Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sergers

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new serger. I had been looking around for a while, and finally got an excuse to buy a new one when my mom's old Hobbylock broke down, and I gave her the Husqvarna Viking I bought a few years ago, but rarely used. I absolutely love this Babylock! It's super easy to set up for different types of stitches, and the automatic threading thing is amazeballs.

You might be asking, "What in the hell is a serger, and do I need one?" And I am going to say, "A serger is awesome," and "It depends."

ta-da!

Serger vs Sewing Machine
Sewing machines generally use two threads: one on top, and one on the bottom (from the bobbin). These two threads intertwine through fabric as you sew.

While this holds fabric together with a nice, even seam, a straight stitch will not prevent the seam allowance from fraying. Zig zag stitches will prevent fraying, but it's not the best stitch for seams.


Overlocking
Overlock stitches are the industry's solution to this problem. Using multiple threads, an overlock stitch, done with a serger, wraps around the edge of the fabric, preventing fraying over time.


Despite appearances, a serger can't replace a sewing machine entirely. Although you can do some projects entirely with one, sergers don't have as much maneuverability. Part of this is because sergers have a knife blade in front, so that the overlock stitches wrap around a clean cut.


Messing with stitch width, length, and thread tension gives you a number of different stitches, although the actual functionality depends on the machine itself.


Coverstitch
Coverstitches, or coverhemming, isn't standard for sergers, but some include it, or you can get a coverstitch machine–yes, a third sewing machine!


Coverstitching doesn't use a blade, and the stitches don't go over the edge of the fabric. You've probably seen this many times, at the hem of your t-shirts.


Do I need a serger?
So, do you need a serger? It really depends. If you do a lot of garment construction and aren't planning on doing French seams (where the seam allowance is enclosed), it might be worth investing in one eventually. Sergers are great if you are working on projects with long seams without sharp curves, and when you know your seam allowances are going to be exposed. Or, if you just want a serger; this is always a great reason!

If that isn't in the stars any time soon, don't worry! You can always zig zag stitch your seam allowances, or trim them with pinking shears.


Both of these are decent alternatives for finishing your edges, though they obviously aren't as durable as overlocking.

Given that I am so totally in love with this serger and want to serge ALL THE THINGS! there will probably be an influx of serger projects over the next FOREVER. :P


No comments:

Post a Comment