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Husband Needs Serger Help!

MrMom | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I would like to buy my wife a serger for a birthday gift & need help.  I’m sewing/serger impared!  I have been to several shops & spoke with others & keep getting conflicting advise.  I am not looking to mortgage the house for a serger, just trying to find something sort of middle of the road.  One person tells me to buy nothing but a Berina or Viking, there’s the mortgage issue.  Another shop told me that I should buy the Babylock Imagine.  While another shop said the Babylock was overpriced, not very good, but spoke very highly of the Janome 634D.  I was told Singer has a lot of features but is not a good machine.  Ease of threading, different feet and coverstitches, Oh my!  Help!  Isn’t easier to just buy clothes from the department store?  My wife has never used a serger, but is an avid sewer and would love a serger.  She really does not know that much about sergers. The really scarey thought is that I am now better educated about them than her.  Thanks to everyone in advance for the advise!


  1. Jean | | #1

    What I would look for on a first serger would be ease of threading and differential feed.  A 3/4 thread is good for a start- anything fancier would probably be intimidating. The best advice is to take a variety of fabrics that she would be sewing on and test drive several brands. Do not take your check book, charge card or cash.  Be sure to take a notebook and write down what she likes/dislikes of the various models.

    Then she can decide.

    Have fun!

  2. bellefille | | #2

    I recently bought my first serger, also.  It was the Babylock Imagine, and I love it!  It is very easy to thread, it has a special "differential feed" thingamabob that makes the fabric not stretch out of shape, and all 3 projects that I've done so far have turned out VERY well!  I don't know if I got the "best" machine available on the market, I must admit that when I saw it "thread itself" I was sold easily.  But when I went to the classes to learn how to best use it, and saw the other people in the class learn to use their different machines, I was glad I bought the one I did.  Good luck--what a wonderful gift!  No matter which serger you buy I'm sure you'll make her very happy just with the thought!


  3. SewingSue | | #3

    I had the same quandry many years ago. Which serger do I get? Had a very helpful salesperson recommend that I buy a serger comparable in quality and capabilities as my sewing machine. I did just that. I bought the Singer 4-thread differential feed serger and have been very happy with it. Shortly after they brought out the 5-thread machine, some day will upgrade. But the differential is really a helpful feature. I would not let folks scare you away from Singer machines since they really do make quality machines. Typically when folks complain about Singer they are referring to the low end machines that do not carry the Singer name. But the same is true of everyone elses low end machines when they don't carry a brand name. In the end it boils down to what she feels comfortable with. Like many other posts about buying machines for new sewers I do not believe in buying a lower end machine until one feels comfortable and then upgrading. Since she is an avid sewer she will find the learning curve is a quick and smooth transition regardless of machine and she will always have this site and many others to post questions. Good luck. Sue

  4. sewred | | #4

    Everyone who has answered you has brought up some very good points and each machine has it's pro's and cons. I personally would stay within the range of Babylock, Janome or Viking because I know their track record on repairs and standing behind their product. (not that the others won't) Interview your dealer. Are they going to provide free classes with the sale of the machine? What is your overall feeling about how they have answered your questions? etc. etc.  How long have they been a dealer for that product? Also ask them about their trade-up program and what trade-in value they allow if done within the 1st year for example. Differential feed and 2,3,4 thread are essentials to look for. She's gonna love you for it no matter what!! 

  5. ElonaM | | #5

    Recently I read a long discussion about this on another bb: A really thoughful daughter wanted to buy her mother a machine, but didn't know too much about sewing, or what to look for. The majority of responses suggested that a machine was very personal. As a (very nice) guy, you understand what that's about--How it feels like to the person behind the wheel.

    The overwhelming recommendation was to do a lot of research, and then give the recipient a personalized gift certificate for the machine of her choice (with a picture of a sewing machine attached, for example), and suggest she test-drive a bunch of them, because that's about the most important factor. Most people who wrote in suggested NOT getting locked into a particular shop or model for this certificate.

  6. RParrill | | #6

    I have a Janome and really like it. As for Singer, I never understood all the bad stuff said about them. I have a Singer sewing machine and needed a part for it. Singer wasn't able to get the part in a timely manner, so they sent me a BRAND NEW MACHINE. That's what I call service. At any rate, I am always asking my husband for machines or saws or tools for holidays, and to be honest, I'd rather have the cash to get what I want. He's a really good gift-getter, but I'd rather not take a chance with a tool that will soon be considered an extension of myself.

  7. joress | | #7

    FYI--the Janome 634D is the previous model. The 644D has been out since mid-2002. I have the 634D and, except for saying that the 644D has an extra-high presser foot lifter, I can't really tell the difference between the two machines--though I'm sure there must be something (just can't tell from the website). You should be able to get the 644D at a good price of about $600US. If they are offering the 634D, get a huge discount--and check the Janome website (www.janome.com) for the current deals. I haven't used my serger much yet, but it seems great. The salesperson also sold Berninas and, at my price range, thought the Janome would be easier to take care of myself--easier to change the blade and slightly easier to reach the loopers to thread--compared to the comparably priced Berninas. I do agree with the other posters, though--most of the brand names are excellent and the choice is very personal. IMHO, look for a 2/3/4 thread serger with a built-in rolled hem that you can get to by flipping a switch or turning a knob without changing the plate or stitch finger. And differential feed is essential. Happy shopping--it's a fun quest!

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