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Purchasing a new serger

Norma_Lefkovitz | Posted in The Archives on

I’d be interested in your experience with sergers in the $700-800 range. I’ll be sewing stretch fabrics and am concerned with ease of use and reliabilty. Thanks for any help.


  1. sheri_post | | #1

    dear norma:
    I rely heavily upon my Pfaff serger.
    It is able to do it all. It cost
    me new, $1500 , but I am sure there
    are comparable models in the hundreds
    range. Its a steady workhorse, forgiving
    and easy. I have only bent the blades
    one time when I was attempting to
    serge terry cloth. : )
    Differential feed is a great feature.
    good luck
    sheri post

    1. Pat_Moore | | #2

      *I have a Hobbylock 4760 (that's Pfaff's brand) that I purchased on sale for $849 and I have been very happy with it. I sew a lot of fleece, some knits and I haven't had any problems. Just my 2 cents worth. Hope this helps

      1. Carrie_Mills | | #3

        *Norma, I would like to recommend the Janome serger. It is the best serger I have ever used. I use this machine to do knits all the time. I use a lot of Polar Fleece on it, with such ease. It is in the price range you want and well worth it.

        1. petex_2000 | | #4

          *i I'm about to buy a ...>Juki 655 or 654dJuki manufactures sergers for Bernina and is a well respected manufacturer in the commercial garment industry. Many tailors and other professionals use these sergers. You'll see adds for them in Threads. These are part of the b PEARL LINE

          1. Vida | | #5

            *Have you checked out a Juki? I've heard those are good sergers. All Brands (www.allbrands.com) has them at a discount. There is another place called the Crafty Stitcher that sells machines and sergers at a discount & their phone number is 1-800-736-0645. I just bought an Elna 925 serger from the Crafty Stitcher.Good luck!Vida

          2. June_Dudley | | #6

            *I bought a Babylock Imagine because I don't have to worry about threading the loopers or tensions. It can cost anywhere from 700-1000, depending upon the dealer.I sew Terry cloth (thick) all of the time. I never have a problem with bent blades. This machine is a no brainer for me.

          3. Marion_ | | #7

            *June, What is the model of your new Babylock? And have you tried serging thin materials on it?

          4. Victoria_Miesle | | #8

            *For whatever it's worth, I have taught serger classes for about 10yrs. for all makes and models. Features to consider for your new serger would include the following; 1.Self threading lower looper. 2.Differential feed(allows you to adjust the rate at which the fabric is fed into the machine, ie.,extra stretchy fabrics can be tamed not to stretch while sewing and extra sheer fabrics not to pucker while sewing. 3.Two-Thread capability. There are many excellent brands out there, the important thing is to test the machine first and if possible talk to a service technician about the reliability of the brand(they are usually very candid).

          5. Marty | | #9

            *Victoria - Thanks so much for the three things to look for. I am planning on taking the serger plunge sometime this year and those help tremendously.I have a real ugly basic question that I would appreciate any kind soul out there answering. What are 3, 4 and 5 thread sergers and why do I care?Alternately, is there a good new or recently updated book out there that will answer this and my other basic dumb questions?Thanks so much for any help given!Marty in Seattle

          6. Eve_Benoit | | #10

            *Marty, Norma, check out this great site. It will give you a wealth of information.http://sewing.miningco.comUnder the 'in the spotlight" banner, click sergers/overlockers. Other subjects are also of interest.Good luck !Eve

          7. brenda | | #11

            *Norma - top on the list for my next serger is the ability to be able to sew the flat two-thread hemming stitch. Check out all the brands in your area (twice or three times if need be) and see how well they respond to your questions and what help they offer in the way of beginning classes and on-going support classes. The best, top of the line serger is of no use to you if you have to travel long distances to get to their classes or for supplies. Also, how to they repair their sergers - in house or send out - if out, to where? If it's your first serger you need support and classes. Also, what do you have to do to change stitches, widths? Some models have you change feet, some have you change the whole plate - try this yourself and see how easy it is.

          8. Victoria_ | | #12

            *The preference for 3,4 or 5 thread sergers depends on the type of sewing you do. I would consider a 3 thread only if you plan to just seam finish--this stitch does not provide enough stability on its own for most clothing construction as the seam is not wide enough. The 5 thread serger is made up of a 2 thread chain stitch and a 3 thread overlock next to it and is good for sewing bulkier fabrics as the stitch is usually pretty wide. This type of machine will also allow you to use one stitch without the other ie., using the 2 thread by itself. The 4 thread machine with a 2 thread capability I feel has the greatest flexibility for construction, decorative serging etc., Keep in mind also as you test sergers that there are models out there that combine the '4 thread' and '5 thread' in one serger. The new cover stitch option on the newer sergers I find is a wonderful option too, but can be a pricy one(Although, if you are not familiar with threading, adjusting tensions etc., I would start with a machine that had fewer options as these machines can be frustrating for some people).A book that I highly recommend for all my students is 'The New Sewing with a Serger' by the Singer sewing reference library. It will explain everything from shopping for a serger, choosing thread, adjusting tensions and various shortcut techniqes, best of all it will describe the different stitch options available on sergers so you can decide which suits your needs. I would definitey purchase this book before shopping for one. Hope this helps.

          9. Marty_Christopherson | | #13

            *Thanks so much! I will purchase the book And Victoria your explanations are very lucid. Must be from ten years of teaching. :-)I did go to Mining Company site as Eve recommended. While the banner wasn't around I did find the serger area. They are currently running a serger survey and that should be very useful! it's located at -http://sewing.miningco.com/library/blresult2.htm?pid=2731&cob=homeI bookmarked it so I could keep checking on the results.I was very confident last summer when I bought my new Pfaaf 6230. I knew my skill levels and expectations. But this is definately venturing into dark waters. I don't want to overbuy but at the same time I want to allow room for some growth.Thanks again for all the wonderful input.

          10. Martha_Keitt | | #14

            *I saw your message on Threads list. I'm thinking about buying a serger. Never used one. Have been sewing with a sewing machine for 5 years straight.I was told using a serger is earier and cuts construction time down quite a bit. Someone from my church asked if I would make her a simple sheath dress. I love to sew but have never used a serger. I saw one at Walmart for $40 but trying to decide financially what to do since budget is tight. Any suggestions?Thanks, Martha

          11. Victoria_ | | #15

            *I'm glad I was of help to you. I'm sure you will enjoy your new serger.

          12. Eve_Benoit | | #16

            *I 40$ "serger" is not for sewing, but for mending. I have read on many forums that the quality is poor, and that it is very frustrating to use. Do not buy it ! Save your $$$ for a real serger.

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