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Input greatly appreciated
Thinking about buying a used serger
rachella
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rachella
Intermediate
Member since 9/12/07
Posts: 17
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Date: 9/25/07 10:56 AM

Hi everyone! I'm so excited about this site. I'm a knitter whose first love is sewing and in the last three years it never occurred to me, with all the great knitting resources I've found online, to look for sewing/crafting sites too! DUH!

I decided a few weeks ago to begin saving for a serger. I've always used vintage Kenmore sewing machines, and I have a Kenmore Mini Ultra now. I'm a very bare-bones-sewing kind of girl. Never used a serger in my life. Yesterday, though, my husband found a late 80's White Superlock 523 for $50 for sale online, in apparently great condition. It's a 2/3 thread. If it's truly in the shape the owner says it's in, is this a good investment? I mainly want a serger to get nicer looking finished seams, and for the fun of experimenting. Plus, I have a two-month-old baby and am dying to make him clothes, but I hate the unfinished look on the wrong side of things I sew. I've read great reviews of vintage White sergers here and elsewhere. Thanks for your advice!
-- Edited on 9/25/07 10:57 AM --

Donna H
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Donna H
Washington USA
Member since 9/29/05
Posts: 2054
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In reply to rachella


Date: 9/25/07 11:08 AM

Rachella,

Welcome!

It's only a 2/3 thread.....have DH watch for a 3/4 thread serger. There are many used sergers in that same price line.

Most sergers today are 3/4 thread. I think when they first started making sergers, they were 2/3 thread. Personally, I think you'll be happier with a 3/4 thread and certainly will be able to do alot more with it. More stitches!

Best wishes for your serger hunting.

ETA: If you're buying used....ask if it has differential feed. You'll want that in a serger. The new ones all have it, I believe.
-- Edited on 9/25/07 11:09 AM --

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Golfwidow

Golfwidow
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Ohio USA
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Date: 9/25/07 12:01 PM

I agree that you might want to hold out for a 3/4 thread. The one you're looking at is probably a good by and the old Whites have a terrific reputation but you don't know the condition of the knife and it would cost you more than you'll pay for it to have it checked out. I have a White 734DW, circa 1990, that I think is worth it's weight in gold. Look for one of those or something similar. Avoid old Babylocks. New ones are good, old ones are not. A 3/4 thread serger is much more versatile and I think you'd be happier with that. Good luck.

ayin

ayin
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Member since 6/28/05
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In reply to rachella


Date: 9/25/07 2:50 PM

I agree that you should hold out for a serger with 4 threads, differential feed, and if possible simplified lower looper threading (this is some sort of a lever that makes the LL as easy to thread as the upper looper.) A machine from the mid 90's is now a decade old and will probably fit that bill nearly as inexpensively.

I was able to get an Elna 704 (mid 90's machine) , which I love, for $100. It has all these features plus a coverstitch (this is the double needle hem stitch that you see at the bottom of a T-shirt.)

I understand your desire for simplicity, but home sergers have gotten better. It's not like with sewing machines that have gotten more complicated but not necessarily improved. With four threads and a differential feed you get a better seam, plain and simple. Of course, people with sergers without these features may not miss them, and perhaps they will speak up.

rachella
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rachella
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Member since 9/12/07
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Date: 9/27/07 0:02 AM

Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and advice! I'll definitely keep looking for a serger with more features.

rachella
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rachella
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Member since 9/12/07
Posts: 17
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Date: 10/9/07 12:26 PM

Well...DH surprised me with a Janome Juno.
It's sitting on the table waiting for me. I'm excited! Thanks for the helpful advice!

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