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Serger upgrade

jenenne | Posted in General Discussion on

Afternoon all.  I’m thinking of upgrading my 20 year old White Superlock.  There are so many new machines out there, I’m wondering if anyone has any experience with either the Viking 910, or any other of the mid priced sergers.  I don’t think I would use the high end features, but I’m thinking I would use the 2 thread for sheers.  Any and all experiences would be appreciated.  Thanks


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    Hi! I have the Husq/Viking Huskylock 936.  It is my second serger.  Have had it many many years and absolutely love it!  I highly reccomend thier sergers!  Mine came with a video and I learned from that mostly.  I took the class much later as I didn't trust myself to switch over to cover stitch on my own.  It is not hard to do, I was just being insecure with my new "baby".

    I think the 910 would be fine.  I wanted the cover stitch and chain stitch specifically, I really researched all the machines to find exactly what I was looking for.  Even kept a notebook on them which helped me decide.  It is a personal choice, test drive just like if you were buying a car!

    The Vikings really handle the heavier decorative threads well in the loopers for decorative work.  I love the book Serger Secrets also.  For beautiful rolled hems on sheers, it helps to use water soluble stabilizer under the fabric. 

    I use my serger for sewing more often than the sewing machine!  Mary

    1. flytootall | | #2

      I am also in the market for a new serger and almost decided to get the Brother 1034D, as it had good reviews when I Googled it.  I have had a Juki MO-103 since 1982 and it is fabulous; however, it only serges and I wanted a machine that does a rolled hem.  Then I decided that since I'm getting a new machine, I may opt for one that does a cover stitch also.   My husband gave his daughter (my stepdaughter) a Singer 14U344 and it is sitting on my table, since she offered to GIVE it to me.  Well, you couldn't pay me to keep that machine.  It has jammed on me twice and created a horrible mess.  Do you use the cover stitch a lot?  I have a blind hemmer machine and I never use it, so I will probably sell it.  The Huskylock 936 had a MSRP of $1,549 in the Threads issue 108 (from August/September 2003).  The Brother 1034D is $199 on Amazon.com, with free shipping.  I gave my mother the Huskylock 431 in 1986, and it does a rolled hem; however, the plate for that is no longer available and it was an optional item which I did not buy at the time.  I found out that most places keep parts for 20 years.  Thank you for doing the research.  You saved me a lot of time.  I'll check out the 936, but I really didn't want to spend a lot of money on a serger. 


      1. MaryinColorado | | #3

        I did the research several years ago.  You may want to check out patternreview.com, they have lots of machine reviews.  Look back on the threads here about the sergers, try typing in the word serger or machines too.

        You don't have to spend alot of money.  All of our situations are different, in fact we are retired now so I am so lucky to already have my machines.  There are also coverstitch only machines out there now.

        I wanted to be able to do everything with this serger, from heirloom serging (like Cathy McMakin and Martha Pullen) to art to wear  to quilts to hemming jeans.  In other words from delicate to heavy duty and back again with little effort.  I hated messing with the tensions on my old serger and changing parts and having to read read read and fuss around.  By the time I got it right, I was fed up and ended up not using it.  With this machine, I can turn it on and pretty much go to town.  The research was how I learned all that can be done with sergers.  I started out thinking I just wanted to finish seams and sew knits and coverstitch hems.  I discovered a whole new interest in sewing because of it.  There are so many books that you can get at the library and online about this if you are interested.  Also the PBS sewing programs.  

        Please consider a good dealer in your area.  They have machines in many price ranges and you can test drive to see what "feels right" to you before deciding.  Also you can find out if they will work on other machines that they don't sell, etc.  It really is a personal choice.  Since you are happy with your Juki, you may want a coverstitch only machine, I don't know anything about them.  But then you could leave them both set up for different purposes. 

        Take your time to decide and enjoy the process.  I am so glad that I did and it changed my perspective and really sparked my imagination and still does.  I am so glad to see all the interest in sergers today.  

        Hope this helps, have fun! 

        1. flytootall | | #4

          Thank you for the advice.  I was hoping to find the Brother 1034D at Walmart, but they only carry Singer now.


          1. user-122474 | | #5


  2. chrisbo | | #6

    I have tried and purchased the  new Bernina 1150MDA with the micro thread control. This fine tunes the over edge thread length and helps to correct the overhanging threads without having to change your cutting width.  It really helps when working very fine or sheer fabrics or even heavy fleece or fake fur.  Bring your fabrics along to your local dealer and ask to try it. This will allow you to see if the training proposed is adequate.  By the way the 1300MDC also has cover stitch capabilities. 

    1. Kiley | | #7

      I saw that the new Bernina sergers have the micro stitch control and I would like to try one out to see the difference. I would also like to know how many coverhem stitches they have. Price is also something to consider. I was looking for a serger that did the triple seam coverhem and the Bernina coverhem only machine did not have the triple seam coverhem and the price was as high as the Elna 744 that I ended up purchasing.

      My Elna is only a 4 thread non computerized serger but it has 3 different coverhems and chain stitch and something like 17 stitch programs and auto tensions and a back tack that automatically inserts the thread chain into the seam. I really love my serger but I have to check out this micro stitch control in the Bernina's and see what it is has to offer.


      1. MaryinColorado | | #8

        Hi Kiley! If you are trying to avoide "pokies" one way is to use a strip of water soluble stabilizer over the edge of the fabric so some of it is cut off with the fabric edge.  Then you tear away the excess or rinse it off.  Mary

        1. Kiley | | #10

          Thanks Mary, for the info on curing hairy edges. It's nice to know there are people that like to help others with sewing problems and so kind of you to post but I really don't have any pokey problems with my serger but I know by changing the bite usually helps or just serging over the edge a second time. ( I used to teach serger classes). I was just interested in the new Bernina sergers to check out the changes to see what is now offered. I'm not looking for a new serger to buy, ( I own 2) and I love my Elna.

  3. Mitzilove | | #9

    My husband bought me the 910 about 3 years ago and I love the computerized screen . . . plus after a few times of threading it . . . very easy.  I admit to not using all I could use on this wonderful serger, but I obtained the 3-ring manual instructions when I took the first (basic) class and can do anything if I set my mind to it.  Just finished a caftan with about 15 yards of self-fabric doubled ruffle for my 49 year old daughter.  The serger did all the ruffling for me!!!  Sure beats doing double-loose stitches and gathering by hand.

  4. silkscape | | #11

    Hi Jenenne,

    I had the Huskylock 905 for years.  (I believe that the 905 is the same as the 910 without the computerized screen?)  It consistently made a gorgeous rolled hems and was very easy to adjust to do so.  It also made 2-thread rolled hems which was nice.  However, when I went to use it with heavy fabrics, it didn't do as well.  I broke stitch fingers twice.  There was another part inside that broke once when sewing heavy material, not sure what it was called.  Also, I did have a hard time sewing curves on that machine.  I think it may have been the larger profile of the machine or maybe that the presser foot was longer than my current Kenmore b/c I am having a much easier time now.

    I guess all machines have their good points and weaknesses.   

    1. Susan -homedecsewing | | #12

      Hi I'm jumping in with a new ? . What is the model name of your Kenmore ? I also am researching this topic ,as I am an impulse buyer and I really hate my latest serger .Made in China with no name ! That salesman really saw me coming.Thanks , Susan

      1. silkscape | | #13

        Let's see....the manual says it's model 385.16655100.  On the machine it says, "3/4 D electronic control, differential feed." 

        I will say  these additional things about it:

        ~the tension on mine is set rather high.  Usually for regular serging my looper tensinos are set to 3-4.  Needles to 4.  At least, that's high compared to my old serger.

        ~there is no "slow" feature as there was on my old serger. But I find there is a lot more control over serging speed so it really doesn't matter.  In fact, I prefer this one.

        I think I paid around $269.

    2. SewNancy | | #14

      I have had the 905 for years and have had a love hate relationship with it. The motor seized about 5 years ago and they replaced it with a new machine which was different from the original 905. This machine had to have the motor replaced last year. I also have the same problems with sewing curves that you talk about. I would not reccommend this machine.

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