Tag Archives: sergers

My Machines, part 4. Long overdue update.

I sold one. I retired two, one to the recycling bin. I bought three… all somewhat specialized for the garment end of things.

First off, it was so sad to retire the 1987 first generation Babylock serger to the recycling bin. It was beyond repair, rebuild, or service. Every piece of metal in the thing was worn beyond repair. Every time I tried to use it something wouldn’t work. I turned to one of my trusted advisers, Ron of A1 Sewing Machine, for a recommendation. He recommended a Juki 644 as a reliable workroom 3/4 serger and he was right on. Sometimes you don’t realize how old and worn something is until you replace it with new. Helpful hint: you can write on your machine with a dry erase: this is the current needle installed. Trust me on this: If you are battling an old machine or one that just never works quite right, quit torturing yourself, especially if you are working professionally. I hate spending money and kick myself every time I hold off getting the right tool.

Juki serger, reliable workhorse

Next, I sold my Pfaff combo serger/coverhem. I had originally purchased it for the triple needle coverhem function, but I never loved the performance of the machine. When I heard that Brother came out with a top cover hem home machine, the 3550, that was it… ordered one sight unseen. This machine is amazing and easy to use once you understand the learning curve that all coverhem machines come with. I absolutely LOVE being able to provide an ultra-professional, finished look when I am altering activewear, baselayers, sweaters or other fleece, softshell garments.

Grey side is top cover stitch; navy is the underside, three needle cover hem.
Brother 3550 Coverhem, top spreader removed.

Why stop there? With retirement looming, I wanted to replace my trusty 33 year old Bernina while I am still working. While it’s very reliable, mostly, once in a while I get a vibe that it might croak on me. I was able to find an Elna 780 floor model and my-o-my it is rather amazing. I appreciated the control and features that I use specifically on garment projects. The harp space is huge and it does everything but make toast. Maybe I am modern but I like the ease of computer controls for eyelets and darning. It has a very wide stitch – up to 9mm for some functions which is very handy for certain repairs.

I still have my needle feed and walking foot and several other machines stashed away.