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BUYING A SERGER

LindaFaye | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

O.k., I got my tax return – PRAISE GOD!!!  I am now getting ready to make a purchase from my wish list!  My first Serger!!!!  Don’t know very much at all about sergers, but I do know that I need on!  I think it’s going to be a toss up between a Singer and a Janome.  I can get the Singer from the Singer store in the next town, or the Janome from Hancocks in my town.  Both have four spool holders, and that is all I know.

Asked Hancocks if they furnished lessons on usage and the lady told me that an instruction book came with the machine -DUH!  Singer will give lessons on usage free.  I have two sewing machines both are Singer – I guess I’m a Singer woman.  The Singer is about $20.00 less than the Janome.

A sales person in Wal-Mart’s fabric department to me they  had Singers on sale a couple of months ago for $99.00 – but that’s over.

Do you have any imput that would help me make my purchase!

Replies

  1. Cherrypops | | #1

    Congratulations!

    I own a bernina 800dl and am extremely happy with it.

    I did a quick search here on gatherings using the advanced search function. i typed in 'serger' in the search line.

    345 messages were found. Some very informative ones include:

    • websites for further info.
    • Cover Stitch Sergers.
    • Pricing.
    • Things to Look for.
    • Which Brand/Model.
    • Book recommendations.
    • Rolled Hem.

    I advise you to read these posts. Many are done by current members.

    *Also read through "Treatment from dealers" discussion in the "General Discussion Thread". Here the ladies adivse that you really need to test, and test, and test again the machines, some take their own samples of fabric, The whole point being find yourself a dealer who is willing and able. I hope this helps you out as the comments here are exceptional.*

    :)Cp

     



    Edited 2/15/2007 1:19 am by Cherrypops

  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #2

    I have an older Singer Quantum lock.  At the time it was the only one available to me (bought used from a friend at great discount). It has been a work-horse of a machine.  If you can get lessons with it, all the better!  Take the lessons, get to know your machine, then have some fun trying new things!!

    Becky

  3. SewNancy | | #3

    Head over to Patternreview.com and take a look at their sewing machine reviews, they have just about every brand covered in sergers and its well organized. Also, take a look at Debbie Cooks blog, she has a great turtorial on the coverstitch machine. http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com/

  4. fabricholic | | #4

    Don't be like me and buy one blind. I thought all sergers did the cover stitch, which I didn't know the name of at the time. What do you want this serger to do for you? Do you want it to do rolled hems, cover stitch, overlock? Just for your info., look at huskvarnaviking.com on their sergers. The top of the line 936 will show what stitches it does. Look at this or look at a serger book. Happy serging!

    Marcy

    1. User avater
      TwilaTee | | #5

      I agree with you fabricholic. I have a husky-lock 910. it's the middle of the line machine. The one above it will do a flat serge without cutting the fabric, but really who needs that?
      The only thing to keep in mind when choosing a machine is RESEARCH! Check out what other ladies are using. Check out what consumer reports says. Keep in mind what you will be using the machine for, take all that info, and buy the best machine that you can afford.

      1. fabricholic | | #7

        My first serger was a Singer 4 thread. I was disappointed when I couldn't get it to do the stitch on the hem of t shirts. Like I said, I was buying blind. Now, I have a Huskylock 936. I still haven't learned all that it can do. The Singer was good for rolled hems and for serging seams.Marcy

        1. LindaFaye | | #8

          Thanks ALL, I really do need help with this one.  I do want to rush right out and purchase one, but decided to put this question in last night and wait for your advice.  I had to run home this evening to see your posts to my question. 

          Not knowing much at all about sergers (I've neve used one) I want one that finishes my seams.  This is my most desired thing because I get tired of finishing them with a zigzag stitch - takes to long!!!  Is this called overlock?  Is serging and overlock the same thing?

          One that rolls narrow hems would ge GREAT!

          and what in the world is a cover stitch?

          Can I get a machine that does all three things???

          I'm serger challenged, but hopefully not for long!

          1. Betakin | | #9

            A Cover stitch is the stitch you see on the bottom of tee shirts. It has several straight seams (like a double needle, but it might have three seams however) and woven stitches on the underside. This stitch is available on some sergers with Coverlock and on Coverhem only machines. Coverhem and chain stitch can be done in the body of the fabric without the knife where serged stitches are done on the edge. Sergers can also do flatlock stitches on the fold then when the fold is straigtened it can be in the body of the fabric to use as a deco stitch. Coverhem and chain stitchses are also used for deco work. Chain stitch is usually included in a machine that coverhems. Chain stitches can be used for basting and also used to run along side of a serged stitch for a safety seam.

            Most sergers today are 4 thread with differential feed. The differential feed is great for different types of fabrics and for keeping the fabric from puckering and you can gather in an instant when adjusting it. Sergers with 4 threads can also do 3 thread and rolled hems and 2 thread serged stitches and flatlock. Doing a 2 thread for light fabric requires an upper looper converter or spreader that usually comes with the machine. Some Juki models require this to be purchased as an optional accessory.

            Sergers that also coverlock are usually much more expensive. Most of them use at least 5 threads, some 8 threads and some 10 thread. These sergers have many stitch programs and one can become very creative using them. Some of these machines take moe steps then others when converting from serging to coverhem. Some require a needle plate change and foot change etc. I find that the 4 thread serger/coverhem machines require less trouble to convert.  One of my sergers is a 4 thread serger with 17 stitch programs and 3 different coverhems and chain stitch. I just dial the stitch I want, the tensions are automatically set. The needle bar tilts up for needle change and I don't have to change the foot or plate to do coverhem. I just need to thread the chain looper and dial the stitch I want. The 2 needles in back are used for serged stitches and the 3 needles in front are for coverhem/chain, 2 needle postions are for the narrow cover hem, wide coverhem and 3 for the triple seam coverhem. 

            If considering a purchase I suggest to study up on certain brands, read the on line owner reviews on patternreview and epinions site and search the brand websites to check out models then try one at your dealers if possible. Models vary in features, price, noise and vibration and ease of use to fit certain users comfort levels. Good luck on finding a serger you love to use. Sergers are fun and I have loved the ones I have owned.

          2. LindaFaye | | #13

            Betakin, your reply was really informative thank you very much!!!  It was good for me, a person who knows nothing about a serger but that it will make my seams look better and not ravel.  THANKS 

          3. clight | | #16

            So which ones do you own?

          4. fabricholic | | #11

            Hi LindaFaye,If you want it to just serge the seams and make it look nice inside and stop it from raveling, I would think most sergers can do that. It will be so much faster than zig zagging it on the machine and if it has a knife blade that cuts when it is serging, it will be so neat looking. I have found that a machine with cover stitch cost a lot more. You will probably be happy with one that just over locks the seams, but let me warn you, the more you know, the more you will want to move up to the big dog sergers. LOLMarcy

  5. User avater
    blondie2sew | | #6

    I just wanted to say.....I totally agree with everyone here!!

    And I have to say CherryPops well she like does her searching around here I am totally impressed!!

    I know you will have great enjoyment with your serger!! I know you are really anxious to get one home like your tax return is burning a whole in your wallet!! ha ha

    Just like everyone said really really really do your homework and read that discussion about the dealers we had a great thread there!! You deserve to get classes on this as much as you need them!! This is just like when you purchased your sewing machine....

    Marcy said it straight as well look at all sergers and really know what you want out of it.

    But if I was going to let you know the choice with what you have posted I would chose the Singer because you get the customer service and lessons behind the machine....Janome may be great but Hancocks didn't treat you very well!!

    So that is my opinion. Happy Shopping and I know you will be excited to bring one home I love love love mine!!

    Connie

  6. Cherrypops | | #10

    Linda, if you are leaning toward Singer : http://www.singerco.com/accessories/manuals.html   is a link to a free download of the QUANTUMLOCK¯ 14T967DC manual and a free download for a workbook. The workbook informs the types of stitches and has pictures. If you have troubles viewing the workbook pages please write back to me.

    CherryP

     

     

  7. sewmama | | #12

    I wouldn't buy the Singer if I were you.  Singer sold out and they are now made in China or Taiwan and I don't hear anything but bad about it.  I bought a Janome Memorycraft a little over a year ago and can't say enough good about it.  The service and little additions I got from the store I bought it at were priceless.  I had a sit down get acquainted lesson and all questions answered.  It's been great.

    sewmama

    1. LindaFaye | | #14

      Thank you all for this advice.  I am a real novice with this because I have never owned or used a serger.  I have been thinking about it a lot since starting to sew again last September.  I know that I need one, and now I finally have some money that I can spare for it.  I am usually a middle of the road person when it comes to purchases; I can't really afford the best, but I don't want the cheapest either so I stick to the middle road.

      I could scrape up some more money and go for the one that cover stitches, but, after thinking about it and my finances, I think I'd better stick to the basics.  And then maybe one day I will be able to get a fancier machine. 

      All of the advice that you have given here is very much appreciated and helpful.

       

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #15

        I see from your profile that you are in GA.  We have a very nice Janome dealer in Peachtree City.  I have not bought from him, but he fixes my machines.  A friend just bought a machine there and is about to start her free classes.  Might be worth the drive to come here?

        Becky

      2. Elisabeth | | #17

        I got the Brother 1034D last fall and I couldn't be happier with it. The user manual and tutorial CD's that come with the machine are excellent and the serger is very easy to use. Quite a few patternreview.com memebers bought the same serger around that time and there are reviews on the site you can read. Shipping is free and fast (two days, I was shocked!) and every now and then Amazon has a $25 off offer which I took advantage of.http://www.amazon.com/Brother-1034D-Lay-Thread-Serger/dp/B0000CBK1L/ref=dp_return_1/102-4393992-9174560?ie=UTF8&n=1055398&s=kitchen

  8. Cherrypops | | #18

    Have you bought your Serger?

    CherryPops.

    1. LindaFaye | | #19

      YES, YES, YES!  I thought I posted it on the board several weeks ago.  I bought the lower priced Singer.  I love it!!!!  Thanks for asking.

      1. User avater
        blondie2sew | | #20

        Ok so I will ask!! What have you done or made with your serger? Have you been figuring out all the wonderful features of this great machine!! I love mine and what a great compliment it adds to my sewing!Blondie

        1. LindaFaye | | #21

          I am still in the elementary stages with the serger of course; but I am just elated that I can finish my seams so beautifully!  That is basically all I'm doing.  I had to learn to thread that upper looper - wasn't that easy at first, but I've got it now!  And then the chore of changing the thread color - I quickly learned how to tie on the new color without having to unthread the machine, so that is helpful.

          I finished making a pair of cropped pants for myself, and a pair for my sister; now I'm making a longed sleeved shirt with color and wide cuffs for my daughter.

          My next challenge is to learn to do a rolled hem - sort of scarred of that but I know I will get it with practice.  Over all I love the machine, and I'm so glad I made the purchase.

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