Question for sewing mamas! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-08-2003, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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What is the difference between a sewing machine and a serger? Do you need both, or could you just use a serger?
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#2 of 7 Old 06-08-2003, 10:09 AM
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you can get by with a serger depending on what you are sewing?

I can do many kids clothes and diapers and blankets with serger alone, but to make the clothing and blankets look nice, I use my sewing machine to finish them off.

The serger gets the ends of fabrics and serges them together, so you can't go into the middle of your dress and serge on a pocket after the dress is sewn, for example, but you could do it with a sewing machine.

I love the serger, though!

It makes little girls dresses, diapers, and blankies so FAST

threading it, on th eother hand...I don't love that!
It takes me about 20-30 mintues!
(mine has 4 threads, a sewing machine has 2, the top and bottom)
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#3 of 7 Old 06-08-2003, 07:05 PM
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#4 of 7 Old 06-09-2003, 12:43 AM
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I've been sewing since I was 9 and just acquired a serger about 2 years ago. Obviously, I'd suggest that if you are only going with one machine, go for a good, solid sewing machine. You can do couture finishes with it, but they are time consuming. The serger is a real time saver (once you get past that nasty threading dilemna). If you are new to sewing, my gut response is that the serger might be daunting. It looks like a medieval torture device and is pretty counter-intuitive. On the other hand, if you sew alot, it'll pay for itself pretty fast. One more thing, they can be expensive, but if you look around, you can find 'em priced pretty reasonably.
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#5 of 7 Old 06-09-2003, 12:49 AM
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I think it is a singer???

why, is that fast or slow?:
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#6 of 7 Old 06-13-2003, 01:11 AM
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I would say that you need a sewing machine and that a serger would be a bonus. But it does depend on what you're sewing and what your budget is (or the serger that you have/are getting).

Basic sergers just serge. The more expensive ones also do hems, etc. But changing the threading is time-consuming on a serger and not on a machine.

I have a Pfaff serger that does the hems, etc. And I have a Husqvarna basic sewing machine which has served me well. I've had the machine for 11 years and the serger for a few months.

I like the serger for use with knit fabrics, etc. It does make sewing faster, if I'm doing a lot of it. I tend to cut out a lot of different projects then sew them all at once, being carefully organized on thread color and threading (i.e., hem, rolled hem, overedge stitch).

As an example, I'm making a girls romper with matching hat. I put together the seams of the romper on the serger, but the rest has been done on the machine. My serger does not do buttonholes, and it's hard to do fine curves using the serger, I find. When I do pajamas, I can do them on the serger entirely but sometimes it's not worth the effort. For small leg holes (like for kids' clothes, it's easier to do it on the machine because I can take the tray off and then the pantleg will fit around the base of the machine, whereas with the serger, I have to sew a few stitches then move the fabric, etc. For a very simple winter cap, though, I could use the serger and it was so fast and easy (fleece fabric).

So I'd say go with the machine if budget is a concern and if you'll be doing more intricate work (clothing, etc.).

The serger finishes off edges nicely (even e.g., when I'm making cloth napkins and can use a rolled hem) and quickly (after the threading, that is!), and it's great for knits because it has a stitch that has 'give' to it just like the knit fabrics.

OK. That's plenty of response and my son wants my attention!
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#7 of 7 Old 06-21-2003, 01:22 AM
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I thought I was the only one who had trouble threading my serger! Tell me it will get easier if I get more practice!!

Yesterday I was sewing and my dd was sitting next to me, and I kept having trouble with my lower looper and needing to rethread anything. I said, "AAAAARRRGH!," and my dd said, "Mommy, are you feeling frustrated? Do you need some help?" and proceeded to "tinker" with the little serger screwdriver and cleaning brush. "There, Mommy, do you feel much better now?"

And to answer your question, a serger is really a bonus, you can do most projects with a regular machine. But a serger is really wonderful for sewing diapers and other things, fast! And I love those rainbow serger threads! But definitely start with a regular sewing's just so much more versatile.
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