What is a Serger Used For? (Do I Need a Serger Machine)

It is all in the machine, well almost all. You do need some sewing talent to make sure you create beautiful clothes and more. Using the right machine, like a Serger, will make sure that sewing talent rise to the top and produce results you can be proud of.

What is a Serger used for? A Serger is a wonderful sewing machine that helps speed up your sewing time while doing duties that you would normally do with regular sewing machines. Of course, if you like doing those duties, you do not need a Serger but they do come in handy.

To get the facts about Serger machines just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about before you jump on the Serger bandwagon and spend money you may not need to spend.

What Exactly Does a Serger Do?


Besides sewing fabric, a serger sewing machine handles the seam sewing, edge finishing as well as trim away excess fabric. Plus, it does all three at the same time. With a Serger, you save a lot of time when you do not have a lot of free time to give to your sewing projects.

It is possible to get enough features on a Serger machine to handle sewing chores like rolled hems, gathers, and a cover stitch. These features also take a lot of work out of your sewing project.

On top of that, the Serger machine can handle knit fabrics quite well. They can stretch the fabric where you need it to go. That characteristic makes sewing a little more enjoyable.

But, and you knew it was coming, Serger machines are not a replacement for regular sewing machines. There are some things it cannot do like, it cannot sew a regular hem. Also, it can’t do a regular straight stitch.

Then it cannot do unique stitching or put a pocket on a flat piece of fabric. As good as a Serger machine is, the machine does come with limitations that make sure you do not throw your regular sewing machine away.

What is a Serger Used For?


Before we get to some of the different projects a Serger machine is capable of completing. One of the best reasons people turn to a Serger to help them on their sewing projects is that this machine adds that professional look to your stitches and sewing.

That aspect is very important when you are trying to impress your mother in law with your homemaking abilities or friends and strangers who like to see top quality work results.

There is no difference between a Serger and an Overlock machine. In fact, the latter name is the other name for a Serger. The machine does a nice overlock stitch to help make sure your fabrics avoid fraying while they are being worn.

That overlock stitch is essential if you want your stretch knits to keep their elastic character. Then it is good with blind hems. That ability should save you some time as blind hems are not always that easy to get done.

What else a Serger machine does is allow you to use multiple threads at the same time. Some of these top machines can work with 2, 3 and even 5 different colored threads. With that versatility, you should be able to create some very interesting and attractive clothing.

Do You Need a Serger to Make Clothes?


The short answer is no you don’t. Sewers have been making clothing without a Serger machine for centuries. Regular sewing machines are perfect for making clothes and other fabric items. The only drawback is that the regular sewing machines just take more time.

What Serger machines do is provide you with extra tools to shave some of that sewing time off your projects. Those abilities make sewing a little easier on you and let you enjoy what you are doing.

Plus, you can have both machines in your sewing room. The reasoning behind that thinking is that Sergers are not the ideal or perfect sewing machine alternative. Instead, it is a complementary machine that gives you more options and more tools to use.

When you get a Serger don’t toss your regular sewing machine away. As you read earlier, the Serger is not without its limitations and the regular sewing machine fills those gaps so you are never at a loss when it comes to difficult patterns and sewing.

The two machines work well together and help you do better sewing in less time. Having professional-looking results should earn you lots of praise.

Do I Need a Serger Machine?


We are going to say yes to that question. Not because we are going to make any money off any purchases you may do. Our answer is because a Serger is the perfect complementary tool for your regular sewing machine.

Having one around is advantageous to your sewing projects and makes your work look like a professional sewer did it all. Also, a Serger can save you time. When your kids need to go to after school activities, you can make sure you are there to pick them up on time when you use a Serger.

That is because the Serger does so many sewing duties at the same time for you. When you save time, you are not as frustrated or rushed so your sewing project has fewer to no mistakes.

When you think about it having a Serger around, next to your sewing machine, you have the flexibility, the tools you need to make sure your sewing projects are not delayed.

The key for you is in deciding which model you should buy. Take some time and look at a lot of them to make sure you do not over or underbuy. Get the one that fits your sewing needs the best.

Why Use a Serger Instead of a Sewing Machine?


One reason is that you can avoid doing those sewing jobs you find distasteful. Trimming fabric, cleaning up edges and other mundane sewing tasks are done for you by the Serger machine.

What a Serger does, is make your sewing life a little easier to do. You can relax and concentrate because the machine is handling those annoying little jobs while supplying you with a great stitch to protect your clothes.

The overlock stitch allows your fabrics to stretch properly while giving the seams the strength they need to endure that stretching. With some machines, you can turn the blade off so it does not do any damage to your sewing project at the same time.

There are a lot of options on a Serger machine that your regular sewing machine does not have. Those options are what make owning a Serger worth their expense. On top of that, the time and effort you save can be invested in other family duties.

For example, cooking one of those meals you always wanted to try and make, playing with your kids or just having the energy to be romantic with your spouse. Sergers help your other activities when used correctly.

Do I Need a Serger And a Sewing Machine?


Again, the answer would be a resounding yes. A regular sewing machine can do things a Serger cannot and vice versa. With both machines, you are properly equipped to handle most sewing projects you like to do.

They also help you expand your sewing talents and let you tackle more complicated patterns and projects. With both machines, you have all the tools you may need to produce professional-looking clothing items for yourself and your family.

Also, you can cut down on your worrying about whether the project will be done right or on time. You have the tools in your home to make sure the task is done correctly, This allows you to concentrate on your project and makes sure you do not make mistakes.

The key to having both machines will be your finances. Your sewing talent is already evident now you just have to see if you can afford both. Good machines are not always the most expensive.

Bad machines are not always the cheapest. Since each sewing machine is different, and this applies to Sergers as well, you need to do a test drive before you buy it. That way you can see if the machine will work for you.

Things You Can do With a Serger

Here is a little list of things you can do when you place a Serger in your home next to your regular sewing machine:

1. Save time - With the Serger you are looking at doing several tasks at the same time.

2. Better results - A Serger should give you professional-looking results that are second to none.

3. Keep the stretch - The overlock stitch will make sure your knits stretch naturally and without ruining your seams.

4. Clothes last longer - That is one of the key features when you use a Serger. Your clothes are more durable and should not fray.

5. Use multi-colored thread - That versatility will add to the attractive look of your sewing project. Using more than one thread also saves you time on replacing one thread multiple times.

There are more things that you can do with your Serger. You just have to do a little exploring on your own to see how valuable they are. The nice thing about adding a Serger to your sewing arsenal is that you can make just about anything you want.

Some Hints About Sergers

This section is designed to help you use your Serger machine better. It has some tips and troubleshooting hints to make sure you do not get frustrated when your Serger does not act as it should.

1. Check the threading - When threads unwind irregularly, your sewing project is not going to look good. Make sure the threads can be threaded easily and nothing is blocking its path.

Also, uneven threading can cause both the threads and the needles to break. Make sure to use cross-wound thread cones. These work the best on a Serger machine. Finally, you also want to watch out for thread spilling. When this happens there is a risk that the loose thread may catch in a moving part and ruin your day.

2. Raise the presser foot - This is done before starting threading your machine. What this does is get the tension mechanisms open and ready to receive your thread. If you do not do this you will end up with a bad stitch pattern and look.

Then a little flossing motion is helpful. This motion helps the tension disks receive the thread and get the latter into the correct spot.

3. There is a correct threading order - Don’t ignore or violate this procedure. If you do then you are not going to have very good stitches and the look will be less than professional.

The correct order goes like this: Thread the upper looper first. Then go to the lower looper but make sure the lower looper thread is over the upper looper thread. Again, not doing this will ruin your stitches.

Finally, you can thread the different needles.

4. Fixing the feed - You may notice that your fabric is not feeding very well. It may be puckering as you sew. When this happens it is not a good situation to be in and you need to adjust the differential feed.

The Serger usually has two sets of feed teeth. One is located in the front while the other is in the back. Both are under the presser foot. The differential feed lever is on the right side of the Serger and it controls the front feed teeth, not the back.

The normal setting for a lot of fabrics is 1 but other fabrics may require you to change that setting to make sure your fabric is fed through the machine as it should.

Sheer and lightweight fabrics usually need a low setting but make sure you test the feed out first before you put your good fabric through the machine.

5. Check the needles - On common Serger machines, there should be 2 needle clamp screws for each needle. What you have to do is make sure the needles are sitting correctly in each clamp.

One thing to watch out for is that the needles in a Serger do not sit parallel to each other. The left needle is higher than the right. Replacing a needle takes a light touch and you shouldn’t force them into place.

Before tightening the screw, make sure your new needles are seated properly in the clamps. One more tip here, make sure you use the size and brand of the needle that is called for in your owner’s manual.

Tips to Help You With Your Serger

Sergers may not be complicated machines but they do need a special touch when using them. These tips are designed to help you avoid common problems that slow your sewing time down and waste both threads and materials.

1. Use good thread - you may not think so but the inferior and cheap thread can cause you a lot of problems. Especially in the breaking of the thread department. A good quality thread should prevent this from taking place frequently.

2. Taking pictures help - that is taking pictures of a pre-threaded machine so you can use those pictures as guides when you need to change threads.

3. Thread from scratch - this is better than tying a knot in the old and new threads and letting the machine do the work. You get to know your machine and can have confidence you can re-thread it when the thread breaks or runs out.

4. Be careful of backstitching - your Serger may be able to do it but it also can cut those stitches you just laid down.

5. Be careful of pins - if you sew while keeping your fabric pinned, then make sure they do not interact with the cutting blades on the Serger. Pins will damage the blades even if it is just making them dull.

6. Don’t overbuy thread - you may not have the storage room for it. You can buy a large 10,000-yard cone and keep it around instead of having multiple little thread spools taking up your limited space.

7. Don’t have a lead foot - a Serger machine moves faster than a regular sewing machine. You do not need to press down a lot to get the speed you need.

Some Final Words

A Serger is a good sewing tool to have. It removes a lot of those sewing chores you hate to do. They are very efficient and are a big help to you. But you do not need one if you want to sew.

The Serger is a complementary tool that just expands what you can do and lets you take on different sewing projects your regular sewing machine can’t do.

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