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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Another serger newbie--help choosing a machine? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Another serger newbie--help choosing a machine?
Debating between Brother 1034D and Janome 7034D
HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 3/4/13 3:40 PM

My parents gave me birthday money requiring I do something for myself that is nice. Well, I have been aching for a serger for no less than five years, so I am committing to buying a serger dammit, I have heard nothing less than amazing things!

My budget is ~$500; I don't feel inclined to spend it all, but I also want to spend it wisely. If I buy from JoAnn, my budget is $600 due to a gift card, but I was thinking to use that to stock up on accessories, serger thread, and a new project instead. XD

I sew a lot of stretchy materials, so a great hand with spandex and knits is necessary. I also REALLY need a wonderful rolled hem, since I love doing flowy materials or ruffles, but don't like to double layer them or do a regular hem.

I have been continuously recommended the Brother 1034D, but I fear a little bit that it won't be enough to really "grow" into...then again, short of a cover hem I don't know what there IS to grow into with a serger and I'm fine using a twin needle on the regular machine to mimic that.

Under the guise of "more expensive/base model of a better brand is usually a better machine," I looked into Janome and found the 7034D. Amazon page it's a bit more expensive, and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the Janome brand. It's still within my budget without pushing too far, but I can't seem to find anywhere remotely near me that I can go to in order to give it a test run. There are also not a huge number of reviews out there, so I'm not sure what to do. :(

I'm still new to the serger world, but I think it's something I will use fairly frequently. There have been enough times that I have said "man, I wish I had a serger for this!!" that I know it will be used probably more than once a month. My sister is also pregnant, and as soon as we know the gender, I am sure I will be spinning out baby clothing for my new niece/nephew. I read through a few other threads, and part of the Brother1034D thread as well as talking to a friend of mine who has one. I'm really on the fence!! Any advice would be much appreciated, as well as general advice for a newbie serger :)
-- Edited on 3/4/13 3:42 PM --

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2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 93 yards
Sewn: 57 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

sew2006
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sew2006
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Date: 3/4/13 10:12 PM

Personally I would go with the Janome. I recently posted a review of the 204D (mine was a 504D) and it's a strong machine. The inside has metal workings. This model has been around for a long time with a "fresh coat of paint" every few years. They also have great feet available for doing extra tasks. Parts aren't an issue which is good for long term ownership.

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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.

HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 3/5/13 11:14 AM

I guess my hesitation is the $200 price difference...I am not sure if I am paying for the name or paying for a better quality machine. You mentioned the metal inside workings--does the Brother serger have plastic inside?

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2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 93 yards
Sewn: 57 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 3/5/13 12:26 PM

Visit various dealers and see what is available and ask if you can try out what is within your price range.

I think you will find they all have the same basics and they are all metal on the "inside".

I like a serger that is easy to thread as well as having a bin for catching the scraps and a storage box for the accessories.

For a two thread/rolled hem the serger will have a subsidiary looper that you flip onto the upper looper or an attachment that fastens onto the upper looper to make it feel as though it is threaded.

Go dealer as you may need assistance and/or lessons.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

HanPanda
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HanPanda
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 3/5/13 5:42 PM

Unfortunately there are few dealers near me...and the ones that are nearby only carry Sergers that are far above my price point. (Seriously, the lowest price I've found at a local dealer is $800. What?)

There is another dealer I didn't ask. But that's because when I called to ask, the person who picked up said "Hello? Who are you?"

Uhm.

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2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 93 yards
Sewn: 57 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/5/13 9:54 PM

I haven't seen the Janome so I can't compare but I have had the Brother 1034 for a year and a half. It is solid and a workhorse. It was one of the best purchases I have made. I bought it off Amazon and didn't have any problem setting it up. I love my Janome machines and have to believe that the Janome would be a good serger too. I don't know that there is much "growing" into a serger. Mine does a rolled hem (very easy to set up). I also got a gathering foot and a blindhem foot. I haven't used either-my sm is faster. I think I can get an elastic foot for the serger if I did alot of things with elastic. I think most sergers will do these basic things. HTh

CdnSkier
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Date: 3/6/13 0:11 AM

Have you looked at the BabyLock Diana serger/coverstitch combo? It's currently part of the BabyLock Spring sale. The listed sale price is $599 but you may be able to get a better deal than that for a floor model or open stock.

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Baby Lock Ellure Plus (BLR3), Pfaff Creative 4874 serger/coverstitch, Singer Rocketeer 500J, Singer 301A short-bed

"A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt

Judy Kski
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Date: 3/6/13 10:22 AM

If you sew with a lot of knits, you'll definitely want to get a model with cover stitch (CS) capabilities. Once you've hemmed a knit top with a CS machine, you won't want to go back to twin needle topstitching. Your hem won't "pop" anymore because the stretch is built into the stitch.

Good luck with your decision.

------
Judy

HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 3/7/13 10:57 AM

Thanks for the advice! I did end up going for the Janome after all. In part, I figured I can give another review of the machine and help folks who are unsure in the future. ;D

I took the dive late Tuesday night and it arrived yesterday afternoon. (Whew that was fast!) I played with it last night and am so far quite pleased! It's fast, doesn't shake my table, and is fairly quiet. Not necessarily "whisper quiet" as advertised but that's alright. I love that it suctions to my table, and it has a quite handy handle on the back that I wasn't expecting. I ended up having to re thread the machine after it arrived, because I couldn't get the tie on tactic to work. The directions were quite good, and the only one I had any confusion on was the lower looper. You have to thread it through the side/underneath the needle area, turn the handle so the looper goes left, then feed it back to the right and turn the handle before finishing. I got it threaded easily on the first try, and was chugging along all evening. So far I am quite pleased!! :D

------
2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 93 yards
Sewn: 57 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

Judy Kski
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Judy Kski  Friend of PR
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Member since 10/26/08
Posts: 1509
online now
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In reply to HanPanda <<


Date: 3/8/13 11:15 AM

Congratualations on your new machine. The most important thing is that you aren't afraid of the machine. You're already able to thread it and use it so be proud of that accomplishment.

I've had my sergers for years, but I still refer back to the manuals for each one on a regular basis. Store it nearby your work area.

When I tie on, I wrap the thread once the first time and double wrap it for the final tightening. Very seldom does the knot come apart as it slides through the tension discs on my 936 (I can't pull out the tension knob on this machine).

Have fun doing new things with this machine. It's time to start making some baby blankets. Serge two pieces of pastel-colored flannel (or pastel print), wrong sides together, along the edges and, viola, you have a baby blanket! If you round the four corners with a bowl first, you can practice serging around outer curves as you use a 4-thread overlock stitch to serge it together.
-- Edited on 3/8/13 11:32 AM --

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Judy

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