May 20, 2013

Reader Request: My Serger

So after my last post on my Janome Coverpro Coverstitch machine, I had a few of you ask what serger I own. So I thought, "hey! I need to do a post on sergers and the one I have." It's actually sad that I didn't do a post about it when I got it, but I had some guilt issues that I'm totally over now. Anyway, let's talk sergers, shall we?

I am of the opinion that everyone should just go get a serger. Yup. I lived without one for way too long and I was completely in the dark as to how much they cost and how much they really are worth to a garment sewer. Sergers just make life easier and believe me when I tell you, I am not kidding. Since I'm a Thread's Insider (seriously, just go get a membership now!) I have access to all of Louise Cutting's Industry Insider Technique videos - this is totally worth the membership by the way, Louise is a GENIUS! I love her! Anyway, I remember in one of the videos she says something to the effect of how great and easy it is to use a serger and how no sewer should really be without one because the days of finishing seam allowances without one are over. I agree 1,000,000%! I finish seam allowances with my serger nearly 100% of the time now (occasionally I'll do a french seam on linings, but otherwise, I'm a serger girl).

So let's talk about what I was never able to seem to find out before I just went out and bought my serger a few years back. You can get a decent serger for fairly inexpensive these days. Mine was a whopping $275. Yup. You can drop your jaw too if you've been thinking that sergers will cost you an arm and a leg and you have to give up your firstborn for one. You can and should be able to purchase a decent serger for something in the $300 - $500 range. My sewing machine was considerably more than that, so when I found out that sergers weren't all that expensive I kept wondering why I had waited so long.

Then I went out and purchased the Babylock Lauren. It's the entry level Babylock serger. Now, I'm not going to say that this is the serger for you, but I'm happy with it. It finishes my seam allowances like a champ. Sometimes we have small issues going over bulky areas, but for the most part its fine. Its actually one of the easier ones to thread and I say that having threaded many sergers for students and threaded the ones at Yellow Bird Fabrics a few times. It has a pretty good narrow hem on it that I use from time to time to finish a lining hem. It's got four threads, differential feed and you know, that's pretty much it. With sergers you can get crazy and spend money on a really really nice one (like the Babylocks that thread themselves....sigh....) but the end game is pretty much the same - it finishes your seam allowances so that you can spend your time perfecting other sewing techniques. And when it comes to seam allowances, a serger really really does save you time. The daunting task of finishing seam allowances all of a sudden is not daunting anymore. It reduces time spent doing that to like 1/4 of the time you would spend finishing those silly seam allowances. In fact, I remember the times before I had a serger and I would wander around in a fog just thinking about how long it was going to take me to finish the seam allowances on any garment. Now I don't even think about it. I just do it and its done.

So, when I first purchased my serger, immediately after I had done the deed and paid the money, I was reading a certain blog (which I'll not name, but held in very high regard at the time) that went into great detail about how even though they had sergers on their premises that they were "rarely used" because they were totally into finishing their seams the old fashioned way. And it wasn't just one blog post, it was like several blog posts where they kept mentioning that and their sort of "higher ground" for not being in the serger crowd. So then I had instant buyer's remorse for being one of those that invested in a serger and every time I went to serge a seam I would feel instant guilt because I wasn't doing it the "higher ground" way.

Friends, this is BOGUS! Look, I totally understand if you don't have the money to invest in a serger right now - I empathize. Just know that there are entry level model sergers that do the job just fine, so maybe you won't have to save up quite as much money as you were thinking. Otherwise, serging just makes life easier. Thank you - I'm a "lower ground" sewer and I'm proud to admit it!

What are your thoughts on sergers? Been saving up thinking that sergers are going to cost you thousands of dollars? Are you a "lower ground" sewer?
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