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New Serger

sanfelipegirl | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi, I am new to this list and am interested in purchasing a new serger, I have a very old Babylock Bl4-838D and want to know what to look at in the new sergers.  Thanks in advance.


  1. User avater
    sergerqueen | | #1

    Definitely take a hard look at what types of sewing you do and what features you will require.  When you actually go and look at machines, bring samples of the types of fabrics you sew on mostly.  One feature that has more or less become standard on a lot of sergers is differential feed.  This is an important feature to have if you are sewing on knits, but it also can be used for other things such as gathering and overall helps in even feeding of your fabric.  I would recommend getting differential feed if at all possible.  Another feature you will see is the coverstitch.  This is the stitch that makes the two rows of stitching that you will see on knit hems in ready-to-wear.  It is a nice feature, but you can also use a twin needle on your sewing machine to get a similar look.  If you won't be sewing many knits, you may want to pass on this.  If you decide to get the coverstitch, take a look at how easy or hard it is to convert your machine to this set-up.  Also, if this is the only stitch you are looking for as an upgrade, there are coverstitch only machine that can be purchased to complement your current serger.  Good Luck!

  2. fabricholic | | #2

    I just purchased a Viking Huskylock 936. Take a test drive on one of these and you will be sold. It is so much sturdier and all around says quality. I can't describe very well, but if you test one, you will know what I mean. It has narrow hems, coverstitches and does a beautiful job. Make sure that you can learn the threading. Some people like a simple machine. It comes with a video and books to learn everything. Hope you get the right machine for you.


    1. MaryinColorado | | #3

      I have had my Huskylock 936 for years and still feel it is the best investment I have ever made for myself!  It is truly a "dream machine".  Enjoy!

      1. fabricholic | | #4

        I guess I will be using mine alot because my Designer SE has something wrong with it and I have to take it back. I went to yahoogroups.com under Designer SE, which is where my dealer said to go if I had questions and they weren't open. Well, a woman was having the same trouble with hers and then the woman that is very knowledgeable, e-mailed me and said for me to contact Husqvarna, because something was definitely not right. I'm taking the machine back tomorrow. I took it back last Saturday, but the tech was out of town and the women there told me it was probably cheap thread and to try some other things. It did not help.Marcy

        Edited 9/22/2006 10:21 pm ET by fabricholic

        1. MaryinColorado | | #5

          I am sorry that you are having trouble with your Designer.  I hope they will quickly resolve this for you.  I had a big scare with my Designer 1.  It was resolved by the head repairman overnight at no cost to me.  I hope you have the same good results.  I had myself all worked up fearing the worst for my "baby".  They are such a big investment. 

          Try not to worry too much until you hear from the shop.  Good luck!  I pray it will be a simple inexpensive fix and she will be humming along soon! 

          In the mean time, enjoy the opportunity to explore your serger and discover it's wonders.   Mary

          1. fabricholic | | #6

            Hi Mary,

            I dropped off my machine this afternoon.  The owner of the shop said that the loops in the embroidery is just a matter of adjusting a number on the looper.  The other, with it locking up, is another matter.  She said that she wanted to send it to  the company in Ohio.  Because it is new, it would be better to let them fix it and then, they would have a record of it.  She said two weeks and I was overjoyed, thinking it would be a month.  She said she was exacturating, so that I wouldn't be disappointed, if it took that long.  She has never had one take that long, but she has never sent one back for this kind of problem.  They are good folks at Elizabeth Ann's and I know they will do right by me.  With a new machine, I thought it was me for a while.  Lots of frustration.  Thanks for the concern and encouragement.




          2. ctirish | | #9

            Marcy, how are you doing with your Designer sewing machine - you had dropped it off to have it looked at.  How long have you had the machine? If you have not had it very long (within their return policy) and they have to send it back to the manufacturer to get it fixed. I would be asking if maybe they should be giving me a new one.  I don't want to discourage you but you can get a lemon sewing machine as easily as you can get a lemon car. 


          3. fabricholic | | #11

            Hi Jane,

            I dropped off my machine.  The dealer said that she wanted to send the machine back.  She called later in the week and said that she thought it might be the embroidery unit and she wanted to just swap it out, instead.  I said it might be, but there is still something going on when I am just sewing, because it shows "upper thread broken" when it is not, and I am not using the embroidery unit.  She had me bring in the embroidery unit and she is sending them both off.  The reason she didn't send the machine off is because she used my machine with a different unit and it embroidered just fine.  She said that if she had just sent the machine, they would have done the same thing and said it was fixed at the factory and when I got it back and hooked it to my unit, I could be back to where I started from in the first place.  She asked if I was in the middle of some projects and when I said yes, she told me to take the demo model home, so that I wouldn't be without a machine.  They are the greatest at Elizabeth Ann's in Hoover, Alabama.  I haven't heard from her as of yet, and it has been a week, today.  Thanks for asking.  Have a great day.  I am so invigorated today, because it is Saturday and I am off work.  We have beautiful weather in the low seventies today.


          4. ctirish | | #12

            The weather sounds great, when I go up this am it was even 50 here, but I hope the sun will help with the warmth. 

            I get the error "upper thread broken"  on my machine as well. I have discovered it is either the upper thread or the bobbin is empty.  My machine tells me that the bobbin thread is low long before I want to change it, so I tend to ignore it until it is empty or I get the upper thread message and then I know the bobbin thread has broken.  It could have it adjusted but I  forget when I bring it in for its annual checkup.  I am going to sew as soon as my hands warm up.

  3. aunt | | #7

    You might want to give the Imagine a look-see.   Not having to hand thread the loopers or adjust the tension is a huge plus for this machine.  

  4. ctirish | | #8

    I have to say I love my Baby Lock Evolve - from the day I purchased it and brought it home. I had bought a Bernina serger about 4 months earlier and was having a terrible time getting it threaded and setting the tensions. Even after classes I was struglling and frustrated. I went to a Baby Lock event and sewed with the Evolve Serger and that was it. In that afternoon, I made three different items at the event and they all came out well. That was it, I was sold... It is a very expensive machine but I think well worth the cost if you are going to make clothes.  They now have a new one that does Baby Lock Wave pattern as  well as everything else.


  5. ctirish | | #10

    have you looked at the new sergers,  the last person you wrote suggested the Baby Lock Imagine - I am not sure if that is the one that does their exclusive wave stitch but the automatic threading to me is a great time saver.   jane

  6. Kellyt | | #13

    I just purchased a serger about 3 months ago.  I tried every brand.  Hands down the Babylock is the best out there!!!  I absolutely love that machine.  The stitch is perfect.  It is super easy to thread, due to the air threading. I had an Elna Pro 5 for 13 years.  I would take that back over the other sergers on the market currently.  It was a great machine too.  But the BabyLock, WOW!  Make sure you demo it!

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