Since producing my Learn to Love Your Serger (Overlocker) online course, I have received a number of enquiries about them and this one from Nellie covered most questions so I thought I would share my reply with you all just in case some of you have wondered the same thing.
‘How important is a serger? I’ve sewn for a long time. I’ve never owned or operated a serger. I’m planning on making doll clothes to sell. What is the best one? Also, is it worth the extra for money for automatic threading?’
Following is part of my reply to Nellie.
….When I started selling doll clothes I was the same, I had sewn for years and never owned a serger, or overlocker as we call them here in Australia. Then I decided I wanted my doll clothes to look more professional so purchased a second-hand three thread serger which would allow me to finish the seams more professionally rather than just doing a zigzag stitch. Oh my gosh! I loved how fast it was and how good my sewing looked and also how easy it was to use the rolled hem – oh I could do so much with this rolled hem! Then as I got busier I decided to purchase a 4 thread serger so that I could do the seam and finish the edges in the one step saving me heaps of time. Well I have never looked back. I absolutely love my serger and couldn’t live without it now. I don’t usually use it in my videos as I want people to know how to make the outfit completely on the sewing machine – not everyone has the money to purchase a serger or has the desire to own one, they just want to learn how to sew or make some doll clothes.
It’s difficult for me to tell you which machine is the best one to purchase as we all have different expectations and requirements. If you can borrow a machine from a friend to try it out before buying, that would be ideal. Or if you have a dealer close by, perhaps you could take some time to visit them in person to try their different machines. I use a Janome My Lock 644d and it has been a great machine. It does a lot of work and has rarely given me any problems over the years.
You really don’t need to thread the machine that often as you cut the threads, tie on the new ones, release the tension and pull the new threads through. If you do get a tangle or broken thread (it does happen occasionally) this machine is really not that hard to re thread so I don’t believe that it is worth the extra money for one that threads automatically. My Mum actually bought a Baby Lock Imagine Jet Air Threader overlocker after I raved about mine so much and she agrees that she really didn’t need to spend the extra money.
When you purchase your machine, ask the staff to show you how to use it as you often pick up some great tips from them quickly. There is lots of helpful info in the manual that comes with the machine and I think I even got a DVD with mine. Otherwise you may be interested in doing my Learn to Love Your Serger online course as it covers the basics as well as showing more advanced techniques that can be done with a serger……