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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: jwright
Date: 01-18-2007, 01:51 PM (1 of 5)
Well--to say the least, I am VERY new at sewing. I got a simple home machine for Christmas (I love it!) but now that I've been to the sewing store, I am wondering what all of this stuff is.

What is a serger and what do you do with it? Why would you want a serger instead of a sewing machine?

I feel stupid asking but I'm really wondering.
User: jwright
Member since: 12-28-2006
Total posts: 96
From: Pudge99
Date: 01-18-2007, 02:07 PM (2 of 5)
You don't have a serger instead of a sewing machine you get one in addition to your sewing machine. I say before you enter into the world of serging get a firm grasp on the concepts of sewing. Most of us sewed for many years before getting a serger. Many of us now can't live without them and a good many would prefer to chuck the darn thing out the window. Of course there are the few of us who hover somewhere in between there too. The thing is you really need to learn to walk before you can run. A serger moves fast and there is a knife involved. Better to learn all you can on the sewing machine before investing more money in a serger.
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: paroper
Date: 01-18-2007, 03:33 PM (3 of 5)
Go to your closet, take out a pir of knit pants or a t-shirt. look at the inside seams. See how small they are and how they are "bound"...that is serging. Some of the knit pant seams are also chain stitched. This looks like a crocheted stitch that shows as loops on one side and a sewn seam on the other. You often see these seams at the top of feed bags. If the seam on the pant is serged AND chained, there will be a clean line of chain stitching near the fold of the fabric, a rather complicated bound group of stiches at the edge of the fabric which is not really touching the single line of stitches. If you look at the bottom of your t-shirts, you'll see another type of seam done by a serger. You will see what appears to be two perfect rows of stitches on the outside, but when you look inside there is a bound edge. This is called a coverstitch. Many sergers also do this stitch. If you happen to have a sweat shirt and look at the seams, esp those that are the arm seams? You'll often see a bound stitch that shows on the outside of the sweatshirt that is flat? That is flatlock and is also done by a serger. If you have noticed the pretty edges on wedding veils, these are usually fine rolled hems made by serger (usually 2 thread sometimes with special threads). Sometimes people also use sergers to attach beads to wedding veil edges. You'll often see serged edges on table cloths where the edge is bound, not rolled and hemmed.

Many people like sergers because they finish the edge of the fabric as they sew, they trim the seam and leave you with a clean product. I use mine to clean the seams and keep them from raveling but I use my machine to sew most seams unless they are seams that will be trimed. I like to be able to use the seams for alterations and I think the garment hangs better with wider seams.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: jwright
Date: 01-18-2007, 04:11 PM (4 of 5)
Ok... now I am getting it. Thanks Pam--I really appreciate your reply. It makes perfect sense (especially because I happen to have a t-shirt and sweatshirt on right now). :bluesmile
User: jwright
Member since: 12-28-2006
Total posts: 96
From: material_pakrat
Date: 01-18-2007, 06:18 PM (5 of 5)
Thanks Pam.
I had seen you all mention coverstitch machines, and I was going to get around to asking what it was. Now I know! :bluesmile
Cheers, Soph.

I'm happiest when I am sewing!
User: material_pakrat
Member since: 12-13-2006
Total posts: 220
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