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Forum > Sewing Machines > can a good serger replace a sewing machine? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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can a good serger replace a sewing machine?
aguywhosews
aguywhosews
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Date: 6/24/13 6:35 PM

I'm thinking of getting a BL Imagine serger.. even thinking of getting even the next one up..

if I would, would I still need a sewing machine?

I want to make handbags.. heavy material, leather etc.. probably wouldn't be so good for that huh?

thanks

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Brian S

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 6/24/13 6:45 PM

No. A serger is in addition to a sewing machine. But there are many things that you can do on a serger that can also be done on a sewing machine, and some you can't.

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DonnaH
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Date: 6/24/13 6:45 PM

I'm not sure about brands, but with sewing "fabric" that heavy, it's really more about the needle that the machine. (at least once you get above the really cheap machines)

If you have the appropriate needle, most sergers will be OK - at least as OK as a "home" sewing machine will be.

The only problem I see with having a serger, but no regular machine is the topstitching. Don't know how much of that you planned to do (I've done some on most bags I've made). I have put zippers in w/ a serger (on heavy home dec fabric), and the last bit of lining (after turning) can always be slip-stitched by hand, but topstiching really needs a straight stitch machine.

Oh, and basting can also be done by hand - but it's so much easier by machine!
-- Edited on 6/24/13 6:47 PM --

aguywhosews
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Date: 6/24/13 6:48 PM

yeah..that's what I thought.. I'll go back to plan A.. I plan on getting a Juki F600 this weekend. I've had that machine in the past and sold it and really regretted it.. I still might pick up a BL Imagine.. that would really round things out.

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Brian S

Dr Pfaff
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Date: 6/24/13 6:58 PM

It seems like the wrong solution to me. Sewing leather (if it isnt by hand, which imo is stronger and easier than fiddling under a machine) is best achieved with a solid, basic, straight-stitching machine.

I can't see a serger providing any necessary benefits for working with leather and other heavy materials. Leather doesn't have a cut edge requiring raveling control. Most (non-industrial) sergers are too flimsy for leatherwork. How long is the knife going to stand up to trying to trim leather?

What do you suppose the advantages of using a serger are likely to be for you?

GlButterfly

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Date: 6/24/13 8:00 PM

Microwave oven : conventional oven = serger : sewing machine.

Just in case: a microwave oven is the same to a conventional oven as is a serger to a sewing machine.

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PegL
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Date: 6/24/13 8:30 PM

I think that for sewing heavy leather you'd be much better off with an industrial machine rather than a serger. Most home sergers will have trouble handling heavy leather. Sergers are great for finishing seams and sewing knits. Leather seams don't need finishing. Perhaps a little more research into what sergers are actually used would be helpful.

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a.rose.sews
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Date: 6/24/13 9:31 PM

A "domestic" serger isn't supposed to use anything bigger than a 90/14 needle, so you shouldn't serge heavy fabrics on a regular home machine. The timing settings are so tight on a serger that there's no room for a bigger needle. Also, I've seen lots of sergers crash their loopers going over a denim seam. If you could get an industrial serger, then you'd be in business. You'd still need a sewing machine, and you'd want an industrial for regularly sewing on heavy fabrics.

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Annette -- Sewing Machine Mechanic
Bernina 230, Bernina 800DL serger, Kenmore (60 lbs), Singer Treaddle 1901, White serger, Mercury MO111 industrial, shell-stitch machine, plus several to fix and sell or use for parts.

aguywhosews
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Date: 6/25/13 8:06 AM

sorry, I wasn't clear enough.. I hear ya all about the leather and serger.. I plan on doing "regular" fabrics and maybe some of my own shirts, etc.. but I know I can do light thin leather with my F600, I've done it in the past.. I'm not making saddles or anything.. not yet anyways! I can barely sew, so I'll need to learn a lot of the basics first.

I made a handbag with my F600 and I was easily able to get close to a half inch under that and sew it with no problems. No I grant you it wasn't leather, but lots of folded thick fabric and interfacing.

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Brian S

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 6/25/13 9:30 AM

As long as the machine will feed what you serve it without force feeding, you should do well.

You may have already found with thick seams or fabrics, the stitch length needs to be increased....like wrapping a present; the larger the package (fabric thickness) the longer the ribbon (stitch) needs to be.

As far as I know, every manual for a sewing apparatus will have a chart suggesting needle types and sizes according to the fabric to be sewn.

I believe you will do very well with your machine choices.

Keep in touch and let us know how your machines as well as your projects are doing.






-- Edited on 6/25/13 9:32 AM --

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

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