Serger sewing machines are as close to professional garment making as most home seamstresses and tailors will get. Also known as an overlocking sewing machine, this model can sew a seam, finish off its ragged edges and trim away any excess material, all in one function. Generally, a sewing machine like this is used for stretchy fabrics, especially jerseys.
While you may not want to invest in a serger if you just do occasional sewing and crafting, this is a great investment if you sew a lot and especially if you work with jersey and knit fabrics. Sergers are available in many different styles, from large, heavy professional machines to small overlock types suitable for a home sewing room.
Tips for Buying a Serger Sewing Machine
When looking for an overlocking sewing machine, be sure to first find out how many threads it uses and any special capabilities it may have.
The next step is to compare the different models in store. Each brand and model has varied features and a different “feel.” It’s important to find the type that feels best to you, since a sewing machine of this kind is typically a significant investment.
That’s why it’s important to be sure that you will use a serger regularly before buying one. If it’s only going to be used occasionally for decorative stitching or finishing seams, a better choice might be a computerized sewing machine that has a greater range of functions.
Whatever you do, stay away from the very cheap machines. They are simply not worth the money you will spend on them. If you think you need a serger sewing machine but do not have the budget for it yet, it is far better to wait till you save enough for a better model that does the job well rather than get stuck with a cheap model that will only frustrate you.
Navigating that Tricky Threading
Yes, treading serger sewing machines are truly as complicated as they look. Trying to thread a standard serger can be tricky enough and threading a 3, 4, or 5 thread serger can tax your patience. Hang in there. A little practice is all it takes and is well worth it too.
At Amazon.com, that one stop shop for everything online, you will find basic serger sewing machines that cost less than $200 to more advanced professional models that cost upwards of $500. Here are my three most highly recommended models:
Brother 1034D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger
An array of features that allow you to sew spaghetti straps, join laces, do narrow and rolled hemming and create gentle gathers and fabric flowers, makes this a popular model with sewing enthusiasts who are looking for a serger machine that costs less than $200.
Singer Serger Overlock 22 SP
At a little over $200, this model is capable of sewing up to 1,300 stitches per minute and is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a faster turnaround with their home and hobby sewing projects.
Professional 5 Overlock Serger Sewing
At nearly $500, the Professional 5 is well worth it for professionals but may be a tad too expensive for the home sewer. It has a fully automatic self adjusting tension and easy threading diagram and is capable of doing up to 1300 stitches per minute.