Sunday, November 14, 2010

intimidated


I am thinking of buying an overlocker, also known as a serger.  I have only ever used my sewing machine and until recently I was using the basic bernina which I received for my 21st (just a few years ago).  Which still goes incredibly well and now resides in Miss M's bedroom for her sewing.

But I would like to give clothes and bags that professional finished look and possibly even try some knits (sweaty palms and initmidated by these as well).

When I go into the shop my eyes glaze over as they start to tell me what is the best machine that does not cost a gazillion dollars.  And lets be real here I am a home sewist, I do make and sell a few bits and pieces for markets but it won't ever have to deal with more than that.  The machine recommended by Wellington Sewing Services is the Babylock 097 pictured above.  The good thing about it is the front opens completely up for threading which I gather can be a bit a nightmare on some machines.

Does anyone have any recommendations?  Things to look for?  Avoid?  As always your comments are appreciated.

10 comments:

Jacqui said...

I got a Brother 3034D from Spotlight and it's been great. The threading is fairly straightforward, although there are a couple of tricky bits the first few times you do it. It's all colour-coded and the instruction manual is very helpful as well. I'm sure that the more expensive machines are simpler and perhaps slightly more refined in result but I'm really happy with mine. Knits are now my friends! Well mostly :) But it does take the fear out of using them, though oddly I still use my regular machine for a lot of tshirt sewing. Be warned though, once you have the overlocker you'll be telling yourself you need a coverlock too :) I gather the machines that say they do both aren't very good though, just as a warning.

Rach said...

Hi, I have the Brother 3034D too & its great (sold my old architects drawing table to buy it). It is easy to adjust tension & I have been mixing up thread colours for interest. More expensive machines may deal with changes in thickness more smoothly (i.e. over folded seems), but its fine for home sewing & doing a tidy job with no raw edges. Good luck with your decision!!

Notchka said...

I recommend a Babylock. I'm a professional, have been in the industry oh...ummm 13 years, owned a lot of industrial overlockers, but I use a domestic Babylock now and have done for about 5 years - you get what you pay for, so beware some cheap nasty machines out there - if you haven't heard of the maker, don't go there (Trust me, made that mistake). Whatever your decision don't buy it off trademe - you need to try it first. Also with changing threads - you don't need to rethread every time you want to change colour. Snip the threads at the cone (aka the big reel of thread) tie on your next colours. Then snip needle threads at the needle and pull them through all your guides and tension discs, grab the looper threads from under the foot and pull them through, finally rethread the needles and your done.

knightlight said...

i found my four thread bernina overlocker VERY daunting when i first got it,it wasnt love at first sight thats for sure but i warmed to her the more she taught me and now we are inseprable!!

Leonie said...

I love my Bernina 700D. And it came with free classes at our local bernina shop (which I failed to attend! oops). But it relatively easy to thread and always looks very neat and professional.

Philippa said...

I succumbed to the temptation of a Brother 640D overlocker recently - it was a bargain for only $30 at the Karori School fair. Having said that I am yet to successfully thread it and can't locate a manual, so it may yet turn out to be a dud.... Hardly a major investment lost if it is though. So not a recommendation...yet.

My boys fully approved the boy fabric for the nephew's quilt. Thanks for that.

highwaycottage said...

Yay, I'm sure you will love the Babylock (I had an old one years ago), I use a Benette 334d I bought back in 1990, still runs like a dream.

I was scared of my overlocker for a long time. I recommend reading Sew U, Stretch by Wendy Mullins. The tips in that book are invaluable for sewing stretch fabrics.

Flying Blind... said...

I have no experience of this scary area, but read this a short while ago about sewing with knits...good luck x

http://misformake.blogspot.com/2010/11/guest-post-by-florence.html

Polka Dot Daze said...

You will never regret buying it, that professional finish is just so gorgeous! I have
Singer 14T554D which was about $699, and it's really easy to thread. It was what I was recommended at my local sewing shop. It has a free arm which has come in handy too. I know that Babylock are meant to be top of the range though - so I am sure you can't go wrong.

Bellgirl said...

Hi Stitchbird, I asked this very question, and here are my answers: http://bellgirl.com.au/2009/07/tell-me-about-your-overlocker.html

I bought the Janome MyLock 644D, and it's excellent. My husband had a work party last night, so on Saturday I whipped up a gorgeous crossover dress and slip in a knit fabric and felt like the best dressed person in the room!