Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Favorite Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon
Tools & Supplies

Shopping for a Serger

Jan 19, 2009
Article Image

A serger will speed up your sewing and finish edges in a snap, but before you buy one, do your homework so you know what you're looking for.

by Judith Neukam
an Online Extra to Threads #108

If you’re in the market for a new serger- whether your first or as a replacement- don’t head to the store uninformed. Start by reading “What Kind of Serger Is Right for You?” in the August/September 2003 issue of Threads (#108), which provides guidelines to help you analyze your sewing needs, information about what various serger features can do for your sewing, and a comparison chart of 49 sergers currently available. You’ll be able to start narrowing down the field to find a serger that will make your sewing faster, neater, and more efficient.

The test-drive: get ready, get swatch sets, go
For the most realistic assessment of how a serger will work for you, plan to test-sew the sort of fabrics you use most frequently. We recommend bringing along some stretch knits as well as a selection of woven fabrics. Assemble a set of representative swatches for each machine you want to try, and print out the Test-drive checklist as well. Sew (and label) samples, take notes, and then do your own comparison.

A serger will speed up your sewing and finish edges in a snap, but before you buy one, do your homework so you know what you’re looking for. Use our handy Test-drive checklist to keep track of the machines you’ve examined.

Serger

Serger test-drive checklist

Model name and number:  Date:

Attach the dealer’s business card and any sewn samples for easy reference.

Familiarize yourself with the machine

 

  • Examine the serger, and locate major controls, dials, and switches.
  • Flip the presser foot up and down.
  • Evaluate the lighting.
  • Evaluate the noise level and vibration of the machine, and note the type of surface it’s sitting on.
  • Hold onto the thread chain and stitch without fabric.
  • Disengage and re-engage the upper knife.
  • Is a trim-catcher provided?  Yes ___ No ___

Sew stitch samples
Test the following stitches, if present, and label the samples.

 

       2-thread stitches: Overedge / Rolled hem

       3-thread stitches: Flatlock / Overlock / Rolled hem

       4-thread stitch: Overlock

       5-thread seam (overlock plus safety chain stitch)

       Cover stitch

Request demonstrations
Ask the dealer to show you the following procedures, and try them yourself:

 

  • Engaging the differential feed (sew samples on stretch fabric and tightly woven fabric)
  • Chain- and/or cover-stitch conversion

Other considerations

 

  • What kind of training is offered with the purchase of the machine?
  • What type of maintenance does the dealership recommend and provide?
  • What optional accessories are available for this model?

Photo: Judith Neukam

Sign up for the Threads Eletter

Get the latest from Threads delivered straight to your inbox.

×
Discuss

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, patterns and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 37% and get a free gift

Subscribe

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Highlights

  • Sign up for the Threads Eletter

    Get the latest from Threads delivered straight to your inbox.

  • SewStylish

    SewStylish

    Take a look inside the pages of SewStylish Spring 2017.

  • CraftStylish

    CraftStylish

    Expert craft tutorials, news, and tips for sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting, paper crafts, embroidery, jewelry making, and more!