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nurseloon
nurseloon
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Wisconsin HUNGARY
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Date: 9/8/13 4:38 PM

I am just beginning to think about whether I 1)whether I want or need a serger, and 2) I am overwhelmed just trying to think about how to choose one. I have never used a serger before. I am just getting back into sewing clothing (and I am really enjoying the process). I think I would like to sew with knits, in addition to cottons and wools. Do I *need* a serger? And, how does one go about learning what she needs to know? I live in Hungary, and my Hungarian is very poor, so it would be very difficult for me to go into a shop and try out a machine. I would probably not buy one for another year or two, and I would definitely wait until I was back in the States to buy one. But, I would like to start learning about them; and the first step, of course, is how to determine whether I want or need one. Thanks for your thoughts and opinions on this! Carolyn

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to nurseloon <<


Date: 9/8/13 8:27 PM

There are many videos on YouTube that could help you learn what sergers are all about.

Waiting until you return to the states before you buy sounds like a good idea.

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

roziebelle
roziebelle  Friend of PR
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Pennsylvania USA
Member since 3/17/12
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Date: 9/9/13 8:48 AM

If you are going to sew many knits I think you will need one. It is not a "have to" but it is much easier to finish the edges and also join the knits if you have a serger. There are a lot of people who swear by the "Babylock" as the easiest to thread. I have a Pfaff that also does the coverstitch which you will you will need frequently when sewing knits. Many people like to have a serger and the coverstitch machine as separate machines because it is so inconvenient to change over from the serging to a "coverstitch". There is a separate section in "Pattern Review" that reviews servers.

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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Ohio USA
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In reply to nurseloon <<


Date: 9/9/13 9:09 AM

Well, I don't think you are going to get too many responses that say you don't need one. I bought the Brother 1034 as my first serger 2 years ago. The price was great ($200) and it was easy to use. I recently upgraded to the Elna 745 so I would have the coverstitch. It is similar to the Brother in the way you thread it so it was an easy transition for me. I serge everything that I can. It is so nice to get a professional looking seam and it is quick. It is perfect for sewing knits; it cuts down on the aggravation that I sometimes experienced trying to sew knits on a sewing machine. I have several knit patterns for simple T's or cowl necks that I can whip up in about an hour with the serger. Too bad that you can't get one soon or go into a shop to try one now. Once you do, you will be hooked. My sewing room will never be without one.

sew4grands
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sew4grands  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/9/13 11:35 AM

I sew a lot of wovens and I love the serger for that as well as knits. It stops wovens from raveling, knits don't ravel. But it is nice to have a seam finish that looks professional. I also use it to serge the cut ends of fabric before it goes into the wash.

------
Nancy B.
I sew with 4 Brothers and a Featherweight
Babylock Serger

B

B
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Minnesota USA
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Date: 9/9/13 11:48 AM

Without checking it out thoroughly, I would not buy a computerized one due to more electrical compatibility concerns. Even so, I would check out whether there could be any problems. That Brother machine seems to be popular on this site (check out reviews here.) Perhaps check out local repairmen to see what machines they work on, although mechanical machines don't seem to need much repairs.

Edt: Consider it an adventure to go into a sewing machine shop even if you don't speak the language. It could be a fun experience at best, and what would you lose if it doesn't work out well?

I love my serger, especially on knits, but folks sewed on knits long before sergers came out for home use. Use a small zig-zag to add a bit of stretch into your seams. You don't even need to finish seams because most do not ravel!
-- Edited on 9/9/13 1:32 PM --
-- Edited on 9/9/13 1:36 PM --

------
Janome serger 634D, Brother PC6000, Singer 500A, Kenmore Mini-Ultra, vintage Bernina 600, White Rotary treadle, New Homestead A VS treadle

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/9/13 11:51 AM

I love my Babylock Imagine Serger and separate coverstitch.

They are pricey so save your money.

LynnRowe
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In reply to nurseloon <<
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Date: 9/9/13 12:01 PM

If you want a professional finish and ease of sewing and hemming knit fabrics, then yes you need a serger (and coverstitch machine).

I have a different view on which way to go when one is just starting out with sergers & coverstitch machines; 1) you can go cheap, to see if you like serging/CSing and want to continue...or 2) you can go TOL Babylock.

Going cheap very often means so much difficulty in threading and frustration in tension adjusting, and general fear in even trying the machine, that the machine ends up sitting in the box in a closet. For years.

Going TOL with Babylock Enlighten or Imagine, and CS machine, or Evolve/Evolution/Ovation with a combination machine, means serging and CSing is SO EASY and SO FUN that you are almost guaranteed to love it and want to continue using the machine(s) for many years to come.

Having done both ways, I highly (and always) recommend going TOL. Save up the pennies (lots of them!) and get a Babylock combination, or separate serger & coverstitch machines, plug them in, and away you go.

------
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.

bes
bes  Friend of PR
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New Mexico USA
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In reply to nurseloon <<


Date: 9/9/13 12:54 PM

If my serger died today, I would be at the store to get another one, even driving 100 miles to a dealer for the one I think I want. I use it all the time, primarily to finish seams and knit sewing. Must have is differential feed which most machines probably have today. I have a Bernina I bought in 1996 and have used it extensively. If I were to buy one today, I would most likely get a Babylock Enlighten. I bough a Babylock Cover Stitch machine a few months ago and really like it. The ease of threading is nice, but not a big issue as I have threaded my current serger a million times, give or take a few. I just like the way the Babylock Cover Stitch sews. I am not that fond of combination machines, but space may be an issue. My Bernina does not do a very good coverstitch, and takes me about 30 minutes to convert. Kind of a pain. Babylock is expensive, so best bet is to educate yourself about different models to figure what you think you want, then try try try them. Enjoy the hunt for a machine.

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/9/13 10:35 PM

I am not sure from your post what you really want. To better understand what serging is all about? Or to actually get and learn how to serge?

I was completely clueless about serging. I csne back to the US after being in Japan and had never heard of serging! I recalled sewing as a child through my young adult years- last being in mid 80's. So first I was curious. I ended up glued to my TV watching PBS- mostly Sewing with Nancy and Martha's Sewing Room. All of Nancy's shows are in the Internet, plus YT as others have mentioned. But if Hungary was like Japan, you may not get much Internet. Next I ordered a few books about serging- Serging with Confidence, Ready, Set, Serge and whatever I found in the library. I got more comfortable with knowing what a serger did and when to use it.

So about 2 yrs after my research on serging I started to explore sergers. I read every manual I could find online and studied reviews. I lived in a remote area of MT and my only option was to order on the Internet- at the time I was homebound. I got an entry level $200 serger. I grew proficient and soon outgrew it (and my sewing machine). About then I discovered PR and when my health improved enough I went overnight to visit dealers in nearby states and cities big enough to have a dealer.

I guess what I am saying is enjoy the process. Its OK to start learning about sergers and serving before you ever own one. If you have questions PR usually has lots of answers!

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

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