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I helped make Elizabethan costumes once for a show and discovered the AWESOME-NESS of a serger. I cannot justify buying one though!! I tried to buy a sewing machine that could do some cool serger-like stitches, but it isn't the same. So, I look on craigslist and find all kinds of sergers that have had 1-10 hours of use! Really, so little? So, I am wondering, just to ease my buying mind, whether those of you who took the plunge and bought a serger use it all the time, or so infrequently that the steep price tags are not worth it.
 

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GET ONE! I waited way too long, because like you, I was getting the impression a lot of ppl have them and don't use them much, and worried about learning a totlally new machine.<br><br>
I got a brand new Janome serger for less than $200 and it was the best money I ever spent. I was serging IMMEDIATELY....not learning how, but doing it. Learning to use the serger was super easy, way less trouble than it was to try to learn to sew on a regular machine in the beginning.<br><br>
And now I use mine every day. I cannot believe how much it has speeded up my sewing! I think I like my little workhorse serger even better than my fancy bell and whistle sewing machine. Rolled hems on a serger are a BREEZE and now I make skirts in like 10 minutes.<br><br>
You will LOVE having a serger, it is worth the money! I have some serger reviews on my blog, you can find it by clicking my username.
 

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I've had one for almost 3 years, and it probably has 2 hours worth of use on it. Maybe it's the model I have, I don't know, but I just don't feel the serger love. I like how it makes nice, neat seams, but threading the darn thing & getting it working right is a PITA.
 

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I love my serger so much, I have 2. But then I sew for a living; making 9th-15th century clothing. Sergers make my life so much easier. Threading can be a big learning curve. But once you learn how (most sergers have a threading diagram somewhere on the machine), you don't have to do it every time you change thread. Cut the old thread at the cones and above the needle eyes (the knots don't go through the needles), tie on the new color, set the tensions at 0 (either remember the settings or write down the numbers before you change them) and pull the treads through the machine. Re thread the needles. And you are all ready to sew. Also having someone to go to who can answer questions and show you how really helps.
 

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I got a nearly new used one for $100. I don't really like to thread it but there is a diagram right on it and it doesn't have to be done very often. It cuts my sewing time down by a LOT. It was worth the money.
 

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I was given a practically brand new serger several years ago when I was sewing for a living. I LOVED how much time it saved me!!!!!!!!!!! I used it whenever it was practical! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> (Quilting is not a serger-appropriate activity, for example...)<br><br>
I absolutely LOVE the rolled hem feature. That is what I do the most now on the serger.<br><br>
Rethreading the machine can be a bit tricky. The most challenging part for me, however, has been when I change the needles for going back and forth between 1-needle overlock stitches (rolled hems, for instance) and 2-needle overlock stitches (most serging activities, but particularly when you want sturdy stitches). Ugh! I keep breaking needles and I lost one straight down in the machine one time and now the darn needles will not stay put correctly no matter what I do. DH was so kind and put the VHS manual onto my phone in sections. I have not taken the time to fix the serger this time, yet, but eventually I will get back to it.......
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunnysandiegan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15697213"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Rethreading the machine can be a bit tricky. The most challenging part for me, however, has been when I change the needles for going back and forth between 1-needle overlock stitches (rolled hems, for instance) and 2-needle overlock stitches (most serging activities, but particularly when you want sturdy stitches). Ugh! I keep breaking needles and I lost one straight down in the machine one time and now the darn needles will not stay put correctly no matter what I do. DH was so kind and put the VHS manual onto my phone in sections. I have not taken the time to fix the serger this time, yet, but eventually I will get back to it.......</div>
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Try this tool. Scroll down to the needle inserter about half way down the page. <a href="http://www.beaconfabric.com/vindex.html?cat69.htm" target="_blank">http://www.beaconfabric.com/vindex.html?cat69.htm</a> I love mine. And just in case you didn't know, the left needle is set higher than the right needle. However I solved the whole problem of going back and forth from 3 thread serging/roll hemming to 4 thread serging by my sister giving me her serger. So now I have 2. Besides her serger makes a better rolled hem on fine fabrics and tulle than mine does.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sewchris2642</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15698610"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Try this tool. Scroll down to the needle inserter about half way down the page. <a href="http://www.beaconfabric.com/vindex.html?cat69.htm" target="_blank">http://www.beaconfabric.com/vindex.html?cat69.htm</a> I love mine. And just in case you didn't know, the left needle is set higher than the right needle. However I solved the whole problem of going back and forth from 3 thread serging/roll hemming to 4 thread serging by my sister giving me her serger. So now I have 2. Besides her serger makes a better rolled hem on fine fabrics and tulle than mine does.</div>
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Thanks!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
I laughed out loud when I read how you solved the problem.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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You're welcome. My sister bought her serger to do some slipcovers for her living room. She wanted a quick and easy way to finish off the raw edges. Her serger doesn't have differential feed (it can't gather). When my last serger died, I borrowed hers until I could buy a new one. After I replaced my serger (I really need one with differential feed), I just kept hers. She doesn't have to store it; it gets used; and I have one set up for 3 thread. A win-win all around.
 

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Wow, I didn't know they make sergers w/o diff. feed.<br>
OP, you would definitely want to make sure you get one that does. IMO, this is a big part of what makes a serger so useful. I tried sewing on T shirts on my regular machine and quickly decided, uh, NO. lol But diff feed on the serger feeds knits together beautifully and so now I can make T shirts, repurpose knits, etc....and do so many other things, too. I haven't figured out how to automatically ruffle...I tried it once and it ruffled very loosely....I still baste and hand pull my threads for gathering...<br><br>
but thats aam, sorry. OP, Janome makes several sergers for under $200, and I vouch for these little machines as being easy to operate and understand, real little workhorses. You will be so amazed at how many possibilities it opens in your sewing and it really will take you to a much higher level. All you will need is patience (and/or possibly a small tool that may help) in threading the lower looper. But you will not have to do that often. You really can just tie the new threads on and will only have to rethread in the rare event that a looper thread breaks.
 
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