Serger Suggestions + Craftsy Giveaway

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During my first year of sewing, I was lucky to acquire an old Babylock serger from my first mentor, Mishka. It weighed a ton but it was an efficient workhorse, finishing the edges of both lightweight cotton and heavy denim beautifully. But it’s slowly giving out and the amount of money I’m spending on repairing it is starting to add up. I’m sure it has a few more years under its belt but I’ve decided to splurge and upgrade. With the variety of stitches available on today’s models, many of which can be used for lingerie sewing, I can’t help but retire my Babylock. Plus, Craftsy has been tempting me with their Beginner Serging Class by Amy Alan. I recently sparked up a conversation with Amy and our chat, which was initially about a summer tank she made, drifted towards the topic of her serging class. I told her how much I’ve been wanting to take it and she graciously offered me free enrollment and a giveaway for one of my readers. So, to prep for shopping, I’m taking Amy’s class. I think it will be a great way to become familiar with what’s available on today’s market. If you have any tips, words of advice, or machine suggestions, please speak up!

To enter to win Amy’s Beginner Serging Class, all you have to do is leave a comment below with your email address. That’s it! A winner will be chosen and notified on August 22nd. The winner will also be featured in my my recap of the class the week of August 26th. Contest is open internationally. Good luck!

tags: Construction Comments: 84

84 Comments
  1. Kristy Chan

    I have a new Babylock, which was really exxy but totally worth it for the jet air threading and auto tension alone, let alone the stitch selections. It was an upgrade from a basic Toyota serger which was fine to use (and went for a good 10 years before needing a service) but changing threads and fixing the tension was the bane of my life. So I guess you need to try out a few machines, not just serging but also changing the threads to help you decide

    Reply
  2. Amy

    I just love Craftsy classes, and it would be great to take one about how to use my serger. I bought it off Craiglist, and it came with a whole bunch of books, but nothing beats getting lessons “live”. Please count me in the giveaway. amy.ahearta at gmail dot com Thanks!

    Reply
  3. kate atherton

    I keep hearing such great things about Amy’s course. i too have recently bought second hand and I know I’m not getting the most out of my machine. thanks for running a great giveaway.

    Athertondotkateatgmaildotcom

    Reply
  4. Bryanna

    I inherited my grandmother’s serger but have never used it due to fear of breaking it. A Craftsy class may be the answer 😉
    bryanna dot griffin at gmail dot com

    Reply
  5. Melanie

    Ooohh i hope i win … Thanks for the chance …
    I have a janome serger which i have no clue how to thread so i cant help you with the suggestion …
    The serger came threaded but stupid me took off the thread and now for months i cant seem to be able to rethread it so its unused …
    I so need to get some help …

    Melanie hippolicious(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Reply
  6. Sammy

    Oh God this would be so good to win! My serger is a bit of a mystery to me. thefourfacesofeve[@]hotmail[.]com

    Reply
  7. Natasha Estrada

    Don’t enter me for the drawing but I have my own opinions about sergers. #1 I love them. My first serger was also a babylock I wonder if its the same model. Green ugly thing from the 70’s? It’s much easier to get a lemon with a serger than it is a sewing machine. I’ve made a few mistakes purchasing them

    First one was a brother something or another from costco. I right royally broke that one within 2 weeks when the stitch fingers got bent and it would only make a wave stitch. Now my next serger I don’t even remember what brand it was I think it might have another slightly brother. I know I gave it away when I bought my current pfaff. Now theres nothing wrong with the Pfaff the problem is I paid a little extra for the coverstyle model and really the changeover to coverstitch is a little touch and go. I should have just gotten a plain serger though the price difference wasn’t that much. My biggest mistake was getting a steal on a Janome Coverpro then not opening and using and then reselling it. So yeah now I want it back.

    So my advice don’t pay extra for a combo model. Don’t pay extra for jet threading. Just learn to thread the damn thing.

    Reply
    • Maddie Flanigan

      Thanks for the recommendations Natasha. We might have the same machine – it’s also a funky yellow/green color!

      So no to combo? I was sort of banking on that so that I could sew several types if stitches (i.e. purl stitch for edges of lingerie).

      Reply
      • Natasha Estrada

        Well if you can get the combo at no extra cost to you then do it. Though I am referring to a combo serger / cover stitch. A purl/rolled hem is just a variation of a regular serger function where you pivot the stitch finger down.

        The combo part I’m really referring to is the coverstitch where you have to rethread to a different setup. Deactivate the upper loopers, retract the blades, change the presser foot and table. Really it turns the serger into a different machine. But it does those 2 needle topstitch’s which are pretty but if you’re using them a lot a separate coverstitch is better. Usually the coverstitch combo machines are at the higher end so usually it works out cheaper to get a plainer serger and a seperate coverstitch for the same price

        Reply
  8. AmandaRenea

    I can’t wait to see what you decide on for a serger, I’m in the beginning stages of looking for a new one! perpetual_optimism (at) cox.net

    Reply
  9. Natasha Estrada

    Oh I should add most of the domestic market sergers that are made in japan are made in the Juki factory so I might cut the middleman out and get a Juki and then a separate coverstitch

    Reply
  10. Elaine

    Ive just inherited a janome serger. Total mystery. I would love to be educated!

    Reply
  11. Julie

    I have just bought a singer overlocker and it either works brilliantly or badly depending on the fabric, just when I think I have cracked it, change the fabric and I am back to square one. A course would be good! Sedgepig@yahoo.co.uk

    Reply
  12. Silvia - Sewing Princess

    I have a bernina 800dl. Tension setting is no issue at all. I basically leave it at the basic setting most of the time. As for retreading it takes me 5 minutes to change 4 threads from scratch without knotting (I timed it). To me paying the extra for jet-threading is not necessary. Let me know if you need more info.

    Reply
  13. Lessles

    I had a by old Babylock for about 20 years. Decided to treat myself to a Janome Coverpro and from the moment it landed at my house it was a cantankerous +*%# of a thing. I traded it in for a Babylock Evolution, what a dream ( no affiliation, honest). I just cannot recommend is over locker/coverstitch machine highly enough. It seems no matter what I throw at it, she just sews. I was having a terrible time with my ‘sewing’ machine and it was off getting fixed. Honestly, I just leaned over and kissed the Babylock cos’ it just does what it’s supposed to do. I’ve taken Amy’s class and its fab.
    Lesley

    Reply
  14. yorker_nz

    I would love to take this class, just about to update my sewing machine, and i am very tempted to add a serger to my order.

    Reply
  15. Alessa Farbenfreude

    I’ve recently bought a serger. It’s the German version of a Janome, although I don’t know which model it corresponds to. It’s a basic model, but so far it works really well, and even the threading isn’t too difficult. I’d love to hear about the different stitches that sergers can do, and what to use them for. For now, I’ve only used the 4-thread-serge-together stitch.

    Reply
  16. Mady

    I recently received a Singer serger as a gift from my grandparents,but I’m still trying to figure out how to properly use it!I’d love to take this class!Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  17. Sheri Branson

    I have a Juki garnet line and just love it! I have only tried other machines in classes and some demo floor models at a couple shops, so to be fair don’t have a lot to compare it to. But I know that little machine changed my sewing life forever. How on earth did my Gramy sew with out a serger all her life?! I can’t live without mine.

    Reply
  18. Joanie Paxman

    I bought a low-end serger from a gal at work for $100. It’s fair but I have to wrap one of the threads around the metal clips twice to get the tension it needs. otherwise, it’s gets the job done. monkeyheaded@gmail.com.

    Reply
  19. Sohini Sarkar

    I hear people say that sergers are amazing for finishing seams!!!!! I am always intrigued by it. Never used it before. I would love to add the professional touch of beautifully finished seams to my garments :). Thank you maddie for hosting the giveaway.
    sohinisarkar9@gmail.com

    Reply
  20. Jesseesuem

    I am in the market for a new serger too! I can’t decide between a janome and a viking (I’m a third generation viking owner, so it’s hard to stray) my mom is a wedding seamstress, but has never had the time to teach me about sergers, a class would be Sooo useful!

    Reply
  21. Rebecca Clarke

    I have a serger (or overlocker as we call them here in Australia) I love it alot but I would love to learn how to do more than just finish edges and do seams.

    Reply
  22. Kait Cox Warnick

    I just bought my first industrial Juki on Tuesday! I’m awful with tensions, and I’ve always wanted to take a serger class!

    Reply
  23. Allyson V

    I have had my eye on the Babylock Imagine model ever since I gave my friend’s a little test run a few months back. It was such a dream compared to the 15 year old Juki model I have that was broken when I bought it. A girl can dream!!
    allysonvermeulen@gmail.com

    Reply
  24. TessaMelissa

    I took Amy’s class on Craftsy, and I thought it was great. I teach serger classes (and others) at a local shop, but I still continue to take classes to keep on my game. I will say that if you can find a teacher in person to show you the quirks of your particular machine and give you one-on-one time it is totally worth it, but Amy’s class is great if you don’t have that option or in addition to that option.

    Reply
    • Maddie Flanigan

      Thanks for the suggestion Tessa! My local sewing shop gives lessons for sewing machines but I’ll check if they give lessons for Sergers as well.

      Reply
  25. Kathy Slaughter

    I have an old Juki that was gifted to me several years ago. I love it, but…it’s in Belgium and I’m in Louisiana at the moment! I’m shopping, too, and the feature I’m really interested in is differential feed–how important is that? If it’s anything like the revolution a walking foot brought to my sewing, I want it!

    Reply
  26. anto

    I don’t have a serger yet. I used to visit a little studio that had a couple of machines and I was allowed to use the sergers there. Getting my own is on my list of things to do once I get my own little studio or sewing room.
    stardustsoul.blog@gmail.com

    Reply
  27. Karen

    I love my serger but I don’t use it enough! I’ve done a Craftsy class before and love the format. I live in the Philippines were barely anyone sews as a “hobby” so on-line classes are incredibally usefull for me.

    Reply
  28. Rachel Kaye Estelle

    I inherited a serger from my husband’s mum but have never had the time to figure it out. I would love to take this class!

    rachelkaye3@gmail.com

    Reply
  29. Kelly

    I have had my serger for a few years and I use it all the time, but I know there is more I could do with it- this class would be great!! I just got a coverstitch machine too- I am still figuring out how to use it but oh boy, it makes the prettiest hems ever :)

    Reply
  30. Deby

    I’d love to win the class. I’m really interested in buying a serger but it would be a very big investment for me and so I want to make sure I really understand how they work, what they can do, and how best to use them, what features to look out for etc, before I invest. So this class would be ideal for me. Thanks for the giveaway – deby at So Sew Easy – deby@so-sew-easy.com

    Reply
    • Maddie Flanigan

      That’s exactly what I’m trying to do – learn all about Sergers so I know what to look for when buying.

      Reply
  31. Craft Sanctuary

    I have a serger, and I definitely don’t use it to its full potential. I’d love to take the class and learn more!

    Reply
  32. Andrea

    I have the Babylock Evolve, an 8 thread serger with coverstitch function. I really do like it, and recommend it. I’ve had no experience with other brands of serger’s to compare, however. Threading is easy, and is supposed to be even easier on the newer 8 thread model, the Evolution. I also have a new Babylock sewing machine which I love. Good luck deciding!

    Reply
  33. Carrie

    This giveaway is just perfect timing! I just got a serger (an inexpensive Brother 1034D) and I’m learning slowly how to use it. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures shopping for a serger!

    carrie.m.thompson@gmail.com

    Reply
  34. Sara

    I just acquired my mother’s old serger. Not ever sure of the brand. I used it briefly as a teenager, but a refresher would never go wrong. flamingwitch at gmail dot com

    Reply
  35. Erin

    I just got a Baby Lock Evolution and I would LOVE to take that class! Fingers crossed!

    Reply
  36. jvega172

    I’d love to know what my serger is capable of besides a narrow rolled hem and serging :)
    jvega_172@msn.com

    Reply
  37. Shannon Burchard

    Yes! I really need to get more out of my serger:)

    Reply
  38. Lady ID

    That sounds fun. I’ve had my Janome serger for over five years now and it’s been great. I just started using it with my baby steps into knit fabrics and it’s been wonderful.
    ladyid@peppermintandpaisley.com

    Reply
  39. Ebony H.

    This is great! I’m buying a serger soon as I touch down in my new apartment. This class would be super helpful in getting me up and running with my new machine.

    Reply
  40. hannah

    Sounds good, I never really figured out how to use my serger, so this would be a great opportunity.

    Reply
  41. summz parker

    I managed to figure out my sewing machine on my own, but the serger is a different story! I’d love to understand it. summz@live.com

    Reply
  42. Erin Currie

    I keep thinking I want to take that class, but I never quite get around to registering. I’m backed up on Craftsy classes currently, but I’ve been so fed up with my serger recently that I should probably register ASAP and put it to the front of my watching queue!

    Reply
  43. Laurie

    I have had a serger for YEARS and the books to go with them but still have trouble with the rolled hem… heck- all I ever do is basic serging. *bows head in shame.* Would LOVE a class! (email- lmshull@gmail.com )

    Reply
  44. Jam

    Cool give away! I have a serger that I use all the time, but only on one setting. It would be awesome to have a better grasp on serger techniques as one of the classes I am taking this semester is Apparel Construction.
    [jamie_perrault@yahoo.com]

    Reply
  45. Jane

    What a great giveaway. I have an overlocker too but really only use it for the basics (jane@solarosa.com)

    Reply
  46. Alyssa

    A serger class would be awesome! I use my serger but I’m sure there are many things that are possible to do that I haven’t figured out.
    Hems2dolls (at) gmail.com

    Reply
  47. Amy Plaza

    I love the serger I have but I sure do need to be taught what I’m doing on it! I’ve been looking at taking her class on Craftsy – so this is perfect! -amynxdx@gmail.com

    Reply
  48. Ag

    Serger love! Yay!

    jesuisavantgarde (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  49. the other emily

    Ooh, I have asked for a serger for my birthday next month and I have been eyeing that Craftsy class! Here’s hoping!

    the_other_emily (at) yahoo (dot) com

    Reply
  50. LM

    I managed to figure out my sewing machine by myself, but the serger is a very different story! I’d love to understand it better :) thank you.

    Reply
  51. Sassy T

    I have saved for one but feel a little intimidated by them at the moment. Think I may call mine Sergio. medusa.adams(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk

    Reply
  52. Natasha Estrada

    Ok some serger tips. Remember to chant upper before lower, lower ontop when threading. Meaning you need to thread the upper looper first then the lower looper which means the lower looper sits on top. You need them to be that way in order for it to chain off. Otherwise it no worky.

    When you get your new serger grab different colors of thread preferably the same colors as your manual threading guide and then practice all the stitches. You’ll quickly learn how to balance tension that way.

    Starting with all the tension knobs on 4 is a good way to start balancing unless you know the factory recommended settings are spot on. Usually they are not. Remember needle size and thread size and content will affect your tension esp with a serger.

    Sergers are NOT scary. Really

    Reply
  53. Shelly

    I just purchased a Babylock Evolution. The book that came it is great, but I am a visual learner and would love the class. Love your blog, too, so well done, beautiful to view and very informative. You’ve inspired me, at the ripe age of 45, to learn to sew!!

    Reply
  54. Shelly

    aw heck, forgot to leave my e-mail: shellyrs68(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Reply
  55. Elena Knits

    Thank you so much for this give away!

    elenaknits (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  56. patricia

    great giveaway! thanks
    ica_ntik(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Reply
  57. Ray Bain

    Oh man. I got a free serger from my aunt, but it’s old and doesn’t work well, and I haven’t gotten around to taking it in for a tune-up. Maybe this would give me the motivation I need! rach.e.bain at gmail dot com

    Reply
  58. Natalie

    I just finished taking Amy’s class. She is fantastic! I’m currently on a borrowed serger and can’t wait to purchase my own. I’ll be interested to hear what you choose when you decide to upgrade!

    Reply
  59. Hazel

    You always have such lovely giveaways! I really need to learn to do more with my serger than simply neaten my seams so this would be perfect! hazel.berryman(at)hotmail.com

    Reply
  60. Deb H.

    My serger is currently on the fritz, also and I miss it…. :( I am in the market to get a new one as mine is very old, also. The class looks wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Reply
  61. Deb H.

    Forgot my e-mail address gccmom(at)aol(dot)com

    Reply
  62. dianaburrell

    I have a Brother 1034 that at some point I thought I would upgrade. BUT I’ve ended up loving it so much, I haven’t bothered. I’ve nowhere near mastered all its capabilities so I would love to take a class on serging. :)

    Reply
  63. Kim

    Ohh I would love to win this class! I have a serger, but since I already have two unwatched classes waiting I havent bought this one yet.. My email adress is revesmecanique (at) gmail.com

    Reply
  64. Anna

    I have just been bought a shiny new overlocker for my birthday so i would love to win this class! the bf picked up on my big hints… I have only used an overlocker for neatening edges and would love to learn more. Littleroomofsewing@gmail.com

    Reply
  65. flamingo_pirate

    Oooh! Count me in!
    flamingo_pirate (at) qq.com

    I’m using my singer sewing machine a lot, using tight zigzag stitches to do knit fabrics. But I’d love to try out a serger~

    Reply
  66. Carla

    The serger I bought 3 months ago is still in the box. I need help!

    Reply
  67. Andrea

    Oooooo, I’d love to win. I was gifted a serger when someone moved but I haven’t used it because it’s a little scary. Fingers crossed! :) Adkicks(at)aol.com

    Reply
  68. federica

    what a great give away! I wish I could take that class

    Reply
  69. Whitney A

    Cool giveaway. The class sounds nice.

    Reply
  70. Sue

    I would love to learn how to serge!

    Reply
  71. Jessica

    WOW! I would love to be in this comp!
    Jessica
    jgmjlm at westnet dot com dot au

    Reply
  72. Colin

    Thanks for all your help and suggestions. Just newish into sewing and really enjoying it, hopefully one day even get quite good! I bought the toyota sl3487 about 2 years ago. I didn’t know anything about overlocking (serging). Youtube guy in France does a great set of clips showing how to thread this model (excellent HD quality). Although I didn’t realise it at the time, this is a fantastic machine, really! It does 2, 3 & 4 thread overlock, rolled hem (with just a throw of a little lever), it’s got diff feed etc. Now I use it a lot and I’ve not found another machine at the price point that has all the features this does. It’s NEVER let me down. I’d highly recommend it. Thanks again for being so generous in sharing. Regards Colin (Wales, UK)

    Reply
    • maddie

      Thank you for the recommendation Colin!

      Reply

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