and some models that do 3 different coverhems are only 4 thread models. Some have automatic tensions and you just dial the stitch you wish from the program dial on the serger and this dial also tells you how to set up the serger for each stitch program.
Some sergers have air threading, some have looper thread helps built in and some are a pain to thread.
Best to know what you want before you purchase by checking out different models. You might wish to have lessons but many sergers come with videos on how to use them.
You already have a good start with the fund you have set aside for your purchase and I hope you find a serger you love.
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
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