I’ve been sewing for years. I’ve made everything from toys to dress clothes. I’ve made it all with a plain old sewing machine. Until recently, I never even considered a need for a serger.
Honestly, I’ve always found sergers a bit daunting. So many spools of thread, a lot of moving parts and a threading nightmare! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always thought they were neat….they can make the cool hems and stitches you find in store-bought clothes, but you can clean up edges with a good old zigzag stitch….right?
Well, in December my Mom called to tell me that a friend of hers had an old serger they wanted to get rid of….did I want it? It was free, why not? What I wasn’t expecting was a machine that was made 50 years ago! Well, maybe not 50, but this thing was old. Take a look:
This brand isn’t even made any longer. But who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? Besides, some of the best sewing machines are the very old ones, right?
Thankfully, my Mom gave it to me threaded. Take a look at the inside:
Yikes! As she handed it over, my Mom said, “Don’t let it run out of thread – when the spool gets low, just tie the new thread to the old and run it through so you won’t have to re-thread it….Trust me, you don’t want to thread this thing.” Ok, I surely wasn’t going to let this thing run out of thread! And you know what, I didn’t. Unfortunately, after the first use I actually broke two of the threads rendering it useless.
There I was – me, the machine, no manual. I spent about an hour with this thing and a pair of tweezers. After about 15 tries, I finally got it to work again. Ugh. Was it really worth it?
I started using it to clean up the edges of my covers and was extremely happy with the results. It offered a much more professional finish compared to my zigzag stitch. And speed? This thing was 5x as fast as zigzagging. I was hooked. The only time I hated the thing was when I had to thread it. Ugh.
So, after a few months, the machine started doing some funky stuff and I had to re-thread it almost every time I used it. Not exactly time efficient. Having become accustomed to the serged look, I knew that it was time to buy a new one.
Who knew there were so many options? 3, 4, 5 thread….self-threading…..differentials…..yikes! While I contemplated shelling out over $1000 for a self-threading machine, I realized that if I could thread my old monster I could probably thread a newer machine much easier. So given that I don’t really make a lot of clothing, I only needed a simple machine to clean up edges. That brought the price down significantly.
The brother Lock 1034D. I purchased it from Amazon for under $200 and I have to say I am LOVING it! I’ve had it for over a month now and use it everyday. I have only used the safety stitch but it has over 20 stitches for me to explore if and when I find time. I have to say, this little pup does nice work! It’s a pleasure to use and I can see now why people swear by serging!
And as for threading, OK, well, it still takes some time, but it is somewhat easier than my old one. Here is the inside:
So, my suggestion for you is if you are serious about sewing but don’t want to spend a small fortune, you may want to consider picking up one of these machines. For under $200 you can create many professional stitches quickly and easily.