What is a Serger Machine? Do I really need one? Which Serger Machine is the best for me and How do you even use it?
Finally, the most asked questions you wanted to know about Sergers are in one place.
If you are looking to buy your first Serger Machine but you are still not sure if you need it or you just decided to have one but don’t know how quite using it yet keep reading.
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Now if you already know your way around these lovely machines, please share this post with your beginner friends.
They will Thank you and Love you more than yesterday!
On this Beginners Serger’s Guide, we will cover the MUST-KNOW topics about this Essential Sewing Machines.
What is a Serger Sewing Machine?
A Serger or an Overlock Machine (hold on I explain this below) is a Sewing Machine that makes the Overlock Stitch on one or more layers of fabric preventing it from Fray.
Some of their main features included edging, seaming (sew two or more pieces of fabric together) Hemming or even Finishing the edge of a fabric for decorative purposes.
Psst: On the number #10 of This Post there is a great tutorial that goes deeper on Serger Stitches.
What is the difference between a Serger and an Overlock Machine?
There is a big discussion out there about if a Serger is the same as an Overlock Machine. And the answer I want to give you today is this one:
Essentially they are the same.
In hard theory, there are a FEW characteristics that distinguish each one of them (here is a great post from The Home Sewing Place, if you want to go deeper into this topic).
But for today, we are not in need of setting them apart or discussing terminology.
The main point is that they do the Overlock Stitch.
What does a Serger Machine do?
Do I really need one?
You will also Love: Blind Stitch Hem with Serger Tutorial
As for the matter if you really need a Serger Machine, let me put it like this:
- Would you like for your projects to look more professional?
- Do you love Knit Fabric and want a way to sew it easier and faster?
- Is it better for you to have Fraying Fabric edges inside your clothes or do you rather have a nice clean even seam that won’t fray?
- Do you want to keep struggling trying to copy Serger Stitches with your Regular Sewing Machine or do you want to make them fast and easy with the possibility of learning better and nicer finishes?
I hope that by this point you are near the Serger Fans Club line. Here is the hard truth:
There is nothing like the original because is designed specifically for this.
What is a Serger Machine used for?
Serger machines are mostly used to prevent the raw edges of fabrics from fraying.
They also have built features like the rolled hem serger stitch that is used to finish the edges of delicate fabrics with a much smaller stitch.
There isn’t. Period.
You can go ahead and try with your stretch stitch (a lot of people do it and is ok), but I am telling you since right now.
It is not going to be better than if you would do it with your Serger.
You might also like:20 Knit Fabric Tutorials You Need to Know Right Now.
The Overlock stitch allows Knit fabric to keep its Natural Stretch. It does a better job of not pulling the fabric while sewing…
And did you know (just for a fancy plus) that you can make Hems with your Serger, yes including Blind Hem, on knits in half the time?
Best Serger Sewing Machines
There are a looot of options out there.
So I am going to do my best to help you to narrow down your options and choose the best Serger for you.
I did my research and here are The best Reviewed Serger Machines for each brand, a small summary of their features, and what sewists say about them.
But first I have to say that if you are buying a new sewing machine you are better doing it at Amazon.com
I recently had a problem with one of my machines and their service is top-notch!! They replace it with a new one in less than a week.
Which is better than any brand customer service would do in case something is wrong.
Brother 1034D 3/4 Thread Serger with Differential Feed
This Serger Machine is the most popular one in the market for both quality and price range.
It is very beginner-friendly and it has a lot of great tutorials and Facebook groups out there to help you with your journey.
Product Summary from Retailer: This 3/4 lay-in thread system with a lower loop threader highlights the serging machine. In one step, users can sew, finish and trim the seam quickly and accurately. The Brother sewing machine contains a number of stitching options, including the rolled hem, the ribbon lock, the narrow hem and the three and four-thread overlock. (Click here to read full Summary)
What Sewist are saying about it: “I was looking for a serger for quite a while. After comparing prices on different sites I came across Ken’s Sewing, here on eBay […] I saw they sold re-manufactured sergers and decided to buy the Brother 1034D as the price was the best I had found anywhere else […] I have been using it for some days now and I love it. My clothes look more professional and this was exactly what I was looking for. I would highly recommend this serger.” -jolandastcroix
Juki | MO-654DE
Get this Machine at: Amazon
I have recently bought this machine (2 years) to upgrade from my Brother 1034D and I am completely loving it. Click here to read my full extended review and unboxing video on the Juki-Mo654DE here.
This Serger has very nice stitches, is lightweight and rather small in comparison to other machines.
I have to disclose one thing though. When I first got this Serger from Amazon the machine I got had a very weird sound, so I decided to tell Amazon and they replace it with a new one.
That is why I was telling you that if you buy a new Serger you should do it there.
They gave me pretty good customer service and I got to exchange the machine for a new one within a week, instead of sending it to the Juki repair which could have taken a month or so.
And all for free!
The new one is working like a charm and I have to say I wish I can sew on it all day.
I definitely recommend this machine if you are looking for a more advanced machine.
Product Summary from Retailer: Juki’s know-how incorporated powerful, dedicated drive cutting system, ease of use and high-quality stitch formation in their household use sergers. Convertible 2/3/4 thread serging with automatically rolled hem capability. Color-coded threading and breakaway looper for easy, correct threading. Stitch length and differential feed adjustments are located on the outside of the machine for ease of use. The knife adjustment is calibrated for the project to project consistency
What Sewists are saying about it: “ I upgraded to this Juki from my Brother 1034D and couldn’t be happier. It’s smooth and a lot quieter. Threading takes a little practice, but after a few times, you can do it in a couple of minutes. One tip – make sure you pull the thread tightly into your tension dials. I couldn’t get my tension correct until I figured that little bit out. “ –Kayla R.
Janome 8002D Serger
Product Summary from Retailer: The 8002D serger provides professional results at an extraordinary value. These 3 and 4 thread convertible serger cuts, sergers and finishes seams in one quick and easy motion. The external color-coded tension dials allow for easy threading and the rolled hem changeover device makes it easy to convert to a rolled hem. Features Speed up to 1300 stitches per minute. (Click here to read the full review)
What Sewists are saying about it: “This Janome is a winner. I studied the reviews and found it was even recommended for children and people with arthritic hands. This machine came threaded and ready to sew right out of the box. My first piece of fabric made a perfect seam. The instructional DVD is useful for explaining in great detail how to use each feature.”-Kindle Customer
How to use a Serger Machine?
This is meant to be a super-duper quick tutorial to get you started with your Serger.
For this, I am going to use my own Overlock Machine: Brother 3034D (Which is apparently not to be found anymore but if you do find it BUY IT! I loveeee it so much, and is so easy).
If you want to learn deeply about this there are a lot of great tutorials online, on YouTube and I also recommend that you follow this board on Pinterest where I constantly pin related posts about this.
Your first Stitches Instructions:
- Make sure your Serger Machine is Off. (1)
- Lift the needles turning the handwheel until they are to their highest position. (2)
- Lift the Thread Tree and Thread your Serger from right to left following the numbers printed on the machine. (3) I know this is a little hard but here is the good news: You will never have to re-thread again with this trick.
- Adjust your tension disks. Depending on the type of fabric this will have to move. Sewing is possible at position “4” for most fabrics so let’s start with that on all discs. If you need a higher tension go 4 and up, for light tension go 4 and down, and for a medium tension stay between numbers 5 to 3. (4)
- Adjust the stitch length on a standard size “3”. If you want more closed stitches to reduce the length and if you want a more separate look of the stitch use bigger numbers. (5)
- The differential feed controls the movement of the rear feed dogs (whoof?) this is a more advanced subject so, for now, leave it in 1. (Or the standard number on your manual’s machine). (6)
- Raise the presser foot using the presser foot lever. (7)
- Pull the threads out. (8)
- Turn your Serger Machine On. (9)
- Place the fabric underneath the presser foot and using the presser level put down the foot. (10)
- Press the pedal softly and the fabric will be feed and sewn. (11)
- Keep sewing a little bit more when finish leaving a chain (overlock stitch) of 2” and cut. (12)
What can I sew with my Serger Machine?
Now that you know how to use a Serger, is time to see all the wonders you can sew with it. Sergers are good for edge and seam finishes and also great for sewing with knits.
Here is a list of Beginner Serger Projects you can start with your Serger Machine, so you can go ahead and start learning and creating.
I hope you really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for sticking with me to the end.
If you have any other questions about Sergers or Overlock Machines please make sure to post them in the comments so I can help you with it.