You’ve heard of sergers. You know that the basic difference is that a serger has more threads than a regular sewing machine, but do you know what a serger can do for you?
What exactly is a serger? A serger is a sewing machine that sews, trims and finishes seams all in one step. Not only does a needle stitch down the regular seam, three or four other threads wrap around the edge of fabric to prevent it from fraying. A serger can also make decorative edges and attach elastic. Look at the seams of any store bought garment (like the inside of a t-shirt) for an example of what a serger does.
Do I need a serger? This question is asked by all levels of sewers. It is one to ask yourself when you want to take your sewing to the next level. The answer? Maybe. It depends on where you want to go with your sewing and if what the serger can do will benefit your projects.
Here are a few questions to consider:
– How serious is your sewing?
If you sew clothing often, a serged edge looks professional and will make things easier and faster. Even if you are just sewing for you and your family a serger will allow you to quickly finish an edge. If you’re using lots of wovens, a serged seam will ensure your finished product will survive washing and wearing. You can also piece quilt tops with a serger!
– Do you sew knits often?
As long as you’re using the correct needle, you can get away with using a zigzag or stretch stitch on your regular machine for knit fabrics. But if you sew knits often or for other people, a serger is the way to go. With a serger, knits are incredibly quick and easy to sew.
What can a serger do that your sewing machine can’t and does that matter?
Sergers are great at something that many sewing machines can’t do – a rolled hem. A rolled hem is what it sounds like, a tight overlock stitch that rolls the hem in on itself ever so slightly. It makes a great finished edge for bridal gowns, flowy tops, and dresses. A serger can also do things like gather or stretch the edge of a fabric, which is great for ruffles.
Adding to the machines to consider, there is also a Cover Stitch Machine.
A cover stitch machine makes a twin stitched hem that is covered by multiple threads on the back. Again, look at the hem of a mass-produced t-shirt for an example of what a cover stitch looks like. Notice how the raw edge of the hem is covered up by the threads on the back side of the fabric?
Some machines, like the Juki MO-735 are both a serger and a cover stitch machine, depending on how they are threaded and configured.
The Juki MCS-1500 is purely a cover stitch machine, meaning it produces only the cover stitch and chain stitch, and does not trim fabric as it stitches.
I need a serger. Now what?
Sergers can appear pretty confusing if you’ve never owned one, but they’re nothing to be afraid of! If you have a friend or relative who has one, see if you can test drive it. Even better, come to Fabric Hut and talk to us! We have multiple models on the floor and can show you how to thread them, how they work, and give you more information to help you pick out the machine that best fits your needs.
Let’s face it, sergers do cost money, but they can save you assembly time, and make your projects last longer. If you are selling your clothing or other projects, a serger is a great way to finish it in a professional way that will ensure your customers will stay satisfied.
Need more help? Don’t worry we’re here to help you! Send us an email with your questions or give us a call!.