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Forum > Sewing Machines > Buying a serger ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Buying a serger
etchgirl
etchgirl  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/1/13 1:29 PM

Hi! I'm a returning sewer and need some advice:

For nostalgia sake (my mom had one) I bought a BabyLock bl3-408 from shopgoodwill.com. It was working great but then I wanted to adjust the stitches. The red knob to adjust the stitch would not turn and, after much twisting, broke off and the shaft that the knob was attached to seized up and could not turn.

Of course, being the "Ms. Fix-it" person I am, I have pretty much dismantled part of the machine to get at the shaft then end of the shaft broke. So, after looking forever on the web for a replacement parts place, I finally called Baby Lock to see if they can sell me all the broken parts. They told me that their tech dept. would have to find out what the part is and if they can sell it to me.

I am rapidly giving up hope that my serger can be saved.

The question(s) is/are this/these: 1. Should I just look for another serger or get the part? 2. If I get another serger, should I trust Goodwill or Ebay? 3. I don't have $500.00 to buy a serger. Should I just get one from WalMart for $200?
-- Edited on 4/1/13 1:33 PM --

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to etchgirl <<


Date: 4/1/13 3:09 PM

Whatever you do, don't buy one from Walmart. If you want to spend as low as $200, why not get a Brother 1034D? Many people here like it, as well as there's a forum for owners of this machine. I don't have a Brother, but I did seriously consider purchasing one when I bought mine (a Singer). The one thing that turned me away from the Brother was that the front doesn't open all the way (I wanted to understand how a serger operates); the Singer does. But then, I can't use regular needles on the Singer, and I could have on the Brother.

If buying from Ebay, buy from a dealer on eBay. That way, if there's a problem, you can return it or get it fixed. Goodwill is great for low prices, but they don't have techs who can go through machines like a regular dealer would. Ken's Sewing is a good dealer, Sew Vac Direct, or any that you would find in the Sewing Store reviews here.

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

SEE MY ETSY SHOP HERE: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AuntMaymesAttic
My blog: http://auntmaymesattic.wordpress.com/

Harriet P.
Harriet P.
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Date: 4/1/13 4:27 PM

Hi, The 1034 Brother serger is sold at walmart and some other on-line stores. Most of the reviews from walmart are good reviews for the money. Many people believe that any machine that you buy at Walmart will be worse than the same one you buy at the Dearlers, but that is not true. I even called Brother service several years ago and asked the person on the phone about that because I had just bought the Brother 6000i at Walmart. She said that if you find it at the dealer, it is exactly like the one at Walmart and it is made at the same time with the same specs and quality. In fact around the time that I had bought mine at walmart, my dealer had it in his store for a lot more. Harriet

etchgirl
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Date: 4/1/13 5:28 PM

OK, just found out from BabyLock that they don't have the part. :-((

However, someone on Craigslist is selling the same serger but a part (not the one on my machine) on their machine is broken. I think I can take a part off my machine and put it on their machine and sell my main thing for parts.

Or should I just get new and cheap ( if there is such a thing as "new and cheap")?

missthreads
missthreads
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In reply to etchgirl <<


Date: 4/1/13 7:21 PM

My suggestion would be to buy A NEW ONE! Stop wasting money trying to fix this one.

About buying a machine at Wal Mart: this came from a Brother dealer...... those machine are JUST AS GOOD AS THE ONES I SELL IN MY SHOP! There is NO difference. There are so many they have to send to Wal Mart, Target, E-Bay or wherever. But as far as quality goes, they are NOT built CHEAPER.

I just ordered a Brother SQ 9050 from Wal Mart. $200.00. Can't wait to pick it up! If something happens to it, I can always take it back. On E-Bay you may ONLY have up to 30 days.

------
This is me with 2 of my 4 GK's.

schmammy
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Date: 4/1/13 7:31 PM

For $200 you can have a better-than-decent serger and be done with the aggravation and expense (time & money) of trying to repair the BL. This is coming from someone who has bought sewing machines and a serger (Janome MyLock 134D) on eBay without any problems whatsoever. I don't know if your broken serger has them, but the Brother 1034D has both differential feed and can do a rolled hem without changing the needle plate. I spent a third of the cost of the Janome just getting the rolled hem needle plate!
Good luck and get friendly with the folks on the 1034D users' thread here on PR!

------
Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

http://chihuahuaonmylap.blogspot.com/

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to etchgirl <<
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Date: 4/1/13 8:02 PM

Quote: etchgirl
OK, just found out from BabyLock that they don't have the part. :-((



However, someone on Craigslist is selling the same serger but a part (not the one on my machine) on their machine is broken. I think I can take a part off my machine and put it on their machine and sell my main thing for parts.



Or should I just get new and cheap ( if there is such a thing as "new and cheap")?

If you can get the same serger for less than $100, get it and satisfy your curiosity. Get one of them running good and you may be able to trade it in on a used one in better condition at a Babylock dealer, or not.

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

etchgirl
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Date: 4/1/13 9:24 PM

OK, I'll try both:

I'll try to buy the one off Craigslist (it's only $50) and switch the part. My machine was running great until I wanted to change the stitch width.

I'll check Walmart for the sergers they sell. I can put it in layaway.

Thank you all, Ladies!!

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 4/2/13 8:16 AM

I must recant what I said about Walmart. I forgot I bought my Brother embroidery machine there, and it's still working--after 10 years. Duh!

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

SEE MY ETSY SHOP HERE: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AuntMaymesAttic
My blog: http://auntmaymesattic.wordpress.com/

bessiemae
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Date: 4/2/13 8:38 AM

I'm new to serging. After much internal debate, prowling the used market, and annoying many a dealer at the Sewing Expo, I opted to go with a Brother 1034D.....
-) good entry level price point ($200) + free shipping+ generous rtn policy at Amazon...and 600+ positive reviews on Amazon and almost as many on PR.
-) brand new machine with a warranty, and easy to obtain parts. I looked a few really amazing used machines at Dealers, but research showed many challenges obtaining parts.
-) a lengthy and detailed How to Thread here, at PR
-) use of standard sewing machine needles.
-) differential feed
-) free arm
-) use of an array of thread and ability to use even bobbins for smaller projects!
-) if I fall in love with serging, I can move up, but many far more experienced and talented sewists on PR love theirs.

When I rtn'd to sewing and quilting after a long absence, I dipped a toe into it with a Walmart Brother CS6000i, a good little workhorse. As my skills and confidence increased, I moved up in machines.

------
Brother Innovis NX650Q; Brother Nouvelle 1500; Brother CS6000i; Brother 1034D; Janome 1000CPX

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