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legwork | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m in the process of starting an alteration business, and my next purchase is going to be a serger. I’m trying to decide between Singer, Bernina, and Baby Lock brands, and of course am wondering if I should buy new or used. I hope to keep my purchase price down, but still want a good, reliable machine without alot of bells and whistles. So I thought I’d ask you all what you think. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!



  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    Have you checked Patternreview?  It is a good source for an overview of many brands by the owners.

    After checking the serger reviews, visit as many dealers in your area as you can.  Tell them what you are planning on using the machine for and include budget, if that is a factor.

    Before making a purchasing, try the machine, especially the threading process.



    1. rodezzy | | #2

      I have a singer serger with 4 thread overlocking.  It took me a year to actually try it, I read the instructions and tried to thread it.  That was daunting to me.  I then sat down on day and made up my mind that I was going to sew with it, that was disappointing, the tensions were off and the actual seam thread was loose. 

      I left it for another year.  I asked the seamtresses in my quilt guild and got little actual help.  I just spent a whole saturday finally, on just working with it. 

      I learned to thread it properly, played with the tension until I was satisfied with the stitching and realized it was really an awesome piece of equipment, especially for finishing seams.  I used it on several coats last year to cut down on the bulk in the seams.  I just hate changing threads. 

      So make sure you understand your serger before you buy.  I didn't.  Try it out in the store and get as much hands on as you can before you leave with it.  I still don't use it as much as I could, but when I do, I'm very happy with the results.

      1. Tnuctip | | #3

        Serger threading

        Have you tried cutting old threads just above the bobbins, then tying the new threads to the ones still running through the machine? Leave long tails on the knots so they are easier to watch then just lift the  knots over the tension discs and you can then run the machine till the knots get close to the needle before cutting and rethreading. The looper threads will run straight through without problems.

        1. rodezzy | | #4

          I'll print out your suggestion and try it while on vacation finishing my presents for family and friends. 

          Thanks for your help.  Happy Holidays and keep all safe and warm.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #5

            Be sure to lift the presser foot so the threads flow freely, you may need to open the tensions first.  Be sure to clip the needle threads just in front of the needles as the knots won't clear.  This method really does cut down on the time it takes to rethread.  Merry Christmas Rodezzy!  Mary

  2. Majick | | #6

    Hi there Legwork
    I would look at the Juki. It is used in industrial applications, thus you can trust it to be reliable. If you like it, you can often find a used one from a sewing repair shop. There is one here in Toronto if that helps you. If you wish I can dig out his card and send along the phone number. I'd make sure I get a cover stitch capable machine. People tell you you can "fudge" a cover stitch with a four/five thread serger. Not so, or at least to my eye the result is not attractive or sturdy. You may actually have to buy a separate machine for the cover stitch if you go Juke, but it would be worth the price if you are setting up a business.

    I have a Bernina 1100DA four thread, it's okay. For the most part the threading is easy but one of the upper threads is very fiddly, the instructions,again to me, are vague and confusing and the tension on this spool is extremely sensitive and prone to getting stuck and jamming up on the tension spools. I should have bought the Juki, but I just couldn't afford the $500 difference...... I really regret that. Good luck with your new business

  3. namaskar | | #7

    there is NOTHING BETTER than a babylock.. the treading is a snap and if one breaks you do not have to thread in order.. i have the 8 thread one now, but i had the 4 thread for years,,, but wanted to chain stich..

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