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Buying a serger

600 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  *~*SewHappyNow*~*
I need help. We may come into some money soon and I would like to buy a serger - but not on a whim, I want a really good one that I know works well from people who have used it.

What do you look for in a good serger? I plan on mainly sewing dipes, maybe even making it into a WAH business. But I would also like to make myself some clothes.

Any suggestions for things to keep in mind or good brands?
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I was just coming here to post this exact same question. There are a bunch on Ebay, but I don't have the faintest clue about quality brands, preferred models, or which features to look for. I don't even know where to go to research this info.

And this may sound silly, but what do you use it for for clothing? I understand how it's used on diapers, but not clothes. Thanks!
I always advise to get as much as you can for the money you have. You can always grow into features that you don't use yet, but it's hard to grow out of a machine that wasn't enough in the first place.
One thing to consider is that it's usually only hte top lines that are made by a company, the rest are generic ones farmed out to cheaper factories.
Everyone has their own favorite brands, mine is Babylock. They were the first to make home sergers and they are wonderful.

The thing to look for on Ebay is sellers who will answer lots of questions and be willing to pack the machine very well. I got a good deal on an old, hard-to-find babylock last spring and it is great. The owner just didn't use it a lot but took wonderful care of it and wanted it to go to someone who would love it. That makes a huge difference, IMO. You might also check out, they have message boards for every brand of machine and you can learn so much from hearing from owners of different brands. Those boards really helped me to make a final decision when I got a new serger.

Oh, and oceanbaby, they are used to finish toe edges of the fabric. You can use them to make clothes, but only for sewing aroudn the sides, not across the fabric (unless you have a coverstitch machine, but that really is a different animal)

Best of luck to you both, I hope you find something fabulous
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Have you tried looking at Cunsumer Reports magazine? They always test things extensively. They are on-line too, but you have to pay for it. Look for back issues in the library.

I would suggest going to a sewing machine shop and trying them out. What may be the best machine for one person, another person may hate. I've found that the sales people working in the sewing machine stores are much more knowledgeable about the machines than those in a fabric store as well.
I have an Elna serger and love it, while my mom doesn't(even though she hijacked it b/c she broke her's :LOL )
If you're going to be using hemp for your diapers I'd also suggesting taking some with you and trying the machines on it. My serger can only handle 2 layers at a time b/c that fabric is tough to cut.
Definitely go to a dealer who sells several brands and play with their sergers for an afternoon. When I bought my machine and serger I was there for 4 hours!
I had so much fun I forgot to call dh and tell him I was going to be late :LOL (I left dd with him you see
: )

I ended up getting a Baby Lock Imagine.

Having never used a serger before I didn't think I had the patience to thread it. With the imagine, you thread in any order and it has jet-air threading. I love it! It also has automatic tension settings, no fooling around with those dials. I just choose the type of stitch I want to create and set the dial to A B C or D. It has differential feed, too, which is nice. So far it has worked beautifully!

It is a 4 thread machine. There is higher up model that is an 8 thread machine that can do cover stitching, too... but its like $700 more! ouch!
(My machine was $899 on sale) I don't need to cover stitch that badly just yet, I'll use a double needle on my machine. I think in the future I may trade it in for that one or one like it, though. I woudl think the prices will drop eventually.

If you don't mind threading sergers there's tons to choose from. Some brands, like is it Elna, Pfaff, and Birnina will do cover stitching and serging. You can also get a nice serger for less than what I paid, but I knew I had to have the jet air threading and the auto tensions because I stress easily :LOL

Have fun finding a machine!
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