Do I need a sewing machine, a serger, or both? Well, it is a common question among people who sew. It can be challenging to answer, especially if you do not understand what a serger does.
To answer this question, you need to have as much information about sergers as possible. That’s because it will help you make an informed decision.
Do I Need a Serger?
The answer to this question may change depending on individuality. That’s because the answer depends on how far someone wants to take the sewing. It is also reliant on the benefits the machine will give you and your sewing objectives.
To decide on whether you need a serger or not, you need to do a self-assessment. You can do this by asking yourself many questions.
Sure, you can read about it on the internet or hear about it from people. But, you are likely to make a better decision if you understand yourself, your present and future project needs.
Here are a few questions you can try to answer to make an informed decision.
1. How Far Do You Want to Go With Your Sewing?
Do you usually make clothes for yourself and others? Do you want your garments to have that store-bought look? Besides, do you want to sell your clothes and turn sewing into a business? Do you want that professional-looking finish all the time?
If you have more yeses to these questions than no’s, you should consider getting a serger.
2. What Can I Do With a Serger That I Cannot Do With My Sewing Machine?
A sewing machine may not be that different from a serger. But it is not the same either. For example, you cannot make rolled hems with a sewing machine but with a serger.
To answer this, create a list of things you cannot do with your sewing machine but would love to do. If the list is long, then your guess is correct! You may need a serger.
3. How Fast Do You Want to Complete Your Projects?
A serger has got quite a reasonable speed. You can sew projects fast. So, it could be advantageous if you have a lot of projects.
If you feel you get many projects that need urgent work, you should consider investing in a serger.
4. Are You Planning to Make Sewing a Career?
Suppose you plan to make sewing a career. Then, you can consider making a serger part of your collection.
The reason is you will have a lot of future projects as you progress in your career.
5. Are You Happy With How You Sew Your Seams?
If you feel unsatisfied and unpleased with your finishing, a serger can be of help. This tool can provide tidy finishes.
6. What Fabric Do You Usually Work With All the Time?
Buy a serger if you work with a lot of knits, fleece, and stretchy fabric. That’s because a Serger allows you to make solid seams for such fabrics.
7. Are You Interested in Sewing Home Decor?
Home decor requires a lot of decoratives. There are many decorative applications on the serger. For example, you can try beading feet, a piping foot, etc.
Uses of a Serger
Understanding the uses of a serger will help you determine whether you need it or not. Moreover, you can point out what serger functions you would like to add to your projects.
There are several uses of this machine, and here are some of them.
1. Finishing the Edges
You can use a serger to finish delicate edges and loose weave fabrics after cutting. It helps to trim off raw edges and finish them. What’s more, the finish is clean, and it prevents fraying. Fraying occurs when the fabric starts to unravel along the cut edge.
These machines are suitable for decoratives. They have applications that help with decorations. Some of the decorative effects you can create using your serger are as below.
- Covered elastic loops
- Serger braid trim
- Chain stitches
- Thread reverse flatlock
- You can also use it to make narrow tubes for ties, spaghetti straps, and belt carriers.
- It is helpful for patchwork piecing. Serger piecing is the best for machine quilted projects.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Serger
If you are ready to purchase a serger, there are factors you need to consider. Here are some of the factors to consider before buying a serger.
1. Sewing Experience
Your experience with sergers will help you in deciding the kind of serger to purchase. You must familiarize yourself with certain features before committing.
Besides, you can watch a few videos or reviews to gain ideas. But, if you can, purchase the most basic serger to familiarize yourself with the machine.
2. Consider the Features You Will Use the Most
A serger should include certain essential functions and features that are user-friendly. Examples of basic features are; color-coded thread and automatic/ adjustable thread tensions, giving you better control.
It should also include differential feed which enables you to adjust feed dogs. A heavy-duty knife is also a must. It ensures clean and high-quality cuts. Besides, a manual should also be there to help you learn quickly.
3. Familiarize Yourself
Do some research and familiarize yourself with serger models. You can read reviews online or watch demo videos.
What’s more, understand the strengths and weaknesses of as many brands as possible. Patience, time, and effort are the keys to finding a serger that works best for your needs.
4. Don’t Compromise Quality Because of Price
Try not to compromise quality because of price. Sergers of lower prices tend to have low quality.
The higher the price, the higher the chances of getting a machine of metal parts and not plastic. Metal parts mean the serger will last longer than that made of plastic ones.
No matter how good the machine may look on the outside, make sure you focus on the mechanics. It is okay even to purchase a second-hand serger as long as the quality is good.
Get value for your money. If you can afford it or manage some extra cash, go for the best quality serger.
5. Consider How Often You Will Use the Machine
Sergers range from the most basic to complex. The type of serger you pick should match what you intend to use it for all the time.
For example, if your projects are simple, get a basic serger, and so on.
What Are the Common Projects You Can Complete on Serger?
Buying a serger machine is the first step to unlocking fun projects. Whether your Serger has basic features or advanced features, you can try out as many projects as you would like.
The projects you try out can be gifts for decorations, donations, crafts, or garments. There are a significant number of creative projects that you can try out.
Here are a few serger project suggestions you may wish to try out.
1. Custom Serged Pillowcases
The serger is the best machine to use if you like to mix and match pillowcases. You can make serged pillowcases of all sizes, for example, throws, queen size, etc.
2. Fleece Blankets
Fleece blankets are one of the best projects to try with your serger. Apart from their coziness and softness, they are easy to work with at any time.
What’s more, you can also fashion them into different sizes. It can be as small as a baby-size fleece to a king-sized one.
3. Table Runner
You can use Serger to make table runners. It can add an excellent feel to your space. Moreover, you can use them for decorating for wedding showers, baby showers, and other occasions.
4. Sheer Scarf
If you would like to practice rolled hems, then you should consider making this scarf. Practice working with sheer as much as you can, so practice using a soft and delicate fabric.
5. Infinity Scarf
These types of scarfs are also known as Mobius scarfs. You can use any fabric to make them. Be it knit, fleece or wovens. What’s more, they can be of any size too, be it narrow or compact.
What Are the Unique Features of a Serger?
There are so many unique features available in a serger. First of all, note that a serger and a sewing machine have different functions.
A serger is not something like a standalone sewing machine. Most of the time, it acts as a complement to a sewing machine.
It is fast and can be used to decorate. But there are other functions like sewing buttonholes, zippers, etc., that you can better do on a sewing machine.
Is Using a Serger Worth It?
Yes, using a serger is worth it. Use a serger because it helps to make more professional and durable seams than a regular sewing machine. The threads lock around the fabric and prevent fraying.
What’s more, you do not have to worry about your fabric unraveling. The blade also trims off the seam allowance as you sew, saving you time.