Sunday, March 14, 2010

To Serge or Not to Serge

Hello readers,

I'm going to San Francisco tomorrow for a conference but hope to get an hour or two of fabric shopping as well!  I'm now researching fabric shops!
But I do have a question for you - to serge or not to serge??

I'm facing a conundrum - I can afford a nice serger - for example check out this new Pfaff industrial serger and table on Craigslist in LA for 1200 (see photo above) . . . . but I am not sure my sewing skills warrant this shopping endeavor - I've checked out a few sergers - for example,  a nice mid-level serger from Janome starts at 299 and go up from there (my dealer is right down the street from my house).  I've actually owned a Singer mini-serger when I made Christmas costumes for Biloxi Baptist Church in the mid-nineties  - it worked like a charm.  I've read the reviews on Pattern Review - and kinda like the Babylock Imagine (minus the price. . . ) . . .

Sew (haha), the big question is  - To serge or not to serge??  I see
Amanda's Blog doesn't serge and produces beautiful clothing.  I do have an overlock/serging stitch on my machine but it is very very slow (and uses all my bobbin thread) . . .and the stitches themselves are messy. . . .

Is serging necessary?  I almost think it is.


  1. I have a Kenmore Serger which I paid about $300 for and in the same breath wouldn't say its necessary. However, I like the benefit of it cutting the frayed edges and the multiple threads providing secure stitches as opposed to my sewing machine 2 stitch overlock feature. Especially enjoy it since I sew a lot of knits. I use my serger along with my sewing machine nearly everytime I sew a garment.

  2. Sheila - Thanks!! I know what you mean - I do prefer knits! And I feel that my sewing machine's overlock feature is kinda messy or I haven't figured it out yet. . . it would make finishing garments a bit easier . . . I'm going to have to investigate for a while I think - I'm not in a hurray!

  3. I have a Babylock Imagine (is that it? I always forget). I bucked up this time because the one thing I absolutely hate about sergers is threading them. The Babylock series come with jet-air threading and have automatic tension which is awesome. I love it. I know Amanda sews without serging, but I do think it helps with strength and cleanliness if you have one. It's not a must, but it's nice.
    - Heather

  4. Heather - Thanks for the comment - I must concur with your assessment - I too want a serger that's easy to thread and make nice stitiches - thanks for the Babylock comments - I'm always sewing in a hurray and I overlook making the seams nice in certain instances (for examples, with linings on the inside) - I do think a nice serger is probably worth it - for the knits alone - plus - I'm always sewing on a time schedule - so it may make it more enjoyable!

  5. I'm having the same dilemma - my mom gave me her Serger years ago and it sat in the attic till she took it back! I just can't even think about threading it. But now I'm doing some knits for the first time and it would be nice....I'm interested in the comments you're getting!

  6. Buying from Craig's List doesn't get you the support for beginning serging that would make you love it. Threading is such a personal aspect too. I have never minded threading any of mine, but my mother will either pay to fly me to her house to rethread hers or just go buy a new one and have the store thread it. (That's where I get my sergers - her old unthreaded ones.) At her age, the self threading systems are just too difficult for her and lots more expensive and just one more thing to go wrong. Sewing on Polar fleece will be so much more fun with a serger, too. On the subject of fleece, Seattle Fabrics is one of the best stores for sports and outdoors fabrics, notions, and patterns.

  7. Thanks Beryl!! That is why I saw a Babylock Imagine here in LA on craigslist for 950 - but am still thinking about buying from the store 1200....they do have classes! I agree - I bought my sewing machine from a dealer and it gives me some feeling of safety that I can go and ask question! For example, I'm still having troubles on silks. . .

    Oh, good - I'm going to Seattle in July - and will save some $$$ to buy some highly technical fabrics! I can't wait!

  8. i don't sew as much as i should like, and i think part of it is because i hate how the edges look. a serger would help me so much, especially since i would be less afraid of ripping the pinked/sicksacked edges when wearing my things. so go for a serger if you have the space and money to afford it!

  9. I agree - I still don't have one - but I am planning one this year!! Thanks for the comments everyone!!