is it hard to learn to use a serger? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-05-2009, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i am a totaly noob with my sewing machine but i am finding that i really love knits and i read everyplace that it is so much better to use a serger for knits. sergers seem to intimidating to me though. are they as scary and hard as they look? i don't find knits hard to sew or anything on my sewing machine and what i make looks ok so i won't be getting anything new for a little while anyways. i guess i am mostly asking out of curiousity. if i do at some point get a serger i won't have any friends who can help me i will have to learn everything on my own

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Old 05-05-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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I was intimidated too, but now I love, love, love my serger.

It's more that it's a pain to thread than it is difficult to use.

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Old 05-05-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moonfroggy View Post
i am a totaly noob with my sewing machine but i am finding that i really love knits and i read everyplace that it is so much better to use a serger for knits. sergers seem to intimidating to me though. are they as scary and hard as they look? i don't find knits hard to sew or anything on my sewing machine and what i make looks ok so i won't be getting anything new for a little while anyways. i guess i am mostly asking out of curiousity. if i do at some point get a serger i won't have any friends who can help me i will have to learn everything on my own
A serger won't replace your sewing machine; it will compliment it. Like anything else, with experience will come familiarity. They aren't really as intimidating as they look. They all are color coded for threading. All you have to do is follow the dots and the diagram which is usually printed right on the serger. No need to get out the book each time. And most of the time, you can tie the new thread on and pull it through the machine. The sewing skills are somewhat different from the sewing machine but once you master those, you're all set. A serger will sew faster; has a knife to cut off the excess seam allowance so you absolutely can not sew over pins; because it cuts off the seam allowance, it's less forgiving of stitching mistakes; the seam takes more time to rip out; you can not "pull" the fabric through the machine. For some things, I use the serger almost exclusively. For other things, I only use the sewing machine.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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I'd never used a serger... I bought one used off ebay, spent 20 minutes figuring out how to thread it by following the diagram printed on the inside cover of the machine, and was able to start sewing immediately. It's not difficult at all, if you already know the basics of sewing.

And as for the benefits of a serger when working with knits... knits will roll at the edges, and the overlock makes the seams lie flat. The stitching also stretches more than a straight stitch will, so it prevents broken seams that occur when you stretch a knit piece of clothing. It's really nice to use for things that will be washed a lot like diapers, to prevent raveling - I even used it on my sheets when I had to cut off the (dead) elastic.

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Old 05-05-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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Yes! A serger is a great compliment to your sewing machine for garment construction. I got one a month or two ago and spent about an hour and managed to get very far with the settings - doing knits, chiffon, and multiple layers of cotton quite easily!

The threading can be kind of a pain - but one of the 4 needles is difficult, IMO. Like anything it just takes practice.

There are a ton of videos on YouTube and expert village that can give you advice too.

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow thanks for all the replies! i guess i can add this to my wish list now. luckily it is a small wish list and most things on it are attainable!

mama to two amazing children son 10/27/07 and daughter 07/07/11

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post
And most of the time, you can tie the new thread on and pull it through the machine.
That's how I thread mine. Easy-peasy.

I'd say get a serger for sure if you're enjoying your sewing machine. I never really made clothes for myself before I got the serger, but now I love to because the garments look so finished. That said, though, it does for sure take more of an investment of time to figure out all the bells and whistles on a serger than it does on a sewing machine. Mine came threaded for a basic four-stitch overlock (the basic serge stitch) so I could do that immediately and easily, but adjusting it for different types of stitches and different types of fabric is definitely more time-intensive and has more of a learning curve than the sewing machine. So yes, get one, but expect to spend more time learning to use it than the sewing machine.

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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subbing, my serger is sitting in a corner waiting to be threaded ;(
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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I my serger! It did take a little time to learn but it was so worth it.

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:55 PM
 
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What type of serger do you have?  

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Old 03-15-2014, 03:12 PM
 
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I just bought a Bernina 800dl!
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