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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > why do I need a 5 thread cover/safety stitch ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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why do I need a 5 thread cover/safety stitch
shopping for 1st serger
spd5103
spd5103
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Date: 1/2/10 4:54 PM

i am shopping for my 1st serger. I mainly want RTW finished seams. I would like to try working with knits (new grandbaby on the way) but from my research 432 thread machine is more suitable for knits. Mostly I sew easy home decor and aprons for gifts. I am willing to spend $400, but it seems pricing seems to jump from $200(brother1034d) to the $800 range. I really just need something reliable. I am leaning towards the brother, but wonder if I should spend the extra for the 5 thread simplicity professional quantomlock. TIA

LynnRowe
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LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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In reply to spd5103


Date: 1/2/10 5:43 PM

You don't.

I would advise 3/4-thread capability, rolled hem, and differential feed ( a MUST-have). 2-thread capability would be nice to have, not essential.

I would also advise, if you want to do coverstitching, a separate coverstitch machine. If you want to sew knits, a serger is the most excellent way to go, and for RTW hemming, you'll want -sooner or later- a coverstitch machine.

I have a serger that does the 5-thread safety. I've used that stitch once. In 10 years. And I serge pretty much daily.

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/2/10 7:21 PM

I agree. You don't need the 5 thread. I would advise the exact same features as Lynn did above.

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blog: goodworks1.wordpress.com

sew2006
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sew2006
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Date: 1/2/10 7:40 PM

The cover stitching are the hems you see on the bottom of RTW garments with 2 or 3 rows of stitching. The nice thing about this is that it finishes the bottom as it hems, plus it has the stretch.

5 thread seam is typically found in woven fabrics that fray easily where the full seam allowance is preserved and the straight stitch acts as a safety stitch. Having both a straight seam and serger finish inside makes the garments seam more secure, if 1 row breaks theres another inside to get you home without a big hole. You can achieve a similar effect by sewing the seam on the machine then serge with 4 threads.

I've sewn for the last 17 years and purchased my first serger about 16 years ago. Here's a link to my review serger review. When I purchased my machine I looked at the quality of the machine. It can sew any fabric, has differential feed, width adjustment, lenght adjustment, rolled hem, pressure foot adjustment and is easy to thread.

As this is your first serger: take a look at sergers in a store and see how they operate, how they thread and what support is offered. I find for long term ownership with few repairs a mid priced serger is a good choice. A lot of the low end machines are more fusy for perfect seams and too light weight of a serger dances when sewing, ends up skipping stitches and needs tension adjustments. The TOL sergers with tons af features sometimes scare the user and then the machine sits unused.

I also vote for a separate serger to have setup as a coverstitch. I sewed for over 10 years including many tshirts and bathing suits without one so it's not a must have. Choose quality/durability over fancy and you'll be happy.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/3/10 2:22 PM

I also recommend separate serger and coverstitch machines.

My first serger was a 5 thread that you could convert to a coverstitch. It was a pain and I avoided that all all cost. I knew there would be lots of cursing as I got the thread tangle or mismanaged somehow and ended up spending an hour on it.

I did keep that serger - its a Huskylock 1002lcd. I might keep it set up as one thing.

I do have a nice 4 thread Babylock that I LOVE. And a separate coverstitch machine -- also a Babylock but I think Jamome is good too. I don't like the Brother which we have at the community college sewing lab.

Buy the serger first and use twin needles on your sewing machine until you save up for a coverstitch machine. Happy serging. Let us know what you finally get.

Barbara3
Barbara3  Friend of PR
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In reply to spd5103


Date: 1/3/10 3:22 PM

Another vote here for a 4-thread serger (and a separate coverstich machine if you someday want that too).

You'll get great RTW finished seams on knits with a 4-thread serger. The 5-thread is really for wovens, when you want a 2-thread safety seam stitch plus a 3-thread overlock for finishing edges.

I'm personally not a great fan of the 5-thread stitch. Knits are very forgiving and I don't mind just stitching up the seams in one pass. But wovens aren't as forgiving, and I like to be able to finish the seam edges with the overlock and then sew the seams on my sewing machine so that it is easy to adjust any seam that doesn't fit. This way, you only have to remove and re-stitch the seam line if necessary while the edge finish stays intact.

You'll love having a serger. You mention sewing for a new grandchild. When my children were young, I sewed most of their clothes with my serger..... lots of knit sleepers, tees, shorts, pants, dresses, etc. Have fun!

Sewinglady1947
Sewinglady1947
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In reply to spd5103


Date: 1/3/10 4:57 PM

I have a 5 thread industrial, a 432 serger, and a coverstitch. The 5 thread is not for knits but is great for making garments that needs extra support in seams. From what you said you would be fine with a 432 serger. For years I would just sew down by the serged seam when I needed extra support. You could use the chain on coverstitch to sew by serged seam to make a safety stitch. I have done this just to keep from threading up the 5 thread safety. The chain is less likeky to pucker.

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sewing grammy

Peggy
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Peggy
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Date: 1/3/10 7:51 PM

I paid extra when I bought my serger for a 5 thread and coverstitch. I have never used the 5 thread and seldom the coverstitch. I use the 4 thread most of the time, love my rolled edge and differential is very important. Good Luck you will love your serger.

4u2cme
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4u2cme  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/4/10 8:43 AM

I also vote here for a 4-thread serger and a separate coverstitch machine. I have the 8-thread serger but I honestly have never needed the 5-thread stitch. It is also a pain to convert to a coverstitch so I brought a separate coverstitch machine.
-- Edited on 1/4/10 8:44 AM --

spd5103
spd5103
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Florida USA
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Date: 1/4/10 8:57 AM

Thanks for the replies. I am recuperating from wrist surgery (controlled violence my dr calls it) so I cannot do any test driving just yet. I haven,t seen any mid priced models. Again the pricing seems to jump from $200 to $600 and up up up from there. I want to have money for those grandbaby projects! You have convinced me that a 4 3 2 thread will be sufficent. I will pull the trigger in a few weeks when my healing is progressed.

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