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free form foot and serger

3pinsews | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

Hi all,

I’m new here. I’m getting very excited about being able to sew again! I grew up sewing from jr. high through high school, sewing my own clothes, etc. then moved away from home, didn’t sew for a few years until I sewed my wedding dress. again stopped sewing for 7 years or so and then had kids. Anyway, my four year old just stitched her first felt heart pillow and Im ready to sew again!

Anyway, two questions:

I’d like to use my existing elnita sewing machine to do free hand embroidery. Can I just buy a foot for that? do I need anything else? like a hoop or something. any advice here would be appreciated.

Also, I really need a serger! done my time with the zig zag. any advice on an affordabe -under 350 more like 250- serger?

thanks so much!



  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    You can now choose to buy a regular serger without coverstitch, a coverstitch only machine, or one that does both.  There are many to chose from, I suggest you go test drive several brands before deciding.  http://www.patternreview.com has machine reviews which may be helpful to you. 

  2. Crazy K | | #2

    Regarding the serger............do you have a Hancock Fabric nearby?  You don't say what part of the world you are in.  Since you mentioned 'dollar's.....I would have to assume (oooh, that's scary!) that you live in the USA somewhere.  Anyway.......I just bought a Janome Juno serger (basic four thread but does a rolled hem without changing the needle plate) and it was $189.99.  I had a similar older model which I gave away and then decided that I really should have a backup so when I saw the sale, I got one.  So far, so good.  They are reg. just over $300.  I was always happy with my little Janome serger.  It is basic but for serging seams and edges, it's great......and the rolled hem is good, too!

    BTW.......if you go to the Janome site, you will not find it listed.........it is the Janome Juno model 3434-D made for Hancock.  If you need lessons, you may wish to go to a dealer and look for a serger where they can show you how to use it...........if you're familiar with them..........this would work.

    Happy Sewing!


  3. Pattiann42 | | #3

    Free Hand Machine Embroidery:

    If you go to the Magazine Index at the top of this page you may find tips and videos on free-hand embroidery.

    You need to disengage or lower the feed dogs.  Some machine do not do this and require a cover plate.

    A darning foot is usually what is used.  The fabric needs to be fairly taut.  You can use a hoop, or stabilize the fabric and go hoop-less.


    If you can stretch the budget, a self threading serger will save you a lot of frustration.




    Edited 10/28/2007 12:47 pm ET by spicegirl1

  4. Tatsy | | #4

    Hancock Fabrics is a good suggestion. Janome seems to be a reliable brand. I owned a Brother and was very pleased with it, passed it on to my daughter-in-law when upgrading to a Babylock evolve became possible.  It's nice to have  the cover stitch, but a twin or triple needle in your regular sewing machine does almost the same thing.

  5. Crazy K | | #5

    O.K.......I failed to give you a little more background.  I have several sergers....the Juno is kind of an extra but it seems to be a great little serger.  I also have an Elna (ten years old), a Janome Compulock and a Babylock Evolve.  The little Juno is inexpensive and would be a great 'starter'.  I agree that the self-threading is a dream but that usually comes with a higher price tag.


  6. Tatsy | | #6

    Threading with the Brother was never a problem.  I think it is actually faster than my self-threading Evolve because sometimes the thread end doesn't want to go down into the little tube so it can shoot through the rest of the machine, and I kept bending the cutesy needle-threader so gave up and got new glasses. You do have to thread in the right order, but 3-4-1-2 is not that difficult to remember.

    I think you also asked about free motion embroidery on an Elna. Don't they have a throat plate cover that defeats the feeding system? For free motion embroidery, I think you can use any hand embroidery hoop big enough not to interfere with the needle bar because it doesn't have to move precisely with a program the way computer embroidery does.  As for presser feet, the embroidery foot on my sewing machine is very small. I wander if you could loosen the presser foot tension and just use your shank instead of buying a new foot--although I do love to have all those little darlings in my sewing kit, sort of like the fishing flies or widgets that men buy at the hardware store.

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