30 December 2007

I Have the Urge to Serge!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I had just bought a serger. I have never owned a serger before and in all honesty, I was getting along fine without one. I'd sew a seam and then I'd go back and zig-zag the seam so that the fabric wouldn't ravel - not difficult to do, just a bit time consuming. Although I didn't need a serger, I had been contemplating the purchase of one for several months now. I read every bit of info I could find - I wanted to make an informed decision. Well, ideally, I wanted the Babylock Imagine, but after getting a price quote of close to $2000 (this included the machine, 6 feet and taxes), I figured I might want to try out something less pricey just to be sure that I really wanted a serger.

So, when I saw that Sears had their two sergers on sale, I went to check them out. One machine retails for $649 (on sale for $449), the other machine retails for $349 (on sale for $279). When I asked the saleswoman about the differences between the two, she convinced me that the less expensive model was just as good as the other model. So, I figured I'd go for the less expensive one and pocket the $170 difference.

To the left is a picture of my new machine. It's not fancy - it doesn't have jet-air threading and it doesn't have a bunch of bells and whistles. However, I have put this baby through its paces the last few days and I am really pleased with it. It is a Kenmore 16622 and it has everything that I need for now:
  • cutting width adjustment up to 7.3 mm
  • decorative stitching
  • differential feed
  • rolled hemming stitches
  • picot edging and narrow hemming
  • pin tucking
  • overedging
A concern for me was how noisy this machine was going to be. The saleswoman implied that it was a bit loud. However, I don't find it loud at all - it's really not a lot louder than my sewing machine when it's cranking along at top speed.

I was also a little worried at first about threading this machine; at first glance it looked so complicated. However, I sat down with my manual and figured it out. Now, after one mishap (I forgot that the loopers and needles have to be threaded in a specific order), I can thread this machine completely from scratch (without tying on) in approximately 2 minutes. Not bad for a novice, eh?

All in all, I'm glad I went for an inexpensive starter machine. At some point, I will likely upgrade to the Babylock Imagine (or another high end serger), but for now my little Kenmore is plenty. If I do purchase another machine, I will likely get a dedicated coverstitch machine and then look into a higher end serger. But, time will tell!


Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Now I know that we were separated at birth! *LOL* I WANT that Babylock Imagine so bad I can taste it...but educating those children rate just a little higher...I mean I really want to be in the better nursing home and them having good jobs is the best way I can think of to insure that...y'know besides selling everything I will own at the time!

I work on an inexpensive serger too but that's probably because I only use mine to finish edges...I know, I know...but I only use my microwave to heat things up in too! ROTFLOL!

Vicki said...

Ditto Carolyn!! lol. Good for you - once you work out the threading and the tension you are up and running.

sisidaboom said...

Well, I hate to admit it, but I bought a Babylock Wave at the Toronto Creative Festival show. I had to really pull myself into reality mode or I was going to bring home an Embellisher as well. Next time. I love, love, love it. You know, I am not a young woman, have arthritis in my wrists and fingers so wanted easy threading. And that's my story and I am sticking to it. To ease my guilt, I told my daughter she will inherit it.

Elaray said...

Congrats on the serger. Soon, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it. My first serger was an "entry level" model. After 2 or 3 years, I felt the need to upgrade. If and when I replace it, I'll want a machine that does cover stitch.

angie.a said...

Ooh fun! You'll really love it once you get the hang of it all, I think. I didn't think I needed one for a long time either. But I LOVE my Juki. And I can thread that baby in no time flat so I don't even miss "jet air threading"! It also is very very easy to convert to rolled hem (about 5 seconds) and I flip back and forth all the time. I don't think I'll ever need to upgrade, especially not at the huge price difference in what I paid and the Imagine.

Have fun with your new baby!