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I am finally in the market for a serger. After spending hours overcasting all the seams on my silk dress, by hand, I am ready to step up my sewing game and add a serger to my arsenal. However, I know nothing about sergers. I am way low tech as far as my sewing goes. I use a 1940s Featherweight (which I love) and machines that have all those "options" frighten me a great deal. A machine that has multiple needles, threads, etc. makes me want to cry a little bit inside, the irony of this is that I work for a company that designs and builds complex automated industrial equipment! All I do now is adjust my stitch length & tension and the needle type as needed for the fabric and away I go!


My questions is this: Is purchasing a vintage serger ever a good idea? Am I setting myself up for an epic fail?  I have come across a vintage Babylock 418 for $120 and a vintage Juki for $175 both have three threads. Space is at a serious premium in my home and so I can't take on any huge piece of equipment either. I don't need something super fancy with all the bells and whistles but I want something reliable and easy to use. Should I just get a new one? I hear good things about Juki. I would love to hear thoughts and suggestions.





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Unless the vintage machines come with the manuals and have been recently serviced, I would go for a new machine. (You might also get a lesson thrown in with a new machine). I picked up an old Globe machine once for $60, could never get it to work. Got it serviced and it turned out it didn't have a cutting blade.

I bought a Janome 644D which has been a good little machine. I'm still learning to use it properly but I do like the step up in my sewing that it has provided. I think my box of threads take up a bigger amount of space than this machine.

Cheers and hope you find a good one.

Hi Amelia, I use an overlocker and I bought an entry level ( cheaper) and new. I loved it.

I wrote a bit about my search for it on my blog.

I hope it helps you, I cannot say anything about the sergers ... sorry

I got a new Brother Lock 1034D for Christmas last year and I love it.  It is a basic home machine, 4 / 3 thread and fairly easy to thread, as far as sergers go.  I use it to finish all my seams now (unless I want to do Hong Kong or french seams based on the fabric).  It came with an instructional DVD, two manuals and lots of accessories (various feet, forceps, adapters to use serger cones or regular spools of thread, etc.)  It isn't an industrial style that can do 5 thread (or other fancy stuff I don't know about), but it fits my needs for home sewing.  I would highly recommend it, and I've seen other people rave about the model on their blogs.  It was only $200 from Amazon in the US, but much more expensive here in Canada, so I had it delivered to someone I know in the US and picked it up when visiting  ;)

Hope that helps and happy serging!


I was pondering this same question for months. My decision was to get the best one I could afford. I love Bernina machines, used one for 25 years, and gave it to my daughter when I just couldn't live without one of those fancy embroidery machines.
So I decided on a Bernina serger, and I wound up with a 1350, a bit pricey, but it does overlock and a cover stitch. I really like that feature for hemming.
It is smooth and quiet. I was supposed to get 3 free lessons (which cost $10 each), and unfortunately the ladies who taught the class were not yet proficient in using a serger. They couldn't get a decent sample on anything. However, the machine is fabulous, and they will undoubtedly learn it.
In the meantime, I bought the Bernina Technique book, and it has turned out to be a treasure. I'm very glad I chose the machine I got, and good luck with whatever machine you get. I know you will enjoy using it.

I don't know if you got your answer or not...but my two cents worth....I broke down and bought a cheap one about 3 years ago, new. The starter model is all that I needed, I just wanted to edge finish. The nice thing is the new ones come color coded and if you lose the manual, you can look it up on line. I have not even looked at mine after the first month! Sergers are your friend! Just my two cents!


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